«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.
Flying Colors’ new live album Third Stage: Live in London will be released on September 18, 2020 on Music Theories Recordings! The track Mask Machine,
The super group Flying Colors is releasing their new live album Third Stage: Live In London on September 18 on Music Theories Recordings which also releases records with Ayreon, Jordan Rudess, Von Hertzen Brothers, Michael Romeo, Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert and Spock’s Beard.
Third Stage: Live In London was filmed during the group’s US and European tour in 2019 and the material is taken from the tour’s final gig on December 14 at the iconic Shepherd’s Bush Empire which was completely sold out. The concert is released in a variety of formats: Earbook (with coffee table book), triple LP in orange transparent vinyl, Blu-ray, digital and double CD / DVD. The DVD contains bonus material filmed at the band’s performance at Morsefest 2019 in Cross Plains, Tennessee, USA.
Combining the talents of the supergroup’s musicians, guitarist Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, ex-Kansas), drummer Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater, Transatlantic), keyboardist and singer Neal Morse (Transatlantic, ex-Spock’s Beard) as well as a successful solo career), bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, ex-Joe Satriani) and the power pack for singer and songwriter Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev, The Sea Within), it beats sparks!
They had only done nine exclusive gigs on the tour, culminating with the sold-out gig in London that made Mike Portnoy halfway to stand up and proclaim: «Welcome to one of the rarest, more so than seeing a UFO or seeing a big Foot. Flying Colors on a London stage. This is a bit of a sad night for us as it is the last of the tour and we never get the opportunity to play often enough so we will remember everything and enjoy every second»
.Their latest studio album Third Degree was released only two months before and songs from the album were included in almost half the evening’s repertoire, while the rest was taken from the self-titled debut 2012 (which ended up on Billboards top 10) and the sequel Second Nature from 2014 which ended up in the top 10 a little in the world. The band went on stage with images from an HD projector in the background and gets massive applause as the band begins with Blue Ocean and then the audience is flooded with their virtuosity, catchy tunes and reflective lyrics that are the basis of everything Flying Colors does.
McPherson remembers the moment he walked out on stage: «I remember how I felt just before we walked on. My daughter and her grandmother, whom I love so much, sat in the audience and it felt like nothing could go wrong. It’s always a nice feeling. Then you know the material so well that it is just to go out and release».
The band effortlessly threw themselves into the progressive masterpiece A Place In Your World with masterful guitar playing by Steve Morse, after which they put in another gear with the two thunderous new songs The Loss Inside and the closest apocalyptic More. It is this that makes the band so special, their ability to weave together several different styles at the same time.
The interaction between LaRue and Portnoy is priceless while at the same time hypnotized by Neal Morse’s incredible virility. The band plays through lightning fast instrumental parts, complex and at the same time melodic pop songs, jazz fusion, progressive rock and fantastic singing performances from McPherson, Neal Morse and Portnoy. Together, it gives the band several dimensions that other bands can only dream of. At Kayla, the light in the room is lit and the more than one hundred year old place feels almost intimate as a small club.
Since it opened in 1903 as a venue for Music Hall and reviews with artists such as Charlie Chaplin, it has captured the imagination of many. The Shepherd’s Bush Empire was designed by architect Frank Matchem who also designed the world famous Palladium, Victoria Palace Theater and London Coliseum. Its powerful blend of Art Nouveau and Baroque creates a fantastic foundation for the supergroup’s advanced progressive pop. «The Shepherd’s Bush Empire is a really classic place. Small nooks and crannies behind the scene and all the emotions that the decorations evoke. Getting to work with good professionals always makes it fun to play, »says McPherson.
We see the camera weaving in and out between cascades of lighting effects and captivating video backgrounds on stage to then sweep out over the audience and the balconies in a fantastic spectacle and while the band is ticking off songs from all the tiles, the mood gets closer to religious and the feeling rises even further under favorites like Geronimo, Infinite Fire and several new songs until the concert reaches its crescendo with the final Mask Machine.
«Playing with Flying Colors is like being in a movie», says the singer. «There are so many strong feelings and to think that this was the band’s last gig was both fun and sad at the same time. I love all the other guys in the band and we have so much fun when we’re out touring. Our chemistry is like a really good sushi. There is not an ingredient that can be neglected and it tastes so good. It is one of the nicest and unique bands in the world I have ever known».