This raucous live set from the Mike Keneally Band (recorded the same night as the also recently released Wednesday Night Live from the Bryan Beller Band, September 15th 2010 at the Baked Potato club in Los Angeles) let's you experience up close and personal an extended concert filled with quirky arrangements, addicting melodies, and complex, jaw-dropping musicianship. The band for this recording is Mike Keneally: guitar, keyboard and vocals, Bryan Beller: bass and vocals, Rick Musallam: guitar and vocals, Griff Peters: Guitar, and Joe Travers: drums and vocals. If you are wondering if this line-up is the same that appeared in Beller's band that same evening, you guessed right. Despite doing double duty, these musicians killed once again that night.
With songs drawing from Keneally's many solo albums, you get a wide assortment of his zany brand of rock, jazz, pop, and prog, and with three guitarists in the band you can expect plenty of six string mayhem. The DVD features the full show, and the cameras are right up in front, so you really feel like you are sitting directly facing the band in the front row. Audio includes stereo, Dolby 5.1 Surround, and DTS 5.1 Surround, so you have a few choices for maximum quality. Needless to say this set looks and sounds fantastic. The band scorches from start to finish, and if you like extended jams there are plenty of them here, but Keneally and crew mix it up so you get instrumental and vocal tunes sprinkled throughout. The guitar thunder of "Kedgeree" works well against the more pop-rock "My Dilemma" and the jazz-based "Chee", as the band keeps you guessing what is going to come next. Watching Keneally playing guitar with his left hand on the neck and his right hand adorning his keyboard is wild to behold, but when the three guitarists trade sizzling leads, look out!
Beller and Travers are a formidable rhythm team, and if you know the work of the virtuoso bassist you can look out for plenty of eye popping solos throughout this show. At center stage though is always the genius Keneally, who obviously learned his craft well from his years with Frank Zappa, and his virtuoso musicianship and compositional skills are always highly impressive and on full display here.
Lots of humor not only in some of the songs, but also in between some of the songs, as the band share share some funny lines with themselves and the audience. Again, it all makes for a lot of fun to watch, as you kind of feel like you are sitting right there in the audience. The CD included in the package contains 80 minutes of highlights from the show (16 songs), and is a great addition here, though many will wish they could have included the entire set on 2 CDs. Can't really be too picky though, as this is a live recording that must be seen (and heard) to be believed.
Chalk up another winner for the always dependable and impressive Mike Keneally.
- Blameless (The Floating Face)
- Life's Too Small
- My Dilemma
- Them Dolphins Is Smart
- 1988 Was A Million Years Ago
- Yep, Them Dolphins Is Smart, Alright
- Bullys (sic)
- Pretty Enough For Girls
- Cold Hands
- Natty Trousers
- Chatfield Manor
- Career Politicians