Fates Warning Announces Dates For Fall 2015 U.S. Tour

Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral

Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral

Veteran prog-rock band Fates Warning will be back on the road this fall.

The band’s members–Jim Matheos, Ray Alder, Joey Vera, Bobby Jarzombek, and Frank Aresti–announced this week that it will take to the road beginning Friday, October 9th in Hartford, Connecticut. The current schedule includes six dates, the latter trio of dates being in Texas. More specifically, the last three dates on the band’s current tour schedule will see the band perform in Dallas first, Houston second, and an Antonio third. the band’s current tour schedule is listed below:

FATES WARNING – US Tour 2015:

Fri, October 9 – Hartford, CT, Webster Theater

Sat, October 10 – Worcester, MA, Palladium

Sun, October 11 – Poughkeepsie, NY, The Chance

Fri, October 23 – Dallas, TX, Trees

Sat, October 24 – Houston, TX, Scout Bar

Sun, October 25 – San Antonio, TX, 210 Kapone’s Live

Fans can keep up with any addition tour dates online via the band’s website and Facebook page at:

Website: http://fateswarning.com

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

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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

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Hackett’s Latest Live Recording An Easy Candidate For One Of 2014’s Best New Live Recordings

Courtesy: Inside Out U.S.

Courtesy: Inside Out U.S.

Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett’s follow-up to his live 2013 box set Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith is a solid companion piece to that release. While Hackett’s former band mates were not a part of this latest live recording (or his previously released live show at the Hammersmith), the musicians with whom he surrounded himself are just as talented as them. That is the first piece of this recording’s success. Another aspect worth noting in the concert’s recording is the show’s set list. And the multiple formats in which the performance is available solidifies the whole thing as one of the best new live recordings of the year.

Steve Hackett and his former Genesis band mates may no longer be performing or even recording together. It would be a dream come true for Hackett to reunite with at least one incarnation of Genesis if only for a one-off show. In their stead though, Hackett has surrounded himself with quite the stable of musicians and artists. Roine Stolt (the Flower Kings), Gary O’Toole (Chrissie Hynde, Kylie Minogue), Rob Townsend (Eddie Henderson, Bill Bruford, Django Bates), Lee Pomeroy (Rick Wakeman, Take That), Nad Sylvan (Unifaun, Agents of Mercy), and one time Genesis vocalist Ray Wilson joined Hackett for this performance. Also on board for the show were John Wetton, Amanda Lehmann, and Roger King (Snoop Dogg, Gary Moore, Jamelia). This collection of performers is just as talented as any incarnation of Genesis over the decades. Gary O’Toole covers the drums and percussion with the same ease as Phil Collins in his heyday. And Hackett soars throughout every song. Each of the group’s members gets their own moment in the spotlight, too. That is made evident through the show’s extensive set list, which is just as important to this recording’s success as the group assembled for the show.

The musicians brought on board for Steve Hackett’s Royal Albert Hall performance each bring their own expertise to the concert. They may not be the original Genesis lineup. But they are just as impressive as those musicians if not more so. Their talent is not all that is worth noting in this latest upcoming live Genesis Revisited recording. The show’s set list is just as worth nothing. It totals eighteen songs and approximately two hours and fourteen minutes. Not a single second of the nearly two and a half hours is wasted, either. The inclusion of fan favorites such as ‘Dance on a Volcano,’ ‘The Musical Box,’ and ‘Los Endos’ among so many others makes the recording even more enjoyable. Add in a number of rather extended songs and solid stage performance from every member of the band, and audiences get even more reason to check out this recording.

The collective stage presence on the part of Hackett and his fellow musicians, and the show’s extensive set list together are more than enough reason for any Genesis fan to check out this latest live release from Steve Hackett. There is still at least one more reason for Genesis fans to pick up this latest release from Hackett. That reason is the recording’s multiple presentation formats. The presentation reviewed here is that of the audio only CD recording. It is also available as a triple-disc 2CD/DVD digipack, and limited edition 2cd/2DVD/Blu-ray art book that includes liner notes, photos, and bonus interview segments. It was all recorded in 5.1 Surround Sound. So in total, Steve Hackett: Genesis RevisitedLive at the Royal Albert Hall will actually be available in not one, not two, but three separate formats upon its release next Tuesday, July 8th. The concert’s multiple presentation formats work in tandem with the concert’s extensive set list and the talent of the performers (as well as their o0n-stage presence) to make this latest live Genesis Revisited concert one of the best of 2014.

More information on Steve Hackett: Genesis RevisitedLive at the Royal Albert Hall and all of the latest news from Steve Hackett is available online now at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Steve-Hackett/123101228589 and http://www.hacketsongs.com. 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Devin Townsend Project Releases Teaser Trailer, Artwork For New LP

Okay fans, I’ve got one more piece of entertainment news for you before I head out for the weekend.  If you’re a fan of Devin Townsend Project, this one is for you!

The Devin Townsend Project is prepping the release of its next full length, release, “Epicloud.”  In celebration of the upcoming new release, Devin Townsend has posted a teaser trailer for the album’s first track, ‘”Effervescent!.”  It can be viewed here:  http://youtu.be/czLehznovHc.  The interstellar themed video starts with a small group of individuals singing under the direction of a very tiny director.  the director in question turns out to be *gasp* a little alien.  From there, the song really starts to rock.  It also features the cover artwork for the new album.

The new 13-track “Epicloud” is currently slated to be released on September 18th in North America, September 24th in Europe.  DTP will hit the road this September alongside Katatonia, Paradise Lost, and Stolen babies to support “Epicloud.”  The bands will kick off their tour September 4th at Studio 7 in seattle, Washington.  Fans can get a full tour listing and keep up with the latest news on “Epicloud” online at http://www.hevydevy.com and http://www.facebook.com/dvntownsend.  Paradise Lost fans can keep up with the band online at http://www.paradiselost.co.uk, http://www.facebook.com/paradiselostofficial, http://www.myspacecom/paradiselostuk, and http://twitter.com/officialpl.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with all the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

OSI’s fourth LP one of the best of 2012

The best comes to those who wait.  Who hasn’t heard, spoken, or written that old adage?  Well, in the case of prog-rock supergroup OSI (Office of Strategic Influence), the best–so far–has come.  The band–Kevin Moore (Chroma Key/ex-Dream Theater), Jim Matheos (Fates Warning), and Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree)–has rewarded fans who have waited since the release of its 2009 release, “Blood.”  Simply put, the band’s fourth full length studio effort, “Fire Make Thunder” will be making fire and thunder of its own among fans once it drops.

“Fire Make Thunder” is without a doubt a work of genius.  It is collectively some of the band’s best work to date.  The album starts off soft, with “Cold Call” and ends just as soft with the eery final tones of the album’s closer, “Invisible Men.”  In between these two tracks is a collection of works that make for an album that real prog-rock fans will love.  “Fire Make Thunder” opens eerily, with an announcer speaking about an emergency of some type.  That’s overlaid by the electronics and keyboards that fans have come to know from OSI.  That opening leads into a solid, heavier sound that doesn’t let up until the album’s third song, “Indian Curse.” 

Lyrically speaking, Indian Curse” comes across almost as a history lesson of sorts.  The lyrics seem to speak of the journey of the Native Americans, including their eventual forced removal of their people from their land.  The accompanying music would seem to enforce that theme, too, as it has a rather subdued feel.  It isn’t the only interesting change of sound for OSI this time out.  The bittersweet sound of the album’s penultimate song, “For Nothing” is painful, yet somehow something so beautiful.  Maybe it’s the strains of the piano in the background that really help set the mood.  Regardless, it’s definitely one of the album’s standout tracks.  The full-on instrumental “Enemy Prayer” is another of the album’s real standout songs.  It’s one more piece of evidence that a rock song doesn’t always have to have lyrics to be a great song.

“Fire Make Thunder” has far more great pieces that could be dissected.  But to do that would require far more time than would be needed to properly do service for this album.  So suffice to say that whether for any of the pieces mentioned here or the others not mentioned, OSI has crafted in its new full length studio release, “Fire Make Thunder”, not only another great album, but perhaps its best album to date.  Fans who want more information on the band or its new album can follow the band online at http://www.osiband.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/OSI/203893353038854?sk=wall  and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/osi_band.