Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Jarflower (Melodic Alt-Rock) Play The Rock Shop in Brooklyn on Saturday, Jan. 3rd

Jarflower (Melodic Alt-Rock) Play The Rock Shop in Brooklyn on Jan. 3rd
Carved from 90s rock, dangerous riffing, and serious pop sensibility, Jarflower destroys stages with tight rock n’ roll tunes and anthems that would bring your first pet back to life (or so they’ve heard). Matt’s powerful melodies and rhythm guitar, Steve’s earth-shaking rhythms, Rob’s infectious bass grooves, and Jake’s unique Led Zeppelin meets Goo Goo Dolls axe-playing complements their truly rad and original sound. They have opened for hit-makers like Hellogoodbye & Dishwalla and have had their music featured in local compilations.

To build support for the band's forthcoming new EP "Contrast", Jarflower is playing a show at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn on Jan. 3rd, along with Forget This (Ian Karavas) and Lizard Pizza. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 DOS; Doors are at 8PM.


Serious Black - 'As Daylight Breaks' CD Review (AFM Records)

Serious Black - 'As Daylight Breaks' CD Review (AFM Records)
Serious Black is a new six-piece band formed by Roland Grapow (Masterplan, x-Helloween) and the rest of the band’s lineup is a ‘who’s who’ of European power metal. The band lineup is comprised of Roland Grapow, Thomen Stauch (ex-Blind Guardian), Mario Lochert (ex-Visions Of Atlantis), Dominik Sebastian (Edenbridge), Jan Vacik (ex-Dreamscape) and the golden voice of Urban Breed (ex-Tad Morose, ex-Bloodbound).

The band’s debut CD, As Daylight Breaks, comes out January 20th (US) on AFM Records and the initial pressing includes three bonus tracks: “Someone Else’s Life”, “Fly On” and a cover of Genesis’ “No Son of Mine”. In the band’s press release, they want to make it clear that Serious Black is more than a studio project as every member of the band was involved in songwriting and recording and the band will be touring next year in support of Hammerfall.

The disc starts off with “I Seek No Other Life” which showcases the band’s core power metal sound. This song features big guitar riffs along with a nice, melodic solo, upfront vocals and breakneck drumming. While the band’s power metal sound is a constant, underlying core, the band expands on this core by shading the edges with elements of prog rock, symphonic metal and AOR/arena rock and there is also a middle-eastern flair on some of the songs toward the middle of the disc.

Jan Vacik’s keyboard and piano come into prominence with “High and Low” and “Sealing My Fate”. “High and Low” opens with a proggy keyboard run and the melodic guitar riffing is balanced with the keys. “Sealing My Fate” is a mellow, mid-tempo number with flairs of AOR which starts with a piano opening and slowly gets harder edged, adding big power metal riffs, as the song goes on. “Temple of the Sun” is an atmospheric/symphonic instrumental with a middle-eastern flare which serves as a lead-in to “Akhenaton” and “Akhenaton” keeps the middle-eastern vibe but layers around it a melodic, late-70’s hard rock sound.

Some of the other stand-out tracks are “As Daylight Breaks”, which opens with Vacik’s piano and builds a symphonic base beneath Breed’s soaring vocals. “Listen to the Storm” follows in this same symphonic vein but is a hard-rock number with a dark opening. The disc closes with “Older and Wiser” which sounds a bit like early Judas Priest with its big drum sound, low-end bass chug and melodic shredding and riffing.

Serious Black Tour Dates
Jan 16 — Aladin, Bremen, Germany
Jan 17 — Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany
Jan 18 — Essigfabrik, Cologne, Germany
Jan 19 — O13, Tilburg, Netherlands
Jan 20 — Trix, Antwerp, Belgium
Jan 22 — Longhorn, Stuttgart, Germany
Jan 23 — All Karthalle, Kaufbeuren, Germany
Jan 24 — Z7 Pratteln, Switzerland
Jan 25 — Z7 Pratteln, Switzerland
Jan 26 — Backstage, Munich, Germany
Jan 28 — Live Club, Milan, Italy
Jan 29 — Ninkasi Kao, Lyon, France
Jan 30 — Razzmatazz 2, Barcelona, Spain
Jan 31 — Shoko, Madrid, Spain

Serious Black

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Animal Years (Brooklyn Roots Rock) Plays Free NYE (12/31) Show at Rockwood Music Hall

Animal Years (Brooklyn Roots Rock) Plays Free NYE (12/31) Show at Rockwood Music Hall
Brooklyn's Animal Years have had a busy 2014 - they released their album Sun Will Rise (Deluxe Edition) internationally, debuted the video "Forget What They're Telling You" (which starred True Blood's Bailey Noble) on Conan O'Brien's blog Team Coco, filmed a live session in Counting Crows' "Garden" as part of The Outlaw Roadshow, and opened up for Robert Randolph and The Family Band at Brooklyn Bowl in late November. The band is closing out the year with a free NYE show at Rockwood Music Hall.

Animal Years' free New Year's Eve show takes place at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2 (196 Allen St. at Houston St.) on Wednesday, 12/31/14 at 11PM.

Brooklyn’s Animal Years play indie roots rock with influences ranging from early Kings of Leon and My Morning Jacket to Young The Giant and The Avett Brothers. The band is the brain child of Baltimore-to-Brooklyn transplant Mike McFadden (lead vocals, guitar, and banjo), who adopted the moniker Animal Years to break out of the solo singer/songwriter category. McFadden is backed by Anthony Saladino (bass) and Anthony Spinnato (drums) and this three-piece lineup released their debut record, Sun Will Rise, in May which Deli Magazine described as "anthemic and powerful; a passionate work of thrilling crescendos fueled by bright and expansive guitar".

Animal Years

Blood God - 'Blood is My Trademark' CD Review (Massacre Records)

Blood God - 'Blood is My Trademark' CD Review (Massacre Records)German death metal vocalist Thomas Gurrath (Debauchery) kicked off his thrash side-project Blood God a few years ago and, earlier this fall, the band released its second disc, Blood Is My Trademark (Massacre Records). The new disc sports cover art by Warhammer illustrator Adrian Smith) and the band describes the backdrop to their live set as “decorated with puppets of female demons and bodyparts and skulls and stuff like that”. Now that you know where the band’s headset is, they describe their musical influences as Judas Priest, Accept, Iron Maiden, Motörhead and AC/DC.

Given Gurrath’s tenure in Debauchery, it should come as no surprise that the disc’s lyrics are horror themes about bloodletting, murder and mayhem. With the disc’s catchy, old-school metal riffs grabbing the listeners attention right away, most people may not even realize what they are singing along to. At least one group though has paid attention as, going back a few years, Gurrath was fired from his job as a high school philosophy teacher when school officials found out about Debauchery and their associated theatrics.

Thomas Gurrath’s vocals are almost a dead-ringer for that of Brian Johnson (AC/DC) and this, along with some Angus Young style riffs, gives this disc a serious AC/DC vibe though Blood God comes on a bit louder, harder and faster. Most of the songs feature thrash/metal guitar riffs and shredding solos over top of a locomotive bass/drum backbeat. What adds to the thrash metal vibe is that most songs also have gang vocals on the chorus. The band doesn't stray far from this proven formula though there are a number of cases where the guitars are down-tuned and there are hints of NWOBHM and White Zombie style groove in “Sexy Music for Sexy People”. Another track where Blood God mixes it up is “Dragonbeasts Are Rising” where the band pulls back on the aggression for a guitar instrumental lead-in. Across the board though, all of the songs have catchy and melodic hooks that will be instantly recognized by fans of late 70’s/early 80’s metal.

The band took an interesting twist with this release as they included a bonus disc as part of a limited edition digi-pack that is comprised of alternate recordings of the main disc’s ten songs with death metal vocals. The band’s press release states: “[Y]ou should never forget your roots, right? That’s why the limited edition digipak of the album comes with a bonus CD including the whole record sung with the Debauchery monster voice.” Gurrath’s (cookie) monster vocals on the bonus disc seem to be just a different vocal track on top of the same music but the guttural vocals (which are surprisingly understandable) add a harder edge to the music which makes these alternate versions worthwhile.

Blood God

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Church Release Free 'Xmas' Song / March '15 Shows at Bowery Ballroom and Rough Trade

Two years ago, I had re-posted a post from Steve Kilbey's Facebook page where he had stated that he was quitting The Church over his frustration with the band's then label Second Motion.

Fast-forward two years and The Church have a new album Further/Deeper coming out in early February of 2015 (out already in Australia/NZ) and the band is starting their 2015 North American tour on the West Coast in late February. On this new album and upcoming tour, Marty Willson-Piper "was/is unavailable" so he has been replaced by Ian Haug from Powderfinger.

"The only place you can pre-order now is The Church merch store. When purchasing the CD or digital album you will receive an download of first taste from the album “Pride Before A Fall” within 48 hours and you will also receive a bonus track of “The Girl Is Buoyant” on 17 October. The vinyl is a double album and comes with a digital download card and contains 3 extra tracks than the CD. The release of Further/Deeper will be followed by live dates where the band will play the new album in full! Steve Kilbey has also been creating a series of paintings as memes for the albums lyrical themes, some of which will be available to purchase from the merch store. To start with there are 4 available depicting each of the band members. They are high quality prints made with museum grade paper and inks. And there are T-Shirts featuring the album cover and the 4 prints."

The Church 2015 North American Tour Dates
2/21/2015 - Vancouver, BC - Rio Theater
2/23/2015 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door
2/24/2015 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door
2/26/2015 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel/Noise Pop Festival
2/27/2015 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
2/28/2015 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
3/02/2015 - Aspen,CO - Belly Up Tavern
3/03/2015 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theater
3/05/2015 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
3/06/2015 - Chicago, IL - Double Door
3/07/2015 - Cleveland, OH - The Grog Shop
3/09/2015 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
3/10/2015 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
3/12/2015 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair

3/13/2015 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom (Advance tickets are $30)
3/14/2015 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade (Advance tickets are $30)

3/15/2015 - Raleigh, NC - Cat’s Cradle
3/17/2015 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
3/18-21/2015 - Austin, TX - SXSW

The Church

Whitesnake - 'Live in 1984 - Back to the Bone' CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Whitesnake - 'Live in 1984 - Back to the Bone' CD Review (Frontiers Records)
While veteran rockers Whitesnake have released a number of live albums over the last few years, Live in 1984 - Back to the Bone capture the previously undocumented live lineup of John Sykes (guitar), Neil Murray (bass) and Cozy Powell (drums). This is a solid addition to the Whitesnake catalog as the material from this tour falls squarely between the blues-rock of Live...In the Heart of the City and the MTV-friendly hair metal of Live at Donington 1990.

As much as David Coverdale downplays his work with John Sykes (evidently Coverdale made a crack that Sykes and Robert Plant should form a band and call themselves ‘The Anti-Christs’), Sykes and Coverdale co-wrote Whitesnake’s 1987 self-titled album, which was the band’s commercial peak. Live in 1984 gives the listener a view into a lineup that was only together two years as all of the members of this lineup were fired prior to the release of the 1987 self-titled album. In an interview with Melodic Rock in 1999, Sykes said “I mean if it had been just one person, fired me or just one of the band member's cause they'd had a little tiff or tizzy or something you could understand it. But he fired everybody. The drummer, bass, me, the producer. It was like he was just cleaning shop and the only reason I could imagine that would be for is so he could have a lot more control of things, certainly in the financial department.

The disc’s first twelve cuts are guitar-driven rockers that follow in the spirit and sound of the US remix of Slide It In. Comparing the set list from Live in 1984 to a bootleg I have from the 1984 tour, the only difference is that this new recording doesn’t include two of the band’s early 80’s numbers: “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” and “Don’t Break My Heart Again”. The remaining track (which is really four songs within this track) is from Jon Lord’s final performance with Whitesnake. Lord’s organ playing is featured prominently on this last track, making the sound of this lineup more in the spirit of the original UK release of Slide It In.

The band starts out really strong on this new recording - clear production highlights the drive and energy and makes it clear why this lineup was such a compelling live act. The band opens with two of the rockers from Slide It In - “Gambler” and “Guilty of Love”. These songs have a driving stomp and swagger and Sykes throws down some shredding, melodic guitar solos. On “Guilty of Love”, and across this disc, Coverdale is a master of stopping the band on a dime to rev up the audience for a sing-along. Both “Love Ain’t No Stranger” and “Slow An’ Easy” (which was in heavy rotation on MTV at the time) start with a slow burning bluesy guitar before shifting into a driving stomp. The focus of this disc is on the music and there isn’t a lot of the typical in-between-song ‘dirty talk’ and double entendres from Coverdale aside for “Love Ain’t No Stranger” starting off with the comment to an audience member: “a lovely pair of titties you have on your chest”. Some of the other highlights on the disc are Sykes’ guitar solo which serves as a lead-in to “Crying in the Rain” and a reach back into Deep Purple’s catalog for a vocal and organ driven rendition of Stormbringer’s “Soldier of Fortune”.

While the track(s) with Jon Lord are a repeat of the tracks that started off the disc, these renditions are essentially alternate versions as they are less guitar driven and Lord’s organ playing is featured prominently in the mix.

It’s still hard for me to find the words when remembering that half the incredible band who originally recorded the ‘Slide It In’ album with me have passed away,” says Coverdale. “It’s incredibly difficult to articulate: Cozy Powell...Mel Galley...Jon Lord…All amazing people and amazing musicians. Their memories live on in our hearts & in the music they made. I miss them beyond words… Wait until you see & hear them playing as only they can and add in the fiery guitar assault of the incredibly gifted John Sykes, plus the relentless melodic bass pounding of Neil Murray.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Harem Scarem - 'Thirteen' Interview with Guitarist Pete Lesperance, Nov. 2014

Harem Scarem - 'Thirteen' Interview with Guitarist Pete Lesperance, Nov. 2014
Last month, I had the pleasure of talking with guitar virtuoso Pete Lesperance about the new release, Thirteen, from melodic Arena/AOR rockers Harem Scarem. This new disc has a full, multi-layered sound where Hess’ gritty but melodic vocals and Lesperance’s guitar work are focal points in each of the songs. Hess’ vocals fall somewhere between that of Ray Gillen (Badlands/Black Sabbath), David Coverdale and Ted Poley and Lesperance’s guitar work ranges from groove-oriented 90’s alt-rock (“Early Warning Signs”) to a soaring power-ballad (“Whatever It Takes”) to bordering on the edge of power metal (“Stardust”).

I talked with Pete about Harem Scarem's reunion after a six year hiatus, the new disc and the band's plans for 2015. We also talked about Harem Scarem's experience during the era of grunge, the origin of the band's name and more.

Harem Scarem

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wizard Rifle (Stoner/Noise Rock) - 'Here in the Deadlights' CD Review (Seventh Rule Recordings)

Wizard Rifle - 'Here in the Deadlights' CD Review (Seventh Rule Recordings)Portland-to-Los Angeles three-piece Wizard Rifle released their second disc, Here in the Deadlights, in October (Seventh Rule Recordings) and this new five song disc combines sludgy stoner rock with muscular garage punk along with some elements of free-form jazz. In terms of comparisons, the sludge of Melvins, the bluesy stoner-rock of Mudhoney and the destructive garage punk sounds of any of the early AmRep bands (i.e. Halo of Flies) immediately come to mind but Wizard Rifle’s music is also cross-cut with the free-form unpredictability of no-wave punks like James Chance and the Contortions. All of the songs clock in around the six minute mark and they are highlighted by excellent production, which clearly brings the band’s sonic wall of sound to the forefront. Here in the Deadlights was recorded at guitarist Max Dameron’s Breakfast Studios and mixed by Billy Anderson (Sleep) and Jesse Johnstone.

The disc starts with “Crystal Witch”, which combines the swirling psychedelia of early Pink Floyd with stoner sludge and a big, muscular guitar sound. This is a high-energy number with building guitar riffs and tom rolls over which Dameron and drummer Sam Ford sing in a bluesy, hoarse rasp. This number immediately flows into “Buzzsaw Babes”, which is a garage/blues number that features a twisting guitar line, a big bottom-end bass and pounding drums along with fuzzed out vocals. “Paul The Sky Tyrant” is more of a heavier song with its grinding, groove-based riffs and marching beat. The (mostly clean) vocals on this number are beneath a twisted guitar line and the music is more bluesy than fuzzy. “Psychodynamo” is the longest track on the disc, clocking in at almost nine minutes, and this number starts with minor key, atmospheric, space-rock and spoken word vocals that build and eventually pick up speed , taking the song to an old-school hardcore ending. The disc closes with “Beastwhores”, which starts as a post-punk free-form jazz number that morphs into stoner psychedelic sludge.

What is fitting, given the sound of this band, is that Seventh Rule has pressed a limited edition vinyl version of Here in the Deadlights on “Deep Purple” Color-in-Color Vinyl (ltd to 100 Copies). Buy this through the label’s mail order shop before you have to pay eBay collectors’ prices.

Wizard Rifle has shared the stage with the likes of Yob, Church Of Misery, Black Cobra, Arabrot and Rabbits and the band was recently in town for a show at St. Vitus. In an era where almost every concert is recorded, I couldn't find any live footage from the band's recent fall tour so - here is a video from Wizard Rifle's 2012 show at The Acheron.

Wizard Rifle

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stabbing Westward: Christopher Hall and Walter Flakus Reunite in The Dreaming / 'Rise Again' CD out Feb. 10th

Stabbing Westward: Christopher Hall and Walter Flakus Reunite in The Dreaming / 'Rise Again' CD out Feb. 10th
The Rising's new album Rise Again, which will be released on February 10, 2015 via Metropolis Records, is deliberately pointed in its name. The band, which is a reunion of Stabbing Westward's founding members Christopher Hall (lead singer) and Walter Flakus (keyboards, programming), makes no attempt to hide their plans. The Dreaming intend to deliver an album that brings back the early Stabbing Westward sound that fans have been asking for.

Although the name Stabbing Westward is now dead and buried (they disbanded in early 2002), Hall and Flakus are ecstatic to return with the intense and haunting music that made them multi-platinum artists. The Dreaming is rounded out with guitarist Carlton Bost (Orgy, Deadsy), bassist Brent Ashley (Static X) and one-time Stabbing Westward drummer Johnny Haro.

Hall and Flakus were renowned for their songwriting during the 1990s, mostly through Stabbing Westward's massive radio hits, yielding two gold records. A total of six Stabbing Westward songs landed in the Top 25 of the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, including three in the top ten: "What Do I Have To Do?", "Save Yourself" and "Shame". Visually, the band also took advantage of the video world, becoming internationally mainstays on MTV and other music channels . As a testament that their music wasn't just suited to the studio, the band proved their musical prowess by sharing stages with such luminaries as Depeche Mode, Sex Pistols, Kiss, Killing Joke, Front 242, Placebo and The Cult.

Emerging from Stabbing Westward's break-up in 2002, Hall formed The Dreaming and released its debut album Etched in Blood in 2008. After some heady reconciliation, Flakus rejoined his former bandmate and brought the musical partnership back full circle. The resulting album Rise Again reignites spark of their original band, as evidenced in its first single "Alone".

The Dreaming

Harem Scarem - 'Thirteen' CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Harem Scarem - 'Thirteen' CD Review (Frontiers Records)
Canadian band Harem Scarem isn’t (yet) a household name in the US but that hasn’t stopped them from putting out a number of melodic hard-rock discs that really should be staples of FM radio. For anyone not familiar with Harem Scarem, the band was formed in 1987 by guitarist Pete Lesperance and singer Harry Hess. The band hit its commercial peak in 1993 with their second album, Mood Swings, and sadly got pushed to the side by grunge. After a dozen studio albums, Harem Scarem called it a day in 2008 with the release of Hope but got back together last year to re-record Mood Swings (as Mood Swings II) and decided kept the band going.

Harem Scarem’s newest disc, Thirteen, came out this past Friday on Frontiers Records. It is obvious that the band still has a strong and loyal fan base as the band launched a pledge campaign to support the making of their new studio album and reached their goal in less than 24 hours.

Harem Scarem has a full, multi-layered sound and Hess’ gritty but melodic vocals and Lesperance’s guitar work are focal points in each of the songs. Hess’ vocals fall somewhere between that of Ray Gillen (Badlands/Black Sabbath), David Coverdale and Ted Poley and Lesperance’s guitar work ranges from groove-oriented 90’s alt-rock (“Early Warning Signs”) to a soaring power-ballad (“Whatever It Takes”) to bordering on the edge of power metal (“Stardust”).

This new 10-track disc (39 minutes) starts with the song “Garden of Eden”, which sets the tone for the rest of the disc. This number is a mid-tempo rocker with a big melodic chorus that is complemented by Lesperance’s fret work, which includes a nice solo and some memorable riffs. There is a bit of a flavor of Southern rock on “Live It” and the band starts to shift gears on “The Midnight Hour”, which is an 80’s style AOR number that includes both piano and some nice solos from Lesperance. After the power ballad “Whatever It Takes”, the band gets back to where the disc started and kicks it up for the shredding rocker “Saints and Sinners”. “Troubled Times” falls somewhere between 90’s ‘modern rock’ and the better side of Bon Jovi and the disc ends on a strong note with the big arena rocker “Stardust”, which features some heavy, distinctive guitar riffs that build to a big chorus.

For the collectors, there is a bonus track with an acoustic version of “The Midnight Hours” on the Japanese release and there is also a Japanese SHM-CD version that includes a second disc of the band playing live in Japan in 2013. On the European release, the bonus track is an acoustic version of “Garden of Eden”.

Harem Scarem

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Big Quiz Thing presents: 2014 Flashback Trivia-O-Rama at Littlefield on Dec. 17th

The Big Quiz Thing presents: 2014 Flashback Trivia-O-Rama at Littlefield on Dec. 17th
The Big Quiz Thing presents: 2014 Flashback Trivia-O-Rama, a great way to wrap up 2014. Touching on 2014’s most memorable events, personalities, entertainment and more, TBQT will present six rounds of live, multimedia trivia including the Lightning Round, the Text Message Challenge and the Buzzertastic Three Way Finale. Through boggling video and audio puzzles, and sponsored prizes at stake, TBQT guarantees an engaging night of entertainment. “Smart-Ass Points” will be awarded for wrong but funny answers, so non-geeky audiences are not left out!

TBQT was recently featured on the NYC Life network and is hosted by comedian and former editor for Rolling Stone and Time Out New York, Noah Tarnow. Noah has been a regular guest on NPR's Ask Me Another and has been dubbed “a geek savant” by Gawker.

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door; doors are at 7PM.

The Big Quiz Thing

Yes - 'Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome' CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Yes - 'Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome' CD Review (Frontiers Records)
The latest album from Yes, Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome, was recorded this past May during the band’s “triple header” tour where the band played 1971's The Yes Album, 1972's Close to the Edge and 1977's Going For the One front to back during its shows. I have mixed feeling about this new live album as it comes right on the heels of 2011’s In the Present – Live from Lyon where the band played three of the six songs from The Yes Album and this recording only includes The Yes Album and Going for the One sets.

Before getting into the album, I should note that I never got around to listening to Yes’ latest studio album Heaven & Earth so this live show was my first exposure to vocalist Jon Davison and, vocally, he is more of a dead ringer for Jon Anderson than Benoit David was. Now for the show – the mix on this recording is extremely crisp and the contributions from all the members of Yes are clearly captured. Across the disc, Steve Howe’s guitar work and Davison’s vocals, along with some strong keyboard and piano flourishes from Geoff Downes, drives all of the songs.

When describing the impetus behind the ‘triple header’ tour, Steve Howe told Billboard: "We wanted an easy time and a hard time -- in other words, we wanted some challenges to rise to make the three-album concept work…So 'The Yes Album' is kind of the easy stuff because we've played a lot of it pretty regularly. And the challenges were bringing back 'Close to the Edge, which wasn't too tricky, and then doing 'Going For the One' really did give us some challenges because 'Turn of the Century,' 'Going For the One' (the song), 'Parallels,' those are formidable arrangements and (songs) we haven't done for a long time. We seem to have radically upped the game."

The positive side of this disc is that only a small handful of tracks from Going for the One have been included on previous live albums so it was great to hear this album performed live. Some of the highlights from this set are Howe’s flamingo guitar work on “Turn of the Century” and Downes’ piano/keyboards on “Awaken”. The negative side of this disc is that most of the tracks from The Yes Album have been on numerous other live discs from Yes and the ‘definitive’ live versions of these songs can be found on 1973’s YesSongs. Also, now that there is a well-established expectation for what these songs should sound like live, sluggish tempos on some of The Yes Album songs on this new live recording make these versions sound somewhat disconcerting (i.e. the transition as “Your Moves” shifts into “All Good People”). On a positive note, slower paced numbers like “Perpetual Change” sound brilliant with Davison’s soaring vocals and Howe and Downes put down some great jazzy licks on “A Venture”.

The Bristol Post covered this show live and here is a link to their review: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Review-Yes-Bristol-Hippodrome-9-10-Michael/story-21084469-detail/story.html