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Marillion - From Stoke Row To Ipanema  - A Year In The Life (DVD) CD (album) cover





3.70 | 55 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Market square heroes

I am not a Marillion fan and also not a Neo-Prog fan in general, but the live performance captured on this DVD is simply amazing. This concert performance has the energy and excitement I find lacking on most of the band's studio albums of both Fish and Hogarth eras. Here the band is on fire, and so is the audience! I don't think I've ever seen such an enthusiastic crowd on any live DVD - and I fully understand them, there is indeed much to be enthusiastic about watching this show! I don't think there is a single person in the whole building not clapping his or her hands and waving the arms in the air for most of the show!

It is obvious here that the band are very pleased with their then new album Season's End as all the songs from that album are featured in this live performance - and they should be! Personally, I think it is their best album and songs like Easter, The King Of Sunset Town, The Space and the title track all belong to my favourite Marillion songs.

The band opens with The King Of Sunset Town. It is strictly impossible for me to hear this song without getting up and play air guitar! It is easily my favourite Steve Rothery moment, even if there are many great guitar moments in this show. The drums are also great on this song (and throughout the show) and there is in the beginning of The King Of Sunset Town a great drum roll that forces me shift from air guitar to air drums!

The whole band is amazing. Every instrument is perfectly audible with bass, drums and keyboards being just as prominent as the vocals and guitars. The vocals of Steve Hogarth are spot on and very emotional, he sings every note like he really means it! I must point out that I neither dislike Fish not have a particular love for Hogarth in general, but in this show he is incredible both on the Season's End material and on the older material originally sung by Fish. Hogarth is a very different vocalist compared to Fish but he manages to make these songs his own, and I think that this DVD features - what are for me - the ultimate versions of songs like Warm Wet Circles and Incommunicado. Slainte Mhath and the Kayleigh/Lavender/Heart Of Lothian suite, on the other hand, are so much Fish's songs that I would admit that they are better with Fish, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with these versions.

This DVD offers an excellent cross section of the best from the two eras of the band (Fish and Hogarth eras). Many fans will perhaps be disappointed that there is nothing from the Scrip For A Jester's Tear album. For me though, this is a positive thing, as I have always found that album very overrated. I much prefer Clutching At Straws and Misplaced Childhood, both represented here, as well as the oldest Marillion song, Market Square Heroes, that closes the show. As I said before, Season's End is my favourite Marillion album and every song from that album is here. I honestly think that this was the peak of Marillion's career.

There is no weak moment in this concert, but playing Holloway Girl, Berlin and Season's End in a row was perhaps not the best idea since these three songs - though terrific songs - all have a similar mood. Season's End has been given a short new intro not present on the album. However, the pace is quickly picked up again with the Metal-ish Hooks In You and the very underrated The Space, possibly my third favourite Season's End track after Easter and The King Of Sunset Town (with the title track close behind). Easter is one of the most beautiful songs ever!

The sound and picture quality is fully acceptable, but not perfect throughout. But it doesn't take away anything from my enjoyment of the show really. A truly excellent show!

The first DVD in this two DVD set contains videos, interviews and more. Great stuff, but mainly for fans really.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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