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4.5 out of 5 stars33
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on October 17, 2003
Let me start with a few words about Bonnie Raitt. I first saw her at the Lenox Arts Center in MA in the early '70s, and it is one of those performances that sticks with you. What a musical performance! And this woman who commented on the bare-chested guys in the audience (what audacity!). I have to be honest--haven't followed every recording of her career. But everytime I hear her I'm floored. Here's a woman who can belt out a ballad, play the blues, and put the most loving touch on a folk song, to bring you to tears. Versatility is Raitt. You want proof!? Just see her on the Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute belting out "Pride and Joy." She takes a guy song and makes it into the quintessential girl's torch song! All I can say is she made a lot of guys lonely (including me!) when she mentions a husband in the concert. But hey, we are happy for you Bonnie.
But what a minute! The production on this video just doesn't do Bonnie justice. I've heard much about the audio problems, and I agree. But the video doesn't give us fans a chance! I want something more than 5 seconds of a sustained shot on Bonnie and her guitar. The music is there, but a bit more of Bonnie, without endless cuts to her band, would be desirable. (A great band mind you, but nonetheless it couldn't hurt to let us see her a bit more!)
I would love to see Bonnie in a proper DVD. How about it Bonnie! There're plenty of us out here that would love to hear from you. You are a legend now, like BB and Buddy. Put your music on record (in resplendent DVD)! I'll be waiting.
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on March 28, 1999
I confess to being a Bonnie Raitt fan, although a relatively recent convert in terms of her entire career. This concert starts with hits then the tempo slows down up to the halfway mark, then really picks up steam toward the end. It's not a "greatest hits" concert if you're a chart-watcher, but it could classify as a kind of "Best of" effort. "I Can't Make You Love Me" -- with Bruce Hornsby on keyboard -- brought tears to my eyes yet again. . . . followed by "Fallin" which may be erotically charged enough to require a cold shower as an encore. In addition to Hornsby, other guest artists include: Bryan Adams, Jackson Browne and blues legends Ruth and Charles Brown. Bonnie's band is outta sight! This is easily worth the bargain price listed above, so treat yourself.
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on January 16, 2002
I waited a long time for this release in DVD and was very surprised that it was released without the DTS format that is available on the CD. The DVD audio is very poor. While viewing the DVD, closeups of the percussionist and hamonica player are shown BUT you can not hear their respective instruments. Knowing the quality of the CD/DTS, this is huge let down. Numerous contacts to Emd/Capitol Records's customer service department remain unanswered (why have such a department?) through their email and website. Bonnie is a great artist and this was a great concert. The DVD misses the mark badly. I'd give the CD/DTS version 5 stars.
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on November 7, 2001
I already have the VHS and CD versions of ROAD TESTED. Still, I have waited with great anticipation for the re-release of the DVD version. If you don't have a DVD player right now then this is a great reason to go out and embrace the relatively new technology. ROAD TESTED is somewhat of a career retrospective...and not just the hits. For me it is worth the minimal DVD price just for the medley of "Love Me Like A Man" (on classic acoustic guitar) and Kokomo Blues" (acoustic slide guitar)and the ballad "Dimming of the Day". This DVD captures Bonnie at the height of her tremendous vocal powers and displays her renowned virtuosity on both acoutic and slide guitar as well as keyboards. I have all of her LP's, CD, VHS, and DVD recordings. This is my "desert island" one release of her's that I would choose over all of the others. As usual, she has put together a great band with guests like Bruce Hornsby on the opening "The Thing Called Love" (accordian and vocals), Jackson Browne (guitar and vocals), Brian Adams (on "Rock Steady" duet with guitar and vocals....this cookin' song should have been a huge hit!) Classic rockers Ruth Brown and Charles Brown on a Ry Cooder style "Never Make Your Move Too Soon" and Kim Wilson (from the Fabulous Thunderbirds on harmonica and vocals on the foot stompin' "I Believe I Am In Love". I am listening/watching the DVD right now and still find "I Can't Make You Love Me" deeply moving. Luckily, I have seen most of the greats and Bonnie Raitt is the rare great live performer and song-writer who gets better with time. Brava!!!
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on December 28, 2001
I'm a huge fan of Bonnie Raitt. Have all her albums and video releases. I got this on dvd for Christmas. I was all excited till I popped it in the dvd player and started watching it. The editing on this video is horrible, and there is a lot of vocal dubbing on it. The video doesn't match the vocal half the time which is rather annoying. If you get either the dvd or vhs, I would say you should get the VHS much better quality, better to watch and no lousy dubbing on the vocals.
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on May 23, 2003
I just read the reviews of those of you who bought the audio-impaired DVD version of this spectacular concert. I saw it on VHS and there were no glitches of any kind. Can't remember a more exciting concert, live or recorded. This is Bonnie at her gorgeous, versatile, innovative best, performing all of her finest music live. An interesting twist--a la Carlos Santana, she shares her stage for some individual songs with numerous other artists, some famous (Don Henley, Jackson Browne) and some talented oldsters she just graciously wanted to honor who did very creditable jobs. The amazing thing was that none of these high powered talents overshadowed Raitt or diluted or morphed the music. And it remained unmistakably Bonnie Raitt music without her formidable talents burying her guests. Some of these artists she has performed with for years, and the mutual respect and affection between them will multiply your enjoyment of an already jaw-dropping concert. (The personal and musical chemistry between Jackson Browne and Bonnie is something you'll have to see to believe.) That DVD might make a great gasket for the oil pan of your Volkswagen, but get rid of it and get the VHS version. If you are a true Bonnie Raitt fan (or even if you just love red hair and sliding steel guitars!), you are going to be surprised at how quickly one vivacious superstar and a tight, explosively talented band can ignite an audience and even jack up your own mood six or eight notches.
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on June 10, 2005
I always make a point to see Bonnie Raitt live whenever I can. I've caught her in all kinds of venues and she's never disappointed. She's more of a solid, consistent performer than a blow-you-away performer, but that's hardly a bad thing. She comes alive onstage and brings a warmth and joy to her performances that her best records can only hint at. (Not that she doesn't make consistently records--she does.)

This 1995 performance tape (and you have to keep in mind that it was originally VHS) captures her and her band at their best. Yes, the sound could be better, but even in an actual performance setting, you might find yourself complaining about the acoustics a bit. If the performance is solid, you can begin to overlook a few sound problems. So too with this DVD.

Guests like Jackson Browne, Ruth Brown and Charles Brown and even some non-Brown(e)s like Kim Wilson and Bryan Adams add to the special event quality of the performance. And Bruce Hornsby adds his distinctive piano to a couple of numbers. ("I Can't Make You Love Me" is particularly affecting.) But my favorite numbers are those featuring Bonnie and her great band. The chemistry between them is palpable.

She ain't no amoeba.
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on April 25, 2002
This re-issue of the 1995 classic VHS concert
tape/CD should have been right up there with
the best sound quality you could possible get, but,
for some reason it didn't quite rate the very best.
It still is top quality entertainment and I give it
four stars ****, come on, it doesn't sound that bad.
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on January 19, 2002
Admittedly, I'm a big fan of Bonnie, and if I had any complaints about this live concert, it would be that there's not enough footage of her playing, BUT...
There is a GREAT selection of tunes (I bought the CD when it was first released), and throughout the entire concert, no matter how bluesy and heart-wrenching, Bonnie's face literally lights up at the audience reaction after each song. She truly feeds on it! Also watching the band - especially the percussionist - is a lot of fun while you're tapping your feet. A don't-miss is the beautiful fretless bass guitar that shows up a little more than half way through the concert.
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on December 7, 2001
Bonnie is one of my all time favorite artists. I was blown away by the Road Tested CD a few years ago and expected a lot from the DVD. The music, the sound, the stage, the lighting, the registration, the colors are all great indeed, but the editing is all wrong and annoying. A lot of the time the music and film are out of sync, but what is worse is that more than once shots belonging to an other part of the concert are used to fill up gaps elsewhere. I cannot believe that the editor actually thinks that the viewer is stupid enough to fall for these cheap solutions. The mistakes are often so obvious! It is not enough to show, let's say, a drummer who is drumming. NO! We want to see that that drummer is actually playing that particular part of the music that is coming from our speakers at that particular moment.
Still, as I said, the concert is great, and the DVD is worth 4 stars; a must have for all her fans.
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