Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Ringo Starr To Celebrate 80th Birthday with Starr Studded Charity Broadcast, “Ringo's Big Birthday Show”

Exciting news! Crazy to think Ringo Starr turns 80 a week from today!


Tuesday, June 30, 2020 – Today Ringo Starr announced “Ringo’s Big Birthday Show,” a broadcast to benefit 4 charities: Black Lives Matter Global Network, the David Lynch Foundation, Musicares and WaterAid. It will air on Ringo’s YouTube at 5pm PDT on July 7, 2020, Starr’s 80th birthday. The show will include unique home performances as well as never before seen concert footage from Starr, Paul McCartney and Joe Walsh as well as Gary Clark Jr, Sheryl Crow, Sheila E and Ben Harper and more.
Ringo Starr celebrates his 80th birthday on July 7.
“As everyone knows I love gathering with fans for peace and love on my birthday. But this year, I want everyone to be safe at home -  so I called up a few friends and we put this Big Birthday Show together so we could still celebrate my birthday with you all, with some great music for some great charities. I hope you will all join me! Peace and Love, Ringo.”
The broadcast will also feature the premiere of a guest star version of Ringo's "Give More Love" that was created to benefit Musicares and features Jeff Bridges, Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnette, Elvis Costello, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Peter Frampton, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Keb Mo and Willie Nelson.
Additionally there will be a playlist of unique tribute performances on Ringo's YouTube channel. This will include musicians who have previously recorded Ringo's songs, performances from past birthday celebrations as well as some new versions which artists will be posting on their socials.  Look for musical tributes from Ben Folds, Ben Dickey, Bettye LaVette, Colin Hay, Elvis Costello, Gregg Rolie, Judy Collins, Peter Frampton, Richard Marx, Steve Earle, Steve Lukather and many more.
While Ringo won't be gathering with family, friends and fans at Capitol Records this year for his birthday, he invites everyone everywhere to think, say or post #peaceandlove at Noon their local time on July 7th. Fans are already organizing online events around the world to fulfill Ringo’s birthday wish of a wave of Peace & Love across the planet. Look for details on Ringo’s Facebook page for events starting in New Zealand and ending in Hawaii. Ringo began these in 2008 at the Hard Rock Café Chicago and in 2018 he celebrated the 10th Anniversary at the Hard Rock Café Nice. In the ensuing years it has grown enormously and in 2019 there were over 30 Peace & Love events in countries all around the world including Argentina - Buenos Aires; Chascomus, Armenia - Yerevan Australia -Sydney, Bolivia - La Paz, Brazil - Sao Paulo,  Columbia -Bogota,  Costa Rica - San Jose,  Cuba – Habana,  Czech Republic – Prague, El Salvador - San Salvador,  Estonia – Tallin, Finland – Helsinki, Germany - Hamburg and Halle, Italy – Venice,  Japan - Osaka; Tokyo, Panama - Panama City,  Paraguay -Asunción,  Peru – Lima,  Russia – Moscow,  Spain -  Barcelona; Madrid,  United Kingdom -  London; Liverpool,  United States - Chicago; Minneapolis,  Hawaii, Los Angeles,  New York City.
2008 – Chicago, IL Hard Rock Cafe
2009 –Online campaign including in store salutes at Noon at all Hard Rock Cafes worldwide
2010 – New York City, NY: Hard Rock Cafe, Times Square
2011 – Hamburg, Germany: Hard Rock Cafe
2012 – Nashville, TN: Hard Rock Café
2013 – Online celebration including a video message from Ringo
2014 – Los Angeles, CA: Capitol Records Tower
2015 - Los Angeles, CA: Capitol Records Tower
2016 - Los Angeles, CA: Capitol Records Tower
2017 - Los Angeles, CA: Capitol Records Tower
2018 – Nice, France: Hard Rock Café 
2019 - Los Angeles, CA: Capitol Records Tower
Previous performers at Ringo’s Birthdays have included: 2012: Toad The Wet Sprocket; 2014: Adam Arcuragi and Spirit Family Reunion; 2016: Vandaveer, Alberta Cross and Dave Stewart with Jon Stevens; Emmanuel Jal and Paul Beaubrun, 2017: Don Was with Jenny Lewis, Michael Breardon and Van Dyke Parks; 2018: Joe Walsh with Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band including Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Graham Gouldman, Gregg Rolie, Gregg Bissonette and Warren Ham: 2019: Ben Kyle of Romantica with Sarah Watkins, The Jacks and the Lennon Bus High School kids

Monday, June 29, 2020

Joe Bonamassa announces 'A New Day Now' celebrating 20th anniversary of debut album

Big news for fans of modern-day bluesman Joe Bonamassa, who is set to reissue a very special version of his debut disc 'A New Day Now' in celebration of its 20th anniversary. Here is the official media release - Robert Kinsler

Two-time Grammy-nominated blues-rock icon Joe Bonamassa celebrates the 20th anniversary of critically acclaimed debut album 'A New Day Yesterday'





Joe Bonamassa performing at The
Coach House in San Juan Capistrano,
California, on Nov. 10, 2009.
Photo: Robert Kinsler
Twenty years ago, Joe Bonamassa took the music world by storm when he released his debut solo album A New Day Yesterday, though he’d already been on the scene for years as a child prodigy and even opened for B.B. King at the age of 12. The album launched a career that, two decades later, has seen Bonamassa rise to the top of his field with most recently being named Guitar World’s #1 blues guitarist in the world. Now, the blues-rock titan announces a revamped version to be released on August 7, 2020 via J&R Adventures. It has been completely re-sung by Bonamassa and remixed and remastered by long-time producer Kevin Shirley. The first single “Cradle Rock” is out today as part of the celebration. Fans can pre-order the album now at https://joeb.me/2Z8L5Iz .
In custom Bonamassa fashion, Joe has shared a personal message to fans, straight from his “Nerdville” home. “The reason we went back and remixed it, and re-sang it, and pulled from the original masters was because I never felt like I deserved a guy like Tom Dowd to produce my first album,” he confesses. “I was an infant as far as being an artist. Tom saw a little pebble in a stream, that could travel down and eventually become this nugget of gold, if you want to call it that, and he had a vision for me that I didn’t see. I appreciate that and I wanted to pay tribute to him as a man who mentored me through that time. I hope you guys enjoy it.”
Joe Bonamassa in concert prior to COVID-19 crisis. Photo credit: Robert Sutton
He continues, “Tom Dowd was a master of everything he endeavored on. There was no second rate, there was no compromise on quality of absolutions and results. I wasn’t developed enough as a musician myself to rise to his level. I certainly gave it my all and rose to the occasion grading on the curve of the musician I am today, the musician Tom always knew was inside my soul. I decided to enlist the help of another producer and mentor that has significantly impacted my life both on a personal basis and professionally, Mr. Kevin Shirley to help re-mix, re-sing and finally pay tribute to Tom as I tried to so hard to when he was alive. I have been extremely fortunate in my life to have been surrounded by two of the best most brilliant record producers anyone could have dreamed to be associated with. We included some crude demos and recordings I did at 75 Campbell Ave when I was just a teenager, and alternate versions of songs you are familiar with partly because some of the master tapes have been lost. Yes, I did say tapes. It is never lost on me how lucky I have been and continue to be by your support over these past 20 years. Enjoy the trip down memory lane… I know I did.”
A longtime producer and collaborator, Kevin Shirley adds, “as time has gone by, Joe’s vocal style, particularly, has changed enormously. He’s grown from an adolescent shouter to a very mature and soulful singer. From early on in our working relationship, Joe has mentioned that he would really like to have another shot at those vocals, and asked that if he did redo them, would I remix his first solo album.”
When A New Day Yesterday was initially released, Chuck Taylor of Billboard was an early supporter, praising Bonamassa as "a bold talent, who rises above narrow radio formatics.” The album includes six original tracks written by Bonamassa, along with six cover songs from historically renowned blues and rock artists. In addition, Shirley notes, “added to this album are three bonus songs which Stevie Van Zandt produced for Joe. They’re a terrific look at where Joe was coming from, what he was looking for and how he has developed over the years.” The bonus tracks are unreleased demos from a 1997 studio session before Joe had any record deals. They have never been heard before and come from a time when Zandt was Bonamassa’s biggest cheerleader in the industry.
Now, even as Bonamassa continues to release new music from his recordings at Abbey Road Studios, including last month’s intricate ballad titled “When One Door Opens,” he takes a moment to shine light on the album that started it all. A New Day Now is a chance for the icon to revisit his past and revitalize the indelible anthology with his years of experience and artistry.
The Abbey Road studio recordings and A New Day Now follow Bonamassa’s recent instrumental side project called The Sleep Eazys, who released their critically-acclaimed debut album, Easy To Buy, Hard To Sell, this spring. The album, which the Associated Press touted as making “instrumental dreams,” was produced by Bonamassa and features some of his frequent collaborators, along with his all-star touring band. The Sleep Eazys project is Joe’s second time in the studio as a producer, after Reese Wynans’ long-awaited debut solo album Sweet Release.
Never a dull moment, Joe is still cranking out weekly programming for Sirius XM’s Bluesville channel for his radio show “Different Shades Of Blue.” In the early weeks of quarantine, Bonamassa took to social media to give a special behind-the-scenes look at his “Nerdville” home in California. More recently, he kicked off a new at-home series Live From Nerdville” on his Facebook and YouTube page, featuring episodes with Neal Schon of Journey, John Oates of Hall & Oates, Walter Trout, and esteemed singer-songwriter Dion. On June 5, Bonamassa released music icon Dion’s new album Blues With Friends on he and his Manager Roy Weisman’s new record label Keeping The Blues Alive Records and Dion’s first single “Blues Comin’ On” also features Bonamassa on slide guitar.
In prior months, Bonamassa was touring relentlessly, up until coronavirus took its hold on the music industry, stopping him just short of a few final dates on his spring tour in the U.S.  To battle the tough times brought on by COVID-19, Bonamassa’s non-profit Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation (KTBA) is providing financial support to qualifying touring musicians who are suffering financial hardship and whose careers have been put on hold. The program, called Fueling Musicians, is an emergency relief program designed to support musicians by providing immediate cash payments for essential living expenses of $1,000, as well as pre-paid gas cards of $500 and $50 Guitar Center gift cards to help them stay afloat and get back on the road again when it is safe. With $270,000 raised to date, Bonamassa surpassed his personal goal of $250,000. “The more money raised means more musicians will receive funding to help them get through these challenging times and ultimately back onto the road when the time is right,” Bonamassa says. On May 31, he launched an online stream-a-thon benefit for the program, featuring over FIVE hours of music performances from over 50 musicians including some legendary friends and talented rising stars. The full concert event can be streamed in full here. Individuals or organizations interested in helping Joe support this program should go the Keeping the Blues Alive website, ktba.org or ktba.org/fueling-musicians.
To keep up with everything Bonamassa, visit jbonamassa.com, and be sure to stay connected on social media. 
1. Cradle Rock 
2. Walk In My Shadow 
3. A New Day Yesterday 
4. I Know Where I Belong 
5. Miss You, Hate You 
6. Nuthin' I Wouldn't Do (For A Woman Like You) 
7. Colour And Shape 
8. Headaches To Heartbreaks 
9. Trouble Waiting 
10. If Heartaches Were Nickels 
11. Current Situation 
12. Don't Burn Down That Bridge 

13. Hey Mona 
14. I Want You 
15. Line Of Denial 

Website: jbonamassa.com
YouTube: /JoeBonamassaTV
Facebook: @JoeBonamassa
Instagram: @joebonamassa
Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation: keepingthebluesalive.org

Read Robert Kinsler's review of Joe Bonamassa's memorable 2009 concert at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California here.

Legendary artists shine on far-flung titles

Whether you are looking for a great concert film title, essential reissue or something completely new, this roundup features titles aimed at discerning music lovers...

Artist: INXS
Title: Live Baby Live (Eagle Vision)
You might like if you enjoy: INXS
Tell me more: The release of Live Baby Live has provided a magical way to rediscover INXS. Filmed at Wembley Stadium in London, Live Baby Live chronicles the Australian outfit's full-length headlining concert in front of more than 73,000 fans on July 13, 1991. The band was on fire throughout the satisfying set, and the title (available via 4K and HD digital download, 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD) looks and sounds fantastic. Indeed, the original 35mm film was completely restored for the debut commercial run shown in theaters around the world in late 2019; additionally the audio was remixed and remastered by Giles Martin and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios  the concert is presented in full for the first time and is spectacular. Watching the captivating performance by charismatic singer Michael Hutchence and his five bandmates thrill the crowd for more than 90 minutes, the parade of hits and satisfying deep cuts never falters.  Exciting takes on "New Sensation," "Original Sin" (the band's first #1 hit in their native Australia), "Mystify," "Need You Tonight," "Devil Inside" and many more are obvious favorites; the band's powerful dance rocker "Suicide Blonde," soulful "Disappear," acoustic ballad "By My Side" and ornate "Lately" are among the other delights showcased across the film. The physical packages feature new 4K-sourced photography from the show, new notes from the band and an essay by broadcaster and super INXS fan Jamie East, who was in the crowd that day. Information: eagle-rock.com.

Artist: Eric Clapton & B.B. King
Title: Riding With The King (Reprise Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Eric Clapton, B.B. King
Tell me more: When blues titans Eric Clapton & B.B. King teamed up to record tracks for the June 2000 LP Riding With The King, the results were glorious and earned the duo the 2000 Grammy Award© for Best Traditional Blues Album. Now an expanded and remastered 20th Anniversary edition of the album shines a well-deserved look back at the magical project. The uplifting John Hiatt-penned title track, wistful Chicago blues ballad "Ten Long Years" (showcasing King's expressive baritone vocals), blues rocker "I Wanna Be" and swinging "Days of Old" resonant with all the power that greeted the release's arrival two decades ago. Other standouts include a Delta-flavored cover of the William Broonzy & Charles Seger classic "Key to the Highway," the funky "Marry You" and poignant blues gospel cut "Help the Poor." Two additional tracks recorded during the original 1999 sessions are available for the first time; the acoustic "Rollin' and Tumblin' " finds Clapton and King trading verses on the blues standard while the LP is capped with an unheard cover of Willie Dixon's powerful "Let Me Love You Baby" featuring King in one of his most mighty vocal performances on the disc. There is a warmth and authenticity as the two long-time friends and icons share lead vocals, guitar licks, a love of the blues and musical bond across the 14 tracks. Among the famed musicians who are featured with Clapton and King are Nathan East, Doyle Bramhall II, Jim Keltner and Andy Fairweather LowThe 14-track collection is available in all formats including a 180-gram black double vinyl package. A limited edition 180-gram blue vinyl double LP set is available exclusively via Clapton's official online store and at indie retailers. The vinyl was mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles. Information: EricClapton.com.

Artist: Rogers & Butler
Title: Poets & Sinners (Zip Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Badfinger, Shoes, the Kinks, the Hollies
Tell me more: Having issued the impressive four-song EP Diana Dors in early 2019, Rogers & Butler are back with their wonderful new full-length debut Poets & Sinners. Edward Rogers (vocals) and Steve Butler (vocals, guitar) lead a musical troupe of seven other musicians who collectively display a muscular style of melodic rock strongly rooted in classic song craft and bolstered by loads of inventive touches and winning harmonies. The tuneful "A Satisfied Mind," chamber pop gems "Writing to the Moon" and "Luv Lock Bridge," nuanced title track, Kinks-flavored "Skimming Milk from the Cream" and the propulsive power pop rocker "Jump Like Alice" are among the killer originals on the inviting album. Information: amazon.com.

The artwork for the single "Hill So Steep" off Tara
Dente's forthcoming LP 'Truth in the Mud.'
Artist: Tara Dente
Title: Truth in the Mud (Travianna Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Emmylou Harris, First Aid Kit, Whitney Rose
Tell me more: Set for release on July 17, plan to nab Tara Dente's outstanding third album release Truth in the Mud when you can. The disc's Americana soundscape is beautifully-rendered via the artist's magnificent soprano vocals and assured song craft. Dente wrote all seven songs on the album, and a diverse range of real-life feelings and emotional drives abound across the disc. The songs are melodic, artfully arranged and herald not only the New Jersey songstress' top-tier talents but those of her terrific band The Blind Pilots. The wealth of compelling material includes the bewitching single "Hill So Steep," moody title cut, beautiful "Enough," tender confessional "Let a Good One Go" and Gypsy music-mining ace "Ain't No Time." Information: TaraDente.com.

Robert Kinsler

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Sights and Sounds: TJR, The Mavericks, JD Simo, Flume, The Dirty Clergy, Michael Ubaldini

While we all wait for concert venues to get back up and running, you can still use this time to catch some pretty cool content online. Here is a quick roundup...

Watch MUSIC WORTH BUYING co-host TJR discuss the forthcoming Morrison Hotel Graphic Novel in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Doors' fifth studio album Morrison Hotel!

The Mavericks have announced the release of their first Spanish album, En Español, coming Aug. 21, 2020. View the wonderful performance video for "Poder Vivir" hereEn Español features a compelling mix of standards and Spanish-language originals in signature Mavericks style. Get more information about the upcoming release via the band's official website.

Nashville-based blues guitarist/singer JD Simo today releases the music video for his recently released  single, “One of Those Days” from his forthcoming full-length album, JD Simo due out on August 21, 2020 on Crow’s Feet Records. The animated lyric is cool and it's a great song too! I caught JD Simo when he opened for Big Head Todd and the Monsters in December 2017 and he was fantastic (read a review of that show here). Watch the video for "One of Those Days" here.

Grammy-winning producer Flume shares a super cool Claymation video for the remix of “The Difference” featuring Toro y Moi from British electronic artist, producer and composer Jon Hopkins today—listen and watch the video here. The electronica-styled rework will be featured on a remix package out tomorrow, June 26, alongside edits from High ContrastPicard Brothers and Willaris. K.

The Dirty Clergy have  premiered the new "Whiplash" music video from their recent album In Waves. Check out the dreamy track and inviting video here.

Finally, the official debut of the music video of Michael Ubaldini's "Peace Sign" will premiere at 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) on July 3rd! You can read the lyrics to that great track and get a reminder when the video is live here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Psychedelic Furs share new song "Come All Ye Faithful" from forthcoming album 'Made Of Rain'

So exciting that The Psychedelic Furs have a new album coming out at the end of next month. You can get a listen to the new track "Come All Ye Faithful" from that album now. The band was fantastic when I caught them on July 19, 2018 - read that review here...

The Psychedelic Furs' new song 'Come All Ye Faithful'  AVAILABLE NOW

Taken from the forthcoming album 'Made Of Rain' 

“…their strongest since Forever Now.” 
MOJO ****
“An elegant and grand showstopper.” 
UNCUT 8/10
“Art-rock archdukes…are back with the mesmerising ‘Made of Rain.'” 
“Well worth the wait.” 

The Psychedelic Furs have today made available a new song, "Come All Ye Faithful," from their highly anticipated new album, Made Of Rain, released through Cooking Vinyl on Friday 31st July. "Come All Ye Faithful" is the fourth track to be released ahead of the album, alongside "No-One," "Don’t Believe" and "You’ll Be Mine." All four tracks can be streamed and downloaded immediately when you preorder Made Of Rain from: https://psychfurs.lnk.to/MoR.

Made Of Rain is available on CD, Double Gatefold vinyl in limited splatter and color variants as well as exclusive formats and autographed options via the Official Store.
From its exhilarating opening bars, Made Of Rain is classic Psychedelic Furs in both its sound and execution. It’s a joy to hear again, fresher than ever. Their peerless permutations of art, aggression and ambience drive the dynamics, and it’s always been this originality which has set them apart, a cut above. The album was produced by Richard Fortus with The Psychedelic Furs, whilst mixing duties were handled by Tim Palmer (David Bowie, U2, Robert Plant).

Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs greets fans at Pacific
Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa on Thursday, July 19, 2018.
(Photo by Miguel Vasconcellos, OC Fair & Event Center)
The Psychedelic Furs released seven critically acclaimed studio albums - The Psychedelic Furs (1980), Talk Talk Talk (1981), Forever Now (1982), Mirror Moves (1984), Midnight To Midnight (1987), Book Of Days (1989) and World Outside (1991). They released many classic singles throughout the ’80’s and into the 90’s, including: "Sister Europe," "Love My Way," "The Ghost In You," "Pretty In Pink," "Heaven," "Heartbreak Beat," "All That Money Wants" and "Until She Comes."

In recent years the band have toured continually, completing a tour of North America in 2019 and played acclaimed shows at The Hollywood Bowl, All Points East, Hyde Park and Benicàssim. A celebrated handful of UK shows including headlining the prestigious Meltdown at the Royal Festival Hall at Robert Smith of The Cure’s request. This past October, the band played a sold-out tour of the UK and Europe which culminated in a triumphant show at the Roundhouse in London. The Furs will return to London on April 27th 2021 to headline their rescheduled Royal Albert Hall show.

The last few years has seen the band’s legend growing, highlighted by the fact they have scored over 150 million streams of their songs worldwide. Their influence since arriving on the post-punk scorched-earth landscape four decades ago has reverberated and resonated from everyone from The Strokes to The Killers to REM to Foo Fighters to Bob Dylan has sung their praises.

The six-piece line-up features fellow founder Tim Butler (Richard’s brother) on bass, Mars Williams on saxophone, Rich Good on guitar, Paul Garisto on drums and Amanda Kramer on keyboards.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Old 97's announce release of 'Twelfth' on August 21, 2020

Very exciting news with today's announcement of the 12th studio album release from alt country rockers Old 97's. Here is the announcement and artwork posted today on the band's official website...

We're excited to announce our 12th studio album, appropriately named Twelfth, coming out August 21 on ATO Records. Produced by Vance Powell, who also produced Graveyard Whistling, it was recorded in Nashville during the tornadoes right before the pandemic hit. Pre-order link. The first single — "Turn Off the TV" — is out today and is featured in a video directed by Liam Lynch that features Puddles the Clown and several other noteworthy cameos. 

Track listing:
Pre-order link.

Watch the cool video for the first single, "Turn Off The TV" here

Flying Colors to release "Live In London" on September 18, 2020

Big news for Flying Colors fans...

Flying Colors and Music Theories Recordings announce release of 'Third Stage: Live in London' on Sept. 18,  2020
Screen Live Video for “Mask Machine” Here: https://youtu.be/BIGc2u_tSIA
\View Trailer Here: https://youtu.be/Kb4TK0KBvJE
“Welcome to the rarest of all sightings, rarer than a UFO sighting, rarer than a sasquatch sighting. A Flying Colors sighting - here on stage, in London.”  Mike Portnoy
New York, NY --- Supergroup Flying Colors will be releasing their brand-new live album, THIRD STAGE: LIVE IN LONDON on September 18 via Music Theories Recordings – home to Ayreon, Jordan Rudess, Von Hertzen Brothers, Michael Romeo, Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert and Spock’s Beard. 
Third Stage: Live in London was filmed during their 2019 US and European tour and the footage captures the exhilarating sold-out final night, on the December 14th at the iconic Grade II Listed, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London. The album will be released on several formats including, orange transparent 3LP, Blu-ray, digitally, 2CD/DVD and a 40-page Earbook which includes 5 discs; 2CD album, 2DVDs and a Blu-ray. The Blu-ray and DVDs in the Earbook also include bonus material of music videos and concert footage of their Morsefest 2019 performance in Cross Plains, Tennessee. 
When you combine the calibre of supergroup musicians - guitarist Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, ex-Kansas), drummer Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater, Transatlantic), keyboardist/vocalist Neal Morse (Transatlantic, ex Spock's Beard, and a prolific solo artist in his own right), bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, ex-Joe Satriani), and powerhouse vocalist and songwriter Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev, The Sea Within) – the results are going to be lightning in a bottle.
They had only played 9 exclusive shows on the tour, culminating at the sold-out show in London, which saw Portnoy stand up mid-set and quip, “Welcome to the rarest of all sightings, rarer than a UFO sighting, rarer than a sasquatch sighting. A Flying Colors sighting, here on stage in London. This is a very sad night for us because it is the last night of the tour and we don’t get to play together enough, so we’re going to savour every moment tonight and enjoy each and every moment here on stage.”
Their latest studio album ‘Third Degree’ had only been released two months previously, and songs from that record make up just under half to the night’s setlist with the rest of the songs coming from the 2012 self-titled Billboard Top 10 debut and 2014s worldwide Top 10, ‘Second Nature.’ Backed with a HD projector screen, the five take the stage in the darkness amidst a rumble of applause and immediately groove into opener ‘Blue Ocean,’ and from the outset, their technical virtuosity, joyous melodies and reflective lyricism wash over the crowd proving to be the cornerstones of the Flying Colors sound.  Talking about walking out on the stage, McPherson recalls; “I remember how I felt right before the show in London. I was excited because my oldest daughter and her grandmother was there, whom I love dearly, and felt like I had the show, down by then. It's always a good feeling to take the stage when the material is ingrained enough to just let go and let it out!”
They flow into the melodic progressive wonderment of ‘A Place In Your World,’ featuring guitar heroics from Steve Morse before they shift up a gear further for a duo of thunderous new songs, ‘The Loss Inside,’ and the almost rousingly apocalyptic sounding ‘More’ – it’s this that makes them so special, the ability to weave through several genres simultaneously. 
The sight of LaRue and Portnoy bouncing off one another is a gloriously effortless sight to behold, whilst the wizardry of Neal Morse throughout is hypnotic. The band flit nimble-fingered through complex yet musical treasure-trove of accessible and sophisticated pop songs, jazz-fusion, progressive-rock and multi-layered vocals from Macpherson, Neal Morse and Portnoy - giving the band added dimensions, many can only dream of. ‘Kayla’ lights up the room and makes the 100-year-old theatre feel like the most intimate of settings.
From its opening in 1903 as a Music Hall, hosting variety performances and revues from the likes of Charlie Chaplin the venue has been a captivating one. The Shepherd’s Bush Empire was designed by architect Frank Matchem, who also designed the world-famous Palladium, Victoria Palace Theatre and London Coliseum. Its mix of stunning Art Nouveau and Baroque style creates a luscious backdrop to the spiralling psychedelic progressive pop stylings of this supergroup. “The Shepherd's Bush Empire is a classic theatre. Little nooks and crannies backstage, and that ornate vibe in the hall. Great people to work with which always makes for a fun gig,” says McPherson.
As the camera weaves from cascading light effects and a captivating video backdrop to the view from the stage, sweeping above the crowd and along the lavish balconies, it’s visually stunning and as the band journey through their back catalogue it at times creates an almost spiritual awakening and has you hooked through further crowd favourites such as ‘Geronimo,’ ‘Infinite Fire’ and new songs alike until it reaches its triumphant finale ‘Mask Machine.’
“Playing in Flying Colors is like being in a movie,” says the singer. “It’s so incredibly powerful emotionally, and to think this was going to be the last show was a bittersweet feeling. I love the other guys in the band and we always have such a good time on the road together. Our Chemistry is like really good sushi. There's not one ingredient you could replace and it taste that good. It is one of the kindest and uniquely unified band's I've ever been in.”
Third Stage: Live In London captures the band in all their uncompromising glory, five musicians that when they come together prove that they have a special and breath-taking connection. In the words of Mr. Portnoy, it’s the “rarest of all sightings,” but what a sight to behold. 
The complete track listing includes, “Blue Ocean,” “A Place In Your World,” “The Loss Inside,” “More,” “Kayla,” “Geronimo,” “You Are Not Alone,” “Forever In A Daze,” “Love Letter,” “Peaceful Harbor,” “Crawl,” “Infinite Fire,” “Cosmic Symphony,” “The Storm,” and “Mask Machine.”
On September 18, Flying Colors will also re-issue the ‘Flying Colors’ and ‘Second Nature’ albums on Light Blue 2LP, both limited to 1000 units.