King Biscuit Flower Hour captures a New Year's Eve 1983 concert by Big Country (complete with an impromptu mid-show appearance by the Dysart & Dundonald Pipe Band, which is left in) from Barrowlands in Glasgow, Scotland. It didn't get released on CD until 1997, but was worth the wait -- drummer Mark Brzezicki recalled having to "play me arse off" to sate a hometown crowd who were out of their skulls with enthusiasm, and he wasn't just speaking for himself. The entire band is on form, in tune, and playing with almost preternatural energy. The opening, "1,000 Stars," pulses like a tornado suddenly harnessed and directed, and the show gets better from there. Essentially The Crossing played live, in terms of repertory, with some extras thrown in, it lacks the intimacy and perfection of Steve Lillywhite's studio production, but makes up for it in sheer, surging enthusiasm. The CD closes with a bonus interview with Stuart Adamson.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder