Top positive review
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The best live album I've ever heard...
on November 23, 2005
I'm surprised that this isn't mentioned in the same breath as B.B. King's "Live At The Regal" and James Brown's "Live At The Apollo" as one of the best live albums ever. The energy of this performance is amazing and the crowd is so into the music that the whole disc is just ELECTRIC. The live version of "Use Me" is SO good, with the whole crowd clapping on the off beat. Best of all, after the band jams on the song for seven minutes, you can hear the shouts of "One more time!!" from what sounds like the back row of Carnegie Hall. Bill Withers asks the crowd, "One more time?" and the place goes nuts, at which point the band launches back into the song without missing a beat. This is just one of the moments captured here that can only be described as magical. The appreciative round of applause that Withers gets from the crowd after delivering an amazing vocal on "Hope She'll Be Happier" is also noteworthy. Bill Withers really possessed a natural talent for songwriting; his lyrics are simple and direct but say so much. The middle verse of "World Keeps Going Around" where he describes the dating chain of the narrator with a few different women is amazing. Songs like "Grandma's Hands" and "I Can't Write Left Handed" are incredible lyrically also. This was a great performance where everything just clicked: great songs, a tight band, and an enthusiastic crowd. This should be essential listening for everyone. The finale of "Harlem/Cold Baloney" is so awesome. Bill Withers gets the whole place to chant "shake em on down" as he leaves the stage. What an ending! This album is really an unsung masterpiece.