Music DVD Review: The Rolling Stones - From the Vault: Live in Leeds 1982

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Another Rolling Stones From the Vault series, Live in Leeds is culled from a July 25, 1982 show at Roundhay Park, Leeds. While some Stones fans may be growing slightly weary of the frequent releases in the Vault series, it's hard to complain about a legendary band willing to make so much great stuff available. The way the series has worked (which includes, most recently, Live at the Tokyo Dome from the Steel Wheels tour), these concerts were digitally released in 2012 via Google Music. Here we have the full concert on DVD (also available on Blu-ray) plus as a two-CD set.

If you already picked up From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum - Live in 1981, well it's pretty much the same concert. There are a few differences in the set list (a great rendition of "Angie" is included here, but the set drops a couple tunes from Hampton), which is heavy on then-contemporary Tattoo You material. The Leeds show marks the swan song of Stones' co-founder and keyboardist Ian Stewart (who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame right alongside the band's more famous members). Stewart passed away of a heart attack the following year. This is a scrappy, high energy show from what has been a somewhat neglected, under-documented period of the band's career.

And oh, those early-'80s fashions. Mick Jagger's outfit is impressively tacky even for his standards. Only Keith Richards pulls off a half-cool look, largely because he's wearing jeans instead of a modified tracksuit. Bill Wyman plays a Steinberger bass that looks so tiny, the effect is nearly comical at first. He gets a great sound out of it though. In fact this is really the end of the era, as the Stones live show would later morph into something more along the lines of the "Rolling Stones Revue," with lots of backing vocalists and additional musicians (not to mention the eventual departure of Bill Wyman). It's not that they don't still put on a helluva show even these days, but in '82 these guys still rocked with abandon. The guitar lines by Richards and Ron Wood scrape up against each other in gloriously ragged fashion ("When the Whip Comes Down" is particularly fiery here). The whole thing feels somehow fresher and more alive than the, dare I say, more routine shows the band has been delivering for the past 20 years.

I've said it before about the From the Vault series, and I'll say it again. The inclusion of the CDs to go with the DVD is a hugely welcome move on Eagle Rock Entertainment's part. It's hard to find time to devote to watching a two-hour-plus concert video, so having the audio (sounding fantastic, by the way) at the ready is a big bonus.

While From the Vault: Live in Leeds 1982 may not be the most essential entry in the series (I think I'd give that to Live at the Marquee Club 1971), it's definitely worth grabbing if you've been collecting them all. And it's great hearing a bunch of classic Tattoo You tracks given such spirited renditions here—back-to-back rave-ups of "Neighbors" and "Black Limousine" should put a big smile on just about any Stones fan's face.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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