Sunday, February 21, 2016

HAREM SCAREM: "Live at The Phoenix" [CD/DVD]

Rating: Live
Label: Frontiers 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Harem Scarem. Live at the Phoenix. Like their old stuff, like their new stuff. Live stuff? Hardly the stuff that dreams are made of, but not too shabby. The vocals are however too polished and it's not exactly the pure live feeling of the century. No extras whatsoever on the DVD and it's straight to the music.

This ain't no Garden of Eden? The band kicks off the show with the fore mentioned song and merely Lesperance as the six-string bender. In fact. Harry Hess goes back and forth on playing guitar and I don't quite get the idea behind ditching the axe on every other song? It's such a vast difference between one or two guitars on stage and I honestly believe they should stick to one sound or the other. It's not like he's jumping around on stage (aka the David Lee Roth routine) while fronting the band as merely THE vocalist for that matter.

Hard To Love, gets the blood boiling or at least pumping faster? Not that the audience is feeling it as they're mostly just standing there without too much movement. Distant Memory, should get the hardcore fans boppin', but no such luck. Too old to dance? Too fat to move? The audience is definitely having a bad hair day. The Midnight Hours, starts with the sarcastic remark from Hess. "We've just released a new album any requests?". It's a bittersweet remark, a bittersweet tune and a layered journey through the depths of Hess/Lesperance's songwriting skill(s). But let's face it. They're a bunch of stiffs on stage. Good music, but great entertainment? I believe I'll stick to their (mostly great) studio albums...

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