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Ron

...Live from Los Angeles Review: More of the same? No way.

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Another "Greatest Hits" CD of Styx material? Over the past 10 years or so there has been plenty of discussion from fans about the constant re-release of this material. Why spend another $20 for yet another version of Come Sail Away? Answer: You need too; and by adding this to your collection it will most likely become the version of these songs that you will listen to the most.

 

After being removed from the band that he poured his life's energy into, Dennis toured performing only the songs that he wrote and sang with Styx, as well as some notable songs from his solo catalog. He sounded great and the performances were strong, but for a Styx fan something felt missing. As good as the musicians were that toured with Dennis for that first decade after Styx, there was an emptiness that even the addition of a symphony orchestra, and all of the added musical textures that came with it, would not be able to add.

 

Everything changed in 2010 when Dennis hit the road with some changes to the members in the band. A lot of focus is put on the addition of August Zadra because he handles the lead vocals that Tommy Shaw would sing, but all of them; not just August but Jimmy Leahey, John Blaucucci, Tom Sharpe, and Craig Cater together really make things magical. Their on stage chemistry really helps the quality of the show. The word "reunite" is always thrown around when a band separates, but I'll argue that there is no need to reunite with others when you are on stage with such a fine set of musicians that work well together, and clearly show us how much fun that they are having.

 

The quality of this release is like no other. If it wasn't for the parts that the crowd is cheering, you can easily forget that this is a live recording.It sounds that good. Parts that occasionally get lost in the mix when live, or difficult to hear due to a venue's acoustics, or where you are sitting are all there for the fullest sound that can be heard. Don't believe me? Listen to this version and the version from the Styx Return to Paradise release. For that matter check out all of the different versions if you have nothing better to do. Even a direct comparison with the original studio recording if you dare. While this current version recreates the original song, you will find subtle additions in the new version that do not exist in the original 40 year old version. In a few instances, this makes the original sound bland, and that it is "missing something"; yet the 2014 version makes it feel like it always sounded that way.

 

The resulting release from all of this hard work is great to hear and visually appealing. The quality of the sound, as well as the camera work, and the editing and mixing clearly demonstrate that even at the young age of 67, Dennis is clearly at the top of his game.

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Ron - I could not agree with you more on your review.  I have been a STYX fan since I was 17 - and this recording is as close to anything I have ever heard that captures the "STYX" magic.  I have not watched the Blu-Ray yet (I got my Amazon pre-order of both the Blu-Ray and CD/DVD package yesterday) - however I have listened to the CDs.  You are right - the sound is amazing - perfectly mixed with so many nuances added.  I am still amazed that Dennis sings actually better now that he ever has - his voice is one of my 2 favorites of all time (the other being the late Freddie Mercury).

 

The addition of August Zadra, Jimmy Leahey have made a big difference.  I am a guitar player since 16 and Tommy Shaw is my idol.  I will have to say (I know Dennis does not like the fans taking sides) but this sounds way better than STYX with Gowan.  The difference is that Dennis' voice cannot be replaced.  August is no Tommy Shaw - but he is pretty damn close and is an amazing Guitarist/Vocalist.

 

As far as your opinion about whether you should buy it or not - most definitely.  It is worth every penny to purchase both - mainly the CD/DVD version for just the CDs.

 

I heard Dennis is strongly considering making a new album with this band.  I can't wait to hear it.  Long live Rock and Roll!

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cd/DVD on the way......re-watching the AXS show again today - my favorite is still "The Best of Times"

 

A new album would be great!  Can't wait until January to see him live here in Texas!

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From DDY's site:

 

The DVD has 16 songs so everything is there except Rockin the Paradise for which synch rights could not be obtained, but it rocks the cd with the great guitar duel of 1886.

 

I wonder why the sync rights could not be obtained for the DVD on this one song. Was it just a timing thing or did someone pose an objection to it?

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I wonder why the sync rights could not be obtained for the DVD on this one song. Was it just a timing thing or did someone pose an objection to it?

 

Not sure.  From a writing aspect - DDY, Tommy, and JY are given credit.  Who owns the rights?  Don't know that answer (normal internet searching didn't get me far beyond the original A&M copyright/play-right).  Purely speculation on my part - but probably just timing?

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If the song that you were using for your encore was released several months before you will be releasing a DVD, and this former bandmate's version totally kicks ass, wouldn't you do what you could to stop if being released if you had the power to do so?

 

...just speculation. But if it's true I hope Dennis returns the favor when they ask for his permission for the video rights to songs that he has control over.

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If the song that you were using for your encore was released several months before you will be releasing a DVD, and this former bandmate's version totally kicks ass, wouldn't you do what you could to stop if being released if you had the power to do so?

 

...just speculation. But if it's true I hope Dennis returns the favor when they ask for his permission for the video rights to songs that he has control over.

If that's the case it would be a pretty shitty thing to do since I would not doubt that DDY had to give sync rights to the current Styx for the GI\PO8 DVD they released awhile back.

 

Also, if it was TS\JY that wouldn't approve it, I think it shows that DDY has class since he didn't use it sling mud at his former band mates.

Edited by Boomchild

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FINALLY arrived today in the mail.  Quickly converted onto my iPhone and started watching the video while at the gym.  A couple of very quick first impressions:  I knew that I already loved August in the band - his vocals and guitar are quite spectacular.  I had reserved any opinion on Jimmy up to this point.  All I can say is WOW.  His outro to Desert Moon is awesome, as is his Prelude 12 into to Suite Madame Blue.

 

It was also nice to get to hear Show Me The Way and Don't Let It End again.  Took me all the way back to the mid 80s to early 90s.  I'll listen through the CD set and watch the concert a couple more times before I offer up my "track by track" opinions.

 

Let's just say - this is worth every penny!

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If the song that you were using for your encore was released several months before you will be releasing a DVD, and this former bandmate's version totally kicks ass, wouldn't you do what you could to stop if being released if you had the power to do so?

 

...just speculation. But if it's true I hope Dennis returns the favor when they ask for his permission for the video rights to songs that he has control over.

I was doing some more thinking on this subject. I think it could also be that DDY and TS\JY couldn't come to an agreement for the use of RTP.  Meaning they were asking for something  DDY was not willing to give.

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I was doing some more thinking on this subject. I think it could also be that DDY and TS\JY couldn't come to an agreement for the use of RTP.  Meaning they were asking for something  DDY was not willing to give.

He has already given them more than they should have ever gotten. Plus they need him to give permission for their video release coming out next year. He doesn't need to give them anything, unless they named a price that was completely unrealistic. But even doing that puts them in a bad light.

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