Blu-ray Review: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (In Concert Encore)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been a great source of frustration and arguments over the decades. The first five years a majority of the inductees were no brainers. But very quickly things got to an argument about who deserves to be enshrined and why did certain bands leapfrog the musicians that inspired them. But after the dust clears each year, the curiosity turns into which bands will patch up their creative differences and unit for a short set after the induction. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert Encore contains highlights of the ceremonies from 2010 to 2013.

The 25th Ceremony in paid tribute to the British Invasion, Punk, Prog and Swedish Pop. First was bringing together Genesis for a night although Peter Gabriel couldn’t make it because of tour commitments. Steve Hackett got to see his old bandmates. However instead of playing they let Phish perform “Watcher in the Woods.” The Stooges finally got inducted with a little help from a previous ceremony when Madonna had them perform her set. Now Iggy Pop got up on the stage with the remaining members and legendary bassist Mike Watt (Minutemen) for a set of their own as they tore into “Search and Destroy” and “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog.” Why did it take so long? Iggy exposed what a bunch of phonies the posh audience. As he stripped off the formal wear and got to barechested glory in showed that the tables were lame. Why was Dr. Oz there? “Show me you’re not too rich to be cool!” he barks at the audience. The Hollies finally got their turn and replay the moment with “Bus Stop,” “Carrie-Anne” and “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress). Paul Shaffer (formerly of Late Night With David Letterman) gets an award since he’s been leading the house band since it all started. Finally there’s Abba! Some of Abba made it. Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad accept the hardware. The song is “The Winner Takes It All” with Faith Hill singing as Benny plays the piano. Not quite the reunion that the clog wearing masses desired. Jimmy Cliff is missing here except for a shot in the crowd.

The 26th Ceremony in 2011 appears to be the last induction ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The intimate setting is perfect for the triple threat induction of Tom Waits, Dr. John and Leon Russell. The legendary pianists dominate the ballroom stage with their sets. Tom Waits gives three songs including “Rain Dogs” with his unique approach music. Dr. John delivers “Right Place Wrong Time” before having John Legend (his inductor) pull up another piano for a duet of “Such A Night.” Leon Russell gives a subdued performance of “Delta Lady” and “A Song For You.” John Mayer helps out on guitar. Russell’s white hair and beard looks great in high resolution. These are three performers that probably wouldn’t have delivered so well if stuck on the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Bette Midler, Paul Shaffer and Bruce Springsteen are thrilled to play along with Ronnie Love’s set. Alice Cooper returns to his roots for “Eighteen,” “Under My Wheels” and School’s Out.” The big absence is Neil Diamond.

The 27th Ceremony took the show to Cleveland, the home of the Hall of Fame. The late Freddie King gets some fine attention including his induction by two-thirds of ZZ Top. They perform his tracks “Hide Away” and “Going Down” with Joe Bonamassa and Derek Trucks. Donovan gets to bring his acoustic charms to the stage for “Catch the Wind,” “Sunshine Superman” and “Season of the Witch.” John Mellencamp joins in with vocals to make it sound a little spooky. The Small Faces and the Faces got inducted together which is a fine way to treat a band that had a major shift when members split. Sadly Rod Stewart didn’t show up to jam with Ron Wood (now with The Rolling Stones), Kenney Jones (once the drummer with The Who) and keyboardist Ian McLagan. Instead we get Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) getting to sing “Ooh La La” and “Stay With Me.” Does a fine job filling in for Rod. The Beastie Boys showed up without a member because Adam Yauch was in final battle with cancer. An all-star group did a tribute to the band that sadly included Kid Rock. The final induction is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The missing acts for this season includes the late Laura Nyro and Guns N’ Roses. G’n R did play without Axl. There was also massive induction of backing bands including The Famous Flames, The Midnighters, The Miracles, The Crickets, The Comets and the Blue Caps. You can guess who was their inducted leader.

The 28th Ceremony was at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, the home of the Emmys. Correctly this is when the inducted Randy Newman so he could open the show with “I Love L.A.” Blues legend Albert King had been dead for 20 years so Gary Clark Jr played his music. Public Enemy is inducted without any music. The same is true for Quincy Jones. Ann and Nancy Wilson get recognition with Heart receiving Hardware. They bust out “Crazy For You” and “Barracuda” with Seattle pals such as Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) and Mike McCready (Pearl Jam). The big finale is stadium rocking Canadian Power Trio Rush! Because Dave Grohl had five minutes free, he rushed down to induct the band that sounds best when rolling polyhedral dice. Geddy, Alex and Neil tear into “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit of Radio” to show why they deserved the honor.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert Encore brings together moments that made those four nights special as they honored musicians that dedicated their life to songs. The boxset is worth it just for the sight of Iggy Pop bouncing through the audience and scaring the rich folks who think they’re cool. If you can’t scream along to “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog,” you are not cool. You’re just a pathetic loser like Dr. Oz. So make sure you dance around your living room when watching Iggy.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The high resolution lets you see those odd details on your favorite rock star. The audio DTS-HD MA 5.1. The sound makes you feel you’re in the room without having to tolerate the lame Dr. Oz.

No bonus features.

Time Life presents Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert Encore. Starring: Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Heart, Beastie Boys and Rush. Boxset Contents: four ceremonies on 2 Blu-ray discs. Released: September 21, 2018.

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