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Echolyn - Official Live Bootleg: Jersey Tomato CD (album) cover



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5 stars This is the first "official-unofficial" live album that echolyn has produced. Only 60 copies (CD-R's) were made - 30 of which went to each of the lucky people who bought a ticket to the show at the Metlar Bodine Museum in Piscataway, NJ (I was one of the lucky 30) This was part of the first year of Jim Robinson's New Jersey Proghouse series of small venue (intimate) concerts.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Brett Kull himself - the sound quality is breathtaking - considering that it's a live show. mei is played in it's entirety without orchestra for the very first time and the band also brought back original bass players - Jesse Reyes (from debut album) and Tom Hyatt who played with them from the Debut album to Labor Day of 1995 for some cameo performances.

The band plans on releasing "official" live albums next year (2004) as well as a DVD of the Sellersville show from last May (2003)

Chris Laine

Report this review (#19936)
Posted Monday, November 10, 2003 | Review Permalink
3 stars The first Echolyn album i have purchased. At first i did not really dig them but after a few listens it grew on me, they definatly have a creative style. There chorus style vocals are cool but to be honest none of them are very good singers, at least on this album which takes away form my enjoyment of this album, Never the Same and Carpe Deim arent bad tracks persay but nothing all that special just sort of prog-rock 101. good album, it intices me to want to check out more of their stuff but the album does have some definate flaws.
Report this review (#54172)
Posted Monday, October 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars You can download this album in MP3 format from the Echolyn web site. When I discovered this, I thought: why not? and downloaded it. I wasn't sure what I was getting as I had not heard much by them before and I had mixed feelings about what I had heard.

So, on the whole, this album was a pleasant surprise. I can see where the comparisons with Gentle Giant come from, even though I'm not a great fan of that outfit. The music is very varied and skips signatures at will. This makes for uneasy listening if you are not already acquainted with this sort of prog-jazz-rock-funk-fusion thang. But as a performance this is very, very good.

For me the stand out tracks are "As The World", "Suffocating The Bloom" and "Sweet Thing". The 50-minute sprawl of "Mei" has some fine moments but I don't think I would have wanted to listen through it live on the day.

You cannot fault these guys musically as their playing at the top of their game on this release. But for most they will be an acquired taste. I think it's fair to say that after a couple of listens, I've done just that so I'm now on the look out for a copy of "As The World" which is supposed to be their finest hour (and a bit). I rate this as "good, but non-essential" however as it is available for free you have nothing to loose by downloading it and checking it out.

Report this review (#114904)
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars This live album is available for download for free from Echolyn's website, and as it contains a broad spectrum of the band's works, it's a really great place to start. I delight in this live album so much for several reasons. For one, it definitely sounds like the band is playing in a small venue (honestly, it sounds like someone's living room), and yet the sound quality during the music doesn't suffer much at all for it. Secondly, the band and audience bantering between songs is just plain fun- one can tell these gentlemen are just having a swell time, both playing the music and interacting with the gathering. And they are so considerate- asking if anyone in the crowd needs to use the restroom before playing their final song- the fifty minute epic masterpiece of progressive rock music that is "Mei." "Sweet Thing" seems to be a long medley (kicked off by a twelve-tone technique, as explained), containing several sections of "A Suite for Everyman." Admittedly there are several songs I would have rather heard live than some here (mainly replacements from Cowboy Poems Free), but the set list is just fine the way it is. This is a perfect place to start for those new to Echolyn. Not only is it a energetic performance of songs spanning multiple albums, but it's 100% free- a definite plus in these economic times. This is highly recommended for the fans and the curious.
Report this review (#237008)
Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Now out of print, this "Official Live Bootleg" can still be downloaded at Echolyn's website.

As a live album, this is not bad. It does cover just about every stage of the band's career up until Mei. The sound quality is very good, but not spectacular, but at least the crowd has the good sense to keep quiet during the music. The banter on the album provides some interesting insights into the meaning and creation of some of the songs, but at times it goes on a bit too long and becomes tedious.

The highlight of this disk is actually the entire second CD. The performance of the fifty minute epic, Mei is great.

While this is a nice set to own, I believe that this band is deserving of a better produced live recording.

Report this review (#238231)
Posted Wednesday, September 9, 2009 | Review Permalink

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