This past weekend, I opened the mailbox. Going through the normal glorious junk mail, I found my advance copy of the Beacon DVD. I watched it immediately. The DVD created the show all over again. I remember those cold November nights, the 4th and 5th. Up I walk to the famous Beacon Theatre, where my longtime favorite guitar player is playing. He’s made it to the top, this it. The Beacon.
Joe did play two shows at the Beacon. Footage from both shows, mostly Saturday, was used for the DVD. First song up is Slow Train. With two minutes to midnight playing in the background, the stage goes black. The train is coming! Joe rips into Slow Train. Next song Joe plays is Cradle Rock. One of Joe’s first hit songs, in my opinion. I haven’t seen this song live in quite awhile. It’s great to see Joe bringing the some back, 10 years after it was originally released. Here is the complete listing for the DVD:
1: 72nd St. Subway Blues
2: Slow Train
3: Cradle Rock
4: When The Fire Hits The Sea
5: Midnight Blues
6: Dust Bowl
7: The River
8: I’ll Take Care Of You (w/ Beth Hart)
9: Sinner’s Prayer (w/ Beth Hart)
10: You Better Watch Yourself
11: Steal Your Heart Away
12: Bird On A Wire
13: Down Around My Place (w/ John Hiatt)
14: I Know A Place (w/ John Hiatt)
15: Blue And Evil
16: Walk In My Shadows (w/ Paul Rodgers)
17: Fire And Water (w/ Paul Rodgers)
18: Mountain Time
19: Young Man Blues
Disc Two, the second DVD, contains bonus content. It contains two songs, the first being If Heartaches Were Nickels and the second song is Woke Up Dreaming. Other bonus footage on the DVD includes a clip with Joe and David Crosby. Joe with his eyes peeled open gets an acoustic guitar lesson from David Crosby. You’ll also see more footage from Joe playing in the 72nd St Subway Station. Joe made no money in the subway station sadly. Good thing he is sticking with his day job! Lastly, there is a huge photo gallery. The photo gallery includes behind the scene pictures from the beacon. The pictures cover backstage, sound check, and Joe reviewing the setlist with Kevin Shirley. My favorite part about the bonus disc, Woke Up Dreaming. Each performance of this song just continues to get better and better.
The overall setlist they picked for the show was not bad at all. I thought it was a great selection that covered many different eras of Joe’s work. I’ve heard a lot of different opinions from various people. Why didn’t they do Just Got Paid? Honestly, that’s simple. Joe had several special guests, each doing two songs. Just Got Paid was on the Royal Albert Hall DVD. I’m glad Joe picked Young Man Blues to be part of the setlist. I know that’s a long song, but hey, the connection between Joe and Tal during this song is just priceless. I like it better than Just Got Paid!
My favorite special guest that played with Joe has to be Paul Rodgers. Joe opened for Paul Rodgers almost 10 years ago. Joe has also done several songs that Paul Rodgers has wrote. One of them being Walk In My Shadows, which we see on the DVD. The other was Seagull from Joe’s CD titled Sloe Gin. Paul Rodgers has an incredible voice that one has to hear live to get the full effect. Paul and Joe nailed Fire and Water. Great song.
The overall production of this DVD is great. Just like Joe’s other produced films, this DVD was filmed by Bangor Films. They are based out of Canada, they’ve recorded many other notable performances such as Joe’s RAH show and they also did the documentary for Iron Maiden. The camera crew on hand for the Beacon shooting was in the teens. If you did attend both nights – hope you were not one of those stuck behind a camera guy! Not all songs played made the DVD. Both Sloe Gin and Ballad of John Henry were recorded. One song was played each night. Not exactly sure why they didn’t make the cut. As stated before, majority if not all of the first DVD was recorded on Saturday night.
In conclusion, was this show better than RAH? Well, that’s up to you determine. RAH had a large house band with a different setlist. RAH also had Eric Clapton as special guest. Beacon did not have Clapton, but it sure did have three other spectacular guests: Beth Hart, John Hiatt, Paul Rodgers. I personally like the Beacon better because I was at the show. It’s great to have a copy of your all time favorite Joe show on DVD. I also feel that Joe’s playing was dead on, top notch for this show. I highly recommend this DVD. If you’re a JB fan, this needs to be in your collection. His performances keep getting better and better. Where will Joe go next? Only time will tell. Make you pre-order your Beacon DVD today, you do not want to miss out… click here.