Aerosmith's first official live DVD is a slickly produced affair that was originally made for and cablecast on the Arts & Entertainment network. The commercially released version is available in clean and parental advisory editions (for language) and also includes five bonus songs in a separate "extras" section not seen on the television version. The package also includes a second audio-only CD of six songs from the show and a "Umixit" version of "You Gotta Move" (interestingly the only time the title track of this show is present in the set). Part footage on the making of their back-to-basics Honkin' on Bobo album, but mostly performance video of the tour that supported it, the two-hour show takes clips from the full 30-minute documentary also included on this DVD and slots them between the live songs. While this makes for some choppy viewing, it nonetheless provides interesting background on the veteran rockers and their intentions for the bluesy studio disc. The live show -- recorded at an unnamed city and venue -- is edited in that annoying MTV style, which insists on not keeping a shot on a performer for more than a few seconds before cutting to another, or worse yet, a usually buxom female audience member singing the words to whatever song is playing. That may be fine for a few-minute clip, but spread over the course of two hours, the effect is tiresome and clichéd, and gets boring quickly. Much better are the five additional songs that are recorded in a rawer format, without the distracting audience shots that detract from the main video. The band rocks out with appropriate passion and the 5.1 mix is clean and defined, but there is definitely some post-concert sweetening. In particular, there are noticeable horns on "Cryin'" but they are never shown on stage, suggesting either a hidden synth player or substantial overdubs. There are other parts where Steven Tyler's vocals look to be too strong for the distance he is from the microphone, and seem to have been boosted in post-production. Thankfully, the band's predilection for power ballads is kept to a minimum, and the four Bobo tracks add a refreshingly rough edge to the performance. Aerosmith fans, especially those from the '70s, will lap this up, as it shows the band reinvigorated and less flashy than in the '80s and '90s. It also skips over many '80s hits such as "Dude Looks Like a Lady" and "Janie's Got a Gun," replacing them with older, harder-rocking, non-charting gems such as "Draw the Line" and "Back in the Saddle." But the hyperactive editing prevents this from being a totally successful performance DVD.
AllMusic Review by Hal Horowitz
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2