CeeLo Green is Loberace-Live In Vegas Blu-ray/DVD review

Courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment
Courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment

In February 2013, “The Voice” coach and singer CeeLo Green began a two month run performing at Las Vegas’s Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. One of those shows has now been documented in the Eagle Vision Blu-ray and DVD, “CeeLo Green is Loberace-Live In Vegas”.

The 78 minute concert featured on the disc was originally broadcast live on the AXS TV cable network. It consists of Green performing his hits as well as cover versions of songs that have inspired him over the years.

Courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment
Courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment

The Blu-ray/DVD begins with a specially filmed version of “The Lady Killer”, the spoken word title track of Green’s 2012 album. Green then enters the theater from below the stage on a hydraulic lift type device, and sings "Bright Lights, Bigger City”. He's dressed in a gold lame hooded outfit, and is joined by ten female dancers on stage for the entire show.

Before the next tune, Green tells the audience that he’s going to now sing “Something a little familiar, a little foreplay”. He then croons INXS’s 1987 hit, “Need You Tonight”, the first of several 1970’s and 1980’s songs during the show. It sounds like Green’s performing to the original backing track from the hit, as you can hear the late Michael Hutchence sing the response lines “I’m lonely/Can’ think at all/Gonna live my life”. This leads to one of the problems with the show. Green is performing to pre-recorded, canned music. There’s no band on stage with him. A group of backing musicians would have amped up the energy that the concert needed, instead of just being a spectacle. And Green himself could ditch all the show biz shtick, glamour and glitz, even if this is Las Vegas.

He is a gifted vocalist, as evidenced by his performance here of the soulful 1974 ballad, "Side Show”, a Number one R&B and top ten U.S. hit for Blue Magic, and of course his 2006 Gnarls Barkley hit, “Crazy”. As a side note, Bruno Mars was one of the co-writers with Green on the tune. You also have to like a guy who samples the theme from the 1970’s U.S. comedy series, “Soap”, as Green does for “Whoever Loves Me”, heard in the show.

But if he's billing the Vegas show as "CeeLo Green is Loberace", why is there no piano onstage? He didn't need to do the rotating piano trick from 2011's Billboard Music Awards ceremony, but it would have been cool to see him tickle the ivories on "Forget You" or another tune.

Courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment
Courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment

At one point of the show, as Green changes costumes backstage, a Boy George impersonator (Bryan Watkins) comes onstage to lip sync the 1980s Culture Club hits “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, “It’s A Miracle”, and “Karma Chameleon”. No, this isn’t the Legends In Concert Vegas show. Green, himself, would probably do a nice job crooning “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”. Later, a Mini Me CeeLo Green (Jordan Jackson) also appears on stage to lip sync the Gnarls Barkley single, “Smiley Faces”.

The whole audience doesn't become enthusiastic until the next to the last song, the Gnarls Barkley 2006 hit “Crazy”, performed by Green in white and black prison stripes. Then they leave their drinks on their small circular tables and start dancing. The song's music video is projected on a screen at the rear of the stage, with animated ink blots (as in the Rorschach psychological test) continually transforming into images of Green and his Barkley partner Danger Mouse (Brian Burton).

This is followed by a brief bit of Europe’s “The Final Countdown” played over the PA, leading to the last song of the night, “Forget You” in its uncensored version. Joining Green onstage are a “group” of animatronic animals (gorilla, bear, etc.) known as The Rock-A Fire Explosion, from the 1980’s ShowBiz Pizza Place restaurants. The Chuck E. Cheese pizza restaurant chain had a similar animatronic band at their locations during that same decade..

Near the end of the show,onstage, Green hawks sake made by TY KU, a company he's recently invested in. Flanked by four of the dancers,each holding a TY KU bottle, he tells the crowd, "It’s delicious and nutritious. It only has 65 calories and it’s gluten free”. Couldn't he have just placed an ad in the program for the product, instead of the in concert plug?

Picture quality is very good for this Eagle Vision Blu-ray/DVD. The disc only has two bonus features, though. One is a two minute clip of the "Bright Lights, Bigger City" performance from the concert, while the other is a seven minute interview with Green. A small fold out booklet with photos from the show and the song lineup and credits is included inside the Blu-ray case.

If you saw one of the "CeeLo Green Is Lobrerace" shows during its Vegas run, you might like this Blu-Ray or DVD as a souvenir.Or, if you’re a big fan of Green’s music,you could add the disc to your video library. Otherwise, the disc ends up being a disappointment.

CeeLo Green is Loberace-Live In Vegas Track Listing
1) Intro / Ladykiller
2) Bright Lights, Bigger City
3) Need You Tonight
4) Hot Thang
5) Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?
6) Boy George Medley: Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? / It’s A Miracle / Karma Chameleon
7) Nothing’s Shocking Anymore
8) Side Show
9) Fool For You
10) Don’t Cha-Pussycat Dolls hit co-written by Green
11) Whoever Loves Me
12) Smiley Faces
13) Storm’s Coming
14) Freak Medley: Closet Freak / Le Freak (Freak Out) / Super Freak
15) Sophisticated Bitch
16) Goodie Mob Medley: Planet Rock / Apache / Can You Feel It?
17) Crazy
18) Forget You

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