Tag Archives: live albums

“30 Trips Around The Sun: The Definitive Live Story” by Grateful Dead

CD - Grateful Dead - 30 Trips Around The Sun

Amazon.com says “30 Trips Around The Sun: The Definitive Live Story features one unreleased live song from each year of the band’s career plus one special re-released track from the band’s earliest recordings, under the name The Emergency Crew. Every year from 1965 1995 is represented. Also featured is an essay by Dead aficionado Jesse Jarnow dissecting every track in the collection. “. It comes care of Rhino Records.

“Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas” by Styx

Artist: Styx
Title: “Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas”
Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: 7/24/2015
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Back in 2014, Styx was touring as a part of the “Endless Summer” tour that featured a headlining Foreigner and support from The Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder. The three classic acts performed to rousing response in whatever town they happened to drop in on. Since I didn’t get to catch any of the regional appearances when they happened here I was super stoked to find Eagle Rock Entertainment dishing out both an audio and video of the bands set from the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV. This summary speaks to the audio release only as I have not yet gotten my hands on the Blu-ray video but hope to do that soon.

Thinking back on my own personal appreciation for the music of Styx I have to chuckle at the fact that even though I’ve enjoyed them for decades now, and actually could play both “Equinox” and “Paradise Theatre” on the drums from beginning to end, they remain one of the bands that I have never, ever witnessed in concert for myself. I better get around to that before they decide that it’s time to retire but judging by the incendiary audio presentation I am currently blasting that does not seem to be something on the bands agenda anytime soon. The single CD release features twelve of the bands biggest hits such as “The Grand Illusion” which opens the set and draws you right into their musical world. It’s always been one of my favorites and usually seemed to be relegated to the closing part of their set. They follow with “Too Much Time On My Hands” from the great “Paradise Theatre” album and that was a radio hit times ten when that album came out. You young fans don’t remember the power of big radio rock stations but trust me this tune was in constant rotation. The band is joined by original bassist Chuck Panozzo during “Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)” and this seems to be a regular occurrence for the band as the musician is listed as being a part-time member. In today’s music world, the Styx band is comprised of Chuck Panozzo (guest bass), James “J.Y.” Young (guitar), Tommy Shaw (guitar), Todd Sucherman (drums), Lawrence Gowan (keyboards, vocals), Ricky Phillips (bass). The lineup has been this way for just over a decade now and that is what makes having these live releases the most interesting because you are getting the band as they are now and not during their earliest years. Trust me this is not a bad thing at all even though I grew up on the melodies of Dennis DeYoung as their singer.
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“The Beast Arises” by Paul DiAnno

Artist: Paul DiAnno
Title: “The Beast Arises
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 10/21/2014
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 2/5

Unless you have been living under a rock or are a Metalhead that is far too young to remember this sort of thing, Paul DiAnno was the original voice of the mighty Iron Maiden and he recorded both their debut self-titled album, its follow up “Killers” and the “Maiden Japan” live effort during his tenure. It was legendary stuff back in its time and began the process of Iron Maiden eventually becoming one of history’s greatest Heavy Metal bands. That was then, this is now and since that time Paul has toured as a solo artist doing “Best Of” shows that feature his Iron Maiden works along with tunes from his solo band Battlezone. “The Beast Arises” is a live set that was recorded in April 2014 at the Lizard King Club in Cracow, Poland and joining Paul for his band are Robert Kasanowski (guitar), Michael Wrona (guitar), Dominik Wojcik (drums) and Artur Pochwala (bass). I’m going to assume that Paul assembled these musicians from the local area circuit for a group of shows based on how he had done his appearances in the USA. During the gigs that I attended he had the guys from a band called Icarus Witch doing all the material behind him and while the band sounded fine for the task that had been assigned them, Paul appeared to be having some difficulty during the show. This experience that I speak of is now several years ago, now let’s discuss the more recent recordings.
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“Tour Sampler 2014” by Mastodon/Gorjira/Kvelertak

Artist: Mastodon/Gorjira/Kvelertak
Title: “Tour Sampler 2014”
Label: Roadrunner Records/Relapse Records
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

In honor of this titanic Metal Touring Threesome (which sounds dirtier than I anticipated), a new and very free live EP has been made available at certain shows and is anxious for the public to get their hands on it. Fans will get a track apiece from each of the bands so one from Mastodon, one from Gojira and lastly one from Kvelertak. As two of the bands are on Roadrunner Records, this issue is a shared effort with Relapse Records. As I have noted already, the tunes are live and we begin with Mastodon’s “The Curl Of The Burl” which is a crunching live number that packs a lot of groove. I’ve probably seen Mastodon about three or four times by now and while I wasn’t an early study, I got into them on the tail end of their “Leviathan” tour and was really impressed with their concert presentation. My hope is that this simply EP sparks enough interest in those fans who are for some reason or another still on the fence because this particular tour is solid from beginning to end.
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“World War Live: Battle Of The Baltic Sea” by Sabaton

Artist: Sabaton
Title: “World War Live: Battle Of The Baltic Sea”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 9/13/2011
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 5/5

Should I lie to you and say how I have been following this band for years or should I fess up and say that it wasn’t until about two years ago from this point in my writing it down that I had never even heard of Sabaton before. I’ll go with the “honesty is the best policy” road even though its slightly embarrassing to admit based on my always considering myself up on a dozen or more bands that my circle of friends have no clue about. In my defense it is not hard to have found the band eluding me based on the fact that they had never even been to our region for any touring until the Evergrey tour of 2011 where they were direct support. I apologize if they played a one-off festival appearance that I didn’t know about but I am speaking of a full on focused invasion for the larger Metal masses to take a part in. I caught the Evergrey tour and really wanted to see Sabaton and after their set I remember being stunned and impressed more than I had ever expected. I wondered where this band had been all my life because it was just so on point. They returned in early 2012 but I will speak about that later, right now I want to focus on the outstanding double CD live release called “World War Live: The Battle Of The Baltic Sea”. The live album is the bands first in their career and this might surprise their legacy fans because the group has been around since 1999 and have released six full length albums. The release is special because it first delivers the bands entire set from the Sabaton cruise while the second CD gives you selections from across the bands European Tour. Both were done in 2010 so this is a very recent presentation of the band and not something that leaves you wondering how they sound “now” as opposed to the way “that they used to”.
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