The Waterboys

Live Adventures of the Waterboys

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AllMusic Review by

This two-disc set of live recordings from throughout 1986 no doubt captures the Waterboys at their peak as a live band. It also offers a rare glimpse of leader Mike Scott in the transition period between the "big music" of the band's early albums and the folksy traditionalism of his and the band's most enduring work, Fisherman's Blues, which was just around the corner. Tracks from that album appear here, as do stirring renditions of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Prince, and Bruce Springsteen songs. Traditional tunes and gospel numbers are covered to fine effect, too. Always ambitious, Mike Scott nearly grasps everything that's within his reach in these performances, his apprehensions about fame and his religious devotion be damned. The rambunctious punk energy of "Be My Enemy" and "Medicine Bow" is a tribute to fans of the band's past achievements, while "We Will Not Be Lovers" and "Fisherman's Blues" foreshadow what was then to be the brightest of futures. Whatever Scott has accomplished as a solo artist or with his later variations of the Waterboys, these 18 exciting performances prove beyond a doubt that the greatness that just barely escaped Mike Scott's extended hand he did indeed deserve, at least for the length of a tour in 1986.

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