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Marillion - Live from Loreley CD (album) cover





4.46 | 150 ratings

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4 stars What a difference a few months makes

When Marillion came to Minneapolis in the fall of 1987, I was one of a small group of rabid fans there at the intimate First Avenue club, the venue made famous not only by Prince's "Purple Rain" but also by the scores of legendary bands who have graced the stage there (including King Crimson many moons ago!) I was so psyched to be right in front of the stage with my friends...only to endure one of the worst concert experiences of my long list of shows. The band and Fish were probably at serious odds at this point, and Fish seemed clearly unhappy with the low turnout and made it known to the very people who did pay to see him. There was a palpable feeling of unease in the air of the club. By the end of the show, there was some contempt aimed back at the band, who refused numerous calls from the crowd to offer but even one number from Script. That didn't happen. I can distinctly remember how bummed out my girlfriend and I were leaving that show, we had the perception that Fish felt insulted by the low turnout, and we felt that he had chosen to dump on the faithful rather than make the best of it. Of course, that's a personal memory of the show, just my impression.

Hard to believe that this Loreley show was a mere 8 weeks prior because it is truly very special. Yes, I acknowledge other writer's complaints that there are "issues" with the sound, but for the chance to see Fish leading Marillion at their height you should not let sound issues stop you. It's not that bad. What is fantastic here is to see a retrospective of all 4 Fish albums covered. "Script" and "Assassing" both were reminders of how the band really ROCKED back then, and the audience is literally charged with fist-pumping energy throughout. I love the mature and introspective composition of the Hogarth era very much, but the band had an undeniable excess of energy with Fish even if the studio material was sometimes a mixed bag. The low point of the show is the somewhat uneven material from "Clutching at Straws" which is not necessarily bad material, but has always been a bit of a bummer for me to listen to. But what makes this DVD a four star event for me, and absolutely priceless, is the chance to have a live document of an extended "Misplaced Childhood" section. Their finest Fish studio album is brought to amazing heights here with Fish nailing every emotional nuance and Steve Rothery just killing it on guitar. I'm a big fan of his playing and especially when he is really being aggressive as is the case here, putting up loud and soaring squeals at every turn. I wish they had played the entire album start to finish, but what is there is worth the price of the DVD. As our Marillion expert Eric pointed out in his review of the CD version, there is a moment when Fish puts his arm around a sullen looking Rothery and sings "It's getting late, for scribbling and scratching on the paper. Something's gonna give under this pressure. And the cracks are already beginning to show." It is a truly poignant moment which I agree is charged with feelings of a band who know trouble lies ahead. Completely essential purchase for Fish-era Marillion fans that you will not regret owning unless you absolutely cannot tolerate less than perfect sound. The gorgeous venue of Loreley also deserves credit for being one of the finest places to do a show. See it!

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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