Live in Japan VideoCD
Tokyo, Japan - January 24, 1985 - VideoCD - CD-R2
Comments: VideoCD apparently sourced from a HiFi VHS dub of the commercial laserdisc release - quality is quite good, and in fact better than one would expect. Here's a review of the show, from "Stevie Ray: Soul To Soul" by Keri Leigh:
Stevie journeyed to Japan for the first time that month, and to his pleasant surprise, the Japanese audiences went crazy over Double Trouble. Plans were made for a film company, called Black Box, Inc., to document the Tokyo concert, but the video was never released in the states. SRV came on "Scuttle Buttin'," with his Albert King corncob pipe smoking awsy. He bent over his guitar, concentrating hard on the notes whirling out from his fingers. He swung his axe, punctuating the puncy intro to "Say What!" with his wah-wah whirring away, and found the highest bend possible, pinching the strings with a mighty force while his right hand danced effortlessly over the pickguard. Tommy was smiling more than usual tonight, looking buzzed and happy (actually they were all tanked) as he nervously paced with his tobacco-sunburst Fender Precision bass. Stevie bowed his head, finished the song in a reckless flurry, then addressed the crowd: "Hello, Tokyo! Ya'll ready to get it? Let's Go to Texas - yeah, you got it - real nice and personal, uh, is what we call it ... by way of Seattle." The band ran head-on into "Voodoo Chile" to wild Japanese screams that sounded about as American as Amarillo on a Saturday night. He rocked his torso, hitting a stingingly high B note, then tossed his head back, allowing the piercing sound to ring out over the beat. His legs were quivering beneath him. He'd gotten the guitar singing, wiggling it in front of his pelvis like Hendrix did - and, sure enough, the girls lost it. He fell out of the sky for the next verse, Whipper broke it down, and the guitar scratch started again. Shaking his wet hair and panting a little from the workout, Stevie was supposed to be singing but opted for another solo because it felt so good. Later on, during "Cold Shot," the overtly heavy chorus effect was eating his tone up, and he paused before the solo, waiting for just the right scream to set him off. Someone yelled and he was gone, his left leg wagging like a rubberband. Seguing into "Couldn't Stand the Weather," Stevie worked that pile-driving funk groove. He flubbed the lyrics, thinking only of his guitar, taking too many extended rides when one or two would do. These were common (and understandable) criticisms of Stevie's shows from this period. He was too excessive a guitarist, lacking the material and the voice to stand the test of time - or so people said. To prove more with less, he picked up the white Strat (Charley) for "Tin Pan Alley", laid back and closed in on the groove, talking from his heart with tasty, light little blue notes. Voices cried out after every twelfth bar, encouraging him to take another turn. The blue lights turned his red velvet suit a deep voilet, and he took on a princely appearance. His vocals were smooth and coy; if the guitar histrionics were too much, he'd sure as hell have gotten the audience's attention when he sang "I heard a pistol shoot." A woman screamed wildly. He was telling it like he knew this place, and man, he'd been there. Stepping back, he whispered "It's like this..." howling on the high e-string. Suddenly his blue-lit face was in terrible pain; he was crying silently to himself as his guitar heaved sobs. His eyes closed tight, his teeth clenched, his lips were saying "no, no no". He stung a high note hard and quick, opening his mouth to let a big sigh rush out, audible over his vocal mike two feet away. Then another note, another sigh and he was all played out. He called a stop and growled at the crowd jumping into "Love Struck Baby", the old Rome Inn barnburner. He snarled through the solo, tossing his hat onto the mike stand, ducking under his guitar strap, and playing the thing behind his head. The cameras revealed the unpleasant truth: Stevie Ray, barely thirty, was mostly bald. He busted a string on Charley, switching over to Number One for "Texas Flood", and his tone was blasting. The mojo bag that hung from his belt was most definitely working. He slipped into T-Bone's shoes, and they fit. He swung around, unplugged the instrument in mid-solo, and replugged it behind his back, playing the rest with both eyes closed. He finished the entire last verse behind his back, flipping the guitar back and forth, never missing a note. Then he introduced the band; Tommy kissed his bass and winked, Whipper waved. "Domo Arrigato - to you!" Stevie bid the audience. A thick cloud of pot smoke hovered over the arena. Stevie took a deep whiff, a maniacal grin on his lips. He returned for an encore of "Lenny." Stevie was sutting alone with her center stage, thinking of his woman back home, gently tugging her whammy bar, and making her quiver in his hands. He sat relaxed, smoking a pipe that he soon ditched, coughing. The song was his masterpiece for the night. This old girl was his companion when times were hardl he faded paint job and smoke-yellowed crusty pickups had seen it all. He hunched over, touching her neck softly. His head was buried deep in her body, close enough to kiss her fretboard. He threw in some Wes Montgomery, lost in the cool jazz and memories. Dueling bass lines with Tommy, his amp buzzed low as he turned the low E string down as far as it would go until it just died out. After all the whang-barring and de-tuning he was horribly clangy, but finished up with a beautiful precursor to "Riviera Paradise." Jumping up out of the blues, he launched into "Testify". Here he went holding it like a violin, again tuning down the already appaling cacaphony and wailing like crazy. Finally, the sound just became too awful, and he reached to Number One for some serious trickery; he played it backwards, forwards, upside-down and sideways, one-handed, back-handed, and no-handed - he could do it with both hands tied behind his back. He was reciting "Third Stone", and the rhythm section was rocking hard. While they went on, Stevie yanked off Number One and threw her to the floor, lunging after her as if he was going to rape the poor thing. Nect he was humping it, whanging it to death, shsking it, throwing the controls past ten, making her whistle like a train and whinny like a horse. Stevie hunched over her, flipped her over by the whammy bar, jumped on top and rolled around the stage with her. Leaping to his feet, he tossed her into the air and caught her just in time to hammer the last ... excruciating ... note, and it was "Goodnight Tokyo!"