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danielb Profile
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Re: Flying colors is just great!


"Plus his tech has to sit behind him like a retriever the entire show. Weird."

Haha!

Who was the tech?

Last edited by danielb, 9/10/2014, 9:33
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dodoa64 Profile
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Re: Flying colors is just great!


Bought the first album not long ago having heard some of the live DVD and really like it. Now have the second album and it gets better with each listen; a really good album IMO. My only criticisms are the occasional 'Muse' like moments, but thankfully these are few. This morning discovered I'd won VIP tickets to the London show so can't wait to see them live. Happy days:-)
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JohnH Profile
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Re: Flying colors is just great!


Wow that's great you are going to love them in London !
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danielb Profile
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Re: Flying colors is just great!


How did you like the shows Apollo?
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Re: Flying colors is just great!


In Tilburg the sound wasn't too good, I was third row center, but I nearly heard nothing but Steve (not that I really mind hearing Steve, but still!!).

In Franfurt, from nearly the same position, sound was wonderful, and so was the show. I just lack superlatives, it was awesome from start to finish. Open Up Your eyes is a stunning opener, Peaceful Habor, with that tension building and a superb solo from Steve was great as well, and so was Cosmic Symphony. They only kept the best from the first album, so all good as well (and that says a lot that they could leave a great track as Blue Ocean out of the setlist!). All in all, just like on the CD, to me the two (slightly) weaker points and Place in Your world, not bad but nothing really lifting it up, and One Love forever, despite the acoustic start, lacks something, and last for a bit too long for me. Apart from that, stellar gig. If you are close enough to Switzerland, London or Paris, just catch them before it's too late !
12/10/2014, 13:13 Link to this post Send Email to Apolllo   Send PM to Apolllo
 
danielb Profile
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Re: Flying colors is just great!


Thanks Apollo. What was the attendance like for both shows?
12/10/2014, 18:18 Link to this post Send Email to danielb   Send PM to danielb
 
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Re: Flying colors is just great!


Venues capacity are 2200 and 1500 people, and both looked pretty much filled up. Of course, it's hard from the front to see wether it's 100% full or 80%, but I'd same minimum 1600-1700 and min 1200 respectively for Tilburg and Frankfurt, up to max capacity.

All in all, I believe the limitation in the number of dates has more to do with lack of time of the involved people (one in particular if you see what I mean) rather than a lack of demand...
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Re: Flying colors is just great!


Flying Colors
Islington Assembly Hall, London
13 October 2014

Look away now if you don't want set spoliers emoticon


I seem to recall that last time I saw Flying Colors, I was also queuing in the rain.

It's been a long weekend spent with friends in London, long and tiring and occasionally stressfull (though very enjoyable). I have a headache, I'm tired, I've spent the last three nights in hotels and I never sleep well in hotels, my legs are killing me from walking round museums, and I've been queuing in the pouring rain outside Islington Assembly Hall for over half an hour. And they're touring a new album that I don't think is as good as their first. I'm seriously thinking it was a mistake to tack the Flying Colors concert on to the end of my already planned weekend.

Inside the hall (actually a beautiful 1930s theatre) there is much more standing as the band take the stage late, and as I'm a small person in a large crowd I can barely see the stage and only know the band is on because everybody cheers. They start with Open Up Your Eyes, and I can see Mike Portnoy standing up behind his drum kit and encouraging us to clap. Which is insane because nobody can clap in time to Open Up Your Eyes unless their name is Mike Portnoy.

For anyone reading this who doesn't know, Open Up You Eyes is a 12-minute song from the new album that begins with a five-minute instrumental passage that changes key, tempo, and/or time signature every few bars. So I'm jumping up and down and clapping, occasionally (coincidentally) in time with the music, and at the same time I realise that the last time I concentrated so hard in a live gig was when listening to a modern, atonal, orchestral symphony. This is probably the most complex rock music I've ever listened to in concert.

Then something miraculous happens. Through some movement of the crowd, I get a sudden sight line to Steve Morse just as he goes into the first guitar solo of the evening. And it's the most beautiful sound I can imagine. And five minutes ago I was wondering why I was here!

The stage set up is the same as the last tour. Steve Morse front left on guitar, Casey Mcpherson front centre on vocals and extra guitar bits, Dave Larue front right on bass, Neal Morse rear left on keyboards and vocals, Mike Portnoy rear right on drums, vocal, and cucumber (don't ask). Nice but unspectacular stage lighting, no gimmicks, just five guys playing extraordinary music.

Portnoy does almost all the talking, and he's a typically brash American but he carries it off because he sounds so genuine about it and so happily enthusiastic. When he's not talking he's drumming, and when he's drumming he's also conducting the band, the audience, he's constantly spinning drumsticks, throwing them in all directions, and somehow always catching them again. He has too much energy for a drum stool to contain and plays on his feet most of the time. He also seems to have a thing about cucumbers. (Don't ask.) Looking at them, they don't look like a band, they look like five random guys from five different bands and even five different decades (both true, of course). And really that's their strength, the fact they come from so many different places and bring so many different aspects to the music.

From Open Up Your Eyes, they go into the relative sanity of Bombs Away, again from the new album, then Shoulda Woulda Coulda from the first album, which Portnoy turns into a drum solo at the climax. Everyone gets solo spots throughout the show, but all at appropriate places in the songs. I'm not going to do a full set list in order. They do Kayla from the first album, A Place in Your World (one of my favourites from the new album, and if there was any sanity in the world it would be a massive hit single) and a beautiful Fury of my Love also from the new one, and the more they play the more I'm convinced I was wrong about the new album, because everything on it is standing up just as strongly as the older material they play. They play One Love Forever as a trio, Neal, Mike and Casey at the front of the stage singing the vocal harmonies while Casey plays acoustic guitar.

Later, they leave Casey alone on the stage with just an acoustic guitar to play a song from his own band, Alpha Rev. It's an extraordinary performance, not a rock performance but a raw, emotional vocal that shows just how different Casey is to the other guys and exactly what he brings to the band. And the crowd that was bouncing along and cheering just a minute ago is still and listening in perfect silence. Then the song segues seamlessly into Peaceful Harbor, the best song on the new album, with Casey's wordless opening vocal sending shivers down my spine. Neal Morse comes back on with deep, resonant keyboard harmonies, Dave Larue wanders back on to add a bass line, Portnoy joins in, and finally Steve rips the song open with a stunningly beautiful guitar solo, and the whole thing builds in intensity to a stunning instrumental climax. It's an incredible tour de force, and I think it can't be topped until they follow it immediately with my favourite song from the first album, The Storm, with the whole crowd singing along.

If they ended here I would have gone home happy, it's a perfect one-two finisher. But they're not done yet, they still have the 12 minutes of Cosmic Symphony, another showcase of everybody's instrumental talents as the unusual structure allows them to take solos one after the other, guitar, bass, guitar again, keyboards, drums, more guitar, then the hushed closing vocal passage when Casey goes all Neil Diamond on it over Steve's subtle harmonies and Neal's jazz piano. Beautiful. Then the gig finishes with an almost anti-climactic Mask Machine. I say "almost" because it's not an anti-climax at all, it's a perfect rocking number to end the evening on a high point.
If they ended here I would have gone home happy, it's a perfect one-two finisher. But they're not done yet, they still have the 12 minutes of Cosmic Symphony, another showcase of everybody's instrumental talents as the unusual structure allows them to take solos one after the other, guitar, bass, guitar again, keyboards, drums, more guitar, then the hushed closing vocal passage when Casey goes all Neil Diamond on it over Steve's subtle harmonies and Neal's jazz piano. Beautiful. Then the gig finishes with an almost anti-climactic Mask Machine. I say "almost" because it's not an anti-climax at all, it's a perfect rocking number to end the evening on a high point.

Because they had been late starting, they leave the stage at [sign in to see URL], and big notices on the hall door had said there was an 11pm curfew, so I actually wonder if there will be an encore at all.

But there is, of course, and ridiculously it sounds like... yes, it is, it's Infinite Fire, the absolute best song from the first album, and it's another 12-minute song (even without taking Steve's extended solos into account). Curfew? What curfew?

It's an absolute perfect end to an absolute perfect gig. They finally leave the stage at [sign in to see URL] after playing almost two hours of music. I think I might have missed the last tube back to my hotel, but I don't care because it's only a three-mile walk and it's only rain, and what the hell if I can't move my legs in a straight line or feel my feet because how can that matter when I've just come out of the best concerts I've ever seen?





Last edited by David Meadows, 14/10/2014, 0:32


---
"Music, shorn of labels and standing alone, when it is conceived, composed and performed with love and integrity, can elevate us all."
Jon Lord 1941 - 2012
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RatBatBlu Profile
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Re: Flying colors is just great!


Thanks for the great review! Its also the best written review I've read of the tour so far! emoticon
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danielb Profile
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Re: Flying colors is just great!


quote:

Apolllo wrote:
All in all, I believe the limitation in the number of dates has more to do with lack of time of the involved people (one in particular if you see what I mean) rather than a lack of demand...



Yes, this interview touches on it. 6:45 ->

[url][sign in to see URL]
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