Richie Kotzen, the renowned American guitarist/vocalist, a veteran of a number of bands, and a one-time member of Poison, has put out his first official live DVD, a full-length concert simply entitled Live. The Pennsylvania-born 45 year old and his able backing band (bass player Dylan Wilson and drummer Mike Bennett) finished up their year-long world tour at Akasaka Blitz in Tokyo, Japan earlier this year, the venue that finds itself as the setting for this high definition DVD.
“You Can’t Save Me” and “Remember” are among the classics featured, while new songs such as “Cannibals,” “War Paint” and “Walk with Me” also make the cut. Kotzen has had an interesting and varied career up until now (he currently plays with The Winery Dogs) and much of it is celebrated here.
Kicking things off is the above-mentioned “War Paint,” a groovy number with some dynamic musical interplay and a sound reminiscent of late 1960s, early 1970s rock. Although known primarily as a guitarist, Kotzen’s soulful vocals truly soar on “Love Is Blind.” The guitar solo’s pretty impressive too.
I really enjoyed “Bad Situation” and the intense yearning in the artist’s voice on “Walk with Me.” “Cannibals,” on the other hand, I found a bit too fast-paced (I feel Richie’s talent is better served by the slower songs). “Fear,” a song very reminiscent of Chris Cornell’s post-Soundgarden outfit Audioslave, is another blinder. There is the inevitable extended drum and bass guitar solo, which serves to highlight what great musicians Wilson and Bennett are, even though that is usually the part of any recorded show that I usually skip.
Richie gets behind the kit for the first part of the rather long “Help Me” before “Remember” takes him beautifully back to the blues. Of the final few songs, the one that really stands out for me is the powerful shot of adrenaline that is “You Can’t Save Me.”
Richie Kotzen’s first official live offering reminds us what an underrated singer and musician he is. If you’re a fan, you’ll love this. If you’re not, but are partial to a bit of classic rock, chances are you’ll love it too.
LIVE Track Listing:
01. War Paint
02. Love Is Blind
03. Bad Situation
05. Walk With Me
07. Doing What The Devil Says To Do
08. Peace Sign
09. drum and bass solo
10. Help Me
12. Fooled Again
13. You Can’t Save Me
14. Go Faster
Run Time: 102 minutes
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Check out the song “You Can’t Save Me” here.