Graham Bonnet Band – Live In Tokyo 2017

Live In Tokyo 2017 Cover

Graham Bonnet Band – Live In Tokyo 2017
Frontiers Music s.r.l
Release Date: 12/07/2019
Running Time: 72:15
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
10/10

Good evening, my flock of the disaffected, the vain, wall eyed and insane. Tonight you are going to witness a man totally lose his shit about a woman. Possibly..!

It is well known I am not a fan of live albums, because the live experience requires a visual component. Thankfully, Graham had this covered for me and has kindly provided me with the footage that goes along with this record, so I hereby offer my thanks and salutations to this mighty and puissant stalwart of metal. The man is a fucking legend…
So, yeah, this is a live recording of Graham and the guys (and gal. Oh, Beth-Ami, be mine. Even your name is perfect. My twisted, shrivelled black heart beats only for you, my proud beauty… sigh) playing some of the more unusual and rare tunes from his days with Alcatrazz, MSG, Impellitteri and Rainbow as well as his stuff with the Graham Bonnet Band. And fuck me crossways, this is good…

I’d even go as far as to say this is fucking classic. This is how metal should sound in the live setting. Alright it’s as Trad Metal as it gets, but nothing touches Trad Metal for riffs and hooks and anthemic choruses. Metal’s most famous accountant’s haircut has assembled a band of uncommonly high talent and it shows through in every single sublime guitar lick from Conrado Pesinato (complete with array of highly amusing guitar solo faces), in Mark Benquchea’s ultra-metronomic drumming (complete with array of highly amusing focused drummer faces) and the legendary Jimmy Waldo hitting the keys like a man possessed (I really don’t want to talk about his face). At the front of it all there’s the Skeggy Boy. A man in command of himself, and his audience! A living legend at the fucking greatest, mightiest height of his powers! A man that makes Corey Taylor look like an amateurish fucking chancer who shouts a lot! A man who demands your attention and your loyalty, and does it so effortlessly you don’t even notice yourself falling to your knees and offering supplication in the form of opening your own veins and spilling your lifeblood at his impeccably shod feet…

And then there is the fragrant, beautiful, heart stopping Beth-Ami Heavenstone. A woman so perfect my heart breaks every time I even look at her. Dark Juan lost his soul to her years ago, but she never even noticed such is the level of her perfection. An angel on Earth with a bass guitar and a smile that makes this hellpriest nearly believe in God. A woman of such magnificence, she makes every other woman within 500 yards of her utterly insignificant. I am not worthy of her attention… No one is, so how did that Lincolnshire howler do it? The absolute bastard! I’ll find out. I will fucking find out and then I’ll bottle it and go and find her…

Sorry, I might have slightly digressed. Yes, the record. Oh my fucking god, the record. This is the best live album I have ever heard. There is not a dropped note in the entire performance and Graham is absolutely at the peak of his powers, effortlessly soaring through his vocal range and reminding us all just what a mighty influence he has been for decades. He looks and sounds like he is enjoying the fuck out of what he is doing and that is infectious. Even I, a notoriously hard and critical man to please with music, have been caterwauling along with every single chorus of every single song. Hodgson Fartpants (one of Dark Juan’s Hellhounds. So named because I could make a fortune out of renting him to dodgy Middle Eastern regimes for chemical warfare purposes…) immediately showed his displeasure with my off key shrieking by fucking off upstairs and going to sleep on my pillows. Plus, the man is a genius level songwriter. Not so much for content, but for the ease with which he crafts such exquisite choruses. You only have to hear Night Games or Samurai once to understand what I’m talking about. And another thing while I am frothing with such incredible enthusiasm… the backing vocals! The harmonies! Oh, the motherfucking harmonies. They hit you at the base of your spine.

And the utterly desirable and simply jawdropping Beth-Ami Heavenstone (have I told you how amazing she is yet? No? How remiss of me) has a gutwrenchingly sweet alto that reduced me to a quivering mass of pathetically lovestruck goo within seconds of her singing the backing vocal to the chorus of S.O.S. There are some voices that give you goosebumps. She has one, on top of all her other sublime qualities. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO MAKE YOU NOTICE YOUR MOST ARDENT ADMIRER, BETH-AMI? TELL ME, TELL ME, I IMPLORE! NOTICE ME, SENPAI, NOTICE ME!

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to need to take a cold shower in Antarctica after this one, boys and girls.

…As we wrench ourselves back into the business of actually being useful to you readers and telling you about the record, then. The production and sound quality are far beyond adequate. Every instrument and cymbal is easily heard and the lead vocal, although to the fore of the mix, is not overpowering the rest of the music. The backing vocals are similarly high in the mix but again are not blanketing the instruments. The song choices for this gig are equally inspired. Everything from the ultra-classic Since You’ve Been Gone through to MSG’s Dancer through to the absolute highlight of the record – an extraordinarily sleazy, sexual, filthily orgasmic rendition of All Night Long! The record ends, somewhat bizarrely, with an alternate lyric studio version of The Crying Chair, which, although interesting and a damned fine rock and roll record, jars somewhat with the fucking awesome night we have just had listening to Graham fucking Bonnet live. Yes, I know I am swearing a lot. No, I don’t care. I am expressing joy. Fuck you. It seems like it was almost bunged on there as an afterthought, you know? Kind of like that last sentence!

Ladies, gentlemen and people of all other genders (I’m nothing if not inclusive. I hate everyone equally) we have on our hands here a perfect storm of a live album – superbly played by the musicians, sublime lead vocals from a living metal legend, well produced, well mixed, with inspired song choices, the biggest ever choruses in metal, and Beth-Ami Heavenstone. Have I told you how much she turns me into a quivering schoolboy every time I set eyes on her? How my heart does little flip flops as I gaze at her magnificent bass playing prowess? How I wish those long, elegant fingers were touching me and her cool gaze and tinkling laugh were for my eyes and ears only? No? We could be here for some time, then….

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is cross-eyed with desire right now and actually really needs to take a shower in liquid nitrogen, but has struggled manfully on to award the Graham Bonnet Band 10/10 for an utterly fucking brilliant live record. It really should be like 150/10. It is the finest live album I have ever heard. And Graham Bonnet is a musical hero of mine. And Beth-Ami, I adore you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Eyes Of The World
02. California Air
03. S.O.S.
04. Night Games
05. Stand In Line
06. Into The Night
07. Love’s No Friend
08. Dancer
09. Samurai
10. Desert Song
11. Rider
12. Since You’ve Been Gone
13. Assault Attack
14. All Night Long
15. Lost In Hollywood
16. The Crying Chair (Intended Lyric Version)

LINE-UP:
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Conrado Pesinato – Guitar
Beth-Ami Heavenstone – Bass (You’re going to be hearing quite a lot about her. Sorry, not sorry.)
Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards
Mark Benquchea – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.alcatrazzofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/grahambonnetmusic/



https://www.youtube.com/user/GrahamBonnetHimself

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Lordi – RecorDead Live; Sextourcism In Z7 (2CD)

Recordead Live - Sextourcism In Z7 Cover

Lordi – RecorDead Live; Sextourcism In Z7 (2CD)
AFM Records
Release Date: 26/07/2019
Running Time: 90:33
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
8/10

BEER! MORE BEER! Mrs. Dark Juan is shirking her duties and telling me I am a lazy fat bastard for demanding my beer being brought to me. Now, she’s undoubtedly correct on all three counts, for I freely admit I’m a lazy fat bastard but nevertheless she should not address the Groove Ipssissimus, the Love Commando and the head of the clergy in that fashion. It’s just…. unsympathetic! Especially when I am creating literary genius for your edification, dear acolytes!

Good evening, I am Dark Juan and I have taken time out from my extremely busy schedule of defiling Christian women, virgins and religious institutions to share with you important matters of metal. France is Catholic, you see. I have an incredibly large task ahead of me to subvert these people. Still, one lady at a time, eh? My neighbour Helene (age 74) made the mistake of asking what I was listening to, the other day. She then had to weather a one hour lecture on just why Lawnmower Deth are amazing in halting and incorrect French. Cobwoman Of Deth Meets Mr. Smellymop took some explaining. Funnily enough, she’s taken to crossing the road and running to the nearest house whenever I am outdoors at the same time as her. I was hoping to discuss the neo-classical connotations of symphonic black metal with her at some point. Oh well. I’m sure she will be receptive to a conversation in about three months.

In other news, while I waffle aimlessly in a desperate attempt to fill out what is now traditionally not a short review, I’m listening to the Finnish nutters called Lordi. Yes, I’m listening to “RecorDead Live; Sextourcism in Z7”. It’s no secret that I am partial to any band that has an egregious image, and Lordi have that in spades. They also have some fucking killer songs – ‘Blood Red Sandman’ should be an enduring metal classic. It was also the song and video that introduced Lordi to an agog young neophyte back in Manchester many moons ago and launched a 25 year love affair with them. AND THEY ALSO WON EUROVISION! Truly, a band to be revered in Dark Juan’s world, then!

The problem is, though, the fact that I don’t really like live albums, because I consider them to be inferior versions of the proper songs. In order to properly appreciate live versions of songs, you have to be there, basking in the atmosphere, being hot, sweaty and pressed tightly against a total stranger… However, having got that minor rant out of the way, we have to establish whether this album is worth expending wonga on, don’t we? From a quantity point of view Lordi have it licked (hurgh hurgh) as there are a throbbingly massive 20 songs on offer here.

Lordi are a heavy metal band in the classic mould – lots of melody and power chords. This is a good thing because they sound like they belong in the Shot In The Dark Ozzy era 1980’s, when I was growing up and first getting into metal, and therefore they immediately provoke memories of good times and horrific hangovers off Thunderbird wine. Also, Lordi have some fucking killer tunes. Some absolute belters! And they also have a similar childish propensity, as I do, for pithy and silly wordplay. Hence they open the show with Sexorcism. A very silly song, but perfectly enjoyable and Mr. Lordi’s voice is a bit raw to start with but he soon warms up and he’s bang on form by the time he gets to ‘Your Tongue’s Got The Cat’. Mr. Amen however is masterful on the guitar, being virtually note perfect throughout the concert. Mr. Ox on bass is also excellent as is Mr. Mana on drums. I also enjoyed Ms. Hella on the keys – I was a big BIG fan of Awa (such long, elegant fingers crawling slowly down my spine and along my hips to my……. STOP THAT!!!!) and was devastated when she left Lordi. But Ms. Hella has awoken previously dormant feelings in …….Enough. The flock don’t need to know that, Dark Juan, you bloody pervert.

The album mix is also a bit patchy when it first gets going, as if the sound engineer has suddenly remembered he has a job to do and puts down his beer in a hurry. Again it settles down after a couple of tracks and we achieve a happy, well balanced sound which is uncommonly clear for a live recording. There is the odd bum note and the backing vocals also take a song or two to warm up but this is part and parcel of live performance.

There’s every one of my favourite Lordi songs on here: ‘Would You Love A Monsterman?’, ‘Blood Red Sandman’, ‘The Devil Is A Loser’, ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ and of course the finale of the whole shebang is ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’, an absolute monster of a track and their legendary Eurovision winning song. All the songs on the record (and indeed by Lordi in general) are designed specifically to be chant along fun. They have massive, MASSIVE choruses and are just good old metal singalong fodder. The thing is, Lordi are also a VISUAL medium and I can’t help but think we are missing an essential part of the full experience with just a record, so there’s kind of a gap in my enjoyment of it. It’s hard to elucidate, but the music requires you to be able to SEE Mr. Lordi and the rest of the band waving their arms, wings and other as yet unnamed limbs about and generally being awesome. They evince the vaudeville joy and sense of fun that is often missing from metal nowadays. It’s schlocky, messy and involves a fuckton of dressing up, and who the fuck doesn’t love that sort of thing?

I love Lordi. I love bands that have theatre and performance value. I love theatricality. This is why I think Ghost are amazing and fuck the haters. I love Lordi’s live album but it isn’t top marks because there’s no visual component. My god, I have almost written a competent review.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is utterly appalled with itself for daring to actually write something that might actually have some useful value and has gone off to sulk in the corner, but awards 8/10 for a fine live album.

Note: There are Blu-Ray/DVD versions but we only received the CD version to review!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sexorcism
02. Would You Love A Monsterman?
03. Missing Miss Charlene’s House Of Ghosts
04. Your Tongue’s Got The Cat
05. Heaven Sent Hell On Earth
06. Mr. Killjoy
07. Rock the Hell Outta You
08. Blood Red Sandman
09. It Snows In Hell
10. She’s A Demon
11. Slashion Model Girls
12. Naked In My Cellar
13. Rock Police
14. Hug You Hardcore
15. Evilyn
16. The Riff
17. Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein
18. Who’s Your Daddy?
19. Devil Is A Loser
20. Hard Rock Hallelujah

LINE-UP:
Mr. Lordi – vocals
Mr. Amen – guitar
Mr. Ox – bass
Mr. Mana – drums
Ms. Hella – keyboards

LINKS:
http://www.lordi.fi/
https://www.facebook.com/LordiOfficial/

https://www.instagram.com/lordiofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn5gK-xJtOxYHzubFazyCKQ

 

Live Shot

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Entombed – Live Clandestine

Live Clandestine Cover

Entombed – Live Clandestine
Threeman Records
Release Date: 17/05/2019
Running Time: 54:00
Review by: Alun Jones
8/10

Live albums, as I’ve stated before, are something of an issue for me. They should be devoured ravenously, but sometimes, like vegetable pizza, they just don’t live up to expectations.

Too often, live albums suffer with poor sound, ruining the immersive experience. Other times, they’re just a cynical cash-in to milk fans of more money, when there’s no new product to flog.

Occasionally, a live recording will deliver the goods – and even I have to admit that this album from Entombed is pretty damn impressive.

What we have here is Entombed celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their classic “Clandestine” album with a performance of the work in full, from start to finish. Original members Nicke Andersson (drums), Uffe Cederlund (guitar) and Alex Hellid (guitar) are joined by Robert Andersson (vocals) and Edvin Aftonfalk (bass) – both from Morbus Chron. These five musicians recreate a mighty masterpiece which is both exciting and vital.

“Clandestine” was Entombed’s second album, and followed in the footsteps of its predecessor to help breathe life into Death Metal. With this concert performance, the sound is great – those buzzsaw guitars really attack the senses – showing the band are on top form. Audience noise is present, but not intrusive, actually helping put the record in context nicely.

The songs are still just as savage, just as brutal – serving as a fine reminder of just how great “Clandestine” was. Or is! All of the tracks are meticulously recreated, but it sounds as intended – as a tribute and celebration, not a cash in. “Left Hand Path” (from the debut album), tagged on at the end, makes the listener crave more.

Great live recordings should enable the listener to feel like they were actually there. The performance and sound must be both representative of the studio material, yet also have the power to immerse the listener in the experience. Entombed have succeeded in capturing a great performance and atmosphere with “Live Clandestine”. Fans will be rabid for this; for the uninitiated it’s well worth investigating.

Still, I can only award 8 out of 10 – because as good as this is, I can’t help wishing we had new material from Entombed to gorge on.

Fun live album fact: if you play Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death” backwards, you’ll hear Bruce Dickinson rehearsing voice-overs for Lucozade adverts. FACT!

TRACKLISTING:
01. INTRO
02. LIVING DEAD
03. SINNERS BLEED
04. EVILYN
05. BLESSED BE
06. STRANGER AEONS
07. CHAOS BREED
08. CRAWL
09. SEVERE BURNS
10. THROUGH THE COLONNADES
11. LEFT HAND PATH

LINKS:
http://entombed.org
https://www.facebook.com/entombedclandestine/

http://www.youtube.com/theentombed

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Devin Townsend Project – Ocean Machine: Live At The Ancient Roman Theatre, Plovdiv

ocean machine, live at the ancient roman theatre plovdiv cover

Devin Townsend Project
Ocean Machine:Live At The Ancient Roman Theatre, Plovdiv
InsideOut Music
Release Date: 06/07/2018
Running Time: 157:43
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

Before I start this review, I will let you all know that I am incredibly biased about DTP as I think that Devin Townsend is something of a god amongst men. I am a huge fan of anything and everything he creates.

Disclaimers aside, I was so looking forward to the release of this live album. The recording for this was carried out at a special performance on 22nd September 2017 at Plovdiv Roman Amphitheatre, Bulgaria. A friend of mine was at this gig and had said that the whole thing, in the setting it was, had moved him to tears it was so mind blowing, and he is not a crier, so I knew it was going to be something pretty special.

I was not disappointed!

You know when Devin is involved, you are going to get a good show, and listening to this album I found myself imagining how magnificent it must have been to listen to all these spectacular tracks being played in such a dramatic setting. The first section of the album is a selection of classics, requested by the fans, and accompanied by the Orchestra and Choir of the Plovdiv State Opera, then the second section is the iconic “Ocean Machine” album, in its entirety, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its release! What’s not to like!

“Ocean Machine” is, for me, one of the best albums Devin has ever made, and this performance of it was something very special. Devin himself said about the performance:

Plovdiv and this live package represents a lot to me, it signifies the end of one era, and the celebration of another. Amidst a gruelling touring year, this show came together with much blood, sweat, and tears, and the result is the culmination of many aspects of my work on one stage.

Ocean Machine was released 20 years ago, and though Marty (drums) is no longer with us, I was able to finally perform the album in its entirety with the original bassist John ‘Squid’ Harder on this night. On a cold evening in an old city in the ancient theatre, many lifelong milestones came to a conclusion on this night and I’m exceptionally proud of it.”

And so he should be. This album is epic in many ways, not least its length. The main thing that bowled me over is the sound – it is immense – so full of dynamics and power, it is amazing that the amphitheatre is still standing – but also so full of serenity, so rich and impeccably balanced that nothing sounded wrong or out of place. On a live album, this is masterful.

The passion and perfection that Devin brings to all his music transposes so well to a live setting that you sometimes forget that this is a live album. The artists he chooses to work with are also some of the finest musicians currently, and they really get Devin’s vision and help him interpret it stunningly, and the sustained energy throughout this epic performance was astonishing, invigorating and tangibly electric.

It totally blew my mind and all I could do was sit and listen in awe to this most beautiful and inspiring music. You cannot help but let it in to your soul – stunning track after stunning track executed with flawless magnificence. I would have given all my limbs to have been there and experienced that. Everything, even down to the album artwork, is exquisite. If you don’t listen to anything else ever, listen to this album. Trust me on this, you will not regret it.

It is very sad that DTP has come to an end, and that fact made this performance almost bittersweet, with an air of nostalgic melancholy, but as always with Devin, this is just the end of one chapter and the start of the next. Empath, Devin’s next solo project, is due for release at the end of March 2019 and will see him work with some more absolute greats. I have it pre-ordered already! I cannot wait to see where he takes things next. This man is my absolute idol.

I wanted to turn the scoring up to 11 on this, because this album is so worth more than a 10/10, but Rick is a hard man to bargain with, so I had to stick to the 10!

(This album is also available on DVD/Blu-Ray)

TRACK LIST
By Request Set with Orchestra
01. Truth
02. Stormbending
03. Om
04. Failure
05. By Your Command
06. Gaia
07. Deadhead
08. Canada
09. Bad Devil
10. Higher
11. A Simple Lullaby
12. Deep Peace

Ocean Machine
01. Seventh Wave
02. Life
03. Night
04. Hide Nowhere
05. Sister
06. 3 A.M.
07. Voices in the Fan
08. Greetings
09. Regulator
10. Funeral
11. Bastard
12. The Death of Music
13. Truth

LINKS
https://www.hevydevy.com/
https://www.facebook.com/dvntownsend

https://www.instagram.com/dvntownsend/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8KIhclVaK0Des9uMrJlt1w

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Twisted Illusion – I Have Music, I Have Life (Live Album)

 

I Have Music, I Have Live Cover

Twisted Illusion – I Have Music, I Have Life (Live Album)
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/12/2018
Running time: 41:02
Review By Beth Jones
6/10

I’m slightly frustrated today, listening to the new live release by the fabulous Twisted Illusion, and I will tell you why.

For those of you who have not come across Twisted Illusion, they are a bunch of uber-talented guys who create a very unique brand of Prog Metal. Front man Matt Jones is a big character, and they have excellent stage presence live, and brilliant musicality recorded. They work hard and live for their art.

Their new release “I Have Music, I Have Life” was recorded live at a recent gig in Norwich. This is where my frustration comes in. Musically, they are as always superb; complex rhythms, outstanding vocals, and ripping guitar solos. Unfortunately for the first three or four songs, you can’t hear anything properly apart from the vocals, as the live mix was not great at all. First niggle. It does improve after about ten minutes, but it is still missing a bit of volume on the Bass for me and is still a bit hit and miss with some of the vocal levels in comparison with everything else.

Once the sound becomes more equal, it is much easier to hear the guitar wizardry of Steve Revier, who was appearing with them for this performance. He has great tone and it works really well, complimenting Matt’s vocals and guitar and adding an extra element to the sound.

The set is a very lively one, full of a whole roster of cracking tunes, which makes it move on a pace whilst the music is playing, but here is my beef number two; Too much rabbiting between songs. I don’t mind a bit of banter, and it is a good thing to be connected with your audience, but I think on a live album, it is difficult to stay connected when you can’t hear some of what the crowd or other band members are saying and responding to. It forces you to lose interest a little. I also have to say that, whilst I am no prude, there is rather gratuitous use of the word c**t at the beginning of the album, and because the album is recorded as one long track, rather than multiple tracks, you can’t skip it! Now, I can get over this because I know that good music is coming, but a lot would have an issue with it and would turn the album off before a single note had been played and that would be a travesty and completely counter – productive to what the band are trying to achieve. It is unnecessary. The music is awesome and can speak for itself, so let it!

Whilst this has got me doing my teacher face a little, there are many, many good elements – the actual performance from a playing point of view is difficult to fault, the vocals are huge, the complexity of the compositions is warped but insanely brilliant and these things combined make Twisted Illusion instantly identifiable, whether it is a live recording or a studio album, and this release is definitely one to have for TI fans old and new. However, I can’t help feeling that maybe it would have been better to take more time over releasing it – maybe recording it at a different gig and making sure that the recorded sound mix was spot on before putting it out there. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m too picky. Maybe I am in a bad mood. I still love Twisted Illusion and hope that they can continue making great music for a long time.

TRACKLIST:
01 TI Live at Norwich

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTIband/

https://www.instagram.com/twistedillusion__official/
https://twistedillusion.bandcamp.com/
https://twistedillusion.bigcartel.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK0IxAnfXG7ibOx4HUyOHQQ

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Mr Big – Live From Milan

Live From Milan Cover

MR. BIG – Live From Milan
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 13/07/2018
Running time: 1:50:00
Review by Chris White
7/10

MR.BIG is the sort of band that highly talented and technical musicians form when they decide to focus on their songwriting output, rather than instrumental virtuosity. Having been around for the best part of 30 years, I had the luck to see them live in London around the time this release was recorded; at the peak of their (radio) popularity in the early 90’s plus individual performances at guitar exhibitions during that period and every time they never failed to deliver the goods to an excited audience.

I make no excuses in saying that, at various times on this record, the intros to songs feel rushed compared to older releases like ‘Live Like Sushi II’ and sometimes Eric’s vocals take a lower, safer note than some of the helium induced notes of yesteryear’s releases, but it doesn’t seem to detract from the quality of the performance given. Plus, the mix of songs is nicely balanced between contemporary and older material, which I think makes a change for bands with a long back catalogue who are forever eager to push newer material.

One of the saddest elements of this release is that drummer extraordinaire, Pat Torpey passed away from Parkinson’s complications not long after this was recorded. He did however prominently feature alongside Matt Starr on drums and provided backing vocals on stage as frequently as possible, which the audience in Milan clearly appreciated as much as the rest of the venues on the tour.

I can’t but help wonder how much pace and power he would have added to the 10 minute version of ‘Addicted To That Rush’, featured on track 18.

Although the big hair, MTV videos, neon guitars and tight jeans are no longer present with MR.BIG, you do still quite rightly get the obligatory solo performances from Billy and Paul on this record, where they unleash a mayhem of shredding. But then if Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan can’t let rip for a few minutes on guitar and bass respectively, who can?

Overall, an enjoyable release from a band producing new, quality songs, playing some of the older numbers and generally pleasing crowds across the globe with a great, live night out.

 
TRACKLIST:
CD 1
01 Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy
02 American Beauty
03 Undertow
04 Alive And Kickin’
05 Temperamental
06 Just Take My Heart
07 Take Cover
08 Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
09 Everybody Needs A Little Trouble
10 Price You Gotta Pay
11 Paul’s Solo
12 Open Your Eyes
13 Wild World
14 Damn I’m In Love Again

CD 2
15 Rock And Roll Over
16 Around The World
17 Billy’s Solo
18 Addicted To That Rush
19 To Be With You
20 1992
21 Colorado Bulldog
22 Defying Gravity

 
SOCIAL MEDIA
http://www.mrbigsite.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mrbigmusic/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMKoGNPOfhxwTc-7XcNuBMw

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris White and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.