Eagle Rock Entertainment // 2007 // 127 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // April 2nd, 2009
"Now I want you to answer me and say, 'Yes, I'm Ready!'"
In the world of rock music, people tend to come and go pretty quickly. Paul Rodgers is one of the exceptions. For over 40 years, Rodgers has remained an active presence in the world of rock, founding several successful bands and maintaining a strong solo career. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Rodgers was a member of Free. The band's popularity exploded upon the release of the hit song "All Right Now." A few short years later, Rodgers co-founded Bad Company with Mick Ralphs, and proceeded to crank out even more hit tunes, including "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "Can't Get Enough." The post-Bad Company years have been diverse and busy for Rodgers, as his solo career has weaved in and out of collaborations with Jimmy Page, Kenney Jones, and Queen. In 2006 (shortly after wrapping up his two-year tour with Queen), Rodgers went on a solo tour again with a solid backup band (including guitarist Howard Leese), offering fans a generous set of hit tunes created over the previous few decades. This Blu-ray disc captures a concert that took place in Glasgow during that tour.
The set is heavy on the hits, with a couple of newer and less well-known songs thrown into the mix for good measure. The complete set runs approximately 80 minutes. The songs presented are as follows:
* I'll Be Creepin'
* The Stealer
* Ride On a Pony
* Be My Friend
* Warboys (A Prayer for Peace)
* Feel Like Makin' Love
* Bad Company
* I Just Want to See You Smile
* Louisiana Blues
* Fire and Water
* Wishing Well
* All Right Now
* I'm a Mover
* The Hunter
* Can't Get Enough
* The Seagull
Rodgers has a reasonably energetic stage presence here, staying pretty active on the stage throughout. He demonstrates a particular fondness for swinging his microphone stand around in a vaguely threatening manner, which I supposed is supposed him look like some sort of Roman Gladiator of Rock n' Roll. Rodgers dispenses with a couple of layers of clothes after the first song, stripping down to a pair of black jeans and a white tank top ("The better to show off my guns while waving the mic stand, my dear..."). Dancing, gyrating, twisting, and shouting his way through 80 minutes of rock n' roll, Rodgers seems fully engaged here, and yet there's also a sense of very casual fun throughout. In his later years, Rodgers seems a bit less intense, but that doesn't hurt his skills as an entertainer.
So, the performance is solid, and Rodgers fans will undoubtedly be thrilled. As for the music itself, it's all good stuff, but I must confess that I grew just a little weary of the concert by the time it reached its conclusion. This is largely because there's not a lot of musical diversity here, as the vast majority of these tunes fall within a pretty small window of sound. Additionally, it might have been nice to have one or two additional gentler numbers thrown into the mix here, just to provide a bit of respite from the moderately hard-rocking numbers that dominate the set. I'm sure that devoted fans of Rodgers won't feel this way, but for the average viewer, such considerations might have been appreciated. That being said, why was the gentle "Seagull" chosen as the conclusion? This concert should have gone out on a bang.
Despite being presented in 1080i, this hi-def transfer is pretty impressive. The level of facial detail here is solid throughout. Blacks are deep, and the occasional bright colors (Rodgers' shiny blue guitar, for instance) pop nicely against the generally darker color scheme. From time to time, I wonder if the concert could have been a little bit brighter. This isn't the fault of the transfer; the stage just seems so dimly lit at times that the performers become a bit too obscured. I have no complaints about the audio, which is as hard-hitting and well-distributed as a concert of this sort deserves. Strong bass is a bonus throughout, and Rodgers' raspy voice comes through with tremendous clarity. The bonus features (which are included in the listed 127-minute runtime on the disc) include engaging interviews with Rodgers, his band members, and fans of the singer, along with a special guest performance from Paul's son Steven Rodgers (this unfortunately suffers from weak audio quality). All of these extras were also included on the DVD release from a couple years back, but all have thankfully been upgraded to HD here.
Though I'm not the biggest Paul Rodgers fan in the world, this disc is a pretty solid representation of his career highlights, and I have no complaints in the technical department. The excellent sound will probably be enough to make fans who all ready own the DVD consider an upgrade.
Review content copyright © 2009 Clark Douglas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 127 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Performance