Audio CD includes 4 bonus tracks
I’ve always liked listening to jam bands. With jam bands I always felt like I got immersed in the sounds of the music more than I do other genres of music. With metal/punk/grunge the tempos are fast where the songs are over quickly and with rock/country/pop I want to sing along more than I want to just listen to the songs. But with jam bands I want to sit back, get caught in the waves of sounds washing over me, and just forget everything else in the world and let the music become my world. Some bands are good at this, some are great, and some seem to focus on one element too much over the other where the songs become unbalanced. It’s thin line to walk but after listening to the live album of The Steve Hillage Band I was quite impressed with what I had heard.
For me the only way to listen to a jam band is if it’s live and for my first time in hearing The Steve Hillage band I got to do it with the recording of the concert from 2006 in Amsterdam. It’s exactly what a live jam band recording should be, music that’s being played where the musicians sound just as caught up and lost in playing the music as I am when listening to it. “Hello Dawn” is the first track on the album and it’s a rough one and if it was a studio recording it would have been horrible. But with it being live it wasn’t that bad when the duel vocals being sung didn’t quite sync up with each other. This one song is the only one that I didn’t quite like because it did sound like a group that where still trying to get used to each other when playing the songs.
As for the rest of the CD I was really enjoying it. The majority of the songs are pretty long playing at over 8 minutes long, one is only 7 seconds from being 12 minutes long and another is 2 seconds away from being 11 minutes long. Considering that only 4 of the 10 tracks are less than 5 minutes long, this was a long album to listen to. Steve Hillage has an ok voice but he’s not one of the best singers around. His voice has some flaws in it where it’s not strong or smooth but the raw edge of his voice gives this concert it’s emotions. If he did have a studio sounding voice the songs would have lost some of their energy and feeling. But it’s the sounds of the synthesizers being played, the riffs on the guitar, the drums thumping in the background, and the mystical feel of this album that made it fun to listen to.