Agree with all of that. YouTube just recommended to me this scorching performance of Driven to Tears: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LvCmsmJ8XsBoy, did he hit hard. I would love to have a fraction of his groove. He always was a very consistent player. My old tutor would critique the fact that he would speed up sections of a song (chorus), but I wonder whether he did that on purpose.
The question is ... does the music still sound great in the sped up parts? I say YES. When a band can rock out that hard and with so much pizazz, I couldn't care less about the details. Maybe he does it on purpose, but without realising it - going for major intensity ... and achieving it.