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District 97

Crossover Prog

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District 97 Live at Calprog album cover
3.60 | 10 ratings | 2 reviews | 22% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Can't Take You With Me (5:59)
2. Termites (6:27)
3. Who Cares (4:50)
4. The Back and Forth (8:34)
5. Presto Vivace/Back in NYC (7:01)
6. Mindscan (27:17)
7. Open Your Eyes (4:26)

Total Time 64:48

Line-up / Musicians

Leslie Hunt: Vocals, tambourine
Rob Clearfield: Keyboards, additional guitar
Jim Tashjian: Guitar, backing vocals
Patrick Mulcahy: Bass
Jonathan Schang: Drums

Thanks to andyman1125 for the addition
and to thegazzardian for the last updates
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DISTRICT 97 Live at Calprog ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DISTRICT 97 Live at Calprog reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andy Webb
4 stars One of the few albums where female vocals really work.

District 97 is a relatively new American prog band who has released a studio album and now their first live album, their entire set list from the CalProg festival. On the album, they play three of the five tracks on the album, as well as a cover and quite a few new tracks. They cover UK's Presto Vivace and Genesis' Back in NYC in a great little medley. They also play the mammoth 27 minute long Mindscan off of the album in its entirety. This is a great album, with some fantastic tracks played along the way.

I Can't Take You With Me is a great Crossover track. These Crossover songs are the kind of songs where the pop influence really sounds legitimately good alongside the prog influence. Some creative songwriting is really seen in this track, with great polyrhythmic moments, superior melodies, and great harmonization between the guitar and the vocals. The instrumental section has some obvious Liquid Tension Experiment, Genesis, and Yes influences in the way it is structured.

Termites is one of the "hits" off the new album, and it still is a crushingly great song on this album too. Some really creative synchronization between the vocals and instruments occurs on this song, something you don't always see on other songs. The songwriting again has its influences in the right places, really mixing the prog metal influence with the prog rock influence really nicely. It has the perfect amount of heavy, as well as the perfect amount of symphonics. However, the guitar effects used on this song are a little cheesy and remind me of the midi settings found on a keyboard.

Who Cares? is a slower and more Flower Kings-esque song. More hesitant and delicate, the instrumentation lacks a little bit. The vocals are a little more compassionate and a little less "vocal." Overall, the song is alright, but doesn't match up to the greatness of it's predecessors.

The Back and Forth is by far my favorite song on the album. Right from the beginning, a really cool tapping synchronization between the guitar and bass reminds me of Steve Hackett's tapping in Genesis. Some really great crossovers between prog metal and prog rock. Fantastic songwriting and powerful vocals really makes this track a quintessential crossover track.

Presto Vivace/Back in NYC is a fantastic medley between UK and Genesis, which are two obvious influences of the band. Leslie Hunt's vocals are actually a spectacular representation of Gabriel's powerful voice. Sadly, in most prog bands who have female singers, the singers can't reach the depth needed to match up with the music, but she really can rip! What a great singer!

Mindscan is the massive psychedelic track lasting 27 minutes, with trippy instrumental sections and fantastic body sections. The songwriting can seem a bit cheesy at times, but the majority of the song is a fantastic ride.

Open Your Eyes is, I'm guessing, an original song and not some far out arrangement of the Yes song. However, it's an alright song, although it does drag a little bit.

ALBUM OVERALL: This is a great live album by a great band. The songwriting is top notch, with creative bits with a synthesis of a great many influences ranging from Liquid Tension Experiment to UK. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoyed the studio album, for the recording is very high quality and the new tracks are spectacular. 4+ stars.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Review originally posted at

Great performance!

This is the first live album by US band District 97, you may say it is a bit early because they have only released one studio album, and having on par one live is not something that we can see every day. This is a performance in the Cal Prog Festival which was completely recorded and released, and now enjoyed by District 97 newcomers and future fans.

What this live show features is a set of seven songs, including their long 27-minute epic Mindscan, so this is an ambitious live introduction which in my opinion works as a revulsive for the band, because in this high-quality performance we appreciate that they are not only good on studio. The first track here is the single "I Can't Take You With Me", with symphonic keyboards, nice harmonies, cool drums and nice female vocals. This may be their introductory piece, but not their best.

"Termites" has a heavier sound, which does not really mean the music goes towards prog metal, not at all. When keyboards appear they really help, putting even more power to the music, which in addition with the vocals make a strong, heavy and good track. I also like the short changes and the backing male vocals. The final two minutes are crazy, with a weird but cool guitar solo.

"Who Cares?" is a track not included in their "Hybrid Child", and I don't know if it will be featured in their next album. It is a shorter song with nice vocals and cool instrumentation, it also has some catchy flavor that explains a little bit why this band has been often labeled as a crossover prog one.

"The Back and Forth" is a wonderful track. Eight minutes in where we can listen and appreciate the band's compositional skills, as well as their wonderful performance, they really create a communion, the sound is pretty clean and challenging, and the vocals perfectly work and complement the music. I like also the instrumental passages, the heavier ones are cool, well-placed so one can enjoy these changes without losing track. I bet people who witnessed this performance had a great time.

The following is a nice rendition to UK and Genesis, with the performance of "Presto Vivace / Back in NYC". They do it pretty well, I love the especially the keyboards, but worth mentioning Leslie Hunt vocals, which are excellent.

Now, what may be the strongest part, their 27-minute epic "Mindscan" which is divided in ten short parts which I will not describe one by one this time, I did it when reviewing the studio version, now I will limit to mention that this is an ambitious, well-crafted song with several changes in mood, time and tempo, and sound which actually fit in perfectly, acting as ten pieces of the puzzle, without one, the song would not have that success. Here you will have a nice mixture of symphonic prog, heavier moments and even some spacey ones.

The concert finishes with "Open Your Eyes" which is a nice song, but not their best and honestly after that strong combo (Back and Forth, the covers, and Mindscan) I believe they closed the album in a weaker way.

A great concert, a nice live introduction that allows us to follow District 97 first footsteps. Now I can say that I would like to see them in concert, hope they come to Mexico someday.

Enjoy it!

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