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Spock's Beard - The X Tour-Live CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard


Symphonic Prog

3.67 | 52 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I have mixed feelings about this album. It underscores something that bother me about live albums these days. First, I understand that it's difficult for modern prog bands to make a living from their work, which is probably why so many prog musicians are now in a number of bands (Roine Stolt might be the king of this). And I don't begrudge them trying to make more money, but this tendency to release a live album after every tour (or two live albums, as Transatlantic did recently) bugs me a bit.

This one is a mixed bag. The first CD covers all but one song from Spock's Beard's recent "X" album. The performance is very good. Ryo Okumoto is on fire for his Kamikaze, and Jaws Of Heaven is splendid. Unfortunately, the sound engineer must have been asleep for the sound check, as the first track Edge Of The In-Between is a muddy mess, that only gradually gets better.

And Nick D'Virgilio, on his fourth tour as front man still sounds awkward with his banter between songs. After the aforementioned Kamikaze, he blurts out "Ryo! He wrote that!" And that's one of the best of his remarks.

The second disk covers some of the band's history. At only 40 minutes, it's just a bit of their history. There's the drum duet (yawn), Ryo's keyboard solo (very disjointed, but okay), and a spectacular version of Thoughts. The closer, June, I have a problem with. It may be cool that the audience sings along. But a live album, or concert, should end with a bang. This song brings the disk to a close with a whimper.

Evolver | 3/5 |


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