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Norlander, Erik, and Friends: Live in St. Petersburg (DVD)

There's been no shortage of quality DVD's coming out of the Erik Norlander & Lana Lane camp the last couple of years, and with all the material that these two have recorded in their careers, as well as the many tours of the world they have completed, each video release seems to feature different set lists, making for exciting viewing each time. Live in St. Petersburg is no exception, filmed in Russia and featuring the line-up of Norlander on keyboards, Lane on vocals, Kelly Keeling on bass & vocals, Peer Verschuren on guitar, and Ernst Van Ee on drums. Culling songs from throughout the career of both Norlander & Lane, but focusing mainly on songs heard on Erik's live album Stars Rain Down, the set is long on melodic and progressive hard rock songs featuring plenty of symphonic keyboards, crunchy guitar work, intricate drums, and powerhouse vocals.

Some of the standouts here are the wild keyboard vehicle "Neurosaur", the lush "Alexandria" (featuring a great Lana Lane vocal), the heavy rock of "Secrets of Astrology", "Oblivion Days", and "Beware the Vampire", and the melodic progressive rock tunes "Mariner", 'Guardian Angel", and "Sky Ful of Stars". Always willing to throw in a cover song or two, the band does a fine job with Procol Harum's "A Salty Dog", as well as King Crimson's "In the Court of the Crimson King", the latter located in the bonus feature section and filmed at 2004's CalProg Festival.

As always, the performances of this band are top notch, and it's important to note just how well Kelly Keeling fits in here. Not only is he a talented vocalist and proves to be an effective male counterpart to Lana's vocals, he is a fine bass player and adds some great hard rock groove to the heavier pieces. Drummer Van Ee pounds away nimbly as always, and Verschuren has to be one of the most underrated axe-slingers on the scene today. Of course it goes without saying the keyboard skills of Norlander and the vocal prowess of Lane-two pros at the top of their game.

This set comes with a companion audio CD containing a good portion of the Russia set, plus two new studio tracks. Overall, the audio and video elements throughout are top-notch, something which one comes to expect with any product from Erik Norlander. So what are you waiting for? Get this added to your symphonic rock DVD collection ASAP!

DVD Track Listing
1. Fanfare for Absent Friends Part One
2. Neurosaur
3. Dreamcurrents
4. Mariner
5. A Salty Dog
6. Sky Full of Stars
7. Alexandria
8. Guardian Angel
9. Oblivion Days
10. Peer's Guitar Solo
11. Beware the Vampires
12. Secrets of Astrology
13. Fallen
14. One of the Machines
15. Fanfare for Absent Friends Part Two
Bonus Features
Documentary with Interviews
In the Court of the Crimson King (CalProg 2004)
Sky Full of Stars (2004 Europe Tour)
Mariner (2004 Europe Tour)
Video Montage Scored With New Version of "From Russia With Love"

Added: August 30th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Erik Norlander Website
Hits: 7772
Language: english

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