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The Guess Who - Shakin' In Las Vegas
DVD Review

(KalPet LP)
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: July 29, 2008
The Guess Who

Review and live photos by Andy Argyrakis

Since the mid-1960s, The Guess Who's been regarded as Canada's most lauded classic rockers, a title that continues through today, in spite of line-up shifts. Outside of being immortalized for the smash singles "American Woman," "These Eyes," "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature," "Hand Me Down World" and "Share the Land," the former also impacted an entire new generation thanks to a Lenny Kravitz cover version. While the group's remained a consistent presence on the road (including a recent Moondance Jam appearance alongside Crosby, Stills & Nash, Sammy Hagar and Boz Scaggs), new projects have grown increasingly fewer and further between.

However, fans score the best of both worlds thanks to the DVD Shakin' In Las Vegas, which features six tracks (four of them brand new, one reworked, plus a golden oldie) recorded live during a 2007 stop at Sin City's famed Cannery. Consider it an EP of sorts in visual contexts that trades in the nostalgia train so many bands from the old school era capitalize on in favor of a vibrant evolution. The opener "Strange Way To Live" is a joyously greasy guitar grinder that catches the fivesome charging forward with electric intensity and its signature harmonies, followed by the even more aggressive retro-tinged rock n' roller "Rattled."

"Back To Where We Started From" is much more melodic in nature, connecting with an instantly contagious quality, resulting in the capacity crowd singing along, despite being introduced for the very first time in this setting. Longtime listeners may recall the rarity "Let's Watch the Sun Go Down," which earns fresh life under an acoustic landscape and sky high harmonies, while "Trust Me" rounds out the batch with a swamp rock/blues motif that finds the band jamming with its fiercest licks since back in the day.

The Guess Who also recalls a rendition of Johnny Kidd & the Pirates' "Shakin' All Over" (its first ever single) before fading into an extensive photo gallery from the gig. Though the set list is short, Shakin' Las Vegas leaves listeners waiting with baited breath for a follow-up either in the studio on the stage, though in the meantime, these songs and the players' precision more than speak for themselves.

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