I got a copy of this CD a few months ago from Derek Sherinian to check out before this final release. Derek responded to a review of his solo album “Inertia” I did with a nice e-mail, and then he asked me if I wanted a CDR copy of this recording, I gladly accepted of course. I have listened to this four times now and have found it to be a highly entertaining disc regarding all aspects of the musical equation. I held off on writing about this until the official release came out to see if there were any differences in the sound. There are some differences, it got tweaked slightly in the studio during the final mix down, and it’s noticeable to the discriminating ear. Simon Phillips, renowned percussionist, did the final mixing.
Derek’s goal was to fine tune this band into a working machine, I think that he has succeeded in doing so. The tracks were recorded June 13, 2001 at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia. For three guys they certainly make a lot of noise. While Sherinian leads the group on keyboards, Tony Macalpine handles the guitar, and Virgil Donati mans the drum kit. Their sound is BIG, and you would never know that it was merely a trio. The absence of bass is simply not a factor, Derek more than makes up for that with his keyboard virtuosity. The three part “Atlantis” is their epic slice of prog-rock totaling more than 17 minutes. The subject matter is typical of the genre, and words are not necessary as the group does a fine job of making the story happen inside your head with the changing tides of the music. The crowd is very responsive and each member of the group gets their moment in the spotlight. Derek is very generous when it comes to sharing the stage, and he makes sure that the crowd appreciates all the solos by his band mates by
urging the crowd to respond.
Sherinian is a powerful keyboard player with a real focus and sense of direction that he is going in musically. Keyboard players are notoriously free spirited and Derek is no exception. He was great in Dream Theater, but now he is really beginning to blossom following his own path. This is great live prog-rock. It’s a must for any keyboard devotee’s collection or prog-rock enthusiast.