Throughout the 1980s no band, not even The Cramps, were as crucial as The Stray Cats in bringing Rockabilly to the masses. Yes, there may have been a little more pop-sheen to their songs than traditionalists cared for, but this Long Island-based trio brought a fresh version of rock, country, and boogie woogie to a global audience of teens that were OD-ing on sterile New Wave bands at the time.
This DVD set (also in CD/DVD version) captures the band in 1981 and 1983 at gigs in Germany and just a few songs into each show, it’s easy to see why the band quickly captured the attention of so many. Sure, visually the band was hard to ignore, with the massive pompadours, the leather jackets and gymnastics on the stand-up bass, but more importantly they sound remarkable inventive, paying tribute to a generation of rockabilly bands that came before them, while updating the sound.
Unlike many live recordings that have surfaced from the early ‘80s, the sound on these DVDs is solid, you can hear every cymbal crash, every slapped string on the standup and Brian Setzer’s 1-2-3 count down in German leading into “Rumble in Brighton.”
Live At Rockpalast is a great snapshot of the band in its prime, delivering a leave-it –all-on-the-stage performance for a crowd that is clearly charmed be the band.
Stray Cats – Live at Rockpalast/1 DVD and 2 CDs/MVD/2015