Talon - 'Live in Chicago (At Melodic Rock Fest 2)' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 24, 2012    
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This DVD documents a great set with many highlights.

It is my conjecture that Talon is one of the most enthusiastic and accomplished bands for whom the real breakthrough has yet to happen. Three albums – each with a different lead vocalist – are a complete testimony to the quality of their melodic rock songs, quite a few of which have an anthemic quality to them, and bordering upon a nearly classic AOR sound – all the more so now since keyboard journeyman Eric Ragno has been recruited into their ranks. But the procession of vocalists has almost certainly affected their development.

So it’s Michael O’Mara, Chandler Mogel and now Shawn Pelata who have vocally graced the band’s albums. But here we are treated to vocals by Dave Friday, who filled the role between messrs Mogel and Pelata and brought a slightly more raw and throaty style to the songs…and in fact rather suited them, I feel. Pelata’s vocals on most recent album (‘III’) have a similar resonance and approach…

Of course it was not Pelata who fronted the band at last year’s Firefest show, as he was unavailable, so it was O’Mara who stepped back into the breach. This DVD therefore provides a most interesting and alternative perspective from the one seen by attendees at Firefest 2011, with a focus on more recent songs but including the ever-present anthem ‘Mother Mary May I’ from the debut. It also gives a good impression of what a great (if seemingly compact) venue Andrew McNeice had for his second Melodic Rock Fest, at The Roadhouse, Elgin, Illinois. The other songs performed and included here were ‘Always Be My Baby’, ‘What About Me’, ‘Paradise’, ‘Baby Jane’ and ‘Live Free’ from second album ‘Fallen Angels’ and ‘Crying To Me’, ‘When Will I’, ‘The Last Time’ and ‘Jane’ from ‘III’. Some reports of their set suggested that they were “battling a few technical issues…throughout their set”, but these are not obvious on the DVD so either the band made light of them, or John Parker’s nifty editing has removed the evidence. Nothing to do with any problems, however, was Dave Friday leaving the stage briefly after ‘Baby Jane’ and the band performing the instrumental ‘Sacrifice’ a band jam that goes back to earlier band Voxen, and was the title track of their CD. So, this DVD documents a great set with many highlights, and one that was clearly well received.

There are lots of extras including snippets of the band performing at the Dakota Rock Fests (DRFs) and slideshows of MRF2 and the DRF shows (these having the tracks ‘Everytime’ and ‘Did You Have To Say’ from ‘III’ as musical accompaniment).

If there is a negativity to mention about the package, except for committed Talonites and those featured meeting the band, it is the length of time spent featuring the signing sessions at the various shows, and what might be called “incidentals”. Yes, the captured flying displays from the DRFs are breathtaking, and can stand being seen a couple of times, but all the rest is really family video-type stuff!

That apart, having the MRF2 show available to see in ones own lounge is a great bonus for fans of the band, including myself, and in this respect is a recommended purchase.

Paul Jerome Smith

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