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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

Triumph

A Night of Triumph Live DVD

Review by Bob Cooper

The most recent installment from the Triumph camp comes in the form of this 1985 show which was recorded at the Metro Centre Arena in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada during their Thunder Seven Tour. Again, this is another great example of why a band should make an effort to film and record EVERYTHING possible, as that is what enables the band to go back and hand-select good video and sound for posthumous releases like these. Gil Moore and Mike Levine have taken another run through the Triumph vaults and returned with this treasure which may have otherwise been lost to the wayside. Gil Moore has produced this show with all of the loving care that today's technology permits, and the result is a monumental document of a monumental band. The audio was remixed from the original master tapes in DTS 5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, and 2,0 Stereo.

Here, we have Emmett, Moore, and Levine pouring through an impressive list of standards like "Allied Forces", "Magic Power", "Lay It on the Line", "Take A Stand", and "Fight The Good Fight", as well as some great covers such as Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Just One Night" from Journey. Also included in the setlist is "Tears In The Rain", "Somebody's Out There", "Midsummers Daydream", "Follow Your Heart", "Rock & Roll Machine", and "Spellbound", which were not offered on the last DVD, Triumph Live At The US Festival.

It is interesting to note the differences in the band between the 1983 UsFest show and this 1985 show. Most notably are the lasers and lighting effects that accompanied the band. In 1983 lasers were just coming into the picture, and while they were being used it was not practical to bring them along in a festival situation. But developments in the next two years were astounding, and laser drawings (poor mans holograms), and usage of prisms grew in leaps and bounds. Also, while most bands used touring as a way to generate new fans and promote new records and seldom made a profit, Triumph managed to put on a good enough show to actually be able to guarantee profits, and didn't scrimp on visuals. And they even managed to tour for at least five months of the year!

Another difference is that Rik Emmett seems to look a little road-worn and perhaps not as into the scene as he was 2 years before- possibly due to the fact that...gulp...another guitar player, Rick Santer, was added into the band, and Rick could not only sing, but could play keyboards. This apparent "subdued" Rik is a very subtle thing and is not highly apparent or obvious, but at times there is a definite look in his eyes that would suggest a degree of disdain over the band situation, and with that in mind it is not surprising that Rik ended up leaving the band. But it is also apparent that Riks guitar prowess was improving beyond the constraints of a prog rock band, and it is also no surprise that he eventually pursued his interests once he had left the band. But all of that aside, this show is an excellent piece of work, as history frozen in time for our perusal.

Bonus features include two videos for "Just One Night" (from UsFest) and "When The Lights Go Down" (promotional film) as well as backstage footage from a show they did at The Spectrum in Philadelphia which includes some interview bits and general musings by the band. There is also a photo gallery and even a 5.1 tutorial to ensure that you get the optimum performance from your home audio equipment.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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