FOGHAT – Slow Ride: Live In Concert

Cleopatra 2024

Slow Ride: Live In Concert

Captured in transition, fabulous band of boogiemen gallop to get their glory.

It was almost a quarter of a century ago that this blues-rock ensemble began morphing from the classic quartet, reunited a few years earlier, to the current line-up, as the group’s premillennial stretch saw the collective part with one of their legendary guitarists, Rod Price, and embark on “The Millennium Tour” with his replacement, Bryan Bassett who would stay side by side with last original member Roger Earl to this day. And it was that phase that the band decided to record on 9/9/99 and leave on the shelf to officially issue two and a half decades further down the line and effectively prove how what could be one of their weakest moments turned out to be one of the most magnificent – because “grandeur” and “magic” can hardly describe the concert caught here on audio and video.

Yet, of course, it’s great to see Dave Peverett resplendent in his customary gold lamé suit, wearing an irresistible grin and breaking into charming grimaces, cast an occasional glance at and sometimes singing in unison with the fingers of the beret-sporting Bassett who, in a workmanlike fashion, would roll a slider along the fretboard and unleashes wild solos. All the while Tony Stevens, garbed in blue, is pinning all of this with his thunderous bass notes and Roger Earl is laying down a solid, albeit simple, groove that the melodic road-bumps of “Drivin’ Wheel” dictate. The ensemble may streamline their performance to deliver a slicker boogie of “Stone Blue” to whip the audience into a fist-pumping frenzy and find themselves in awe of another soaring six-string weave, but not before “Somebody’s Been Sleepin’ In My Bed” exposes the line-up’s raw edge. More so, the then-fresh “Rock Your House” tests the foursome’s stamina with its relentless rhythm ‘n’ riffs as though to show the veterans still know how to have fun, to strut their instrumental stuff together and to demonstrate their stage presence.

Those proud dynamics come to the surface on the deceptively reserved perennial “It Hurts Me Too” and on the more modern sonic approach to “Angel Of Mercy” which the band are reluctant to call a ballad, until the hilarious, histrionic fury of “Fool For The City” is spilled out onto the crowd, amplifying the punters’ delight to the through-the-roof rapture. As a contrast, there’s a tight-but-loose sensibility to “Sweet Home Chicago” that is extended to the brilliant eight minutes and to the panache-fueled “I Just Want To Make Love To You” that sees the axemen trade licks and go for a twin-barrel jive, and the entire frontline trio jump with joy. The collective will deliberately drag behind the beat on “Slow Ride” to bring their live momentum to a climactic, if fittingly frayed, finale, its frantic speeding up after the “elevate me, mama” addendum presenting a genuine ecstasy for aficionados and the uninitiated alike.

Given his energy, it’s difficult to believe that in five months Lonesome Dave would succumb to cancer, this set serving as a testament to Peverett, whereas the band carry on boogieing down the line, 2023’s "Sonic Mojo" bearing witness to their timelessness.


April 23, 2024

Category(s): Reviews, Video Reviews
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