Live In Sweden 1969
Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden – January 9, 1969
Killing Floor, Spanish Castle Magic, Fire, Hey Joe, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Red House, Sunshine Of Your Love
“Electric Church Music”, which could easily serve as another title for this DVD, was stated by the MC before he exited stage left and the Jimi Hendrix Experience took the stage. What transpired over the next 60+ minutes was exactly that, electric music performed by an otherwise spectacular legendary group as though it was in church. Listening to the audio of this show is entirely different than listening to that audio while watching how it was played.
For example, after Jimi says that they’re pretty much going to jam because they hadn’t played for about 6 weeks, Mitch Mitchell comes out from behind his drum kit to reposition a cymbal stand while Jimi’s starting to strum the beginning to “Killing Floor”. Never would’ve known about that without seeing the footage. So, too, would I never have known about the small piece of folded paper that Jimi read, and then slid under his amp, before telling the audience that “All Along the Watchtower” had been requested, but he forgot the words so they couldn’t play it. As a consolation of sorts, they perform what may have been the highlight song of the show, “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)”. Solos were dropped into the song by Redding and Mitchell, and Jimi’s playing is a bit more inspired. “Red House” follows and, for me, I can’t help but wonder if members of the audience were wondering to themselves when exactly this show would take-off. Jimi looks tired, indifferent and, oddly, has very little eye contact with his band mates. As compared to the stunning footage at Monterey and Woodstock , this is not vintage live Hendrix.
The label has, however, made the most of this performance by perfectly synching crystal clear audio to the black-and-white visuals. There is no menu, and the first thing you see is the beginning of the show with the MC. There is, as a result, no way to skip from song to song. So, if you want to see “Killing Floor” again, you have to return to the beginning with the MC. A minor production drawback, at most. The DVD case also comes with nice artwork that is embellished with holographic concentric circles that, when the case is titled from side-to-side, give the appearance that they’re moving. A very cool touch to this title.
For those seeking incendiary live Hendrix, this may disappoint, but not because of anything done or not done by the label. They’ve done a first-class job of presenting this show for all it’s worth, and have not asked for a King’s ransom in return.