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Progressive Rock Concert Reviews

Tony Levin

Live in Chicago-June 23rd, 2000

Review by Gary Hill

Tony Levin and company did two shows for Chicago on June 23rd. The set consisted mostly of material from his new release Waters of Eden.
His band for this tour consisted of Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel), Larry Fast (Synergy, Nektar) and Jesse Gress (Todd Rundgren). They showed that it is possible to do music that is instrumentally challenging and still look like you are having fun. The shows began with Fast alone on the stage setting down a wonderfully powerful keyboard sound punctuated by percussive elements. After a time, the rest of the band made their way around and through the audience banging drums to make up the percussion from Fast's keys. What a great way to start the concert. As the band made their way through the set, they told various stories to explain the origins of certain tracks and generally to entertain.
     
Each member of the band got their fair share of the spotlight. Fast performed a piece from his Synergy projects. Levin did a solo piece that he explained was originally written and recorded for an Italian artist. He even added quite competent lead vocals, in Italian! Among the non Eden material performed were a Genesis song (with Marotta handling the lead vocals), Crimson's "Elephant Talk", a Gabriel number, and an intriguing jam that represented how KC might have done a version of Hendrix' Red House. The band ending the set with the same piece of music that began it, all of them but Fast making their way back through the audience with their drums. It was a stunning performance and a great time.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
     
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