Steve Hackett Sells England By the Pound – Live at 20 Monroe Live, Grand Rapids, MI – 10/3/19

Steve Hackett, Live at 20 Monroe Live, Grand Rapids, MI, October 3, 2019
Band:
Steve Hackett, Nad Sylvan, Craig Blundell, Jonas Reingold, Rob Townsend, Roger King

Setlist:
Set 1
Every Day
Under the Eye of the Sun
Fallen Walls and Pedestals
Beasts in Our Time
The Virgin and the Gypsy
Tigermoth
Spectral Mornings
The Red Flower of Tachai Blooms Everywhere
Clocks – The Angel of Mons

Set 2
Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Firth of Fifth
More Fool Me
The Battle of Epping Forest
After the Ordeal
The Cinema Show
Aisle of Plenty
Deja Vu
Dance on a Volcano

Encore
Los Endos

I had been looking forward to this concert ever since I bought tickets at the beginning of the year. I had never seen Steve Hackett live, but it had been at the top of my bucket list for a while. He’s my favorite guitarist, and I’ve loved all of the recent Genesis Revisited live albums. I consider Selling England By the Pound to be one of the finest albums ever made, so I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see Mr. Hackett and company perform it live. They didn’t disappoint.

During the first half of the show, the band played highlights from Hackett’s 1979 solo album Spectral Mornings and this year’s At the Edge of Light. The whole set was very strong, but I particularly enjoyed Craig Blundell’s drum solo. Some drum solos can be a little boring, but not this one. Very engaging, interesting, and complex. The opening “Every Day” really highlighted the light and airy style of Hackett’s solo music, while “Beasts In Our Time” showed how heavy his music can be. Jonas Reingold’s bass was exceptional all night, but the bass line on “Under the Eye of the Sun” really allowed his talent to shine.

Continue reading “Steve Hackett Sells England By the Pound – Live at 20 Monroe Live, Grand Rapids, MI – 10/3/19”

Riverside to Release Special 2CD+DVD Edition of “Wasteland”

RIVERSIDE – Announce special 2CD+DVD edition of ‘Wasteland’ album and new Digital EP!

Final leg of “Wasteland” tour started!

Polish progressive Rock masters RIVERSIDE are pleased to announce a special edition 2CD+DVD version of the “Wasteland” album, scheduled for release on November 29th, 2019 via InsideOutMusic.

The ”Wasteland – Hi-Res Stereo and Surround Mix” 2CD+DVD will be released as Digipak format with Slipcase and includes a DVD bonus disc of “Wasteland” as Hi-Res Stereo 24bit version and as Surround Mix (4.1), plus 3 video clips. This special edition also contains 5 previously unreleased acoustic tracks/versions on a separate CD. Here is the exact tracklisting for the 3-Disc release:

CD 1 – “Wasteland” Album (50:58 min.):

1. The Day After (01:48)
2. Acid Rain (06:03)
3. Vale Of Tears (04:49)
4. Guardian Angel (04:24)
5. Lament (06:09)
6. The Struggle For Survival (09:32)
7. River Down Below (05:41)
8. Wasteland (08:25)
9. The Night Before (03:59)

CD 2 – “Acoustic Session” (26:48 min.):

1. Vale Of Tears – Acoustic (05:18)
2. Out Of Myself – Acoustic (03:57)
3. 02 Panic Room – Acoustic (03:26)
4. River Down Below – Acoustic (05:01)
5. Wasteland – Live Intro (09:00)

DVD (122:20 min.):

“Wasteland” Hi-Res Stereo (50:58 min.):
1. The Day After (Hi-Res Stereo) (01:48)
2. Acid Rain (Hi-Res Stereo) (06:03)
3. Vale Of Tears (Hi-Res Stereo) (04:49)
4. Guardian Angel (Hi-Res Stereo) (04:24)
5. Lament (Hi-Res Stereo) (06:09)
6. The Struggle For Survival (Hi-Res Stereo) (09:32)
7. River Down Below (Hi-Res Stereo) (05:41)
8. Wasteland (Hi-Res Stereo) (08:25)
9. The Night Before (Hi-Res Stereo) (03:59)

“Wasteland” Surround Mix (50:58 min.):
1. The Day After (Surround Mix) (01:48)
2. Acid Rain (Surround Mix) (06:03)
3. Vale Of Tears (Surround Mix) (04:49)
4. Guardian Angel (Surround Mix) (04:24)
5. Lament (Surround Mix) (06:09)
6. The Struggle For Survival (Surround Mix) (09:32)
7. River Down Below (Surround Mix) (05:41)
8. Wasteland (Surround Mix) (08:25)
9. The Night Before (Surround Mix) (03:59)

Video-Clips (20:24 min.):
1. Lament (Official Video) (06:11)
2. River Down Below (Official Video) (05:40)
3. Wasteland (Official Video) (08:33)

The 5 previously unreleased acoustic tracks/versions of the “Acoustic Session” will also made available as separate Digital EP on November 29th, 2019 as well.

RIVERSIDE checked in with the following comment about the upcoming releases:
And so we’ve been talked into this yet again 🙂 It’s our second encounter, after LFTM, with the surround sound. We’re hoping that revisiting this release in a different dimension will bring you a lot of joy and positive feelings, especially that we’re still touring with this material. As a bonus, we have prepared a few acoustic tracks in quite surprising arrangements. We’re hoping it will be an interesting experience :)“

The pre-order for both upcoming RIVERSIDE releases starts today and here:

“Acoustic Session” Digital EP:
https://Riverside.lnk.to/AcousticSessionEP

”Wasteland – Hi-Res Stereo and Surround Mix” 2CD+DVD:
https://Riverside.lnk.to/WastelandHi-ResStereoAndSurroundMix

Or order “Wasteland“ in its various formats here: https://Riverside.lnk.to/Wasteland

Check out the singles launched for RIVERSIDE’s “Wasteland” here:
“Lament”: https://youtu.be/4Wqlts7QWA8
“River Down Below”: https://youtu.be/ZS1crIkpnwc
“Vale Of Tears”: https://youtu.be/001IMO53JwY
And watch a live clip for “Wasteland” here: https://youtu.be/-ygv3BBqv3U

After a string of all sold-out shows in Poland, RIVERSIDE have now started the final leg of touring in support of their latest album “Wasteland”, which covers 8 dates across Germany and Luxembourg with Iamthemorning as support. Don’t miss out:

RIVERSIDE live 2019:
19.09 – Neuberinhaus, Reichenbach, Germany
20.09 – Freiheiz, Munich, Germany
21.09 – Jovel Music Hall, Münster, Germany
22.09 – Hirsch, Nürnberg, Germany
24.09 – KUZ, Mainz, Germany
25.09 – Kulturfabrik, Esch Sur Alzette, Luxembourg
26.09 – Substage, Karlsruhe, Germany
28.09 – Waschhaus, Potsdam, Germany
Tour trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnstBLqM8U0

RoSFest 2020 Complete Line-up and Platinum Tickets on Sale Today.

The entire lineup has been announced for RoSfest 2020. The festival takes place at the Sarasota Opera House in Sarasota, Florida May 8-10.  Big Big Train, CAST, and Thank You Scientist are headlining.  This marks Big Big Train’s first show on U.S. soil.   Other acts on board are Dilemma, Pattern Seeking Animals, United Progressive Fraternity, The Tea Club, Lobate Scarp, Moon Letters, and Arc Iris.

Platinum Seat Tickets go on sale today at Noon (EST)

(Gold Seat Tickets go on sale October 18th, 2019, and Regular Seat Tickets go on sale November 22nd, 2019.  After that, they will sell day-only tickets based on availability. More info at rosfest.com)

The Platinum Seat ticket gives you admittance to three days of the festival with exclusive access and amenities and the best seats in the theater! Included are limited preproduction sound checks and exclusive meet and greet with the bands, plus VIP Lanyards and a RoSfest t-shirt.

 

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Limited Platinum select premium seats available for $505.00 for the three-day pass.

For credit card purchases, add an additional 2.75% to the total purchase. Total $518.89

How to order tickets:

Step 1. Call George at 484.432.7357 to select your seats.

Step 2. Pay by credit card or by check.
The credit card prompt will be available through Square on the website.

Visit https://rosfest.com/product/platinum-seat-ticket/ and follow the prompts.

For more information on RoSfest, go to rosfest.com

Malcolm Guite: Live at the Inklings Institute of Canada (Sep 13, 2019)

Check out the recording above of Malcolm Guite live at the Inklings Institute of Canada on September 13, 2019, sharing poetry and songs. (Note: the music starts at 36:50) The audio is bootleg quality, but permission was given for the recording to be made.

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King Crimson: Celebrating 50 Years of Hot Dates in Concert

King Crimson, Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University, Chicago Illinois, September 10, 2019.  (Featured photo by King Crimson manager David Singleton.)

“Expectation is a prison.”  Robert Fripp says that a lot.

He said it again this past Tuesday in Chicago.  Specifically, to about sixty fans who had paid a lot of cash for a King Crimson pre-concert VIP package.  Even more specifically, to one particularly zealous fan, who nervously, repeatedly begged Fripp to reveal if “Cat Food” was on the evening’s setlist.

Fripp wasn’t biting.  Having already pivoted from reflections on music’s ability to change the world and the necessity for presence in the musical event (like an abbot exhorting his monastic chapter) to “wittering” on the disadvantage of playing guitar while seated (“pimples on my arse”, spoken with the endearing delivery of a bawdy rock-and-roll Mr. Magoo), his response was firm, but simple: when you don’t know what’s coming next, consider it a challenge to pay more attention.  And to be more present.  Then Fripp let us take his picture while he took ours; manager David Singleton teased another possible US tour next summer (he deliberately doesn’t look at the setlist); and bassist Tony Levin engaged in a much lighter Q&A session (but he wasn’t telling, either).

As blunt as Fripp frequently is, his admonition came in handy Tuesday night.  This is the third time I’ve seen the current version of King Crimson live, and the personal temptation to tune out in anticipation of repetition from previous years (even seated in the center of the sixth row) was surprisingly persistent.  Fortunately, Fripp and friends weren’t about to let the sold-out, 4000-strong audience off the hook; the evening swiftly turned into another hot date with one of the best working bands in the world.

Continue reading “King Crimson: Celebrating 50 Years of Hot Dates in Concert”

Progarchy’s End of Summer Round Up

There has been a lot of quality prog released this summer. Overall I’d say there isn’t as much top tier level stuff (i.e., albums that rank with some of the best ever made in the genre), but there have been a lot of solid albums worthy of your attention released lately. This list won’t be exhaustive, but it should be a good starting point for people looking for some new music. Order is completely arbitrary. Ok maybe this first one is at the top for a reason.

Nad Sylvan – The Regal Bastard

Steve Hackett’s touring vocalist released his best solo album to date this summer. It is a little more accessible than the first two albums in the Vampirate trilogy, but it retains some of the same themes and motifs. Sylvan has a lot of talent, and this album stands above the crowd this summer. If you only listen to one album off this list, choose this one. And check out my interview with Nad from earlier this summer: https://progarchy.com/2019/06/30/the-vampirate-speaks-a-conversation-with-nad-sylvan/

Tool – Fear Inoculum

I’ve only ever passively listened to Tool, but I found this album to be quite good. Was it worth the wait for diehard Tool fans? I’m not sure, but this is a solid album that is heavy without being overpowering. Check out Rick Krueger’s review: https://progarchy.com/2019/09/01/tool-fear-inoculum/

Continue reading “Progarchy’s End of Summer Round Up”

District 97, Screens

Impossibly sick drum groove by Jonathan Schang: check.  Heavy unison guitar/bass riff from Jim Tashijan and Tim Seisser: check.  “Yep, that’s District 97. Now where was I?”

But then new keyboardist Andrew Lawrence joins in, steering opener “Forest Fire” in a head-snapping direction with cool, jazzy chords.  Cue Leslie Hunt, riding a thrilling vocal line over a cascade of progressions and textures  — including off-kilter breakdowns from Lawrence and Schang.  By the time the track climaxes with a powerhouse unison lick (all in under five minutes), my head’s where it belongs — in the music.

Screens feels like a fresh start for District 97.  The Chicago quintet’s trademarks — Hunt’s lush tone and oblique, syncopated melodies, Tashijan and Seisser’s thick crunch and odd-time riffage, Schang’s lateral ideas and heady polyrhythms — are all present, correct and on point.  But to me, Lawrence is the secret ingredient that’s taken them to a new level, bringing a love of jazz fusion and a rich sense of harmony to the party.

This edition of the band isn’t afraid to take chances with the new tunes — leaving more space, leaning into dynamic contrast, unexpectedly launching skittery, Zappaesque flurries of noise.  Which enables shorter tracks like “Sea I Provide”, “Trigger” and “Blueprint” to cover lots of ground, and the extended efforts “Sheep”, “Bread & Yarn” and “Ghost Girl” to feel like genuine epics. Everybody contributes to the writing and all the players solo — which makes the overall sound more unified and more expansive at the same time.

And all this gives Leslie Hunt more room to run than ever.  It’s hard to think of a vocalist in progressive music with so many tools at her disposal: a gutsy, versatile sound and technique; deeply expressive emotional range; a fertile, eclectic imagination powering her melodies and lyrics.  On Screens, Hunt simultaneously sounds fully unleashed and fully integrated into the band.  Focusing on the lyrical theme of isolation (self-inflicted in “Sheep” and “Shapeshifter”, imposed by others in “Trigger” and “Ghost Girl”), she makes a meal of it: throughout the album, she reacts, resists, reflects, rages — and when she can, reaches out (especially in the poppy “Sea I Provide” and the gorgeous ballad “Blueprint”).   She’s something else.

For all their obvious love of the genre, talent and energy (I’ve been bowled over both times I’ve seen them play to hometown crowds), I’ve sometimes felt that District 97’s music had trouble standing out in a crowded field, especially when they’ve leaned into the metal.  Trouble with Machines and In Vaults are fine albums, but over the years they  blurred together in my ears.  Gratifyingly, Screens busts out into new territory, stretching D97’s sound and style in refreshing, exciting ways, and setting the table for continued growth.  This one’s a winner that’s worth your time and attention.

Screens is currently available as a signed advance CD from the band.  The digital version (released October 4) can be pre-ordered at Bandcamp.  The regular CD (released October 11 in the US) can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

d97

— Rick Krueger