Exposé Online banner

Spock's Beard — The X Tour - Live
(Music Theories Recordings MTR 7357 2, 2012, 2CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-04-01

The X Tour - Live Cover art

This set marks the end of an era for Spock's Beard. The tour in support of the 2010 album X was the last to include founding member, drummer, and singer Nick D'Virgilio. As with another notable prog band that had its drummer take over lead vocal duties, D'Virgilio gave "the Beard" bucketloads of talent and professionalism that will be missed. This outing (recorded at the Downey Theatre in SoCal) serves up fan favorites like "Thoughts" and "The Doorway," as well as the entire X album (a nice demonstration of confidence in new material for a group with ten albums to draw from). The entire group is firing on all cylinders, including Ryo Okumoto on keyboards, Dave Meros on bass, Alan Morse on guitar and live drummer Jimmy Keegan (now SB's permanent drummer). Okumoto flings chops around the hall on the instrumental "Kamikaze" while Meros shines on "The Quiet House," delivering the meaty and virtuosic bass lines he's known for. Alan Morse complements the keyboards via guitar work that is equally at home with textural backing and soaring melodic leads. Perhaps even more impressive than the instrumental fireworks Spock's Beard musters on stage is the group's command of multi-part vocal harmonies. I can't guarantee that some "sweetening" hasn't been applied in post-production, but the end result reinforces what has always been one of SB's trademark strengths. The sound quality on this set is solid, if a tad flat. The drums were sacrificed a bit to ensure everything else has clarity, but that's probably a worthwhile tradeoff. If the Nick D'Virgilio era is to be judged by this release alone then they have a document to be proud of. Note: This review pertains only to the audio portion of this release, which also includes a DVD with video of the same event.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Spock's Beard, Ryo Okumoto, Nick D'Virgilio (NDV)

More info
http://www.spocksbeard.com

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Christian Décamps & Fils - Vesoul – A brand new live album by Décamps, a superb follow-up to his 1994 studio album Nu, even though only one track from that album is included in this set (and it's one of the most abrasive — "Sur les...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues