DVD Review: Portnoy/Sheehan/MacAlpine/Sherinian: Live in Tokyo
Live in Tokyo was filmed/recorded on November 14, 2012 at Zepp Tokyo. This 95-minute concert is the first release of material from the PSMS (Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Tony MacAlpine and Derek Sherinian) supergroup, and it showcases a wide range of instrumental performances from each of the members’ careers and collaborations. The DVD and Blu-ray also offer an exclusive peek at this production with a behind-the-scenes featurette.
Let’s face it, with this type of talent placed together within the confines of a band setting anything could happen. They could simply try and please the guitar/drum/bass/keyboard geeks of the world and show off why they are amongst the most elite talent in the world at their respective musical instruments. But what you get with this live DVD is truly much more than that. It’s really just four friends on stage jamming, plain and simple. You can sense the camaraderie on stage right from the first song, a little number from Dream Theater called “A Change Of Season: 1: The Crimson Sunrise” right through the last song of the set with“Shy Boy” a Billy Sheehan penned number from his days in Talas. What I always find interesting about any show from Japan that I watch is the absolute reverence, respect and dignity shown by the audience while at the same time still able to rock out full steam ahead. This crowd is no exception.
Interesting choices made with the tracks that were chosen as representative from each band member for this tour. In addition to the Dream Theater and Talas songs already mentioned other highlights of the show include “The Stranger” which is a Tony MacAlpine number and a Derek Sherinian song “Apocalypse 1470 B.C.”. Each of these not only shows off their diversity in being able to pull off these songs as close to or better than the original versions but also that without any vocals (sans “Shy Boy” with Billy singing) these four guys can keep my attention better than any show with vocals could have ever done.
PSMS will appeal to a very wide audience even outside of the hard rock community because it’s instrumental in nature and it should be able to reach fans of jazz, classical or even pop music. The quality of this production is top notch including up close and personal views of each band member throughout the show. The sound quality is killer even on an average high def TV like mine! Portnoy is clearly the ringleader within this group sometimes offering an intro into each song and a short joke or funny amusing anecdote in accordance to why this song made the set. I highly recommended this DVD to any music fan who lives to witness high level skilled musicians at the top of their game who truly enjoy playing live and with each other.