Veteran Canadian prog-rock band Saga has been making music for over thirty-five years. The band has had its share of ups and downs through those three decades plus. From lineup changes to flying just under the mainstream radar, the band’s members have managed to stick it out the entire time and make album after album that fans have largely applauded. Unlike its fellow and far more popular counterparts in Rush, Saga never found the success of Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson. The band did however find success in its home country and across Europe. Now nearly four decades since the band originally formed and released its self-titled debut record, Saga is back once again with its latest live release, Spin It Again!: Live in Munich. Most of Saga’s fan base will welcome this new live release first and foremost because it has been made available separately on Blu-ray and double-disc CD. This separation gives fans the option to add the performance in either format or both. Also worthy of note in this new release is its set list. It would be impossible for the band to cover its entire catalogue of songs in just one performance. But the songs included in this performance cover a healthy portion of the band’s material. One more aspect of the release to take into consideration is that by and large, Saga has very rarely played any American dates. So having both the double-disc CD and Blu-ray portion of the concert available for the band’s U.S. fans is the proverbial icing on the cake for this release. It makes the whole presentation whole, and that much more worth adding to any fan’s collection.
Saga’s new live release, Spin It Again!: Live in Munich was recorded five years after the band’s last breakup. Considering that so much time passed between that breakup and eventual reunion and concert, the band collectively sounds like it hadn’t missed a beat. And thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, the band’s fans have been given the choice of enjoying this performance either on Blu-ray or double-disc CD. This is pretty much standard for every live recording released through Eagle Rock Entertainment. There will always be those critics that would like to discredit such packaging methods. They do so because of the costs to the consumer versus bundling. That will always be an issue. However, by splitting the recording into two separate formats, Eagle Rock is giving audiences options. The most obvious hypothetical situation to consider is that perhaps one format is not available but the other is. It’s better for fans to have something than nothing, right? Right. To that extent, Eagle Rock is worthy of applause once again for separating Saga’s reunion show rather than bundling it. This is just one reason that fans of Saga will appreciate this new recording.
The availability of Spin It Again!: Live in Munich is just one reason that Saga’s more seasoned fans will appreciate this latest live recording. The show’s set list is another reason for fans to applaud this new release. The recording presents a respectable amount of material from the band’s expansive catalogue of material. Fans of Dream Theater’s older material circa 1992 will appreciate the set list. That’s because some of the material presented by Saga here will instantly conjure thoughts of Dream Theater’s breakout 1992 album Images and Words. That’s especially the case with ‘The Perfectionist’and the concert’s opening number, ‘Anywhere You Wanna Go.’ The remainder of the band’s performance runs the gamut. Fans will hear plenty of music that is more in line with material from the band’s American hair metal counterparts that rose to fame in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The songs chosen for Saga’s performance in Munich are just as important to the recording’s overall presentation as the fact that the show is presented in two separate formats. Having the presentation in two separate formats is important in its own right. On a deeper level, the very fact that Eagle Rock Entertainment has made this concert available for fans outside of Canada is highly important. It is important because otherwise, fans of a band such as Saga would be severely limited in their options concerning experiencing the band’s live show. That Eagle Rock Entertainment has made the show available not on one but two formats gives fans outside of the band’s more often toured regions the chance to experience the band live, too. The resulting effect of this is that it could even help spread the word of Saga to other audiences that perhaps had never heard of the band themselves. Yet again, Eagle Rock is more than deserving of any and all praise that it receives for taking the time to release this concert to the masses. It is available now on Blu-ray and double-disc Blu-ray. More information on this release and more on Saga is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com, http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt, http://www.ear-music.net, and http://www.sagaontour.ca. 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.