Mojo (Publisher) - p.1124 stars out of 5
-- "This 2CD live set stands as a mid-career overview on the eve of the release of their classic YELLOW MOON album....[With] Aaron Neville's 1966 hit 'Tell It Like It Is'..."
Uncut (magazine) - p.883 stars out of 5
-- "[V]ersions of 'My Blood' and 'Sister Rosa' are stand-outs."
Personnel: Aaron Neville (vocals, keyboards, percussion); Art Neville (vocals, keyboards); Cyril Neville (vocals, percussion); Brian Stoltz (guitar, percussion, background vocals); Charles Neville (saxophone, percussion, background vocals); Aashid Himmons (keyboards); Willie Green (drums); Tony Hall (percussion, background vocals); Kenyatta Simon (percussion).
Recording information: Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA (02/27/1989).
Always a critical success, the Neville Brothers reached a commercial apex in 1989 with the release of their gold-selling album Yellow Moon. Just before that LP's appearance in March, they performed at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco on February 27, a show promoted by Bill Graham and recorded, such that it is now a part of the Wolfgang's Vault collection of recorded concerts and here is issued by the Hip-O Select division of Universal Music. The four Nevilles -- Aaron, Art, Charles, and Cyril -- turn in a fairly typical set beginning with "Fire on the Bayou" from their 1981 Fiyo on the Bayou album and including old favorites like "Hey Pocky Way" and "Iko Iko" (in an extended medley of New Orleans standards). Aaron Neville's R&B ballad "Tell It Like It Is," which put the Neville name on the map when it reached number two nationally in early 1967, is included and demonstrates that the singer retains his angelic tenor. (Just for good measure, he also uses it to inspirational effect on an encore version of "Amazing Grace.") The group naturally introduces songs from the forthcoming album such as the title track, "My Blood," "Wake Up," "Voodoo," and "Sister Rosa." The encores begin with a lengthy rock & roll medley that leans heavily on the hits of the Nevilles' New Orleans predecessor Larry Williams while also including the work of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly. They play this material with easy authority, then turn around and prove just as assured when performing "One Love" by their prot‚g‚ from the Caribbean, Bob Marley. Thus, the album is a good representation of the Neville Brothers at a peak period in their career together. ~ William Ruhlmann