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Progressive Rock DVD/Video Reviews

Spaced Out

Live at the Crescendo Festival DVD

Review by Josh Turner

When a band like Spaced Out gets a DVD, it makes one suddenly realize that gone are the days of certain media. No longer will there be Beta or Laserdisc as that was replaced by VHS. Decades later, the digitized bits found in DVDs happen to monopolize our storage facilities. Around this time, Blue-ray discs now appear to be aplenty.

But even as more portable avenues become available, they have always been way too expensive for the recording of niche entertainment; especially the likes of live music filed under Progressive Rock. With new formats popping up like prairie dogs, DVDs now seem viable and cost-effective for just about anything.

Thankfully this concert was filmed and packaged for our consumption. The earthly tones and bubbly beats call to King Crimson in their prime whereas the earthly lights and bubbly fans make me think of other clever acts performing beneath the House of Blues’ luminous skiffs. Additionally, the execution and quality of sound is top-shelf.

What’s very cool is that Spaced Out played outside at the Festival Crescendo within the city limits of Saint-Palais-sur-Mer France, and it takes place on a busy street. Their backdrop consists of a bustling metropolis full of speeding cars and fervent pedestrians.

Also, if you didn’t see their line-up with your own eyes, you wouldn’t realize that their wall of sound was built entirely by three hardworking guys: These diligent dudes consist of Martin Maheux, Mark Tremblay, and Antoine Fafard.

To this trio’s credit, their reverberations are always reliable from one minute to the next. Maheux manages his drums as if it were an unbroken stallion calmed by a horse whisperer whilst Tremblay’s tremulous guitars oftentimes mimic power tools. Then there is a headless bass steadily ridden by their leader, Fafard.

A little anemic in terms of material, this runs approximately 100 minutes. Not that they needed it, because we get quality as opposed to quantity; but the extras round it out. The doggy bag contains the song, “Sever the Seven,” footage from their London rehearsal, and loads of pictures in the clear of that touristy feel.

Throughout the show other comparisons came to mind, including Far Corner and Aziola Cry. In the past, instrumental ennui has made me yawn. Like these exhilarating examples, neither their abilities or selections gave me cause to quit. When all is considered, I cannot say many performances deserve to be pressed in Spaced Out’s place.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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