CD Reviews

Spock's Beard - 'The X Tour - Live' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 22, 2012    
0.0 (0)
5069   0   1   0   0   0



A truly splendid album.

It was a huge disappointment when the tour from which this recording was taken didn’t stop off in the UK so I’m delighted that this release has seen the light of day; not least because as it transpires it also marks Nick D’Virgilio’s swansong with the band. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating that when Neal Morse left I thought the band was over, but boy did they prove me wrong! After the tentative ‘Feel Euphoria’ album they have been every bit as good, if a little different, to Mark 1.

On the evidence of this recording the UK audiences missed a treat because the band were clearly in imperious form playing every track from the standard version of the ‘X’ album together with one from the previous CD then rounding matters out with some bona fide Neal Morse classics from early in their career.

I do have one minor criticism, the inclusion of ‘Drum Duel’ as I’m afraid I’ve not found any kind of ‘drummers only’ interlude during a gig of any interest since the late 70’s when Phil Collins and Chester Thompson produced the definitive article. If you acquire the special edition with the DVD from the show this section is slightly more interesting because you can see the expertise required and the pair of them coming down off their respective risers to play the floor, monitors…...

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

That aside, this is a truly splendid album and DVD which showcases everything that’s good about this band, great songs with hooks and choruses, fantastic melodies and wonderful instrumental passages. They may play lengthy songs and throw in some particularly clever musicianship every now and then but they know how to remain relevant and can maintain interest throughout. The sheer ability of the band is evident on the DVD with people changing instruments several times within one song and all this with only four days of rehearsal. For me this is Prog at its very best.

The show opens with the sublime ‘Edge of the In-Between’ which ticks all the boxes with its wonderful refrains, arrangement, playing and vocal harmonies. Frankly, that sets the tone for the rest of the set with each track full of wonderful melodies as well as intricate playing and arrangements. ‘The Man Behind the Curtain’ is given an additional edge in the guitar department by one of its co-writers, Stan Ausmus, joining the band. Unlike his usual European set up Ryo Okumoto looks like a wonderful throwback to Rick Wakeman, surrounded by keyboards including two mini Moogs and a real Mellotron. His ‘Kamikaze’ and solo tracks utilise them all too great effect. The set concludes with three well chosen oldies, ‘Thoughts’, The Doorway and ‘June’ each of which again demonstrates the prowess of the band, albeit in different ways, the former with its demanding vocal arrangement, the second’s wonderful melodies and the latter with pathos.

This is, quite simply, a superb closure for SB Mark 2

Gary Marshall

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  August 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
       1  2
  3  4  5  6  7  8  9

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 1 month, 3 weeks ago
  • Rocktopia Te : @kbm1983: Currently, all orders have to be be processed manually. This could take a few hours. Sorry for the delay, you shoulkd have received a mail containing download instructions by now. @ all: Pls. do not worry in case you see a PayPal transaction error message. Your order was received, pls. do not order the magazine twice. Many thanks for your understanding!
  • kbm1983 : Hi, I bought #91 earlier today but its still not in my downloads. Can you check it out please. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @ Man Shaped Wolf: You should have received a mail containing download instructions yesterday. Sorry for the delay!
  • Man Shaped W : Hey, same as defron but for 91 :) excited to read our review
  • Berny : @Defron: Can you pls. check your mail? Many thanks, B. :)
  • Defron : Hi guys. Bought #90 couples of hours ago but still not in my downloads . Can you check pls regards Ro
  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!
  • SoCal Rocker : Hello from Burbank CA, I had to change my name and PW. How's anyone doing?
  • Rocktopia Te : @davidputnam: Could you please check your email? Many thanks & best regards, RT
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90 and received paypal receipt, but cant find in downloads. Please advise.
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90, but cant find in Downloads. i have the paypal receipt.
  • Berny : @rarock: Glad we were able to sort this out. Thanks for your purchase!
  • rarock : Hi there. I have similar problem with Issue 90, payed by Paypal, but doesnt show in Orders or in Downloads. Thanks for help
  • KI2000 : Thanks Fireworks Magazine and Rocktopia!
  • Hysteria : WOW! Thanks to the Fireworks Team for this AMAZING offer. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! \m/ \m/
  • Rocktopia Te : Check out the Fireworks Magazine Corona quarantine give - away!
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site