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Arena: Caught in the Act (DVD)

If you are in the mood for 2+ hours of solid, hard-driving neo-progressive music, than look no further than this brand new live DVD from Arena, recorded in Krakow, Poland April 11, 2003. Band members Clive Nolan, Mick Pointer, Rob Sowden, John Mitchell, and Ian Salmon, all rock hard when need be, but as a unit contribute tons of symphonic flourishes to the sets 22 songs.

Many of the songs played are from Arena's last few albums, so if you are into the more aggressive material like "Witch Hunt", "Cutting the Cards", or "This Way Madness Lies" you will be in for a real treat. Singer Sowden is a very interesting chap, with his long hair, flourescant green glasses, spiked wrist and neck bracelets (hey, this isn't 1982 buddy!), and assortment of jackets, adds a theatrical flair to his frontman status, especially on some of the older tunes like "Soloman", "Jericho", "Crying for Help", and "Hanging Tree." It's also on these older tunes that keyboard player Nolan lets loose with some acrobatic synthesizer solos and Mellotron patches, as he takes a more textural approach to the more recent songs. The real star however is guitarist John Mitchell, whose technical yet emotional lead work brings to mind a young David Gilmour or even Joe Satriani, and his handywork is all over each of these tracks.

The concert is expertly filmed, and the sound is very good, and while 130 minutes may seem a bit long (especially for older fans of the band who might be wanting to hear more songs from the bands first three albums) there's plenty of enjoyable prog rock here for every fan to enjoy.

Added: December 28th 2003
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Verglas Music/Arena World
Hits: 3367
Language: english

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