It's one of the mysteries of the modern age—rock stars compelled to become actors and actors who long to be rock stars. David Bowie and Jennifer Lopez stand as shining beacons of hope for all those who aspire to conquer both the charts and the silver screen, while Eddie Murphy and Bruce Willis are the lighthouse operators warning the less talented of the dangers that lie ahead. But there are a handful of talented individuals who operate just outside of the spotlight, true artisans whose love of music has enabled them to follow more than one passion in life—Kevin Bacon is one of them.
February 17, 2001—my introduction to the music of The Bacon Brothers. It was a frigidly cold evening at Chicago's House of Blues. I'll be honest…we came for the novelty of it all…as did most in attendance that night, I'm sure. Imagine our collective surprise when an imaginative and engaging band took the stage and proceeded to blow the doors off the place. This was no Hollywood sideshow. These guys knew how to rock—and did so for nearly two hours! Based on the strength of that show, we returned to see them again the following year and now own the entire Bacon Brothers CD collection. Thanks to Image Entertainment, you now have a chance to experience and appreciate the Bacon Brothers live in concert.
Recorded February 18, 2003, in Englewood, NJ, on the heels of one of the East Coast's greatest snow storms, Kevin and Michael Bacon and their band rocked the house. The result is 90 minutes of clever lyrics, great music, personal insights, touching stories, and an all-around good time. They've taken this act on the road for the past eight years, growing and evolving their craft in-between making films (Kevin) and making music (Michael), and it never gets old. The 14-song set includes a great mix of early work—Woman's Got a Mind to Change, Grey-Green Eyes, Only a Good Woman, Guess Again—and new releases—Summer of Love, I'm So Glad I'm Not Married, Baby Steps, Grace, Sooner or Later. As for style? You can't really pigeonhole them. For two boys who grew up in Philly, the ingredients of their unique sound contain equal parts folk, classical (Michael is a concert cellist), country, funk, R&B, and classic rock, flavored with a hint of East Coast energy, West Coast relaxation, and Southwestern spice. Woven through every inspired chord progression, tight harmony, and heartfelt lyric, you'll find who they are, what they love, and how much they enjoy working together. This is "feel good" music, plain and simple. Cap it all off with four encores, including Kevin's signature theme from Footloose, and you have an incomparable evening of music and entertainment.
Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the transfer is much what you would expect from a live concert recording. Crisp and clear, with perhaps a touch of grain in the lower light areas, with warm and inviting colors, despite the weather going on outside the theatre. The DTS 5.1 mix is exceptionally well done, utilizing all five channels to provide that true concert feel. Equally so, the alternate Dolby 5.1 and 2.0 tracks convey the same feelings, with perhaps somewhat decreasing returns. However, neither of these tracks will diminish the enjoyment of this experience.
In terms of bonus features, the majority of behind-the-scenes footage is woven throughout the featured set. However, Image has included two acoustic numbers—John's Song, Peace Dance—capturing Michael and Kevin in the dressing room during pre-show warm-ups. There's also a concert photo slideshow. Nice touches, but nothing monumental.
This court sincerely hopes Kevin and Michael continue to find time to make music together. As is the case with all passionate artistic endeavors, the world is a little better place as a result. Check it out. You'll be glad you did.
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