Fireworks

CD Reviews

Spock's Beard - 'The X Tour - Live' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/07/ff/a7/2197_spocksbeardthextourlive_1337708119.jpg Hot

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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

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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

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  • 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.
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  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
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  • 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?
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  • 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.
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  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
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  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions

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