Arena: XX (DVD)
No introduction should be needed when discussing the British band Arena who helped lead the great prog revival of the '90s. Celebrating their first twenty years together this DVD aptly titled XX has the band performing at Kinoteatr "Rialto", Katowice, Poland on April 9, 2015.
The recording took place during the Unquiet Sky tour so it should come as no surprise the set focuses on their last studio album. That said, The Visitor and Immortal are also well represented including the epic "Moviedrome" which is given an introduction by Nolan where he explains the tune was never meant to be performed live as it was in his words rather "complicated and awkward". That there can be no doubt as this is nearly twenty minutes of pure prog goodness as the band wind their way through moody atmospheres and fantastic guitar and keyboard solos. Other highlights include "Crack in the Ice" where Mitchell's guitar shines brightly and the beautifully emotive "The Hanging Tree", both from The Visitor album. The playing is fantastic from everyone involved and the DVD sounds great. The one negative is the picture quality as the resolution could have been much better. It's clear this was a lower budget video production but for those who have never seen the band perform live this will be a nice purchase. Plus you get to see "Moviedrome" performed in all its splendid prog glory.
Also included are informative interviews with Mick Pointer and Clive Nolan. Here Nolan reveals information on their latest album, the band's songwriting process, inspiration for the band's music and where the future might lead.
As this is the first live DVD I have seen of Arena I can't compare it to other live performances. Although the video footage could have been of better quality it doesn't take from the fact this is a group of wonderful musicians who put on a great show that night. Released on Metal Mind Productions.
1. The Demon Strikes
3. Double Vision
4. Crack in the Ice
6. How Did it Come to This?
8. Bedlam Fayre
10. The Unquiet Sky
11. Traveler Beware
12. City of Lanterns
13. Ride the Tide
14. The Hanging Tree
15. The Tinder Box
17. Don't Forget To Breathe
18. Crying For Help 7
Added: June 19th 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
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