So what does a super group like Flying Colors do after releasing an amazing debut studio recording? Release a live album of course! It does make sense. While everyone is anxiously awaiting another studio project we can now enjoy Live In Europe. If you need some diversions they are plentiful as each band member has their own bands and solo projects they are always working on. It is an endless, albeit wonderful ongoing process that provides great music for the fan that enjoys progressive rock, rock and pop.
Flying Colors is Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Dave LaRue (bass), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Casey McPherson (lead vocals) and Steve Morse (guitar). The band combines rock, progressive rock and pop in a most satisfying way. If you have not listened yet you need to discover this band! What better place to start than right here with this live release.
Live In Europe comes in several formats including a 2 CD set, DVD, Blu ray and a 3 LP limited edition set that is available on the band’s website. For those familiar with the band and each individual member and their distinct sounds and recorded material outside the realm of the band, this will be a real treat. If you are concerned about quality well that does not have to be a sticky point. You can see and listen to the video provided of “The Storm” as everything and more is presented here with the utmost care and quality. Another point of contention normally with live releases is that bands have a tendency to be either unable or unwilling to duplicate what they have created in the studio. Again this is not the case here, they do it with all the flair and energy that each member can muster and it comes out sounding amazing.
Casey McPherson sounds great and he even does one of his own songs “Can’t Find a Way” and it gives the young vocalists (young in comparison to the other band members!) a chance to shine on his own. It fits the set just right. Portnoy does Dream Theater’s “Repentance,” LaRue presents “Spur of the Moment,” Morse does Spock Beard’s “June,” and Steve Morse gets his moment in the spotlight with the classic Dixie Dregs “Odyssey.” This is all to the sheer delight of the crowd attending the concert as they get a cross section of prog rock history along with original band material.
Live In Europe hits the bulls eye in every aspect and if you are chomping at the bit for a great live experience on CD, DVD, Blu ray or LP I think this will set you straight, at least for a while until another album comes out. Progressive rock is enjoying tremendous growth and gaining popularity daily. With bands like Flying Colors that appeal to a large cross section of listeners, it opens the door to advances in musical development, plants the seeds for more growth and expansion and most of all adds new listeners within the genres broad scope. The “Infinite Fire” (a great closer for the show) of Prog has a multicolored paint brush that is continually creating new masterpieces, now we have one more to hang in the gallery.
Key Tracks: The Storm, Can’t Find A Way, Infinite Fire
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder MuzikReviews.com
December 11, 2013