sanctuary records bootleg series hits hard'n'heavy power-pop paradise with volume 2, a pro-mixed fm broadcast from the pre-adventures in utopia days of 1979. this welcome addition sounds superb and is packaged with an eight page booklet full of insightful information and great photos. although the show is slightly edited ("owing to the quality of some of the recordings, certain tracks have been left off this release"), the spencer davis medley and tunes from initiation would have been great additions, the flow and order of tunes is preserved. unfortunately, the package's track listing is missing an abbreviated but powerful ikon that segues into the seven rays, one of the best moments on this release. this disc also seems to be mastered quite well using the swift and smooth techniques and tools of the early 2000s.
it sounds fabulous!
considering that this is only the third year of this particular version of utopia, the set list is awesome and the performance is incredible!
bassist kasim sulton, in particular, really shines. kasim's low end touch is phenomenal and his vocals are amaaaaazing, especially on can we still be friends?. his bright vocal leadership on love alone is great and todd evens plays guitar on it. there are no big backing vocals on this like a few years later (evening with utopia). in fact, adventures hadn't even been released yet!
roger's keyboard work is great, especially on the wheel where it shines with beauty. his harmony vocals are also right on every time.
willie's drumming is strong and he is very prominently placed in the mix. his vocals on gangrene are full of naturally raw angst and grit.
todd is waaaay on top of his game, especially vocally. his axe-slinging is hot'n'steamy and full of raw emotion. there's also a lot of fun rants from todd throughout the show...but the key to this one is that the band plays full of gestalt, much bigger than the sum of its parts. it is as if the ensemble itself has taken over to reach new heights and peaks.
Utopia - KSAN 95 FM Live '79 (Vol. 2)
1. Trapped 2. Abandon City 3. Love Of The Common Man 4. Last Ride 5. Shot In The Dark 6. The Seven Rays 7. Can We Still Be Friends 8. Gangrene 9. The Wheel 10. Love Alone 11. Last Of The New Wave Riders 12. The Death Of Rock And Roll 13. Just One Victory
pick it up today and help support further live releases from sanctuary records, you'll be very glad you did!