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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews


Live At Rockpalast 1981 DVD

Review by Gary Hill

This new DVD/CD combo features a 1981 concert from The Outlaws. I guess you probably can gather most of that from the title, right? If you like The Outlaws' brand of Southern rock you will probably like this quite a bit. It's not without its issues, though.

For one thing, the footage has some electronic artifacts and blemishes that are apparent. It's also definitely not up to modern video or audio standards. Still, it is definitely a professional shot for television show. It's just that modern standards are a bit higher than those of that time.

I have to say that seeing the confederate flags in the audience also doesn't hold up so well in the modern world. It strikes me as particularly odd in Germany. I can't imagine holding up Nazi flags at a Scorpions show, but then again, the Southern rock movement really embraced the confederate flag at one time.

Interestingly enough, I saw the Outlaws on a bill with Ozzy Osbourne and Motörhead a few months before that. So, I really found this interesting. I remembered their set being really boring and wondered how much of that was the mismatch of the bill and my less mature musical tastes. Well, I think it fares just a little better for me today than it did then, but many of my complaints of that time still hold up.

I mean, the band really played some exceptional guitar. I didn't give them credit for that at the time. Some of the instrumental sections were amazing. I would say that a lot of the songs themselves were boring.

I also remembered them stretching out "Green Grass and High Tides" with a lot of repetitive jamming. That was before I had discovered the Grateful Dead and jam band music, so I thought perhaps I'd feel differently about it. I don't. I still thing they should have cut that tune down quite a bit. Then again, it has a drum solo, and I am not a fan of drum solos.

So, I guess my point is, if you are a big fan of the band, you might find this a lot stronger than I did. For me it does represent a cool look at something from my past, and it has some things that are worthwhile. I love how the camera often focuses on the fretboards as the guitars are wailing, for instance. It's also always great to have an audio CD of the show included, so that's a bonus.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at:


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