Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents (https://www.dannyzeliskopresents.com/ )
Venue: Celebrity Theatre (https://celebritytheatre.com/ )
Date: Friday January 31st , 2020
Tour: Live Project Tour 2020
Alan Parsons is truly a renaissance man. He is an audio engineer, producer, songwriter, composer and musician. He has worked at Abby Roads Studio on the Beatles’ Abby Road and Let It Be albums. He was also a sound engineer for Pick Floyd’s mega hit album, Dark Side of The Moon. Alan has created and release 14 personal studio albums either as part of the Alan Parsons Project or as a solo artist with 3 going gold and 2 going platinum. Having been in the industry for over 50 years and been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, he final won a Grammy in 2019. He is a true legend in the music industry both on stage and behind the scenes.
I have been a huge fan of Alan since his original album, Tales of Mystery and Imagination came out in 1976. Unfortunately, I had never been able to see Alan perform live. Finally, the stars aligned and I was at the right place at the right time and I got to see Alan and the band perform at the Celebrity Theatre here in Phoenix, Arizona. Those of you unfamiliar with the Celebrity Theatre, it has a round stage that rotates during the performance. The front seats are right at the stage edge and the worst seat in the place is only about 100 feet from the stage. For tonight’s show, the stage was designed with a 2-step riser in the middle back with drums on one side and keyboards on the other. On the riser was a keyboard, acoustic guitar and stool.
The lights dimmed, the band walked out and to my surprise, Alan walked out and onto the riser. As the music started with “One Note Symphony”, Alan was playing acoustic guitar and had no spot light on him. Instead the spot lights were on the other members of the band out front and a spot on the singer, Todd Cooper. This was typical for the remainder of the show. Alan only got a spot light on him when he sang or played a key part in the music. Otherwise the spot lights were on whichever member of the band was singing lead or playing a mini solo part. Think about this, here is a man that wrote and produced the music, the band is named after him, but does not take center stage at a live show with the lights always on him.
The Alan Parsons Live Project band consists of Alan Parsons playing acoustic guitar, keyboards, backing vocals and lead vocal on 3 songs, Dan Tracy on guitar and backing vocals, Danny Thompson on drums, Guy Erez on bass and backing vocals, Jeff Kollman as lead guitarist and backing vocal and Tom Brooks on keyboards. The 2 main lead singers for the night were Todd Cooper and P.J. Olsson. Both Todd and P.J. were amazing making the songs come alive and sound very similar to the quality of the studio albums. Each of the band members are masterful and amazing in their own right. Blended together they whisked the audience away on a sea of musical nirvana.
Alan has just released a new album, The Secret which made up a number of songs from tonight’s show. Intermixed were all of his greatest hits including “Damned If You Do”, “Time”, “Breakdown”, “Psychobabble” and “Eye In The Sky”. The show was divided up into 2 sets with a 20-minute intermission so the band could refresh and we could get new drinks. Each set was about 1 hour. They performed a 2-song encore that included “Dr. Tarr And Professor Fether” and “Games People Play”.
I am overjoyed to finally see one of my favorite artists. It was definitely one of my bucket list items. If you love good rock and roll music from the late 70s and early 80s performed by truly talented musicians then this is definitely a show to see. Alan and the band will be touring the southwest during the month of February and then heading to Texas and the south in March on his way to Miami to perform on the “On The Blue Cruise 2020” ocean cruise on April 1st. Then in May to July the band is off to Europe for a multi-city tour. Please check out their website for tours dates in city near you.
For anyone that missed their performance here in Phoenix or want to see them again, they will be returning to Tucson on February 14th (Valentine’s Day) to perform at the Fox Theatre. Ticket information is available at Danny Zelisko Presents (https://www.dannyzeliskopresents.com/ ).
Alan has released a new album, The Secret in CD, CD+DVD, LP Box Set or Digital formats. It is available at Amazon or ITunes. You can find out more information about Alan and the band and their upcoming tour dates at his website: http://alanparsons.com/ and his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alanparsons/ .
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2020, All Rights Reserved
Alan Parsons Project Setlist: (Album)
One Note Symphony (The Secret) (Todd)
Damned If I Do (Eve) (P.J>)
Don’t Answer Me (Ammonia Avenue) (Alan)
Time (The Turn of a Friendly Card) (P.J.)
Breakdown (I, Robot) (Todd)
Raven (Tales of Mystery and Imagination: Edgar Allan Poe) (P.J.)
I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You (I, Robot) (Jeff)
Miracle (The Secret) (P.J.)
Psychobabble (Eye in the Sky) (Todd)
Don’t Let It Show (I, Robot) (P.J.)
Sirius (Eye in the Sky)
Old and Wise (Eye in the Sky)
As Lights Fall (The Secret) (Alan)
Can’t Take It With You (Pyramid) (P.J.)
Limelight (Stereotomy) (Todd)
Standing On Higher Ground (Gaudi) (P.J./Dan)
Prime Time (Ammonia Avenue) (Alan)
Eye In The Sky (Eye In The Sky) (Alan down front)
Dr. Tarr And Professor Fether (Tales of Mystery and Imagination: Edgar Allan Poe) (P.J.)
Games People Play (The Turn of a Friendly Card) (Alan/P.J.)