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Lana Lane - 10th Anniversary Concert (DVD) CD (album) cover

10TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT (DVD)

Lana Lane

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SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars Symphony of angels

This spectacular concert was performed in front of an enthusiastic Japanese audience in June, 2005. The package contains a DVD featuring the concert in its entirety (plus a bonus, "on the road" documentary) as well as a CD featuring the same concert minus the Astrology Suite (the first two tracks) due to time constraints of the CD medium. As the title implies this band celebrated their 10 year anniversary in 2005 and this is clearly reflected in the set list. The 19 songs performed here originally appeared on ten different releases, over this ten year period, and as such represents very well (this part of) the history of the band. The set list even has a sort of pseudo-chronological order (most noticeable on the CD which, as I said, omits the opening Astrology Suite). With a couple of detours along the way, songs from the 1995 debut album Love Is An Illusion, 1996's Curious Goods, 1998's Garden Of The Moon, 1999's Queen Of The Ocean, 2002's Project Shagri-La, and 2005's Lady Macbeth, are performed roughly in chronological order. None of the band's studio albums are overlooked and none of them overrepresented in the set list. Indeed, no album has more than three tracks featured here.

It is not a "greatest hits" or "best of" type of set list as such, however. While it certainly showcases very well the range of the band's material and style, it does not feature only the most predictable choices. Both newcomers and long-time fans can be satisfied with this set list. Many of the tracks are conjoined, creating longer sections of continuous music. As many as six out of the 19 tracks are instrumentals introducing the vocal numbers: the Love Is An Illusion Overture introduces Into The Ether (instead of leading into title track as on the original studio album); Curious Goods introduces Emerald City (just like on the Curious Goods album); a new medley of Garden Of The Moon and In The Hall Of The Ocean Queen introduces Souls Of The Mermaids; and finally, Redemption Part 1 introduces Tears Of Babylon. Someone To Believe has its own little instrumental introduction built into it.

Some songs are somewhat different from their studio counterparts. This applies especially to Nevermore and Athena's Shadow, which originally appeared on the Ballad Collections, volume 1 and 2 respectively. Lana introduces them as ballads, but these particular versions are definitely rockier than the original studio version. December Moon from the Winter Sessions album is similarly revamped. I prefer these live versions of these songs. For the encore, they return to the Garden Of The Moon and Curious Goods albums with the rousing Destination Roswell and superb crowd-pleaser Symphony Of Angels.

In addition to Lana herself and her husband and keyboard player extraordinaire Erik Norlander, the band consists of Mark McCrite and Peer Vershuren on guitars, Kristoffer Gildenl÷w on bass, and Ernst Van Ee on drums. They are all excellent musicians and together they are very tight band indeed. With an excellent band, performing excellent material, in front of an enthusiastic audience, it is almost bound to work out perfectly. And indeed it does. The show is also professionally recorded, filmed, and produced. What more could you reasonably ask for? (It can profitably be compared to another fantastic live concert DVD by a modern, female-fronted, progressive Rock band; namely, Magenta's The Gathering that was released in the same year.)

This is simply an excellent live concert DVD (and CD). Very highly recommended!

Report this review (#879490)
Posted Friday, December 21, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Prog-Related? Yes, related by association.

I am reasonably familiar with Erik Norlander's works. his often bombastic, yet generally pleasing approach. Having read a number of recent reviews of Lana Lane's works, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided on this DVD to check out Mrs Norlander.

Firstly, it's hard to tell if it's Norlander's band featuring Lana Lane, or the other way around? The band seem to dominate the act, performing well arranged, Rock pieces. Speckled with blistering guitar solos, quite nice work that remains inoffensive and entertaining - again - Rock. One could be satisfied with the band alone.

When Lane takes the microphone, the style changes to ballad-like Pop-Rock, somewhat reminiscent of the '70s band HEART with Ann and Nancy Wilson. Nothing really wrong with that, provided that you have no expectations for a Prog masterpiece. Her voice is certainly good and pleasant, but I find little trace of anything there that would be exceptional, or otherwise particularly noteworthy. One could listen to her while driving and not be left with a memorable experience, or the urge to find out who the artist was.

The reality is that there are probably thousands of Pop singers with equally good voice and it's the band that assists Lane to greater prominence.

Would I watch this DVD again? Probably not as I couldn't justify the time when there are plenty of alternatives of more interest and closer to Prog.

Good entertainment with a slightly harder edge at times, deserving a solid rating of 3, but in Prog terms it's hardly an excellent addition.

Report this review (#899380)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After the relatively disappointment of the Storyteller DVD, Lane and Erick Norlander seemed to realise their mistake and quickly release a "proper" live DVD in the following year, the 10th Anniversary Concert. This time they provided a real good multi-camera view and songs from the same show (or, at least, from shows from the same tour, unlike the previous Storyteller). The result is everything one fan waited for a long time: the sensation of "being there", watching the whole performance of the same band members. This time they also got the right musicians too and avoided the big confusion that had to be fixed on studio for various takes on Storyteller. Now, besides her husband and keyboardist extraordinaire Erick Norlander, she has a new rhythm section of Pain Of Salvation bassist Christopher Gildenlow and drummer Ernst Van Ee. Lead guitarist Neil Citron unfortunately is not around, but Peer Vershuren does a fine job anyway. Most important is the return of Mark McCrite on second guitar and harmony vocals. His voice simply blends perfectly with Lanes and does a much better job than Kelly Keeling did on the previous tour.

The only problem with the 10th anniversary Concert if the fact that they tried, as much as possible, to avoid playing the same songs they performed on Storyteller. And since that included most of their classics, the set list here suffers, even if the quality of the delivering is way better than before. Her most famous song Symphony of Angels gets a the stunning visual it deserved, but many other live favourites do not. Great stuff like Through The Rain, Night Falls, Frankenstein Unbound or Escher┤s Staircase, just to name but a few, which did not get the right visual or the best performance on Storyteller, are missing. Not that the actual repertoire is bad, far from it, but I guess the title implies a compilation of sorts and most we get are album tracks and more recent material.

Still, I must say I like this DVD a lot: after all, is a whole concert, the quality of the the sound is top notch (as anything with Norlander┤s stamp on it) , Lane is a great singer and is in top form here. The band is tight and the songs, if not the ones we would love to see and hear, are very good: I specially like how Lane gives room to the musicians to shine and deliver great instrumental passages, making it sound like a band effort rather than a solo performance backed by excellent bunch. It seems that we┤ll have to wait some more time until we get a good live recording of a show that may include her classics together with the newer stuff. But for now this 10th Anniversary Concert will do.

Rating: somewhere between 3,5 and 4 stars, that I┤ll round up to four because of it┤s a great show regardless of the missing classics.

Report this review (#2246656)
Posted Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | Review Permalink

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