First career-spanning concert document from the Rock City’s primal bluesmen pulls no punches and hits hard.
A devil’s dozen years on Earth have a crossroads ring to it, so that’s quite a time for this Detroit trio to crown their three studio platters with one laid down on-stage. More so, it would be a sin not to preserve such a fire-and-brimstone performance for posterity: roaring with righteous anger in a format you can’t hide in, the band deliver a smoking set of orginals peppered with well-chosen covers. From the opening hattrick off their latest album, "Born Ugly", on to the bell-biting epic “Doc Mode” which closed their 2005’s debut, the group fill the space with immense, if tastefully dirty, groove firmly rooted in the early ’70s, yet it takes them some time for tunes to break the hard veneer and catch on, but once the lazy blues of “Sturm Und Drang” crawl in, there’s no turning back.
Vocalist Danny Methric laying down the guitar riffs into the bass bed shaken by Tony DeNardo and stirred with Todd Glass’ drums, the trio let their collective hard down on a string of Rory Gallagher’s smashes scattered across these two discs – his combo an obvious blueprint for the American ensemble – while their own dynamic-testing “Said & Done” and “Need Ya Baby” are on par with the classics of yore when it comes to smoldering splash of emotions. It might be sluggish as in the slider-kissed “Dear Theo” or frenetic as in “Get It On,” but there’s nuclear power throughout that fuels “Preachin’ Blues,” which incorporates the pounding take on “Help!”, ignites another John Lennon cut, the bluesified “How Do You Sleep?”, later on, and gives way to “Slow Curve” from 2008’s "On With The Show". Still, the 10-minute “Never Know Why” gets too close to BLACK SABBATH to impress on record, although the audience gives it a loud cheer, and there’s a feeling that something’s been lost in transition of the show onto an album.
Thankfully, the overdriven buzz of “Monster” blows such a suspicion to pieces and “Gonna Need My Help” rams the message home. Full tilt, indeed.