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Portnoy Sheehan MacAlpine Sherinian - Live in Tokyo CD (album) cover

LIVE IN TOKYO

Portnoy Sheehan MacAlpine Sherinian

 

Progressive Metal

3.75 | 13 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars The prog world has always been somewhat incestuous. No. I mean figuratively. Get your mind out of the gutter. Members of ELP, King Crimson, Genesis, Yes, and many others appeared on each others albums, or even switched bands occasionally. That grand tradition continues to this day, creating groups like Transatlantic, Flying Colours, and many, like this band, groups of like minded musicians getting together for only a brief recording session or tour.

In 2012 Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Tony MacAlpine and Derek Sherinian (who have previously hooked up in other different combinations) merged their talents for a single tour. The results were so well acclaimed that they released this CD set, as well as a DVD of their Tokyo concert.

Many reviewers lament this type of show as musical masturbation, just playing difficult pieces only to show off. And while there is no question that at least one of the band members has an ego so huge that he might be doing this just to feed that monster, the fact is, many prog fans enjoy this kind of spectacle (including yours truly).

The set consists primarily of works from each musicians' past recordings, giving space for each to regale us with a masterful solo. Surprisingly, Mike Portnoy keeps his tastefully short, very unusual for a drum solo. Added to this are a pair of cover pieces, one by Billy Cobham, and the other by Jeff Beck.

While there is much to love about the majority of the album, the standouts are Apocalypse 1470 B.C., an outrageously difficult piece from Sherinian's first album, and The Farandole, a tight classical impression from Sheehan.

My other favorite track is Cobham's Spectrum, which, while lacking the inherent coolness of the original, builds to an explosive frenzy that amazes me every time I listen.

Evolver | 4/5 |

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