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Gentle Giant - Giant On The Box CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.63 | 187 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This is probably the most deceiving "5" around. The concert is absolutely essential - this band is AMAZING live. And I'm not the type to abuse capital letters. It's only serious deficiency is that the shorter show is completely unnecessary - the longer show encompasses all the same songs and more and the performances are actually superior. But it comes with a bonus audio CD that has both shows on it, and that's just nice of them, so I'll kindly leave it a 5 (though I don't remember if the disc contains "Szene '74" or not - I think it doesn't).

Now, the show. First of all, layout is easy. And the opening music? Awesome, just awesome. I'd have no reservations about the "5" if only that had been put on the bonus disc, too. Then you get four options: the superfluous short show, the full show (about an hour long), some extras that are fine for a quick look, including Derek being interviewed on VH1 (I can't tell if Eddie Trunk is a real GG fan or not - my guess is that he is), and a 3-minute jam where more than one person is playing bass guitar called "Szene '74". It's one of the essential components of the Gentle Giant puzzle - anybody who thinks the band is for wimps because of their minstrelly inclinations can listen to "Szene '74" where GG embarrasses every hard rock / metal band in the world. They really, truly ROCK! Again, notice the caps and remember my usual conservatism about them.

It's amazing how casually this band performs these songs. They're having fun, getting into the music, playing it with more energy and enthusiasm than on the record - it's totally effortless, and they DO NOT MISS A SINGLE NOTE! That probably isn't exactly true, but tell me if you're able to spot one (I am, actually, able to find one - while they're all playing the recorder during "Advent of Panurge". Derek screws up, and thank God the camera is on him, because for about a full second he looks pretty pissed about it). The band's energy is truly fascinating. They aren't hyper nerds who sit around meekly plucking out their puzzle-rock. They're rockstars pumping out their puzzle-rock at mass volume and meaning every lick of it.

There's a good reason Gentle Giant are among the biggest, if not the biggest, cult bands in the world. This stuff just can't be denied by anybody but a record executive (funny aside: in his VH1 appearance, Derek confesses that if a Gentle Giant record had been placed on his desk in the 80s while he was busy making stars out of Bon Jovi and Cinderella, he'd have said, "This is a great little rock and roll band, but I'd never sign them"). Some of their records are essential, but this DVD is absolutely as essential as any of them. And I'm typically not all that interested in concert DVDs. But this one has to be seen to be believed. What an incredible band.

KyleSchmidlin | 5/5 |


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