Live at the El Mocambo
was recorded and filmed at the El Mocambo in Toronto, Canada. At the time, 1983, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble's career was just starting to take off. Texas Flood
, their first album, had been praised by critics and fans, and Stevie was starting to be recognized as the
next guitarist in blues and rock music.
Production : 5/5
The production aspects of Live at the El Mocambo
are absolutely flawless. It has a rather vintage look to it, as it was filmed in 1983, and resonates a very warm, intimate feel. This is probably due to the fact that the club was rather small. You get a healthy dose of screen shots of the audience, who seem to be enjoying the show very much, but are also modest. Would this be due to the fact taht Canadians are more reserved and calmer? Seriously, I don't really know. The sound is fantastic also. Stevie's guitar playing doesn't overpower Tommy Shannon's bass playing or Chris Layton's drumming, which is very modest in volume, compaired to some 80s drummers. You also get a good amount of footage of Double Trouble, but the focuse is still on Stevie throughout.
Performance : 4/5
The performance mainly consists of song from Texas Flood
, and some new covers ("So Excited," "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" "Third Stone From the Sun," and "Wham!"). The covers, though, are not the best songs on the DVD. "Pride and Joy" boogies on, with Stevie ripping through some rather nice blues-based solos, while still retaining it as a great song. "Texas Flood" is the true highlight, with Stevie burning through the whole song with astonishing might, while Double Trouble holds the fort down. "Hug You Squeeze You" was never recorded on any studio album, but I think that it should have been. It has a fantastic groove, but it is still a rather pop-blues love song. "Lenny," an instrumental named after Stevie's wife, is a sad, jazz-influenced song and is absolutely beautiful. Stevie makes good, subtle use of the tremolo bar, and also pulls of some rather tasteful licks and solos.
Extras : 3/5
There really aren't too many extras on the DVD. There is the standard, yet redundant and pointless Discography, and Photo selections, that I never even bother with. However, there is an interview with Tommy Shannon and Christ Layton. It is somewhat informative, and is nice to watch every once in awhile, but it really isn't anything too special. There are a few humorous antictdotes on Stevie, though.
Overall, Live at the El Mocambo
is a great DVD, for viewing and listening, and should be considered by anyone who enjoys Stevie's music, or blues-rock in general.