The second live album to follow Van Der Graaf Generator's reunion, arriving on the heels of 2005's Real Time, Live at the Paradiso captures the band on tour for the first time as a trio, following the departure of saxophonist David Jackson -- and scarcely missing him in the slightest. For obvious reasons the set list has been substantially rearranged since the earlier tour, but classics "Lemming," "(In The) Black Room," "Scorched Earth," and more remain; indeed, although the liners insist that the band is looking forwards more than back, disc two in its entirety looks back to the band's mid- to late '70s. That said, "Every Bloody Emperor" leaps from the band's reunion LP with all the drama and menace that the original band ever conjured up, while there is a power to the set that is wholly the product of the band's 21st century rebirth. Peter Hammill is in spine-chilling form throughout, while bandmates Hugh Banton and Guy Evans lay down a backdrop that refuses to acknowledge the passage of time -- in fact, VDGG sound more contemporary today than they ever did in the past, although it would be difficult to imagine any "new" band being able to conjure sounds like these from its arsenal. So forget the fact that this is their second live album in just four years. Live at the Paradiso is as essential as any VDGG album could be.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2