Friday, June 3, 2011

Rick Wakeman - "Made In Cuba" DVD

Performing a major rock concert in Havana, Cuba, is a rare and special occasion indeed. Keyboard legend Wakeman (from prog-rock deities Yes) enlisted his English Rock Ensemble for a huge and flashy show back in 2005, captured here for Cuban TV.

Appearing on stage clad in huge sequined cape, Wakeman and band proceed to dive into the grand prog-rock of "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth", which drags itself out for over 20 minutes. When tenor vocalist Ashley Holt joins in, it's an all-out assault on good taste. The group's overly-indulgent soloing and drawn-out noodling doesn't let up. And the Tolkien-esque fantasy subject matter just makes it all that much more laughable. Sure, Wakeman is a skilled keyboard player, but his sense of restraint is non-existent, and he obviously adores showing off his nimble fingering techniques, often at the expense of the songs themselves. This one was just plain silly. I couldn't get through it all. (MVD Visual)

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