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

More info
http://www.spocksbeard.com

Latest news

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Gourishankar - 2nd Hands – In 2002, Russian guitarist Nomy Agranson and keyboardist Doran Usher formed The Gourishankar, a Russian neo-prog band that now also includes vocalist Vlad MJ Whiener and drummer Cat Heady. 2nd Hands...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues