Sound — 10
The Doobie Brothers have one of the most unique sounds in music. It's not really like anything else out there. Tom Johnston's signature solos, Pat Simmons' fingerpicking-style, the mighty percussion section, or the unmistakable vocal harmonising. It's hard not to recognise them when you hear their music! In many ways, they are far better live than on the studio recordings. It sometimes sounds a little artificial in the studio, whereas this live show sounds very 'real'. The band have had members drifting in-and-out for years, but this line up includes: Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons and John McFee all on guitar/vocals (John McFee also plays many other instruments, such as pedal steel and dobro), Mike Hossack, Keith Knudsen and M.B. Gordy on drums/percussion, Guy Allison on keyboard, "Skylark" on bass guitar, Marc Russo playing various saxophones, plus a brass section! Somehow the stage doesn't look crowded, despite there being a 10-man band there, they just seem to blend into one-another's music quite nicely. The show was recorded on July 25th 2004, and sadly doesn't feature Michael McDonald, though is still excellent without him.
Content — 9
This DVD has 23 tracks, lasting around two and a half hours. The show starts rocky, then goes acoustic, then back to rocky later on. There are some of the 'good-old favourites' and some other more 'obscure' tracks that are not as popular, but are still incredible. One of the highlights of the show is "Dangerous", where Pat, Tom and John each step up to an acoustic guitar, positioned at playing hight on a stand (whilst still 'wearing' their electric guitars), play an acoustic intro, then step back and are straight back into electric-mode! Every song will keep you watching and listening. If you have the time on your hands, then it won't become exhausting whilst watching it all the way through. The set list is as follows: Rockin' Down The Highway, Jesus Is Just Alright, Dangerous, Another Park, Another Sunday, People Gotta Love Again, Spirit, Steamer Lane, South City Midnight Lady, Snake Man, Nobody, Five Corners, Rainy Day Crossroad Blues, Clear as the Driven Snow, Neal's Fanadango, Takin' it to the Streets, Don't Start Me Talkin', Take Me in Your Arms, Little Betty Pretty One, Black Water, Long Train Runnin', China Grove, Without You, Listen to the Music. The DVD also has some special features. On the main menu, you are greeted by Tom Johnston who gives you an introduction to the DVD. Every section that you go on, you are greeted by one of the band, who basically tells you what you're looking at. Sadly, it's very tacky, but won't bother anybody who just gets on with the show! There is also a photo gallery to browse through, and there are interviews with members of the band. Tom Johnston's 'stage mannerisms' will annoy some people, but they're sometimes rather funny to watch. He introduces pretty much every song with: "It goes like this!" He still has his moustache and Pat still has a lot of hair!
Production Quality — 9
The DVD is really good quality. Nice transitions take you from one camera angle to another. All the camera angles seem very professional. The sound quality is very good. As I mentioned above, the menu screens can appear tacky and annoying, but you don't buy the DVD for the menu, you buy it for the concert!
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, the DVD is great. There are a lot of really good songs and some great guitar-playing. Some of my favourites from the DVD are "Clear As The Driven Snow" which starts with a brilliant finger-picked riff on acoustic guitar, then turns over-driven, and "Listen to the Music" at the end of the encore. If you've ever liked the Doobie Brothers, then you should buy this DVD. It will 'rekindle' your love of the band! It's also available on CD (which I also have), and is pretty much the same concert, just without some of the tracks.