incident caused this delicate piece to become a near write-off. The defect carried thru the ensuing 3 works. The opening theme of “The Ikon” segued into “Eternal Love” featuring a concert middle of heavy jazz with Todd on soprano sax and Powell simultaneously playing trumpet with his right hand and the Probe with his left! Todd later performed cosmic duck calls with the mouthpiece of his sax–too much. Powell’s Probe intro highlighted the Leon and Bernstein tune “Somethings Coming” which segued into “The Death of Rock and Roll” and directly into “Heavy Metal Kids,” making for an interesting triple-header. The newer “Hiroshima,” a bomb-rock tune, was powerful and strange. It was during this piece that Utopia’s stage crew fixed the faulty columns. The flashpot explosions at the end of “Hiroshima” were blinding. The epic of the “Glass Guitar” was next, featuring excellent stage lighting. Wilcox’ drum solo was replete with shooting streams of water, placed directly in front of his kit, programmed to spurt out to the beats of the drums–bloody incredible! Sulton’s solo segment was followed by Powell’s in which he was challenged by a large Chinese Dragon lurking at the sides of the backdrop. Flames periodically shot forth from various points at stage front and in the end, after a hard-fought battle, Roger triumphantly vanquished the monster with his trusty Probe. Todd’s feature segment was not to be believed! His filling-rattling electric guitar solo, featuring a stereo effect and a frequency shifter (thanks re-gress) was A-1. As he was soloing, Todd climbed the 250-foot metal shell of a pyramid, placed directly over centre-stage, with uncanny grace and when he reached the zenith, he sat down and continued to shell forth an amazing solo while a blinding white light came on behind him. To the opened-mouthed awe of all present. Todd then somersaulted to the floor by means of a hand-held chain! Cecil B. deMille, move over! He then smashed an ice guitar and the epic piece concluded. The long set ended with the rock anthem “Uptopia” again featuring the sparsely-utilised Laser. After a well-deserved 5-minute ovation, Utopia encored with “Couldn’t 1 Just Tell You” and the excellent “Just One Victory” in which dry ice poured from the nostrils of the mask. It is not possible to use any other superlatives for this incomparable show–they cannot be found. On the strength of this presentation, Utopia must be placed in the Top http://www.ratw.com/of International touring hands–say no more.
The fine pairing of the Al DiMeola Band with Weather Report brought rock back to The Beacon Theatre recently for two SRO shows. Openers sixman DiMeola really cooked. Al has assembled a fine cast of musicians for this tour led by Eddie Colon on timbales and Eric McCann on bass. The sound was loud and clear: perfectly balanced and the crowd enthusiastically responded to all of the repertoire, especially to those pieces from DeMeola’s two solo albums. The motifs for most of the pieces were Latin-based and haunting, all driven home by the fluid on stage manner of DiMeola and his fast, clean sound. The powerfully heavy moments of their set were well-received by this lowly scribe as he reached for another celestial sphere. Falling into this area was a scorching simul-lead by keyboard and guitar which
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