31 December 2005 | baldrichguy-1
Hard Work From A Perfectionist
Don Henley appears with Peter Stroud, lead guitarist from Sheryl Crow's band, in this lavishly staged and scrupulously professional performance.
My favorites among new material include the title song, "Workin' It", a skeptical commentary about the insides of the music business; two uplifting pieces with strong musical hooks, "Everything is Different Now" and "My Thanksgiving"; and a song about alien earth visitors, "They're Not Here, They're Not Coming".
This video places great attention on the physical set, lighting, visual and song variety, inclusion of a gospel choir.
A local performance critic panned the show in the newspaper, writing that the choir signaled a weakness in Henley's material. I disagree. The choir adds an inspirational, churchly presence to the songs that need it, in the same manner the Harlem choir added to the performance of U-2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".
Henley demonstrates throughout, and particularly on "Desperado" a vocal style of range and emotion that I believe places him in the realms of the greatest crooners in history: Sinatra, Van Morrison, Sting.
What he is not, however, is an instrumentalist. Henley demonstrates in the film the use of a guitar as prop.
What a fan gets with this DVD is real value. A ticket in 2001 for the fourteenth row of the live performance ($65) bought three hours in an uncomfortable folding chair in the midst of a balding, gray-haired audience. This DVD, at $20, gives a better view, arguably comparable sounds, and the opportunity to relive the concert in the privacy of one's home, in the presence of company or not.