Sunday, August 11, 2013

CD Preview: Flying Colors

Nothing could have prepared audiences for the 2012 self-titled debut album from the prog-pop "supergroup" Flying Colors. Comprised of singer Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev), noted guitarist Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple), bassist David LaRue (Dixie Dregs), keyboardist Neal Morse (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic), and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Transatlantic), Flying Colors was a band brimming over with exceptional musical talent.

The debut album showed an instant chemistry among the band members, and in my Blurt magazine review of the album last year I wrote "Flying Colors often treads dangerously near art-rock or “pomp” territory – think Styx or, if you prefer, Saga – rather than re-visiting musical turf already ground to dust by the members’ other considerable bands." I concluded the review stating "Flying Colors is an auspicious debut from a band of incredibly talented and frequently underrated (and overlooked) musicians." 

Musicians like the Morse's – Steve and Neal – and Portnoy are road-tested touring machines, so the band naturally hit the rails in support of the debut album, spending much of 2012 zig-zagging across the planet and capitalizing on the bank of audience goodwill built by decades of touring by the individual band members and their various band and solo projects. One of these amazing 2012 performances was caught on tape and will be released CD and DVD as Live In Europe on October 15, 2013 by the band's own Music Theories Recordings label, distributed by the Mascot Label Group.

Live In Europe was recorded and filmed at the club 013 in Tilburg, Holland on September 20, 2012. The video was directed and edited by Bernhard Baran (The Cure, Porcupine Tree) and longtime Neal Morse management partner Bill Evans is the executive producer. The album and film includes the entire Flying Colors studio album performed in its entirety, along with songs from the back catalog of each of the individual band members, including Dixie Dregs' "Odyssey," Dream Theater's "Repentance," and Spock's Beard's "June," among others. 

In a press release for the live album, Flying Colors drummer Mike Portnoy says, "what a band!  What a tour! The magic that we captured on the debut album was only further developed and cemented on Flying Colors' 2012 tour. Each night on stage I felt like I was part of something very special and cherished every moment of it. As it was such a brief and limited tour, I am so glad we captured it here to now share with fans all around the world that didn't get to see this special band in person...enjoy!" Guitarist Steve Morse adds, "performing live is most fun when the music is able to lift you up with pure emotion. We, as well as the audience, were feeling that, I'm sure!"

Live In Europe will be available as a two-CD set and a limited edition three-album vinyl edition, as well as a digital download on iTunes and For those fans that enjoy the whole audio/visual experience, the performance will also be released on DVD and Blu-Ray disc with stereo and 5.1 surround mixes and featuring an additional 45-minute documentary film with interview and other backstage video footage.

Flying Colors' Live In Europe video trailer

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