Classic Rock Corner

Eyeballin': The Black Crowes' Warpaint Live

To celebrate the release of 2008's Warpaint, the Black Crowes played the entire record straight through for a special series of shows. Already released as a 2-CD set, this DVD of one performance shows why the Crowes are such an effective live unit.

Two things immediately jump out. Singer Chris Robinson eschews his usual chattiness and whirling-dervish dancing, perhaps in an effort to put more of the attention on the new material. And new lead guitarist Luther Dickinson more than proves his worth, delivering a series of stinging solos and incredible slide work, effectively making him the star of the show.

Not surprisingly, the live versions have the same effect as their recorded counterparts. "Evergreen" is a weak, frothy singalong and "Movin' On Down the Line" overstays its welcome. But numbers like "Walk Believer Walk" and "Wounded Bird" rock with authority, and "Oh Josephine" and "There's Gold in Them Hills" remain touching high points.

Extra kudos to drummer Steve Gorman for donning a marching band uniform (with tall hat) while tinkling a tambourine and pounding a huge bass drum strapped to his chest, giving a Salvation Army-feel to the cover of Rev. Charlie Jackson's rousing "God's Got It."

The shows ends with a selection of fan favorites ("Darling of the Underground Press," "Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye") and classic-rock covers, with Eric Clapton's "Don't Know Why" and Moby Grape's "Hey Grandma" standing out.

Eagle Rock Entertaiment, 103 mins., $14.98.

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero