Enchant - Live At Last

Year of Release: 2004
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 188/SPV 089-60952
Format: CD
Total Time: 146:45:00

Ever since the band's debut album, Enchant has been known as an incredible touring band. Over the years they opened for many big names in the prog circuit (Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, etc?), and although they had their fair share of problems, they nevertheless managed to stay together and build a following for themselves. I regret that Enchant still isn't the household name they should be (as are Jadis and Threshold for that matter), but by working hard they go from strength to strength. Throughout the band's career Ted Leonard's incredible voice has been a major attraction getting close to that wonderful timbre of Kansas' Steve Walsh. Together with guitarist Doug Ott and bass player Ed Platt, Leonard is the third original remaining member of the band. Especially where keyboard players is concerned, Enchant had more than their hands full, but now seem to have found the ideal person in Bill Jenkins.

From the very first chords, you can hear that the crowd is very enthusiastic to make this a night to remember. During "Sinking Sand," Ed Platt more than once lets his bass guitar roar, creating one of the major strengths of this band. The bass is once again very present during "Under Fire" pumping tons of energy into the band. I also like the interaction between guitar and keyboards during "Progtology," also incorporating loads of breaks and changes. Over the years the band has recorded around 75 songs, one third of which are performed during the concert which we are listening to right now. What strikes me is that the band does not forget to perform material from their debut album, which in most cases is the kind of album bands use very little or no material from during gigs. Here no fewer than five tracks from their A Blueprint Of The World debut are performed, followed by two tracks from Wounded, two tracks from Time Lost, two tracks from Break, a stunning five tracks from Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10, four songs from Blink Of An Eye and finally three tracks from the band's latest studio offering Tug Of War. So in fact you get kind of a live retrospective of the band's entire career. With drummer Sean Flanegan and keyboard player Bill Jenkins having been with the band for only a couple of years, surely the set must be something special for our founder members.

Doug Ott plays a superb piece of guitar during the minimal "Follow The Sun," which, if the guitar solo would be replaced by violin, could end up sounding like vintage Kansas all along. I really dig Bill Jenkins' synth solo during "Seeds Of Hate," nicely making way for yet another furious guitar intervention by Ott. This is progmetal at its very best. Recorded in their hometown of Oakland at the iMusicast venue, the crowd is ever so respectful to keep quiet during the more laidback nature of "Comatose," which during the intro only exists of voice and piano. In fact, this intimate approach introduces a special section during this concert, as Enchant tackles two tracks from their Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10 album the "unplugged" way, turning both "Black Eyes & Broken Glass" and "Colors Fade" into almost two completely different songs. This is the kind of material you could expect when the band sets out to promote a new album, playing some tracks in record stores only featuring Ted and Doug. The acoustic guitar lingers on a little longer as it features in the intro to "Pure," after which the rest of the band can resume their "normal" activities. With "Oasis" the band has chosen the perfect highlight to end this concert. This track probably is the best known Enchant recording anyway, serving like Yes' "Roundabout," containing all the right hooks and moves.

So there you have it: two and a half hours worth of Enchant and proof that the band's strength lies in their live performances, adding a certain energy which you can't find on their studio offerings. There's also a DVD of the event for those of you who want to relive it all frame by frame. The order in which the songs are performed is exactly like on this double disc, so what you hear and see is exactly the concert as it was performed that particular night.

Disc One: Mae Dae (3:23) / At Death's Door (7:15) / Sinking Sand (7:46) / Under Fire (6:11) / Broken Wave (5:46) / Blindsided (6:45) / Acquaintance (7:04) / Monday (7:58) / Progtology (6:54) / The Thirst (6:39) / Paint The Picture (6:50)

Disc Two: Under the Sun (7:40) / What To Say (4:57) / My Enemy (6:51) / Follow The Sun (6:05) / Break (4:48) / Seeds Of Hate (6:21) / Comatose (8:58) / Black Eyes & Broken Glass (acoustic) (4:44) / Colors Fade (acoustic) (5:12) / Pure (7:33) / Below Zero (6:32) / Oasis (9:13)

Bill Jenkins - keyboards
Ted Leonard - guitar, vocals
Douglas Ott - guitar, vocals
Ed Platt - bass
Sean Flanegan - drums

A Blueprint of the World (1995)
Wounded (1997)
Time Lost (1997)
Break (1998)
Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10 (2000)
Blink Of An Eye (2002)
Tug Of War (2003)
Live At Last (2004)
The Great Divide (2014)
Live At Last (2004) (DVD)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: March 29th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.enchantband.com
Hits: 1358
Language: english


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