The Magic Show Act II Proves To Be Just The Beginning For The Members Of We Are The Finale

Courtesy: Houndstooth productions

Courtesy: Houndstooth productions

Typically when people think about Nashville, Tennessee, the first thing that comes to mind is country music.  Nashville is the home of country music.  Its Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry are shrines to the legends of country music for all intents and purposes.  So the thought that a rock band–a punk band no less–would rise among the country ranks and make a name for itself among that mass of counrty acts no less comes as something of a surprise. But when audiences hear the new EP The Magic Show Act II: The Turn from We Are The Finale, they will agree that this Nashville, TN-based band is set to finally start turning the tide in Music  City, USA and help make the city known for being more than just the capital of country music.  The Magic Show Act II: The Turn totals only five songs and sixteen minutes.  Throughout the course of the EP’s technically four full-length songs–the EP’s opener only runs fifty-one seconds and isn’t technically a song–front man Daniel John Schafer and band mates Bradley Gwinn, Brandon Keysey, Freddy March, and Ronnie Mills show quite a bit of diversity and talent.  They take listeners on a ride through some of rock’s sub genres throughout the record from the pop punk style of the EP’s first full track ‘Well Enough Alone’ to a semi-post hardcore sound in ‘…And Scene’ and an almost seemingly 80s influenced sound on the EP’s closer ‘The Honeymoon Phase.’  It’s tough especially in the indie rock world to find a record that crosses so many sounds within the course of its songs (Whether it be an LP or EP). But the members of We Are The Finale have done just that here.  Keeping that in mind, it helps to make this EP one that is deserving of at least one listen by audiences.

The members of We Are The Finale have crafted a record in its new EP The Magic Show At II: The Turn that is well worth at least one listen.  The reason being that through the course of the EP’s four full-length songs, the band refuses to stick to just one of rock’s various sub genres.  it switches things up from one song to the next, thus keeping audiences engaged from start to finish.  The record’s lead song ‘Well Enough Alone’ is proof of that.  The song’s slower, almost bluesy sound instantly hints at an influence from the likes of Set It Off.  Front man Daniel John Schafer’s lyrics add a certain depth to that musical side, too. He hits on a topic that quite a few men have dealth with in life in the form of a woman that causes a man no end of problems inside.  He sings, “Your eyes are telling lies/That your mouth is trying to hide/So now I gotta decide if it’s worth it/To keep this dragging on.”  Schafer writes in the song about how his subject is going crazy over the female in question, writing, “Girl, you got me faded (Whoa, I’m so smooth girl)/And now the groudn is shaking (Let me move you)/Now I feel like I’m six feet deep (You shouldn’ve known, too)/And the top of my headstone reads Leave well enough alone.”  In other words, the woman in question is killing his subject, metaphorically speaking of course.  What man hasn’t been in this situation at least once in life?  And while the song’s subject is obviously male, one could argue and flip it to have a female as the lead subject singing about a guy driving her crazy as that does happen, too.  That interchangability and the song’s musical side colletively make ‘Well Enough Alone’ a fitting opener for the band on its new record.

‘Well Enough Alone’ is a good first impression from We Are The Finale on its new EP.  This is especially the case for those that might not be so familiar with the band’s music.  That’s thanks to its mix of relatable lyrical content and equally interesting musical side.  Audiences that pick up the band’s EP will note that as enjoyable as this song proves to be, the band doesn’t resteasy on its laurels.  Rather it switches things up from here as is evidenced in the semi-post hardcore sound of ‘…And Scene.’  The song opens with the sound of an old film reel setting the stage for what is to come much like was done with old movies.  It is a fitting addition to this song, considering the song’s lyrical content.  Shafer sings in the song’s chorus, “All you ever wanted was to bust out on the scene/But I won’t let the scene change me/And all you ever wanted was a reason to feel this way/So now I’ll stay away/Away from you for a while.”  Before this, he sings, “My face fills with blood/Your face is so smug/So now I’ll take some steps away/This life you sell/It can’t be real.”   The song seems to come across as highliting the frustration felt by someone that has to deal with one of those overly annoying people who lives solely to bring others down one way or another.  Hopefully that interpretation is right as it is just the interpretation of this critic.  The song’s second verse strengthens the argument for this interpretation as Shafer sings, “I’ve heard these lies before/Back when I was young/And I am moving on my way/Now that I’m older I see all the things that I want/And I’m ready to plead my case.”  Again, Schafer comes across as targeting the people that would say whatever they want to others, knowing others would believe them and in turn allow themselves to be torn down emotionally.  It will be interesting to find out whether or not this interpretation is correct. Hopefully it is correct.  Regardless, the very fact that it could generate such discussion and thought by itself makes it well worth hearing.  The balance of Schafer’s clean vocals and his screams set against the song’s guitars and drums adds even more depth to the song, proving again what makes ‘…And Scene’ another part of a whole that any indie punk and rock fan will enjoy.

We Are The Finale shows throughout the course of both ‘Well Enough Alone’ and ‘…And Scene’ its musical versatility and its lyrical versatility, too.  The band exhibits just as much musical versatility in ‘The Honeymoon Phase’ which closes the EP.  The band’s use of keyboards throughout the song and the rather bombastic guitar solo incorporated into the song’s bridge adds its own share of depth to the song.  They collectively show something of an 80s influence.  There’s also a bit of a Fall Out Boy influence here, too.  Such a juxtaposition of sounds shows even more than ever the versatility of the band’s abilities and influences.  That versatility by itself makes the song one more good example of what makes The Magic Show Act II: The Turn well worth the listen.  The song’s lyrical side gives it even more depth as Schafer sings, “I’ll rip the ties that bind me to your walls/And I will grab hold of everything and try/To stay on my feet while you’re chasing afer me/Because this war torn heart can’t beat anymore/And I’ve lost my want to pick you off the floor/So stay on your knees and stop chasing after me.”  He goes on to sing of his subject taking the chance to tell a significant other that he/she loves someone in particular.  Yet in the song’s end, he sings, “Now we’ll stay forever broken-hearted/And destined to feel this way.”  It’s almost as if he is saying in regards to his subject that said subject will take the chance to express his/her love for a certain person even though it may be too late and regardless of not getting that chance again.  It’s something of a bittersweet song, when considered from this lyrical angle.  The song’s musical side complements that bittersweet feel, too. the two elements together make for a song that is just as solid as the EP’s opener.  It will leave audiences wanting more in the best possible way.  Audiences will get to hear more as the band has a pair of live dates currently scheduled.

Audiences can hear more from We Are The Finale live now as the band currently has a pair of live dates confirmed.  The band is scheduled to peform a live home town show tomrrow at Rocketown.  It is also schedule to perform at Exit/In in Nashville, TN on January 17th.  Audiences can purchase tickets for both shows online now and get the latest news from the band at http://www.facebook.com/WeAreTheFinaleband. Audiences can also keep up with all of the latest from the band online via Twitter at http://twitter.com/wearethefinale.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Full Band Lineup Announced For 2015 Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival

Courtesy:  BSG PR

Courtesy: BSG PR

The organizers of the annual Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival have announced the complete lineup for the 2015 edition of the festival.

The festival’s organizers announced previously that Rancid, Refused, and Dropkick Murphys will share the bill as the headliners for this year festival.  It was also previously announced that The Muffs, Bad Manners, Swingin’ Utters, Discharge, and The Business had all been tapped to perform this year.  Now it has been announced that along with all of those bands, another group of bands has been added to this year’s festival.  Those bands are:  Sick Of It All, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Anti-Flag, A Wilhelm Scream, Mahones, Sniper 66, PEARS, I.R.A., Success!, Get Dead, Avenue Rockers, Eliza Battle, Sounds of Threat, and Battle Born.  Festival founder Mark Stern was upbeat when discussing the official announcement.  He discussed not only his pleasure at having all of the bands for this year’s festival in place, but the importance of having them on board.  “We are very excited about the 2015 lineup” he said.  “We strive to keep things fresh and over 80% of these bands have never appeared at PRB. With bands from all over the States as well as Sweden, UK, Canada and even Columbia, it’s going to be another classic Punk Rock Bowing weekend!”

The 2015 edition of the three-day festival will take place over the course of May 23rd – 25thin Las Vegas, NV.  It will be held on 7th Street and Stewart Avenue near the city’s famed Fremont Street.  All of the latest updates on band lineup, ticket information, and more is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.punkrockbowling.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Punk-Rock-Bowling-and-Music-Festival/288077407910557

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/PRBCommittee

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Devour The Day, Like A Storm Join Hellyeah For Upcoming Tour

Courtesy:  Eleven Seven Music

Courtesy: Eleven Seven Music

Hellyeah is hitting the road again this winter.

The band announced a new slate of tour dates in support of its latest full-length studio release Blood for Blood.  The band’s fourth full-length studio effort, Blood for Blood was released June 10th, 2014.  The upcoming tour includes twenty-three total dates.  Among those dates is a pair of dates in North Carolina on the tail end of the tour.  The first of those two dates will bring Hellyeah and support bands Devour The Day and Like a Storm to Ziggy’s by the Sea on Friday, March 6th, 2015.  Ziggy’s by the Sea is in Wilmington, North Carolina.  The second of the bands’ North Carolina performances will bring them to Amos’ Southend in Charlotte on Saturday, March 7th.

Devour the Day is currently touring in support of its debut full-length album Time & Pressure, which was released May 7th, 2013.  The album made Devour the Day one of 203’s biggest Cinderella stories.  Its lead single ‘Good Man’ reached #10 n the “Active Rock” Chart and #15 on the “Mainstream Rock Tracks” Chart.  The band was also one of the Top 40 most played artists of 2013 at Active Rock stations across the country.  The album’s latest single ‘Respect’ made its way to the Top 20 on Mediabase’s “Active Rock” Chart this past September. The band’s upcoming tour with Hellyeah is not its first with a big name act.  It has also toured with: Butcher Babies, Three Days Grace, and Sevendust and has shared the stage with Rob Zombie and All That Remains.

Like a Storm will release its new album Awaken The Fire on Century Media’s sister label Another Century early in 2015.  The album will be the band’s first for Another Century and second overall full-length release.  The band has already released two singles–‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ and its latest single ‘Wish You Hell.’

The full schedule for the upcoming “Blood For Blood 2015” Tour is listed below.

HELLYEAH with DEVOUR THE DAY and LIKE A STORM dates:

FEBRUARY
Friday, February 6, 2015 LAS VEGAS NV BROOKLYN BOWL
Saturday, February 7, 2015 RENO NV KNITTING FACTORY CONCERT HOUSE
Sunday, February 8, 2015 SACRAMENTO CA ACE OF SPADES
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 SPOKANE WA KNITTING FACTORY CONCERT HOUSE
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 BOISE ID KNITTING FACTORY CONCERT HOUSE
Friday, February 13, 2015 SALT LAKE CITY UT THE COMPLEX- GRAND ROOM
Saturday, February 14, 2015 DENVER CO SUMMIT MUSIC HALL
Sunday, February 15, 2015 WICHITA KS THE COTILION
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 KANSAS CITY MO ARVEST BANK THEATRE @ THE MIDLAND
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 LINCOLN NE THE BOURBON THEATRE
Friday, February 20, 2015 COLUMBIA MO BLUE NOTE
Saturday, February 21, 2015 SIOUX CITY IA HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO
Sunday, February 22, 2015 MINNEAPOLIS MN MILL CITY NIGHTS
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 FLINT MI THE MACHINE SHOP
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 FORT WAYNE IN PIERE’S
Friday, February 27, 2015 PHILADELPHIA PA THE TROCADERO THEATRE
Saturday, February 28, 2015 UNCASEVILLE CT MOHEGAN SUN WOLF DEN
MARCH
Sunday, March 1, 2015 SAYREVILLE NJ STARLAND BALLROOM
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 BALTIMORE MD RAMS HEAD
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 KNOXVILLE TN THE CONCOURSE @ THE INTERNATIONAL
Friday, March 6, 2015 WILMINGTON NC ZIGGY’S BY THE SEA
Saturday, March 7, 2015 CHARLOTTE NC AMOS’ SOUTHEND
Sunday, March 8, 2015 ATLANTA GA CENTERSTAGE

 All of the latest updates from Hellyeah on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: www.hellyeahband.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hellyeahband

Twitter: www.twitter.com/hellyeahband

All of the latest updates from Devour the Day on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: www.devourtheday.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/devourtheday

Twitter: www.twitter.com/devourtheday

All of the latest updates from Like A Storm on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: http://www.likeastorm.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/likeastormofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Judas Priest Reveals Release Date, Specs For Upcoming Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Columbia/Legacy

Courtesy: Columbia/Legacy

The members of Judas Priest made a big announcement regarding one of its classic albums this week.

Judas Priest just released its seventeenth full-length album Redeemer of Souls this summer. Fresh on the heels of that album’s release, the band has announced that it will re-issue its hit 1984 album Defenders of the Faith early next year. Defenders of the Faith will be re-issued on March 10th, 2015. While Defenders of the Faith will be re-issued next spring, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the album’s original release. The album, the band’s ninth at the time of its original release, is anything but just another re-issue. The upcoming re-issue will include Judas Priest’s original album re-mastered by producer Tom Allom and a complete live performance spanning two discs. The triple-disc package will be released via Columbia/Legacy.

The bonus full-length concert included with the upcoming re-issue of Defenders of the Faith was recorded at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California on May 5th, 1984. The performance was part of the band’s tour in support of the then new release. Its set list features a total of twenty-one songs spread across two discs. Among those twenty-one songs are classic hits such as: ‘Metal Gods,’ ‘Breaking The Law,’ ‘Sinner,’ ‘ Electric Eye,’ ‘The Green Manilishi (Wit the Two-Pronged Crown),’ ‘Victim of Changes,’ and ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’ among lots of others.

Defenders of the Faith was last re-issued in 2012 as part of a double album set alongside the band’s 1978 album Killing Machine. That album was known as Hell Ben For Leather in the United States. Before that release, Defenders of the Faith was also re-issued in 2001. The complete listing for the upcoming re-issue of Defenders of the Faith is noted below.

CD1 ‘Defenders of the Faith’ Re-Mastered 

1.   Freewheel Burning
2.   Jawbreaker
3.   Rock Hard Ride Free
4.   The Sentinel
5.   Love Bites
6.   Eat Me Alive
7.   Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
8.   Night Comes Down
9.   Heavy Duty
10. Defenders of the Faith

CD2 Live at Long Beach Arena, California 5th May 1984 

1.   Love Bites
2.   Jawbreaker
3.   Grinder
4.   Metal Gods
5.   Breaking the Law
6.   Sinner
7.   Desert Plains
8.   Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
9.   The Sentinel
10. Rock Hard Ride Free

CD3 Live at Long Beach Arena, California 5th May 1984 

1.   Night Comes Down
2.  The Hellion
3.   Electric Eye
4.   Heavy Duty
5.   Defenders of the Faith
6.   Freewheel Burning
7.   Victim of Changes
8.   The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)
9.   Living After Midnight
10. Hell Bent For Leather
11. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

More information on Defenders of the Faith’s upcoming re-issue and all of the latest news and tour updates from Judas Priest is available online at:

Website: http://www.JudasPriest.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Feast Of Friends Is Truly A Feast For The Eyes And Ears Of Any Doors Fan

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The tour documentary is, in the music industry’s current era, one of the most overused recordings released by record labels and their roster of acts each year.  Next to those “making of the record documentaries” and singles collections that so many acts and labels like to call “greatest hits” records, the tour documentary has over the years become overly abundant that it has largely lost any importance that it might have previously had within the music industry.  The end result of so many labels and acts releasing tour documentaries is that the documentaries in question have become relatively bland and useless.  This is especially the case being that the world now lives in an era in which social media dominates almost every avenue of everyday life.  By comparison, bands that laid the groundwork for today’s music industry didn’t have any of today’s technology.  So the only glimpse that audiences had at said acts was the occasional live show that audiences could attend when said acts came to their towns.  That makes the rare documentaries released today on said acts all the more valuable for audiences.  Eagle Rock Entertainment released one of those important and valuable rarities late last month in the form of The Doors’ Feat of FriendsFeast of Friends was produced by and about The Doors.  It was also the only tour documentary ever produced by the band itself.  The catch is that it was never actually fully completed.  Until now, Feast of Friends has never been officially released to the public for purchase.  That within itself is a major reason for audiences to pick up this documentary.  It’s just one reason for audiences to check it out, too.  The amount of material presented to audiences within the documentary is just as important to the whole.  And last but not least of all is the quality of the footage itself throughout the presentation.  Considering how many decades have passed since the video presented in Feast of Friends was originally recorded.  But it looks surprisingly clean in its transfer from its masters.  Together with the documentary’s content and the fact that it has never before been released, it becomes a presentation that any fan of The Doors and any music historian will want to add to their collection.

One of the main reasons that today’s tour documentaries and making of presentations have become so annoying and useless is the fact that there are so many of them.  More often than not, many of the pieces that make up that mass are “documentaries” that have been released more than once over the years.  Given some might not have been.  But there are those that have been released and re-issued more than once.  Eagle Rock Entertainment’s release of The Doors’ Feast of Friends is the first time ever that this documentary has seen the light of day since its original recording during the band’s 1968 tour.  That means that at least the primary feature material contained within this Blu-ray is material that has not been seen before.  Given, there is one piece that looks like it was taken from the band’s 1968 show at the Hollywood Bowl. And “The Doors Are Open” has been previously released, too. It was released on DVD in 2002.  But other than that, the material presented in this documentary is material that has not been seen before by audiences.  That means that there is nothing to which this release can be compared in terms of The Doors’ previous releases.  That in itself is plenty of reason for any music historian and fan of The Doors to pick up this recording.  It also leads to another reason that audiences will appreciate Feast of Friends.  That second reason that audiences will appreciate Feast of Friends is its very breadth of material.

The fact that Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recent release of Feast of Friends marks the first time that the documentary has been released to the public for purchase is reason enough for any music historian or Doors fan to pick up this recording.  The amount of never before seen material that is shared throughout the recording is even more reason for audiences to check it out.  Audiences get to see the primary presentation after which the Blu-ray is titled for the first time.  Audiences get to see another side of Jim Morrison especially through the course of this feature.  They get to see his more well-known enigmatic side.  But they also get to see a more laid back Jim Morrison, playing a piano backstage at one of the band’s gigs.  They get to see him with his band mates and all of their friends and family at a lake, just enjoying time together.  They also see early on a man who was obviously a reluctant celebrity despite his ability to connect with the band’s fans on and off stage.  It is truly an interesting juxtaposition to see.  And it’s not all that audiences will enjoy seeing, either in this presentation.   Also included with Eagle Rock’s new release of Feast of Friends is a rather interesting look at the band from across the pond in the feature “The Doors Are Open.” This feature does has actually been released before. It does quite the job of juxtaposing the band’s concert footage against all of the unrest running through America at the time. There is also an impressive concert feature in the presentation’s closer “The End.” It shows the band’s performance of what is one of its greatest songs of all time in ‘The End.’ It is complemented by the inclusion of interviews with John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, and Danny Sugerman. Whether or not audiences are familiar with the Doors, the collective material featured throughout this Blu-ray is material that will enlighten and entertain anyone with any interest in classic rock and the foundations of today’s rock world. It is most definitely a collection of material that makes the presentation in whole well worth the watch.

 

The material culled for Feast of Friends will definitely enlighten and entertain audiences regardless of their familiarity with the Doors or even the history of classic rock in general. That Feast of Friends has never been released before, and that over ten years have passed since “The Doors Are Open” was last released makes this collection even more worth the watch for any true fan of The Doors and any music historian. As important as all of this is to the success and enjoyment of The Doors: Feast of Friends none of it would mean anything without the work of those charged with restoring the footage for its presentation here. In watching the Blu-ray in whole, it is obvious that while some of the material has been previously released, painstaking efforts were taken to ensure that Feast Of Friends maintained the high standard set by Eagle Rock with each and every one of its releases, whether it be a live concert recording or documentary. There are those Blu-rays out there that present classic concerts and movies in which the footage obviously hasn’t been touched. And those releases look awful to say the least. This Blu-ray however, is not on that level, thankfully. It maintains Eagle Rock’s high standard quite well. And because of that, it leaves no doubt in any viewer’s mind that Feast of Friends is indeed a feast for the eyes and ears of any Doors fan and music historian.

 

The Doors: Feast of Friends is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

 

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Steve Rothery Band’s Latest Live Recording Another Enjoyable Listen For Fans Of Rothery, Marillion

Courtesy: InsideOut America

Courtesy: InsideOut America

Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery released his latest solo live recording this past September.  The album, Live in Rome is a recording that any of Rothery’s fans will enjoy.  Audiences will enjoy more than anything else about this album the fact that it features not only Rothery’s own compositions but work that he has crafted with his band mates in Marillion.  The thirteen track recording’s run time is another positive to the overall presentation.  The recording clocks in at just under two hours.  To be more precise, it comes in at approximately an hour and forty-six minutes.  That time is comprised largely of Rothery’s performance, which leads to the last aspect of the recording that audiences will appreciate.  That last factor being the stage presence on the part of Rothery and his band mates.  The band is rather subdued in between songs.  But during the course of the songs, Rothery and company shine, letting their music speak for them.  That aspect coupled with the recording’s run time and its set list makes Live in Rome a recording that every fan of both Steve Rothery and of Marillion will enjoy.

Steve Rothery’s recently released live recording Live in Rome offers plenty for audiences to appreciate. Even with Marillion having released its latest live recording just last year, this new recording from the Marillion guitarist will impress audiences just as much.  The main reason that audiences will enjoy Live in Rome so much is its set list.  Rothery’s performance includes both his own compositions and songs that he recorded with his band mates in Marillion.  While a good portion of the songs included on Live in Rome come from Rothery’s own solo catalogue, Rothery does delve into his work with Marillion, too.  He includes Marillion’s fan favorite ‘Easter’ from Marillion’s 1987 album ‘Season’s End’ as part of the concert’s set list.  ‘Waiting to Happen’ from the band’s 1991 album Holidays in Eden is also here as is ‘Afraid of Sunlight,’ the track from the band’s 1995 full-length record.  Other than that trio of songs, the remainder of the concert’s set list comes from Rothery’s own body of work.  While Rothery focuses primarily on his own body of work, the fact that he would include even three Marillion song shows a certain level of respect for his fans and for those that are fans because of his link to Marillion.  It proves in the end to be a good combination of songs regardless of audiences’ loyalties.  And it’s just one part of what audiences will appreciate about this recording.  Just as worth noting about this recording is its run time.

Live in Rome clocks in at just under the two-hour mark.  That is even with a total of thirteen song and Rothery’s storyteller moments between songs.  While it runs approximately an hour and forty-six minutes, it feels so much longer.  Considering that the shortest song on the recording is just over three minutes in length and the longest just over twelve minutes, that becomes even more powerful of a statement to the benefit of Live in Rome.  What that says is that even as long as the songs are versus the concert’s run time, Rothery and company do everything right for audiences.  They make the concert feel as if it goes well beyond the two hour mark.  And for anyone that is a long-time fan of Marillion and Steve Rothery personally, that is a truly powerful statement.  It shows even more just how enjoyable this recording proves to be in the long run.

The set list the makes up Live in Rome and its surprising run time are both key factors to its success and enjoyment.  Both factors are directly connected to one another, thus showing how important each factors are to the presentation in whole.  While both aspects are equally important to the success of Live in Rome, the band’s stage presence is just as important to note.  Stage presence is difficult to fully gauge on CD.  But there are moments between the show’s songs in which Rothery displays a certain reserved, yet amiable nature.  He talks to the crowd, happy to share the stories behind the songs within the concert.  Yet he never seems to present an air of arrogance.  He shows that he is thankful to have his audience there in attendance during these moments.  And the fact that he and his band mates can somehow make the songs feel so much longer than they are without making them feel too drawn out displays its own positive stage presence. They keep the songs interesting from start to finish from the beginning of the concert to its final moments.  And they do so simply by putting on display their talents.  There is no pretense or unnecessary antics, etc.  It is just a group of musicians entertaining its audience.  Audiences that take in the concert on CD will enjoy that display just as much as those that were there in attendance at the original concert.  The band’s display of talent alongside its run time and set list proves Live in Rome to be a true joy for any fan of Marillion, Steve Rothery, and prog rock in general.

Live in Rome is available now on CD/DVD combo pack.  It can be ordered online via Marillion’s website at http://www.marillion.com/shop/albums/liveinrome.htm.  More information on this and other solo releases from Steve Rothery is available online at:

Website: http://www.steverothery.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SteveRotheryOfficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

McCartney’s New Single Gives Great Hope For His Career And The Future Of Music

Courtesy:  Concerd Music Group/Hear Music/MPL

Courtesy: Concord Music Group/Hear Music/MPL

Legendary musician Paul McCartney has spent the better part of his life making some of the greatest music that audiences have ever heard. Whether it be music that he crafted with his former Beatles band mates, those he composed as part of Wings, or his solo work, McCartney’s work has proven time and again to be timeless. Now McCartney is set to release yet another great work in the form of his new single ‘Hope For The Future.’ This song was previously only available through the new hit video game Destiny. But on Monday, December 8th, the song will be available worldwide for audiences via Concord Music Group/Hear Music/MPL. There is plenty that can be said of this song that makes it such a joy of a song. The most obvious reason for its enjoyment is its lyrical content. Taken out of the context of Destiny’s world, the song’s lyrical content proves to be just as powerful for listeners. The song’s musical arrangement adds even more depth to the song. There are strings, horns, and of course McCartney covering the vocals and guitar line. As important as both factors are to the song’s success and enjoyment, they would be nothing without proper production. Thankfully veteran producer Giles Martin put all of the song’s various musical sections together to complete the song. It shows to be a song that gives its own hope for the future of McCartney’s career however long McCartney chooses to keep making music.

‘Hope For The Future’ was originally released earlier this year as part of the soundtrack to the hugely popular video game Destiny. But next Tuesday, the song will be available for audiences around the world through Concord Music/Hear Music/MPL. This song, which McCartney crafted himself, is arguably one of the best new singles of 2014. And it definitely gives its own * ahem* hope for the future of McCartney’s career for however long he chooses to keep making music. One way in which that it does this is through the song’s lyrical content. McCartney writes in this song, “We will build bridges/Up to the sky/Heavenly light surrounding you and I/From out of the darkness/Our future will come/If we leave the past behind/We’ll fly beyond the sun/We’ll be together/Sharing the load/Watching in wonder/As our lives unfold.” Such positive lyrical content could not be more welcome especially in consideration of all of the conflict around the world. McCartney’s line referencing leaving the past behind could not be more fitting for America considering the recent reports of civil unrest and racial tensions raised thanks to recent police actions. He goes on to write in the song’s chorus, “Hope shines brightest/In the dark/Where nothing’s ever seen/Lighting undiscovered places/No one’s ever been.” He hammers home the point that a positive outcome is possible despite all of this unrest and tensions he writes, “Hope for the future/It will belong to us/If we believe/If we believe.” Such positive and–for lack of better wording–hopeful lyrics are welcome and much needed especially in the current state of the world. It’s just one way in which ‘Hope For The Future’ proves to be such an outstanding new work from Paul McCartney.

The lyrical content infused into ‘Hope For The Future’ is itself an important part of the song’s whole. It provides a positive, glimmering light among all of the darkness created by the conflict and tensions around the world. The lyrics are themselves quite positive. The music against which the lyrics are set add even more depth and impact to the song. McCartney was backed by a full orchestra in the recording of the song. That means that every part that audiences hear is the real thing. From the gentle cello line that opens the song to the power of the low brass against McCartney’s own guitar line, and the soaring strings, the arrangement in whole adds so much depth and emotion to the song. Set against the song’s lyrical side, it makes them even more impactful. The end result is again, a song that proves to be one of this year’s best new singles and a song that gives plenty of hope for McCartney’s own musical future.

The music and lyrics that make up ‘Hope For The Future’ collectively make this song a piece that audiences will enjoy whether listening to it as part of Destiny’s soundtrack or by itself. As impressive as the music and lyrics are, they would be nothing without the work of producers Mark “Spike” Stent and Giles Martin. Martin, many might not know, is the son of legendary producer George Martin, who produced a number of The Beatles’ greatest albums decades ago. George’s ear for music was obviously passed down to Giles, as audiences will hear here. He and Stent balanced McCartney’s musicianship with the talents of the 120-member (yes, 120) orchestra. Whether it be the accents of the cymbal rolls, the punch of the low brass against McCartney’s own guitar line, or the crescendos and decrescendos of the strings, Martin and Stent obviously went to painstaking efforts to make every part of the song have the utmost emotional impact. They accomplished this goal quite well, too. Audiences will agree with that sentiment when they hear the song for themselves. What’s more, audiences will agree in hearing ‘Hope For The Future’ that this song itself is one of the best new singles of 2014. And it gives great hope for McCartney’s career for however long he intends to keep making music.

Whether it be for the production work of Giles Martin and Mark Stent, the song’s musical side, or its lyrical side, all three factors prove to be equally important in the success and enjoyment of ‘Hope For The Future.’ The original mix itself is more than enough reason to pick up this single or download it. McCartney and the people at Concord Music, Hear Music, and MPL have made things even more interesting for audiences by including four remixes, one of which is a rather interesting EDM remix. Whether it be any of those remixes or the original, every listener will find something to like about ‘Hope For The Future.’ With any luck, all of the different mixes together will change the minds of even those that have decried the song and make them agree that this is without a doubt, one of the great new singles of 2014.

‘Hope For The Future’ will be available Monday, December 8th. More information on how to purchase and download the single and on McCartney’s upcoming tour dates and news, is available online at:

Website: http://www.paulmccartney.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PaulMcCartney

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PaulMcCartney

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