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This is the real McCoy. This is Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes. This is what live performance is all about. R&B/rock/soul/blues-they're all here. Their recorded output had been built largely around the song writing of Bruce Springsteen and, especially, Little 'Miami' Steven Van Zandt culminating in the monumental 'Hearts Of Stone' 3rd album. Poorly plugged and hence underexposed, (despite being critically acclaimed), Johnny changed labels from Epic to Mercury and recorded 'The Jukes'. They toured Europe mainly to promote the album and to diversify their sound. Far from being an imitation of Bruce and The East Street Band, Johnny & The Jukes have a unique sound. Behind Johnny's soul inspired, rocking vocals was a tight rhythm section powered and driven by the dynamic 'Miami Horns' brass section arranged by Richie 'La Bamba' Berger on trombone. Despite the band being 'together' there is still a rough edge to them adding to their live appeal.

The 1979 concert in Essen is a mix of songs written by lead guitarist Billy Rush with a significant Van Zandt/Springsteen input. An animated Johnny belts out up-tempo numbers as in the opening 'All I Want is Everything','Talk To Me', 'Trapped Again','Livin'In The Real World', energised, sweaty, wholehearted,frenetic. Tasteful guitar work from Billy Rush (who sings 'Security') and bopping, brass twirling motoring by the horns. After a pregnant pause, guitar introduces punchy horns, Johnny's harp and an emotionally plaintive rendition of Springsteen's 'The Fever'. Staple song 'I Don't Want To Go Home' (Van Zandt) rocks into 'We're Having A Party' montage by which time the audience is in Johnny's hands. The planned finale with guests was abandoned for unclear reasons.

After a lean period (disillusionment, personal problems etc) Johnny regained his enthusiasm and reformed the Asbury Jukes, recording 'Better Days', his 9th and best album since 'Hearts Of Stone', arranged and mostly written by Little Steven. Another extensive tour of Europe included Cologne in 1992. This mini marathon showcased the versatility of Johnny & The Jukes. Hot rockers 'Got To Find A Better Way Home, 'I Don't Want To Go Home', 'Better Days', 'I've Been Working Too Hard' etc., blow you over, if you are still on your feet after the energy-sapping rhythms and wild antics on the stage. Engaging his audience Johnny excels in his soulful ballads. The moving 'Soul's On Fire','The Fever' and duet Everly's style with lead guitarist Bobby Bandiera ('Let It Be Me' dedicated to Johnny's wife Jill) are memorable. The 'Party' pieces are,as usual,expected and well-received.

As if this pace was not enough, Johnny conjures up Little Steven himself from the side wing. This cranks the show up another gear. Inspired versions of Steven's 'Coming Back','This Time It's For Real', 'It's Been a Long Time' and 'Forever' (sung by Steven) are unforgettable and enjoyable.The party must end but not before an emotionally-charged 'Hearts Of Stone' (Springsteen). Johnny's tender,meaningful vocal accompanied by Little Steven and Bobby Bandiera's guitars are hauntingly beautiful.
This is highly recommended. Well-filmed with good sound. Footage of SJ & Jukes is
limited. This underrated star should be better known. Buy it (bargain of any decade) and show it to all and sundry.P.S. My wife tells me it's a great fitness video.
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VINE VOICEon 11 May 2012
Wow! I paid £3.99 for this but at £4.99 or £14.99 it's worth the money for the fan who wants a film of the Southside they remember.
It's all there. Every criticism you can throw at it is acknowledged by Johnny himself during the performance. (Although he probably didn't know that Bandiera looked like more Kirk St Moritz from Dear John (tv series) than Nigel Tufnell from Spinal Tap.
What is most striking is how excellent everyone suddenly becomes when Sugar Miami Silvio Dante Little Steven Van Zandt comes on for the encore. It's like every member of the band is suddenly plugged into the mains supply. It's worth watching just for that.

Johnny on a good night could give The Boss a run for his money and this DVD will, if you screw your eyes up and and use some imagination, show you definitive proof of that.
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on 14 November 2014
Great Band.......awful sound. visually there seemed to be some good sax solos, unfortunately visual impression was as good as it gets. Good to see La Bamba doing what he does best, shame there was no Ed Manion or Billy Rush. If you want a true impression of how good Southside Johnny were - stick with a vinyl copy of Reach Up and touch the Sky. If CD is your bag, you will have to live without the fabulous version of Stagger Lee. Disappointing
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on 5 April 2013
Yes it's old but it's got all the hits and if you already adore Southside Johnny then you will want this. If you are somebody who has never heard him then I would advise a studio album to start with. Once you know the tracks then this just adds a brilliant visual dimension.
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on 1 February 2014
Great dvd from a great musician from new jersey superb brass section the fever great song any southside johnny fan will love this dvd enjoy
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on 9 October 2016
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