“One Night In New York City” by Yellow Matter Custard

Artist: Yellow Matter Custard
Title: “One Night In New York City”
Label: Radiant Records
Release Date:
Genre: Rock & Roll
Rating: 8/10

There is no question about the impact of The Beatles on modern music and the effect is so profound that you can listen to songs recorded over thirty years ago and still find the material fresher than most of today’s newest “stars” and producer “concoctions”. This impact also holds a historical side as most records that have been set by The Beatles have yet to be matched. The fact that Yellow Matter Custard came to be is a statement to this history as it takes the combined forces of Neil Morse, Mike Portnoy, Matt Bissonette, and Paul Gilbert (all amazing talents) and puts them in a situation where they are playing some of their favorite Beatles tunes. Fans of Progressive music would enjoy this as both Portnoy and Morse are leaders in that genre. Morse for his work with Spock’s Beard and Portnoy of course in Dream Theater. Matt Bissonette (bassist) has played with David Lee Roth and Paul Gilbert was the guitar wizard behind Racer X and Mr. Big. Each of them sing while Neal Morse pretty much holds the main vocal duties. You might ask yourself if the vocals come off as good as the Beatles might in a live setting. The answer is a resounding yes and the players execute it very well. This 2CD set is your chance to own the official “bootleg” of the performance. Radiant Records has released this piece which was recorded live at B.B. King Blues Club on May 18th 2003. The Portnoy and Morse produced recording takes the entire concert and brings it to your living room. It is truly difficult to gauge how good or bad this is when you take into consideration the fact that this was primarily done for the fun of it. Is it good, well yes it is and there are moments of brilliance especially on their renditions of “A Day In The Life” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Among the highpoints on this CD, which there are many; is the chance to hear Mike Portnoy song as he does “Nowhere Man”. The band is able to reach a truly Beatles sound with all the harmonies and its very impressive. I also liked “Magical Mystery Tour”, “She Said” and their stellar rendition of “A Day In The Life”. I grew up on Beatles music like most of the readers have so it’s hard for me to cut tunes away. It is an easy CD to like as well because this is pretty much just 4 great musicians enjoying the music of their favorite artists and getting to play it as well. As you listen to the CD you can almost feel the fun that everyone was having. It sounds like a blast. Looking over the track list you will see some major staples are not performed. This leads me to believe that another visit will come to this project again and that would be a lot of fun. I would love to hear more of “Abbey Road” and “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band”. This is a recommendation for both open-minded Beatles fans as well as the Progressives who might want to see another side of Portnoy and Morse. Don’t waste too much time analyzing the contents but instead enjoy the homage that it pays to the biggest force in music that ever existed.

Track Listing (CD 1 & 2):
1. Intro
2. Magical Mystery Tour
3. Dear Prudence
4. Dig A Pony
5. She Said She Said
6. I Call Your Name
7. You Can’t Do That
8. When I Get Home
9. Nowhere Man
10. Asia
11. Free As A Bird
12. Come Together
13. I Am The Walrus
14. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
15. Baby’s In Black
16. I’ll Be Back
17. No Reply
18. The Night Before
19. You’re Gonna Lose That Girl
20. Ticket To Ride
21. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
22. Oh Darling
23. Think For Yourself
24. Wait
25. Revolution
26. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
27. You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
28. Lovely Rita
29. Good Morning Good Morning
30. Sgt. Pepper (reprise)
31. A Day In The Life

Official Website: www.MikePortnoy.com

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