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Album Review : Hollywood Vampires – Live in Rio

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Review by Ritchie Birnie for MPM

What better way to whet your whistle for an upcoming tour than to release an awesome live album in front of over 100,000 crazy assed South American fans?

There have been many a super group over the years but no one does a super group live show like the Hollywood Vampires.

As soon as the ‘Last Vampire” intro tape rolls out you know you are in for a hell of a show and the party just begun as the boys burst into “Raise the Dead” and what an opener as these shows basically bring to life all the original Hollywood Vampires and all of Alice Coopers deceased friends.

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The first homage goes to the crazy mofo Keith “Moon the Loon” and “My Generation” and the show has well and truly kicked into gear and as you watch and listen to the amazing talent on that stage. Mr Furnier has never had the perfect voice but year after year, gig after gig he just gets better and there is no better showman on the planet.

This is far from the Alice show though with musicians on show that other musicians have wet dreams about. Just a little matter of the guitar God named Perry and the film God(who kicks serious ass on guitar and vocals when given the chance). On this recording you also have Duff from GnR and some other special guests we will get to.

The next track up is a Spirit one in “I Got a Line on You” and for me the definitive version was done by Blackfoot but this is a very close second as the boys knock this out of the park and something I have picked up on this that I never noticed when I saw them live is how powerful and amazing the backing vocals are. These make the recording sound huge.

One from left field with “Cold Turkey” from the Plastic Ono Band and it is incredible how Alice makes every song his own. He has a style and he ain’t moving from it.

We get a double barrel from the Doors with “Five to One” and “Break on Through” and the guitar work is stupendous. Now onto another guitar God in Hendrix “Manic Depression” and Perry and Depp are on fire. You also have to grab as much Perry as you can as soon it looks like Aerosmith may be no more but with this outlet and his solo stuff I can just about survive.

Next is Love’s “7 and 7 is” and this is as close to Punk as the Coop will get. The fast and frantic style fits him perfectly as does the cacophony of noise that this brings.

Most of the Vampires covers goes for a sound pretty similar to the original with a slight twist but they turn Zeps “Whole Lotta Love” on its head with a sultry version with assistance from a certain Lzzy Hale who even I have to admit is on form. This rendition is a banger.

T Rex now and “Jeepster” and this is nearly unrecognisable from its hippy 70s original (apart from the chorus). This is turned into a blues and guitar showtime.

It is time for Zak Starkey to take the stage with a song he will be very familiar with in “I’m a Boy”. Another punky angle from the band and a song when written had no way of being taken incorrectly.

Onto a song that is never missed and a tune I have heard live so many times I cannot count…and it never disappoints especially when mixed with “Another Brick in the Wall”. “Schol’s Out” is worth the price of the Blue Ray and the vinyl in one swoop.

The show is rolling to a climax and beats us to a pulp with “Billion Dollar Babies”,“Train Kept a Rollin’” and “Brown Sugar”.

This is a live album that harks back to those classic 70s and early 80s monster recordings. It feels live, it is a bit raw but the production sounds amazing. The guitars are awesome as is the drum and bass mix.

Live in Rio should be in every rock lovers collection and if you hadn’t already it should be getting you onto a ticket site to purchase a ticket for a show. ASAP…Berlin, here I come.

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