The Kansan - Newton, KS
by Garon Cockrell
Graham Parker & The Rumour: “This Is Live” (2013) Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Review
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By Garon Cockrell
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Aug. 27, 2013 5:10 p.m.

This Is 40 is a really bad, lazy, repetitious, unfocused, poorly
conceived film. One of the few things making it worth watching is Graham
Parker’s presence. Well, I have some very good news. Shout! Factory has
released all of the concert footage shot for the film on a DVD titled This Is Live. So now you can skip the
film altogether, and just enjoy the music. I’m glad This Is 40 was made, because it made this new DVD
possible. Now toss away your copy of This
Is 40, and enjoy This Is Live.
This footage was shot as
Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. It is weird, because in a few of the wide
shots, people cross in front of the camera, but those are extras, not real
concert-goers (at least as far as I know). So there is an odd aspect to this
performance, because it was staged for a movie. According to the DVD credits,
there were four cameras used for this scene. I do wonder if the songs were
repeated several times, to get additional shots (like from behind the band),
and how the performances were edited together (because of course we never see
any of the other cameras in any one camera’s shot).
But what is important
here is the music. And the music is so damn good. This band still totally has
that special something, and these songs are fun and vibrant. The band does
twelve songs, beginning with “Fool’s Gold.” Graham Parker plays acoustic guitar
on several of the tracks, including “Local Girls.”
There is some new
material, from the band’s 2012’s release Three
Chords Good, including the title track and “Stop
Cryin’ About The Rain.” “Long Emotional Ride” is a nice new tune with a sweet
vibe. Graham Parker sings, “I never took
one word of advice/Never in my whole life.” But then: “I dreamed I saw a movie of my life/I thought I dreamed it, but it was
real/I realized I’d been surrounded by friends all of the time.” Nice, eh?
And appropriate, considering this was shot for a movie. This is one of my
favorites. And speaking of references to
the movies, in “Passion Is No Ordinary Word,” Graham sings, “The movie might be new, but it’s the same
“She Rocks Me” is another
highlight, a fun tune. And yes, that is a kazoo in Graham’s harmonica holder.
This performance also includes a very cool rendition of “Stupefaction,” one of
my favorites from this band. “I can’t see
the point, but I see the attraction.” What a great song. By
the way, you can see a much earlier performance of this song on The Best Of Fridays, which was released
by Shout! Factory on August 6th.
The band ends the set
with “Soul Shoes” from the 1976 album Howlin' Wind. (“Sirens In The Night” plays
during the closing credits.) The DVD is approximately fifty-five minutes, and
contains no special features.
This Is Live was released on August 27, 2013 through Shout! Factory.
Note: I also posted this
review on Michael Doherty's Music Log.

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