Foghat began life in 1972 after a short stint with Savoy Brown, a notable Kim Simmonds led blues-rock English band. Their tenure with Savoy Brown yielded several excellent titles including the phenomenal Looking In. After hooking up with Rod Price, the ex-Savoy Brown members, sans Simmonds, formed one of the great blues-rock outfits, covering classic blues and rock tunes while writing popular standards. Foghat grew into one of the premier bands of the 70s and is, today, still loved by many aficionados.
This Rhino issue of The Millennium Tour highlights one date in 1999, namely the Houston show of the tour. It reveals a vibrant band that hasn't forgotten how to deliver a great set. But more than that, it pays special attention to "Lonesome" Dave Peverett who, coming off of chemotherapy in his battle with cancer, is shown here not understanding the meaning of exhaustion. Not only is this an incredible sight, watching a sick man be more than he should have been, but it becomes inspiring in the obvious lust for life to the fullest. Four months after this tour, "Lonesome Dave" lost his life, far too young to die but leaving behind a solid legacy. During "Fool For The City", he sings, "I'm tired of laying back and hangin' around; I'm gonna catch that train and I'll be citybound." That was Lonesome Dave. To the end!
This DVD contains Foghat without Rod Price, who is replaced by a very able and stunning Bryan Bassett, ex of Molly Hatchet. Bassett fills Price's shoes well with a knowledgeable display of Foghat material and all the nuances of Price's unique slide guitar prowess. The rest of the band is original with Tony Stevens (bass); Roger Earl (drums); and Dave Peverett (guitar / vocals). The concert on this DVD fires out 10 songs that include "Fool For The City" and "Slow Ride" from their most successful studio album; the opener "Drivin' Wheel"; Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You" from their first 1972 album; Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago", and other powerful performances.
Interspered throughout the concert are small snippets of conversational pieces, found in more detail in the extras, that show the band in jovial moods while they wait for the show to begin. The bonus materials include Backstage Pass; Little Help From My Friends; Chat With the 'Hat; and the usual Photo Gallery found on all music DVDs. The three segments are really from the same sets of sessions but broken up. Backstage Pass introduces the band and provides short excursions into personalities. Little Help From My Friends shows the various personnel that assist the band in setting up shows. They reveal interesting tidbits concerning tenure and band hardware. Chat With the 'Hat is a discussion with the band covering career, influences, the media, Savoy Brown; and albums. Finally, there is the obligatory Photo Gallery. All in all, Foghat: The Millennium Tour is an essential document that is more than the sum of its parts, it is a celebration on several levels. It is a celebration of Foghat and their contributions, it is a celebration of the legacy of "Lonesome" Dave Peverett, and, most of all, it is a celebration of rock n roll, a convention that Foghat embodied. The DVD is presented in 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Dolby with video being full-screen. The surround audio is ambient and used for spacing while Stereo yields the best way to enjoy this DVD.
I've seen multiple Foghat shows from their early, formative years to their Return of the Boogie Men tour. I once asked Peverett and the boys if they would give fans another 20 years. Lonesome Dave replied emphatically, "Why, yes!" With this DVD, he has given me a lifetime of Foghat. I'm forever grateful!