Late last year, Eagle Rock Entertainment teamed up with Universal Music Group and The Rolling Stones and dove into the band’s extensive “Vault” of recordings to release the band’s 1981 performance at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. The concert was just one of a number of dates in the band’s worldwide tour in support of its then latest album Tattoo You. Now a little more than a year since that recording’s release Eagle Rock, UMG, and The Rolling Stones have partnered once again to bring audiences another performance from that tour in the form of From The Vault: Live in Leeds 1982. The concert, which was originally recorded on July 25th, 1982, was the final show for the European leg of its Tattoo You tour. Being part of said tour, the most important element of this recording is the concert’s set list. It is a near mirror image of last year’s Hampton Coliseum recording. This might not seem important at first glance. but the reality is that it is far more important than many might think. This will be discussed at more length shortly. The band’s stage presence throughout the performance is just as important in the concert’s overall presentation as its set list. That will be discussed in more depth later. Last but hardly least of note in this presentation is the recording’s collective production values. This includes the values of the DVD and CD portion. All three elements play their own important part in the overall presentation of this recording. Of course as important as they are one would be remiss to ignore the recording’s companion booklet. Even that aspect plays its own important part in the whole of the recording as does the recording’s DVD/2 CD packaging. All things considered, From The Vault: Live in Leeds 1982 is one more welcome addition to The Rolling Stones continuing “From The Vault” series.
From The Vault: Live in Leeds 1982 is yet another welcome addition to The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” series of concert recordings. Originally recorded on July 25th, 1982 at Roundhay Park in Leeds, England, this recording is a “sister” show to the band’s 1981 show at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. That recording was released late last year as another part of the band’s “From The Vault” series. Considering the relationship between the two recordings, the most important aspect of the band’s tour finale in Leeds is its set list. The set list is a near mirror image of that presented in the band’s 1981 show at the Hampton Coliseum. It differs by only one song–‘Let It Bleed.’ That song was included in the Hampton Coliseum show but omitted in the Leeds performance. What’s more save for that one omission, the rest of the show’s set list is exactly the same as that in the Hampton Coliseum show. This might not seem all that important to the whole of the recording. But in reality it is extremely important. It is so important because not every Rolling Stones fan might have been lucky enough to pick up the band’s Hampton Coliseum show in its original release last year. This means that said fans now have been given a second chance to experience the same show (for the most part) right down to the set list’s order. And for those that might already own the band’s Hampton Coliseum show, that one minor difference (and of course the birthday wishes to guitarist Keith Richards) makes this recording just as enjoyable as its predecessor. Keeping all of this in mind, the set list presented in the band’s tour finale proves to be just as important to the concert as any of its other elements. Speaking of those other elements, the band’s stage presence throughout the course of the concert is another of those important elements.
The set list presented in the body of the band’s Tattoo You World Tour is a hugely important part of the recording’s overall presentation. It gives audiences the same show as its 1981 concert at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. The whole reason for that importance has already been noted. In the same vein the band’s stage presence over the course of its two hour-plus concert is just as important to note as the show’s set list. For the most part, the band gives its whole for its audiences from start to finish. Front man Mick Jagger is just as energetic as ever, strutting around the massive stage, keeping the audience worked up and entertained. Guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood are just as entertaining to watch as they work their way through each song alongside drummer Charlie Watts. Speaking of Watts, as impressive and enjoyable as his performance was throughout, there was one down moment for him when the band broke into ‘Black Limousine.’ While Wood and Richards swung their way through the bluesy tune, Watts never really seemed to swing with them. He kept time, yes. However he just kept a solid tempo instead of swinging with them. Whether or not he realized he was doing that is anyone’s guess. But it definitely takes away from the song. Luckily it is Watts’ only down side. Bassist Bill Wyman sadly seems just as disinterested as ever in this concert save (go figure) for when the band hits ‘Black Limousine.’ The rest of the time, he barely cracks a smile or even moves around. Of course it is known that in the seven years that followed, things apparently turned sour within the band in its time away from the road. One can’t help but wonder if things had been turning bad at least for Wyman during the course of this tour. After all, when the band returned to the road in 1989 it would be the beginning of the end for Wyman in his time with the band. It’s anyone’s guess. Getting back on topic, the band kept the audience entertained from beginning to end for the most part. This includes the band’s backing musicians–Ian Stewart (piano), Chuck Leavell (keyboards, backing vocals), Gene Barge (saxophone), and Bobby Keys (saxophone)–too. Altogether, the collective performers and their energy make every one of the concert’s twenty-five total songs just as enjoyable for audiences today as they did for those in attendance at the original performance.
The set list and stage presence of the band throughout the course of said set list does plenty to make From The Vault: Live in Leeds 1982 another welcome addition to The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” series. Of course as important as both elements are to the whole of the concert’s presentation they are just part of what makes the concert’s overall presentation worth the watch. The concert’s collective production values are just as important as the set list and the band’s stage presence if not more so. The overall production values presented in this recording are impressive in their own right. Of course the inclusion of the concert’s video recording alongside its audio portion plays directly into that. That is because it allows audiences to see the massive size of the venue. It was a rather large outdoor venue. And that posed its own share of challenges both for the concert’s audio engineers and the camera crews. It allowed the sound to spread out everywhere meaning that the engineers had to really work the levels and keep them balanced throughout the concert. They did just that. And while it shows in the concert’s CD portion, it is even clearer in the presentation’s DVD. The venue’s immense size is just as important to note for the concert’s camera crews. That is because of the options and challenges alike that it posed for those individuals. The challenges were raised by the number of concertgoers at the venue. It meant having to work through them in order to capture the concert both in terms of its size and in terms of the band’s performance. The wipes that are used to transition from one angle to another at times show how far such technology has come yet how little it has changed at the same time. The cuts are just as clean as the director went from camera to camera, trying to keep up with Jagger and capture the audience’s energy at the same time. Between those shots and the shots that capture the band’s overall performance the overall camerawork presented throughout the band’s performance here, the concert’s video mix proves just as impressive as the work of those behind the boards. Those that re-mastered the concert for its presentation in this recording are just as much to applaud for their efforts. And together with the show’s set list and the band ‘s presence throughout said list Live in Leeds proves in whole to be one more welcome addition to The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” series.
There is a lot that can be said of the latest addition to The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” series. The show’s set list complements that of the band’s 1981 concert in Hampton, Virginia since both shows were part of the same overall tour. The band’s stage presence throughout the concert is just as impressive in any of its other performances past and present. This includes the performance of the band’s backing musicians. The overall production values presented in this concert as to be applauded both for the efforts of those that originally recorded the concert and those that re-mastered it for its recent release via Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music Group. As important as those noted elements prove to be to the whole of the recording, they still aren’t the presentation’s only noteworthy elements. One would be remiss to ignore the recording’s companion booklet or the very presentation of the recording on DVD/2 CD combo pack. The companion booklet offers yet another rich history on the concert and its importance. The overall presentation gives audiences the complete concert experience here without forcing them to have to choose between platforms. That is nothing new for Eagle Rock’s live recordings either, thus showing once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings. That full concert experience coupled with the rich history in the recording’s companion booklet round out the recording once and for all, showing in whole why this recording is one more welcome addition to the band’s “From The Vault” series as well as any Rolling Stones fan’s music library. From The Vault: Live in Leeds 1982 is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:
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