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GOING OFF ON ONE

The Tangent

Eclectic Prog


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Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars A very good concert of one of prog´s most insightful and talented songwriters with a stellar backing band. How could he go wrong? Andy Tillson may no have one of the most stage presence in the world, in fact he rarely faces the crowd while playing and singing, but that does not mean he is not capable of a great perfomance. In fact, it is amazing how he can handle such difficult keyboards passages and still sing those long and elaborated lyrics without messing up now and then.The man is truly a genious.

But The Tangent also has some of prog´s best musicians nowadays including solo artist like Guy Manning (acoustic guitar and vocals) and members of The Flower Kings, past and present: Jonas Reingold (bass) and Jaime Salazar (Drums). Newcomers Krster Jonsson (electric guitar) and Theo Travis (Flute and Sax) may not be that famous, but they can handle pretty well the parts done by such prog legends like Roine Stolt and Hgh Jackson. This is no small feat.

The show was recorded in a small club in England, which gives the intimate enviroment required for a dedicated audience of fans that were lucky enough to be there at the moment. The band delivers a briliant performance. Big, epic songs like In ?arnest, with its 20 miinutes of many changes and shifting moods are done like the group was playing forever. It is very pleasant to see those guys doing live as good as they are in the studio. The Tangent functions as a big whole unit, with no ego trips and everybody seems to be doing it for the music. And the music is elaborated and eclectic (Yes being the obvious influence) and still they are smooth and accessible. One fo prog´s best symphonic bands of the new millenium now has a fitting live DVD. Highly recommended!

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#140635)
Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wow, what a tiny venue! That is the first thing you are likely to notice about this DVD. Because of this, the band isn't too dynamic in their performance. Though Tillison, who gets more space than the others (seemingly) because of his dual keyboard rigs, is suitably animated throughout. It's great to see Guy Manning performing with the band as well, and he helps fill out the sound noticeably when compared to the previous official bootleg release, Pyramids and Stars.

But what of the performance? Well, the DVD shows us the complete concert from, I think, Southend on Sea in England. Fortunately, the package contains two CD's as well, containing the complete performance from the DVD, as well as added tracks from their performance at Rosfest in the USA. GPS Culture sets the scene for the show, and though it is not one of my favorite Tangent tracks, it is excellently played and makes for a suitably upbeat opener. The Winning Game sounds, as usual, far better live than it did on the original album (The World That We Drive Through), and Stolt's lead vocals are not really missed (though I do enjoy them on the other versions). In Earnest is superb, with great solos by all and some of Andy's most inspired vocals. Forsaken Cathedrals probably should have been put on the Place In The Queue album instead of Sun In My Eyes, but at least we get a cracking version of it here (and on the Place In The Queue bonus CD). The Music That Died Alone is one of my favorites by this band, and they do an excellent version here. Lost in London is very enjoyable as well. It is however, the epic In Darkest Dreams that makes this DVD worth owning all by itself. A great epic made greater by extended solos from the key players, a long ambient middle section on par with the classic 70's sounds of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schultze, and an overall fantastic performance by all. The visualizations added to the film work well and are not over done, generally complimenting and enhancing the live footage. The tiny venue and enthusiastic audience are a fitting testament to prog rocks small footprint on the music scene of the past 30 some years. But the music makes it all worthwhile. The extra tracks on the 2nd CD are not really anything particularly special, but are nice to have. The version of 21st Century Schizoid Man is missing the manic syncopations of the original but is otherwise pretty entertaining.

This would be the last recorded appearance of Sam Bain with the group, but judging from the new album her departure has not changed things much.

Overall, if you are fan of this band this is a must have. If you are just curious, a DVD is probably not the best place to start, but for even the casual fan this is worth having as this band really comes alive in front of an audience.

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Send comments to infandous (BETA) | Report this review (#160959)
Posted Tuesday, February 05, 2008 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A short review based on three or four views of a rental disc. A show that will thrill fans of The Tangent, the band is filmed in a very small club providing an intimate up-close live experience. Sound and filming quality are both very good considering this seems to be a low budget affair. The emphasis is on the music, rightly so. As for the material I'll wait until I get to review the studio albums, but I will say that their best moments occur when the individual members break free from their keyboard master. This appears to be the Tillison show with backing members and there are great stretches when his keys/voice block out nearly everything else and in those spaces the sound gets repetitive very quickly. I'm afraid his voice doesn't sit too well with me, sort of a strained Al Stewart warble. But aside from that I did enjoy some of the material, particularly "The Music That Died Alone" which featured some incredible fantasy artwork superimposed over the band. Almost a Roger Dean feel to it. For me personally it can't climb above 3 stars when so dominated by the person who interests me the least but I do acknowledge the band is certainly good. Recommended without hesitation to fans and those wishing to check out the band for the first time.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#164664)
Posted Saturday, March 22, 2008 | Review Permalink

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