Good live DVDs are few and far between nowadays, but Southern Rock heavyweights, Black Stone Cherry, are out to prove that it’s not quite a lost art form with their latest release, ‘Thank you: Livin’ Live’ DVD. The Kentucky quartet filmed their performance in Birmingham on October 30 during their Magic Mountain UK tour last year and will release the DVD on the same day this year.
As the performance begins, waves of eager fans begin to filter into the arena. Seats begin to fill as a tumultuous intro plays, followed by a manic light show that focuses in on silhouettes behind a purple tinted curtain. The curtain suddenly drops to unveil the energetic Southern rockers with seemingly limitless enthusiasm as they run around the stage to ‘Rain Wizard’ and constantly engage with the crowd. Great filming showcases what looks like an endless sea of fans constantly moving and screaming back every word from vocalist, Chris Robertson. The performance continues with ‘Blind Man’ and ‘Me and Mary Jane’ which ends with a riotous rock instrumental before Robertson stops to speak for the first time in the performance with a mighty “Welcome to the Magic Mountain Tour!’.
Continuing with the anthemic ‘In My Blood’ the crowd is encouraged (and delivers) to carry the song by singing most of the vocals over impressive and passionate displays from the band. As the band goes into ‘Holding on…To Letting Go’ the stage goes dark and is painted with abrupt flashes of light to match the heavy tones and chanting. Different perspectives show shots from in the crowd, backstage and on stage to bring a well rounded vibe to the performance. Throughout, the camera picks up on impressive displays of showmanship from Robertson, drummer John Fred Young, guitarist Ben Wells and bassist John Lawhon. The show continues with the turbulent ‘Maybe Someday’ followed by ‘Such a Shame’ and the wistful ‘Things My Father Said’ as the gentle glow of mobile phones and lighters illuminates the arena and Robertson lets the crowd take lead on the vocals. Bringing the heavy pace back up are tracks such as ‘Fiesta Del Fuego’, ‘Bad Luck and Hard Love’ and ‘Hell and High Water’. Classic hits from the band like ‘Soul Creek’ and ‘White Trash Millionaire’ are broken up by an unsuspecting nod to Cream with ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ and a brief, but impressive, sample of ‘Layla’ during ‘Blame it on the Boom Boom’.
The performance, coming in at just over ninety minutes, shows in an impressive stamina from the band with an unwavering energy and tight sound throughout. This is a well put together DVD that captures the thoughtful performance from the band and the adoration pouring from the audience.