One of the best supergroups of the last few years has released a live DVD to prove to those who didnâ€™t catch them over the summer that they are just as impressive live as they are on their albums. Shot over three nights at shows in Hamburg, Munich and Berlin, Germany last summer, Black Country Communion Live Over Europe is a document of a rock band at a key period in their career.
The summer festival circuit is where bands go to make their name and spread the word. To be fair to the guys, Black Country Communionâ€™s name was already pretty well known. After these kind of performances, their word was gospel.
The band wouldnâ€™t be half as good to watch if Glenn Hughes wasnâ€™t such a damn brilliant showman. He wants every single person in the audience to feel connected to what is going on up on stage by singing his heart out, pouting â€˜til his lips hurt, and strutting around like a rock peacock.
Although Joe Bonamassa I think is one of the best guitarists of his generation he doesnâ€™t cover much ground on stage. He is happy to let Hughes hog the stage, but when it comes to â€œHadrianâ€™s Wallâ€ and â€œThe Ballad Of John Henryâ€ he storms it; he shows why his solo shows are so popular. He exudes rock cool and his guitar solos are superb.
Jason Bonham is a fine drummer and there is almost a visible spark between him and Hughes, something only huge amounts of talent and a close connection can create. Recently there was an interesting article (for â€˜interestingâ€™ read: â€˜compiled by a dumbassâ€™) on reasons why keyboard players should be eliminated from rock. Listening to and watching Derek Sherinian add eerie or supercharged layers to Black Country Communionâ€™s songs is an advert in itself for using them.
The songs themselves are fantastic. Albums Black Country Communion and 2 obviously make up the bulk of the set, including â€œBlack Countryâ€, â€œCrossfireâ€ and â€œThe Outsiderâ€. But they also throw in the Bonamassa solo number â€œThe Ballad Of John Henryâ€ and the Deep Purple classic â€œBurnâ€.
As good as they are on a club stage they really come alive on a festival stage. They seem to open up more and the bigger stages and audiences seem to create a more energised performance.
At 18 tracks (including â€œRevolution of the Machineâ€ intro and â€œSmokestack Womanâ€ over the end credits) and just under 2-hours running time Black Country Communion Live Over Europe is a great showcase of what an impressive band got up to over the summer.