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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Live In Japan 2002 CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.87 | 82 ratings

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5 stars This review is an impulsive thought after reading an excellent review by colleague collaborator Guillermo. How come I have forgotten to write my views about this awesome live performance - where the band was playing their old stuffs wonderfully? Under what criteria do I say that this is a wonderful live record? Of course I cannot comment about the quality of compositions as this is the live version of their studio albums during their glory days in the seventies. The most logical thing is I should base my criteria on how good (getting better, worse or same) the live version is performed in comparison to their original studio version. Judging under this criteria, I still can comment that this is a brilliant live show as most songs are performed better and lively - even though the crowd do not sound to be enthusiastic. I can reconfirm this because I own the DVD version as well, and I can see the crowd is different with what I have seen with, say "Dream Theater Live at Budokan". The kind of crowd is typical with King Crimson live in Japan's crowd.

However, I still can put my words with a basis of composition as there are some tracks that are played differently or even added with some music. Take an example of "River of Life". In this version there is an additional one-minute instrumental piece "Rain Birth" that features fabulous acoustic guitar work by Franco Mussida. This short piece is not only enriching the textures of the song but also elevating the live ambient as the crowd attention was focusing in Mussida's introductory piece. The intro part of "River Of Life" itself is lacking one instrument: flute that was played by Pagani in the original studio version. But, a worthy note on this part where the band can recover this brilliantly by making the combined work of keyboard (by Flavio Premoli) and violin (performed by guest musician: Lucio Fabbri). The result is even entertaining music with a heavy influence of classical music. The song is performed amazingly with great guitar playing (acoustic and electric), improvised keyboard and .. dazzling drum work by Franz Di Cioccio. As this is my all-time favorite PFM track ever, I'm really satisfied with this live version. So dynamic, so lively.Other classic track like "Photos of Ghost", "Peninsula", "Out of The Roundabout", and "Mr 9 Till 5", etc. are all performed dynamically.

On musicianship, I can not believe that these old men still perform their oldies with passion and energy with flawless delivery. I never heard any slippage on their skills during this performance. Franco Mussida performs his role through guitar playing (acoustic and electric) as well as singing, Flavio Premoli demonstrates his talented skills in keyboard work that characterize most of PFM music. Franz Di Cioccio also plays dual roles as drummer and vocalist with no double roles performed at the same time. He does not play his drum when he sings. Djivas performs inventive bass lines and solo especially during interlude part - eg. in River of Life. The guest musician Lucio Fabri contributes great violin work during the show. Well, as you know that violin is a pivotal element in any PFM composition. I cannot imagine playing PFM tunes without violin.

Overall, if I have not heard and seen the DVD / CD of the latest PFM live record "Piazza Del campo" (2004) I would give this performance with five stars because it's truly a masterpiece. Since "Piazza Del Campo" is much better - which indicates that the band gets better with the passage of time - I should give this PFM "Live in Japan" with four stars rating. Wrong, I think that both can be masterpiece five stars but as a matter of preference I'd like the latest (2004) than this album. This album still deserves five stars. I go for Ivan's rating: five stars. Bingo! Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 5/5 |


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