Living with the Pandemic

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Celebrity Theatre

Commentary by Fred Kuhlman

Like most of you, I am yearning to see a live concert.  It has now been 4 months since I attended my last live show, Dragonforce/Unleash The Archers/Visions of Atlantis on March 5th, 2020 at Club Red in Mesa, Arizona.  I was working on seeing over 500 different bands live, but that is now on hold.  It looks like here in the USA, we will not have another mass gathering until next year.  So, what do we do in the meantime?  I personally have been attending virtual online concerts and watching videos on the internet and DVDs.  It is not the same.  I miss the audience interaction with the band and just the live atmosphere.  Also, at live shows you get to see and hear all of the faults of the band.  For me this is want makes a live show so much better than the stale sound of the multi-track studio albums.  I also miss the mosh pits that are a mainstay at almost all metal shows, I don’t like to be in them, but love to want them.

The following are just a few of the concerts CDs/DVDs I like and recommend.  They are in no special order.  Some of the albums are just the recording of the shows.  I listen to these while working around the house or working on my computer.  To really get the full enjoyment from most of these cds/dvds you really need to have a 5.1 stereo setup.  The 5.1 sound setup just adds an extra dimension to the overall sound quality.

Sabaton – Heroes (Deluxe Edition) CD
I understand that this is not a video concert, but just a recording of a show.  There are 2 parts, the first is the actual cd music.  The second part is really the best part.  It is the recording of the Sabaton Cruise in 2015.  It is 23 songs long and is about 2 hours long.  This was about the same time that I was introduced to Sabaton and realized how good they were and great they would become.

Sabaton – Heroes On Tour CD/DVD
This is another version of the Heroes tour concert.  This is actually a 2 CD and DVD set of the show.  I like it, but like the Sabaton Cruise version better (see above).  However, it is a good Live concert show and will give you a great example of what to expect at a Sabaton show.

Visions of Atlantis – The Deep & The Dark – Live @ Symphonic Metal Nights
Again this is another music only concert.  I was introduced to Visions of Atlantis at the last concert I attended.  I was blown away by the power of this group.  They are fronted by a female and male singing dual that is just outstanding.  This album is more or less the show I saw.

Delain – A Decade of Delain: Live at Paradiso
Another Music only concert.  I first saw Delain at the same show as Sabaton.  I was mesmerized by Charlotte Wessels as the lead singer.  She not only took control of the stage but her voice captivated the audience.  The other great part of this album is that they bring on a number of other great metal singers throughout the show.

Iron Maiden – Flight 666
For me this concert footage is what vaulted Iron Maiden to metal gods.  I remember it played a lot on a cable channel called Palladia.  It is concert footage of a number of different shows from the Iron Maiden world tour.  It contains a number of the band’s greatest hits.  I personally love the way the 3 guitarists switch between lead and rhythm guitar depending upon the song.  Bruce is just mesmerizing as he runs around the stage and belts out the songs.  Also, Steve Harris is probably the greatest metal bass guitarist ever. And Nicko McBrain is probably one of the best metal drummers around.  Add an amazing and outrageous stage production and this DVD will captivate you.

Fleetwood Mac – The Dance
I saw Fleetwood Mac a few times in the 80s and I remember the concerts fondly.  They broke up, but in 1997 they got back together and toured again.  The Dance is a recording of their show in California.  It is probably the best Fleetwood Mac Performance I have ever hear.

Roger Waters – The Wall
I was lucky enough the see the original Pink Floyd The Wall concert in LA.  It is one of the top 5 shows I have ever seen.  Between the music and the stage production, it was overwhelming (I was in 5th row dead center).  It set the bar for all other concert stage productions.  Shortly after these shows, Roger Waters left the band.  However, since he wrote most of the songs for the Wall album, Roger has continued to performed his updated version of the show.  My son is a huge Pink Floyd fan so I took him to Las Vegas to see Roger perform The Dark Side Of The Moon concert.  A few years later Roger toured with his version of the Wall concert.  I again took my son to the show and we both loved it.  This DVD is one of Roger’s shows from that tour.

The Who – Quadrophenia
I was a huge fan of The Who in the 60s.  I thought their performance at Woodstock was great (sound sucks due to 8-track recordings) but Roger and Pete were great.  I first saw The Who live in 1976 when Moonie was still alive.  I remember Keith coming on stage doing summersaults.  Over the years I have seen The Who a number of times.  Unfortunately, I never got to see them perform Quadrophenia.  It is one of my favorite albums and a true masterpiece by Pete Townshend.  This DVD is The Who performing Quadrophenia in its entirety at Wembley Stadium in London on July 8th , 2013.

Steven Wilson – To The Bone
Most of you probably have never heard of Steven Wilson.  He is classified as a Progressive artist, but is so much more.  Like Alan Parsons, Steven is a multi-talented person.  He is a very creative musician that has written and produced over 10 studio albums.  His range of music runs from Progressive Rock, to Retro Rock to Pop.  He is also a very talented sound engineer creating his own 5.1 sound system that he tours with.  Steven is also recreating a number of classic 70s album in 5.1 sound quality from artists like Yes, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull and King Crimson.  I have a couple of Steven’s remastered albums and they blow the originals away.  I have seen Steven a couple of times and it has been fantastic.  The To The Bone DVD is Steven’s performance captured at London’s Prince Alberts Hall.  The best part of this DVD is the sound quality.

These are just a few of the concerts I have been listening too.  If you have suggestion, please let me know and I will check them out.  Email me at fkuhlman@beneathadesertsky.com

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