With ringing guitars replicating bagpipes, a keen sense of their Scottish ancestry and a rousing call to arms summoned up in such obvious anthems as “In A Big Country,” “Wonderland” and “Fields of Fire,” Big Country successfully rallied the troops from the general malaise of the ‘80s. This live DVD, recorded before a packed house of enthusiastic, fist-pumping fans shows why, as they charge through a rousing set of their standards.
Recorded in the early ‘90s, a decade prior to the disappearance and death of singer Stuart Adamson, it’s an ideal demonstration of the quartet’s pulling power. A combination of natural charisma and an ability to inspire mayhem in the masses demonstrate the aforementioned songs’ lingering appeal, and even the acoustic lament “Come Back to Me” finds the crowd singing along. Although the sound is thinner than on the studio versions, the electricity cackles through “Wonderland” and “In A Big Country,” before culminating with a searing cover of “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
Perhaps Big Country were meant to burn brightly and, to quote Mr. Young again, inevitably fade away. Still, Live suggests that flame was extinguished too soon.
– Lee Zimmerman