Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes' In Concert: Ohne Filter DVD was videotaped in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1992, a little late for any historical significance, but still worthwhile -- with a few caveats. The first is the intermittent presence of the song titles and the "Ohne Filter" emblem (referring to the studio source for this concert), which pop up right in the middle of the screen during each song; the second is the slightly artificial nature of the small studio setting for this group's music -- the band has a big sound, nicely captured here, but one wishes there were some interplay and interaction with a bigger audience. Of course, the small-scale venue does give the band a chance to do a great low-wattage, semi-acoustic vamp on the opening of "Souls on Fire." There are beautiful moments throughout the hour-long performance, such as the quiet break in the middle of "Talk to Me"; and following the latter up with "Walk Away Renee" is a nice touch, the latter song getting an extraordinarily soulful treatment. The jump from that into the pounding, rippling "Broke Down Piece of Man" is inspired. The visual and audio quality are both excellent, and the band is in excellent form, especially lead guitarist Bobby Bandiera, who joins in on vocals. Each song has been given a separate chapter marker, and the supplements include an interview with producer Michael Au, who explains the motivations and logic behind this series of releases, principally to serve an audience under-represented in the DVD field for R&B, jazz, and folk, among others. The disc opens to a simple three-spot menu that -- in addition to leading to the bio -- unfolds to a very full bio on Southside Johnny Lyon and a list of the company's full video catalog (as of early 2004).
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