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Progressive Rock DVD/Video Reviews


Live In Tokyo DVD

Review by Gary Hill

First, for anyone looking at this DVD and wondering, "what's different about this one from Live: Blood, Sweat and Beers that I bought a couple years ago?" - the answer is just the cover and the title, this is the same video. So, for those of you, like myself who missed that release, what exactly is in store here? Well, what you have is a roughly one hour in concert presentation with no frills, either in terms of DVD features or stage antics.

For my money, Niacin is one of the more unique and fun (not a word you see that often in prog circles) bands in the progressive rock genre. All three of these guys (yep, it's only three guys making that music) are incredible players in their own right. The thing is, rather than just focusing on impressive virtuosity, they know how to make music that flows and grooves. They understand the power of a cohesive and entertaining melodic excursion, and they do a nice job of creating that kind of a texture. The result is a show that will leave you marveling at the musical talent these guys possess, but perhaps more importantly it will keep your feet tapping.

This one is a good video. To me the fact that the stage is small and sparse is a good thing. It allows you to focus more on the performances. You get plenty of chance to see all these guys plying their particular brand of musical expertise up close and personal. So, while this could have been a better video (it would have been nice to have a few extras) it's still pretty darn good. The retro prog fusion of Billy Sheehan, John Novello and Dennis Chambers has a lot of class. This video has some, if not all of that class.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 2 at

You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
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