“Live At Cadogan Hall” [DVD] by Marillion

Artist: Marillion
Title: “Live At Cadogan Hall” [DVD]
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 3/39/2011
Genre: Acoustic Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

I recently absorbed the new live CD release from Progressive Rock’s own Marillion entitled “Live At Cadogan Hall” and as luck would have it, there is a companion DVD of this very show to enjoy as well and since I’ve said my piece on the audio only version it’s now the videos turn for a little scrutiny. If you missed those words somehow and are one of those fans of Marillion who has been with them from the beginning, I essentially outlined my own personal confusion with what they are doing musically every now and again. I cited loving “Marbles” but hating its follow up “Somewhere Else” and then finding absolute disinterest in their acoustic offering “Less Is More”. Of course on the same token, the live DVD for “Somewhere Else” totally impressed me and found me appreciating the studio effort a little more. That being said, this film finds us joining the band on the final night of their 2009 “Less Is More” tour where they perform for a packed house at London’s Cadogan Hall. The film is presented in exactly the same fashion as its audio counterpart which I appreciated and that means it’s broken into two sets and discs. The songs are delivered in the same manner and in a slightly Dream Theater method the guys perform “Less Is More” from beginning to end with the exception of the original albums closer “Cannibal Surf Babe”. The audience seems hypnotized as Hogarth entertains with his rich and powerful vocal register and amuses all with his skills on dulcimer. As noted on the CD version review and as we found on the studio album, the band employed a number of instruments that they didn’t normally use on a release for this one. I found hearing them play vibraphone and xylophone along with acoustic guitars and pianos to be quite the treat. Speaking on a musical level, it is without question that guitarist Steve Rothery, bassist Pete Trewavas, keyboardist Mark Kelly and Drummer Ian Mosely are superb musicians and their tightness and understanding of each others capability is almost visible during the show. I guess this comes from their working together for over 20 years at this point in this configuration.

The concert is very enjoyable to watch and especially for me since I didn’t get to see any of the shows that catered to this format. The first half is a little more under stated as it presents you the full album “Less Is More”. The audience sits transfixed by the band and there are times that you feel if a coin dropped that it would resonate across the hall like a shattering glass. Fortunately no cell phones go off as I think we would have witnessed an assault on the person. Highlights for me from the first set were “Quartz”, “This Is The 21st Century” and “Its Not Your Fault”, the latter of which was the sole new song presented to fans on the “Less Is More” CD. At the close of this part of the show, the singer announces their return after about twenty minutes and then they kick it into gear with ten more selections from their catalog done in a similar fashion to the “Less Is More” idea. For the second set we find the band beginning with the understated “No One Can” and “Beautiful” which are excellent but as the set continues on the band is livelier and their audience is responding in kind. There is more clapping in unison as H conducts them like an additional instrument and the speed and groove of the songs is kicked up a notch or three. The energy delivered by the band in this set will have you clapping along while you watch from the comforts of home. As it closed up I had to say that I was impressed and based on the stellar camera work and high definition recording that they did can safely advise you that this is a sound purchase. If you were one of those people who found the studio rendition of this stuff a little tedious I must admit that the live presentation made it all work. Marillion continues to surprise and confuse their fans but many stick by them no matter what. I was very happy to find them releasing this on Eagle Rock Entertainment since it should allow their musical message to reach an even wider audience than ever before.

Track Listing:
1. Go!
2. Interior Lulu
3. Out Of This World
4. Wrapped Up In Time
5. The Space
6. Hard As Love
7. Quartz
8. If My Heart Were A Ball
9. It’s Not Your Fault
10. Memory Of Water
11. This Is The 21st Century
12. No One Can
13. Beautiful
14. This Train Is My Life
15. You’re Gone
16. 80 Days
17. Gazpacho
18. The Answering Machine
19. Estonia
20. Easter
21. Three Minute Boy

Official Website: http://www.marillion.com

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