ALAN PARSONS – The Neverending Show – Live in the Netherlands (2CD + DVD)
- by J.N.
- Posted on 11-12-2021
The legendary Alan Parsons whose name is often associated with the work that he did for The Beatles did a run of shows in Europe in the spring of 2019, and the one in Utrecht, The Netherlands, was recorded and filmed for posterity. What is "The Neverending Show – Live in the Netherlands" like then? Well, for one thing, it is utterly impressive from a musical perspective and something out of the ordinary. Every member of the ensemble is right on the money and the musicianship leaves nothing to be desired. What about the song material then? It generally falls somewhere between rock, pop, progressive rock, AOR, and pomp rock, but the thing is that it sounds like nothing else out there and it is a superb display of great songwriting. There is warmth and a palpable sense of joy to the proceedings here. While nearly every tune is a colorful and interesting piece of work in one way or another (except for "Limelight", that is), the standouts are undoubtedly the progressive rock delights that are "Breakdown / The Raven (Medley)", "I Wouldn’t Want to be Like You", "Psychobabble", "I Robot", "(The System of) Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether", and "Old and Wise». Things are simply are little more playful and edgy here compared to the remaining compositions. The glorious "Games People Play" is a climactic finale and a most suitably dramatic end to a memorable performance by a supremely tight band and a fine evening full of atmosphere. The DVD encapsulates that wonderful aura nicely and you can tell that some thought actually went into the creation of the visual component in terms of how it is filmed and the bonus features and all of that. The studio recording of "The Neverending Show" (included as a bonus also) is phenomenal and worth the price of this release alone – yeah, it is that good!
Although one could make the argument that this one is primarily for listeners who are already fans of Parsons’ vast talent, it can actually serve as a pretty good introduction to his unique body of work from my perspective. This is some elegant stuff that I found quite moving, and although it is not necessarily the most energetic live album that you will come across this year, it just oozes class and is a captivating listen.