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Alan Parson Project
A Concert Review

October 31, 1996

The Vic

Chicago, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
Neil Lockwood
Neil Lockwood
w diverse a crowd the Project attracts. Meanwhile, I'm hearing classics like "Prime Time," and "Limelight" and with every note I realize that this is one of the best sounding shows, and I guess I shouldn't have been surprised because Alan Parsons has always been one to stretch the limits of musical technology, combining the classic electric guitar sound with programmed interludes from a keyboard. He always seemed to try it all - and it usually worked.

Well, the band headed for a break, they kind of split the show into two big sets of about an hour each. The second set started by spotlighting The Alan Parsons Project new CD, "On Air." Now, I haven't heard the entire CD yet, only what I heard this night, and I will say it's some classic Alan Parsons music. Most of the songs deal with one aspect or another of flying, and Alan does a great job of putting that feeling into music. And the crowd, some who have heard the new music but many who hadn't, seemed to still love every minute of the show, and that's what important. Well, after a few of the new songs the band cruised back into classic AP with some "Psychobabble," and then I half expected Michael Jordan to come running out when the band cranked into "Sirius" before "Eye in the Sky."

Ian again
Ian again!
Now, although the music is what Alan Parsons has always been about, and as much as I look forward to a live version of what I hear on CD, I also look for something different in a live show than just being able to get the same effect as putting in a CD. For the majority of this show, however, that was just about what I got. The music was great and Alan put together some of the most talented musicians for this gig, and he even made the mention that in the 12 albums he's put out he has used about 30 different singers. Maybe this is sort of the reason that the music sounds so great but that the band just seemed to be missing a little personality. It really wasn't until the end of the night, during a duet/both singer dudes singing during "Games People Play" that the band seemed to bust out of the shell. There was a point earlier where Ian, the guitarist dude I believe, made some comments about the significance about one of the songs off of "On Air," but for the most part, Alan would make a little comment, and they would cruise into a song. Finally, during "Games," the singers were working the crowd, the band seemed to loosen up, and this night of great music started to become something fun. It's just too bad it took so long to happen.

Well, although a lot like the CD, it is still cool to see The Alan Parsons Project live. The sound was some of the crispest and clearest I've heard in a while, and it's still cool remembering the musical diversity that Alan Parsons throws out. I only wish the band would loosen up a little earlier and look like they're having fun. Even though my feelings are such, the crowd still loved every minute of the show, from the classics to the new music, and showed their appreciation throughout the entire night. So, yep, it's a TWO BIG THUMB UPPER for Alan Parsons and his Project.

That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right. L8R!!


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