Fireworks

CD Reviews

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

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 22, 2012    
 
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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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Latest Message: 1 week, 2 days ago
  • 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
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • 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
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it

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