“Live In Houston” by Velvet Revolver

Artist: Velvet Revolver
Title: “Live In Houston”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 11/16/2010
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 2.55/5

It might surprise you to learn that I have always felt that Velvet Revolver was not all that interesting nor deserving of the media accolades it seemed to get even though it found members of Guns ‘N Roses and Stone Temple Pilots in its membership roster. To be brutally honest I always felt that the overall output from them was nothing more than marginal when it came down to it and this amuses me greatly since I really enjoyed GnR when they first came onto the scene much like I did STP when I first heard their debut release. I think that the reason I get this perception is based on how I had hoped more for an original full on Guns reunion and that seemed to be a pipe dream in the minds of my own and many other Rock and Roll fans no matter how much we wished for it. That being said, the band does feature a strong core of former Guns musicians such as Slash on guitar, Duff on bass and Matt on drums along with singer Scott Weiland who comes from Stone Temple Pilots. The Velvet Revolver lineup is rounded out by Dave Kushner who adds a second guitar to the mix. This should have found the material being exemplary all around and all I ever took it as was lackluster. Onto the concert release we are examining here.

This concert takes place during the bands first album tour as they had just released “Contraband” and were immediately put to the top of the concert list as a headlining act. I think that was a mistake but I digress – whatever sells the tickets for the event companies. During the show, which is filmed in Houston Texas as its title denotes, it focuses not only on the bands debut “Contraband” but also pays some attention to the repertoire of GNR and STP by giving us two songs from each group. The bands own debut album gets eight numbers delivered and the biggest successes from this come via “Fall To Pieces”, and “Slither” which I felt were the only good songs that they had in the first place. The home viewer gets twelve songs and since I know people who had attended these early tours of the band can speak confidently about how the entire show is NOT presented to them which is a shame for those who really have some interest in the band. I heard that more Guns and STP were done than what we find here and most likely the other missing tunes from the debut release. Production wise this is an okay release but one that would appeal more to the hardest core fan or the absolutely curious. Weiland struts around the stage like a Rock God and one would expect this of him even though he was fortunate to be the part of a new “super group” after having so many issues with addiction. An immediate problem I had with this release was how it did not show you the whole concert without interruption but periodically slid in behind the scenes footage and more. Just when a few tunes have gone by up one comes.

It should be noted that while some of these little snippets are interesting they really become a distraction to the main program in the way that they are presented. This would have been much better served up as a bonus feature since there is archival footage from the bands formation and from the studio and a discussion on how they not only selected singer Scott, but also assisted in his getting sober and clean from his addictions. Blended in with this is some useless footage of model Irina being questioned about random nonsense. She is of course beautiful but the discourse between her and the interviewer is banal at best. I am not sure what they were going for with this part of the video. Maybe this was based on the bands debut album title but all I know is that I rolled my eyes every time she popped up on the screen. Musically speaking the highlights for me were only a mere few and fell to the bands rendition of “It’s So Easy” where Weiland delivers his best Axl and their main song “Fall To Pieces”. I hated the way they did “Used To Love Her” and as I had said never really found any big deal about these tunes which are performed tight when it all boils down to it. They seemed to be working together well which made it almost a shame that Weiland would return to a deadly path and leave the group. Perhaps at release number three I might have found it interesting.

There are no real bonus features to speak of and since this is an Eagle Vision release we will inevitably find the audio companion being delivered at some point in the future. This is a recommendation more for those who really stood behind the group and felt they could do no wrong or for those who wondered if they missed out on something when the group was in its infancy. Speaking for myself, I would have to say that your time would be better spent on a more deserving project. Next.

Track Listing:
1. Sucker Train Blues
2. Do It For The Kids
3. Headspace
4. Crackerman
5. Illegal I
6. It’s So Easy
7. Fall To Pieces
8. Big Machine
9. Set Me Free
10. Used To Love Her
11. Slither
12. Sex Type Thing

Official Website: http://www.velvetrevolver.com

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