Threshold - Concert In Paris

Year of Release: 2002
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: NSCD002
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:55:00

While I have liked live albums, many of them are not designed for endless, repeated listenings. One might not tire of hearing the songs the band is playing, especially if the live version has something extra that the studio version lacked, but one can tire of the between song chatter. The first listen through, it's like being there. 20 times, you just want to hear the music, as the stories being told no longer remain fresh. So, I don't listen to a lot of live CDs more than once or twice at first, and then sparingly after that. One that has been an exception is Marillion's The Thieving Magpie. I have long thought it a well put together live document and one that I have played over and over again, though more so as the single cassette version than the 2-CD version I also have. Nonetheless, it has been one of my favourite live recordings.

And then along comes Concert In Paris from Threshold, recorded live from their performance at the Elysee Montmarte in Paris, France in September 2001 (opening for ARK). Damn, this CD is good! Once the band begins playing, and there is very little delay in that, they don't let you go. Touring in support of their Hypothetical release, the bulk of the material is taken from that CD. Whatever I said in my review of Hypothetical about "Long Way Home" and "Light And Space" not being memorable songs, doesn't hold true here. Whatever was I thinking then? Sure, the title refrain from "Turn On, Tune In" will still rattle around in your head, but so will "I'll be in your thoughts / I'll be in your dreams / All the light you see / All the air you breathe..." from "Light And Space."

Included in the set also is "Devoted" (from Psychedelicatessen), "Freaks" and "Change" (Clone) and "Paradox" (Wounded Land). "Long Way Home" crunches and thunders powerfully. This band is so tight and "spot on." These are pieces that were designed for the freedom of live performance, when one can let themselves be taken by the moment -- and Mac (vocals), Nick (guitar), Karl (guitar), Jon (bass), James (drums) and Richard (keys) do just that. And the sound here is great, though I'll admit it's not perfect. It's live after all, but we're talking very damn close to perfect. It's consistent and the levels and separation of instruments is terrific. I always find that keyboards played live sounds shrill and overly parpy -- not here, they sound like very warm keys, and are balanced perfect in the mix - another quibble I have with live performances...

There is a multimedia segment on this disc as well, which includes mini-interviews, a tour diary, a screensaver featuring the Concert In Paris album artwork and interior photos, and a hidden track -- a track so well hidden, I haven't yet found it.

Kudos to Threshold. As a live disc, it's sublime. I'm blown away by how good a CD this is. This is prog metal at it's very best. If they play this good at ProgPower USA III -- well, they just might blow a headliner or two off the stage. Concert In Paris has just become my favourite live CD; I just can't get enough. And the good thing is that it was released this year, so it's eligible for the year's best list this year. Highly recommended.

Rating: 6/5 (yeh, it's that good!)

Freaks (5:24) / Turn On Tune In (5:53) / Long Way Home (5:52) / Change (4:43) / Devoted (6:44) / Light And Space (5:32) / The Ravages Of Time (9:56) / Paradox (9:51)

plus the multimedia section:

mini-interviews, tour diary, screensaver, hidden track

Mac - lead vocals
Karl Groom - guitars and vocals
Nick Midson - guitars
Jon Jeary - bass and vocals
Richard West - keyboards and vocals
Johanne James - drums

Wounded Land (1993)
Psychedelicatessen (1994)
Livedelica (1995)
Extinct Instinct (1997)
Clone (1998)
Decadent (1999)
Hypothetical (2001)
Wounded Land: Special Edition (2001/2002)
Psychedelicatessen/Livedelica: Special Edition (2001/2002)
Concert In Paris (2002)
Critical Mass (2002)
Wireless - Acoustic Sessions (2003)
Critical Energy (2004)
Extinct Instinct: Special Edition (2004)
Subsurface (2004)
Replica (2004)
Surface to Stage (2006)
Dead Reckoning (2007)
The Ravages Of Time (2007)
Paradox - The Singles Collection (2009)
March Of Progress (2012)
For The Journey (2014)
European Journey (2015)
Legends Of The Shires (2017)
Two-Zero-One-Seven (2018)

Critical Energy (2004) (DVD)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: November 2nd 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 833
Language: english


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