Fireworks

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GPS - 'Two Seasons Live In Japan' http://mail.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ea/f2/f9/2929_gps-two-seasons-live.injapan_1351971881.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 03, 2012    
 
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A really honest portrayal of a band playing live and enjoying what they do.

This superb package contains two DVDs and four CDs covering a full GPS (band) concert and a acoustic show with Guthrie Govan and John Payne plus tons of extras that any GPS fan should want to own. DVD one sees the band of Ryo Okomoto (playing his first ever show in Japan), John Payne, Jay Schellen and Guthrie Govan performing live at the O-West club in Tokyo in 2007. From the start you can see that this isn’t your usual multi-camera affair, instead it’s a one shot view of the stage with the audio straight from the sound desk (that’s why it’s on the Gonzo label). This doesn’t in any way spoil this two hour plus concert, in fact personally I loved the less is more approach and when a band can back up a basic video with an arsenal of great songs, then who cares if we get fade in and fade out special effect camera shots? Not me.

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So in all it’s glory with mistakes, equipment problems and cock-ups all left in, we have GPS on their first ever live venture in Japan. Problems aside we see the four band members power through seventeen GPS and Asia (both original and John Payne era) songs, with some of the stand out moments being ‘All My Life’, ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, ‘Heaven Can Wait’ and ‘Window To The Soul’. Then about half way through the gig, John Payne’s amp blows up and he and Guthrie Govan decided to do a short acoustic set whilst repairs are made. We’re then treated to superb stripped bare versions of ‘Taken Dreams’, ‘Military Man’ ,‘Written On The Wind’ and a jazzed up funky ‘Gold’. Amp fixed they continue with the Asia classics ‘Only Time Will Tell’ and ‘Heat Of The Moment’ before ending proceedings with a show stopping run through of ‘New Jerusalem’. Interspersed between the songs are some of the best solo spots I’ve seen in ages, with Mr Govan showing what a truly gifted guitar player he really is.

Warts and all, I have enjoyed this DVD from GPS more than most of the polished multi-dollar affairs that line my shelves because it’s a really honest portrayal of a band playing live and enjoying what they do. And that’s only the first DVD; the second sees messers Payne and Govan running through thirteen songs acoustically and the pair really do a wonderful job. Their obvious friendship comes through in the way they play together, which makes this second DVD even better to watch. Finally then there’s all the bonus DVD stuff and the four CDs to discover for yourselves, which makes this whole package really great value for money.

Having watched this whole thing a couple of times through from start to finish, makes me ask the question “Why aren’t GPS bigger than they are/were?” On this evidence they should be huge.

Ian Johnson

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