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Renaissance: Turn of the Cards & Sheherazade and Other Stories-Live in Concert (DVD/CD)

Here's a wonderful deluxe live set from the current incarnation of Renaissance, that lovely '70s prog band who so successfully merged classical with symphonic rock and medieval themes. Recorded and filmed at The Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania on September 23rd, 2011, the band thrilled the audience with a performance of both their classic albums, Turn of the Cards and Sheherazade and Other Stories in their entirety. Joining the 'classic line-up' members Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford are keyboard players Rave Cesar & Jason Hart, bassist David Keyes, and drummer Frank Pagano. If you got a chance to see Renaissance on either the 2011 tour or previously in 2009, you know that this line-up is red hot and does their vintage material justice.

Chances are if you are reading this review you are well familiar with the material on both Turn of the Cards and Sheherazade and Other Stories, so there's no sense in my trying to explain what these magical songs are all about. However, if you haven't yet experienced Renaissance (and if that's the case, shame on you!), then this is a great place to start. Annie & Co. are in fine form here, with the legendary singer showing that, even as she approaches 60, she still has a majestic voice that perfectly fits these stunning songs. Fueled by Dunford's lush acoustic guitars, the dual keyboard attack from Cesar & Hart, Keyes' nimble lead bass lines, and the tight drum work of Pagano, legendary tracks like "I Think of You", "Running Hard", "Black Flame", "Things I Don't Understand", "Mother Russia", "Ocean Gypsy", and the epic "Song Of Scheherazade" are just so classy and magical, and sound as great as they did 30+ years ago. Truth be told, there never was a band like Renaissance, then or now, as this outfit always had their own unique sound and style. Great to hear deep album cuts like "Trip to the Fair", "Vultures Fly High" and "The Mystic And The Muse" here as well, and to be honest, just about every song on both of these albums are just a classic in every way. Hearing and seeing the band perform both albums back to back is quite a delight, and you have to love the fact that in this special deluxe package you get a DVD of the entire show, shot wonderfully and with great sound, and the companion CDs, one for each set.

The packaging is quite nice as well, housed in a deluxe DVD digibook styled case with a great little booklet filled with color photos. For the loyal Renaissance fan, this will be a must own, as it's really the first time in the bands history that a full color, full concert has been recorded & filmed for release. This current line-up of the band really is on a roll now, and they are also in the process of raising funding to help with the recording of their first new original material in over 10 years (check their website at the link below for more information on that), so it really is a great time to be a fan of Renaissance.

Track Listing
Disc 1 - ACT 1: Turn Of The Cards
1. Running Hard (9:47)
2. I Think Of You (3:14)
3. Things I Don't Understand (10:01)
4. Black Flame (6:57)
5. Cold Is Being (3:52)
6. Mother Russia (10:30)
Total Time 44:24

Disc 2 - ACT 2: Scheherazade And Other Stories
1. Trip To The Fair (11:25)
2. Vultures Fly High (3:31)
3. Ocean Gypsy (7:37)
4. Song Of Scheherazade (24:35)
5. The Mystic And The Muse (8:35)
Total Time 55:45

1. Running Hard
2. I Think Of You
3. Things I Don't Understand
4. Black Flame
5. Cold Is Being
6. Mother Russia
7. Trip To The Fair
8. Vultures Fly High
9. Ocean Gypsy
10. Song Of Scheherazade
11. The Mystic And The Muse

Added: April 25th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4653
Language: english

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