Kino and Spock's Beard (March 2005)

Date of Performance: March 19, 2005
Venue: Spirit of '66, Verviers, BE

Kino Live - Pete TrewavasKino and Spock's Beard together for the price of one. They couldn't have chosen a better pair. I have never in my life seen Pete Trewavas so enthusiastic. "This band is godsend as it's not prog all the way and neither is it 'just' pop or rock. I think this is the kind of band the world has been waiting for for a long time,' he enthuses. As is now a regular situation on Saturday evenings, the show only started at 9:45 PM. With two interesting names on stage for sure it would become a late night. However, Kino played a rather short set. I would have loved to see them continue a little longer, as once again there wasn't a weak point to spot all along. Kino live - John Mitchell When John Mitchell came to see me after the soundcheck his voice really sounded terrible, although during the concert he managed to hit even the highest notes with ease. No doubt helped a little by the magician behind the mixing desk, Rob Aubrey, Kino managed to win the audience over hands down. In "Leave A Light On" (on my promo of the album still called "Telling Me To Tell You"), I still hear a fair amount of pure Joe Jackson genius full of catchy hooks and "mind-sticking" melodies. Melody is indeed a very important element in Kino's music. Out of the ten tracks of the band's debut album Picture no fewer than seven were performed, music welcomed by a lot of enthusiasm from the crowd. In fact, it was interesting to see that a large part of the nearly sold out crowd came especially for this new supergroup. Kino can only be pleased with this tour, which puts them yet another step on that highly desired ladder to stardom. On this tour the drum stool was taken by It Bites drummer Bob Dalton who together with keyboard player John Beck meant we had a large slice of It Bites on stage. Picture is only one small step in what will undoubtedly be one of the most interesting current ventures in the domain of original and interesting rock music.

Spock's Beard liveIt had been many years since I saw Spock's Beard for the last time. Not that I no longer liked their music, but with the band having become a firm favourite in the circuit they have come to the point where they pull large crowds and a large crowd in a tiny club never is a pleasant experience as a spectator. Spocks Beard live - Nick D'VirgilioIt virtually becomes impossible to take good photographs, whilst it all becomes one sweaty trip through progland. In fact, for me, this was the very first time I saw the band perform since Neal Morse left the band, so I wondered whether the same magic would still be around. As did Phil Collins with Genesis all those years, Nick d'Virgilio most certainly has done an outstanding job stepping into Neal's heavy boots! Not only does Nick have an incredible, good voice, but he also plays guitar and on occasions gets behind his drumkit to deliver powerful solos together with his buddy, newcomer drummer Jimmy Keegan (which only is Spock's drummer during tours, but insists that Nick is and will always be Spock's only drummer ever!) in the same way Collins teamed up with Chester Thompson.

Spock's Beard live - Ryo OkumotoAlthough material was pulled from a variety of the band's albums, the emphasis was mainly on the recent material from both Octane as well as Feel Euphoria. Next to two other Octane tracks no less than the entire "A Flash Before My Eyes" epic was performed. There were two tracks from Feel Euphoria next to "Harm's Way" from Kindness Of Strangers; "At The End Of The Day" from V; "Gibberish" from Day For Night, reserving the immortal "The Light" from the band's debut album as a well-deserved encore. Although Nick told me he caught a terrible cold only on the second day of the tour, his vocals were amazing, whilst it struck me how funny Dave Meros was all night. Ryo looked a little restrained being less loopy than normal. He went a little overboard during his keytar solo and when he told a stupid joke in Japanese, but for the rest of the evening he was rather serious. But all in all this was the kind of concert you'd expect from a band like Spock's Beard. You certainly wouldn't settle for anything less. It was a good show, nothing more, nothing less. -

Added: April 5th 2005
Reviewer: John Bollenberg
Hits: 1751
Language: english

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