It's natural to suspect that In Concert is simply the hastily constructed live album cash-in that comes after the long-awaited reunion (2012's Anastasis was the group's first studio album in 16 years), but it's actually a sweet souvenir of the world fusion duo's return to the stage, tastefully presented and impeccably recorded. Rarely do live albums sound so luxurious and warm, but besides being a fine demo disc for high-end speakers, this chamber concert on wax offers some more comfortable, more alive versions of Anastasis' studio material, along with a quick stroll through the group's early work. "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove" always sounded vintage but here it sounds downright wise with Brendan Perry's full-bodied voice properly aged and not weathered in the least. Speaking of voices, Lisa Gerrard is absolutely majestic on the aptly titled closer, "Return of the She-King," and anyone who puts "Sanvean" in a list of top ten heart-movers ever deserves to hear the fine version she delivers here. That fan favorite made its debut on the band's first live album, Toward the Within (1994), but this second live effort differs from that one in that very little new material is premiered. There are only two "new" tracks and they are cover songs, the first being the centuries-old Arabic song "Lamma Bada" and the second being the Tim Buckley (via This Mortal Coil) tune "Song to the Siren," both performed by Perry and the latter to perfection. The only thing left of concern is the editing out of the in-between song chatter (Perry's usual, informative intro to "Lamma Bada" is gone), but otherwise this is a well-executed capture of a great performance, pure and simple.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries