Paul Rodgers' place in musical history can probably be best equated to that of the quiet, anonymous yet consistently solid performer. Rodgers has provided vocals to hits for no less than three bands. In the late '60s, his work as singer in the band Free led to the mainstream success "All Right Now," and the band released several albums before disbanding. Rodgers and friend, drummer Simon Kirke, went onto larger success when forming Bad Company, with songs like "Feel Like Makin' Love", "Shooting Star" and "Can't Get Enough" among the band's hits. In between leaving BadCo in 1982 and returning in 1998, he sang vocals for The Firm (Jimmy Page's first project after Led Zeppelin broke up) and sung on the band's hit "Radioactive." Rodgers also provided vocals on Queen songs with the approval and support of band guitarist Brian May, to the point of touring in 2004.
This particular concert was done at the end of Rodgers' world tour as a solo artist, performing at the Civic Auditorium in Glasgow, Scotland. The setlist from that show is as follows:
"I'll Be Creepin'"
"Ride a Pony"
"Be My Friend"
"Warboys (A Prayer For Peace)"
"Feel Like Makin' Love"
"I Just Want to See You Smile"
"Fire and Water"
"All Right Now"
"I'm a Mover"
"Can't Get Enough"
From a performance perspective, Rodgers was 57 at the time of this performance, and it's not like you're going to get a whirling dervish of activity. Rodgers plays with the mic stand sometimes, but he's more focused on doing justice do the material which spans his vocal career. For a guy who looks kind of like Roger Daltrey mixed with Danny Bonaduce, it's kind of hard to root against him or put him into the crazy old man category, because he's still able to bring the vocals for a guy heading into 60. It helps that the folks in Glasgow, who are well versed in Rodgers' work as a singer through the years, love every word of it. They cheer loudly for him, sing every word, and make the performance fun and enjoyable.
The performance is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen with the VC-1 codec and comes to us in 1080p high definition. The image detail is sharp, to the point where you can make out the peace symbol on the back of Rodgers' shirt and the grains/finish on the instruments. Colors are reproduced accurately and without saturation, and blacks look sharp as a rock. If I had to guess I'd say that the performance itself was shot in high definition, and the production values seem to come through on this disc because Eagle Rock puts together another winner.
Like most Eagle Rock Blu-ray discs, the music is the star of the show, so you're going to get a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track, a two-channel LPCM effort, and the full DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless treatment. Rodgers' voice sounds great, with the backing band focused in the front channels and almost isolated in the left and right channels while Rodgers takes up the front. Crowd sounds are immersive, with well-placed directional activity in the rear channels to make you feel like a part of the crowd. For me, this was reminiscent of the remastered audio work done on the Monterey Pop film that Criterion did a few years ago. I really enjoyed it.
An additional song is included here titled "Sunshine," though it's not really all that special. There are separate interview segments with Rodgers, his band and his fans which total about 45 minutes in length. The fans talk about their fondness for Paul, what about his music appeals to them and any particular message that they might have for him. It's cute to listen to those nice Scots accents talk about their love of Rodgers. The band is interviewed, apparently almost immediately after the concert, and most of the band are both young and American, which I wasn't really expecting. Rodgers' segment covers his origins, some recollections about those he's worked with, and his opinions of life, music and the whole big thing. If you like Rodgers it's definitely worth your time.
You might not know Paul Rodgers by name, but you should be more than familiar with his body of work. The songs are memorable and are done a decent amount of justice here in what turns out to be a solid performance. Technically the Blu-ray disc looks and sounds great, and the supplements are enough to familiarize yourself with Rodgers, or be a part of the euphoria in one of his concerts, and it's a pleasant time. Definitely worth your while to check out for fans of blues-influenced rock of the '60s and '70s.