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Cherry Pop

'Nils Lofgren - Cry Tough' (Eagle Records)
(Nils Lofgren / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / Eagle Records)

Overview: A kaleidoscopic view of his success as a solo artist, this DVD captures three performances from different stages in Lofgren’s career. With over four hours of footage and 35 tracks deep, it showcases Nils stepping out into the spotlight on his own.

DVD Verdict: Already, and for many, oh so many years now re: extensive work with both Neil Young (Crazy Horse and Grin) and Bruce Springsteen (E Street Band), Nils Hilmer Lofgren has had one of the more amazing careers in rock music.

This brand new 2-disc DVD set, entitled 'Cy Touch' (the title taken from Lofgren's 1976 album of the same name) showcases Nils stepping out into the spotlight on his own. Feauring over four hours of footage and 35 tracks deep, and no bandana, his hair clean, full, spikey even, these discs give us complete Rockpalast performances from three distinct periods of his career — 1976, 1979, and 1991.

Disc 1 features his 1991 performance, when Lofgren returned from a stadium tour with the E Street Band with his 1991 album 'Silver Lining.' Taking up all of disc one, this much smaller setting seems to please him all the same. From acoustic readings ('Keith, Don't Go'), to a full-paced electric mow-downs, alone or joined by his band, the guitar wizard lays down his incredible six-string talent; as he plows relentlessly through song after song after song.

Disc 2 backtracks to his earlier days playing solo, with sets from 1976, just after the release of his critically-acclaimed solo debut, and 1979. This is where we find the guitar slinger performing a much, shall I say, funkier take on his album of the same name.

One of the highlights is Lofgren behind the keyboard on 'Going Back.' For the 1979 performance which closes out the second disc, we find Lofgren playing his heart out to a much larger audience. Nonetheless, he is still locked into his guitar mannerisims, giving 'Keith, Don't Go' yet another spin for its money!

And, for the record, he also does a backflip off the trampoline duing ''Back It Up' - which, as you may, or may not know, years of doing may well have led to his recent hip replacement surgery - for BOTH of his hips! Yep, as a result of years of playing basketball, performance backflips (such as this one witnessed here today) on stage, and age, well, it seems life finally caught up to Lofgren - his hips, anyway! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.