Focus - Live In America (DVD)
The Dutch progmeister, Thjis Van Leer, returns to the live arena with a new Focus and three new band members in the form of stepson and bassist, Bobby Jacobs, Bert Smaak on drums and Jan Dumee on guitar and vocals.
This DVD features a live show recorded at the Patriots Theatre, New Jersey back in 2002. The theatre seats just over 1,800 but an occasional sweep by the camera operative appears to show that about 1,000 prog fans attended this event, judging by the empty seats at the rear. All the same, an audience of 1,000 enthusiastic fans is pretty impressive by present day prog standards.
The set list is crammed full of classic Focus most of which do not feature on the Masters from the Vaults DVD (see Focus Masters DVD) and one or two new unrecorded tracks.
Musicianship is first class with Bobby, Bert and Jan clearly concentrating on reproducing the classic Focus sound and performance. The downside to this is that much of the time, they do not show any emotion visually (with the exception of Bert who is having the time of his life) until the last number, Hocus Pocus when everyone springs to life.
A Focus In America Featurette is included where ‘rock babe’ Liz Steen sporting an enticing black basque laced from the front pops some questions to the band members.
In addition, a 1973 Medley Alternative Take featuring the classic line-up provides a comparison with the main feature, the conclusion being that the fluidity and excitement of the ‘original’ Focus cannot really be matched.
Picture and sound quality is very good.
The DVD has a basic menu allowing the viewer to play the whole concert, select individual tracks, the Featurette and the 1973 Medley, which is all that is needed.
The DVD sleeve lists the tracks.
The DVD we reviewed was PAL format, but we understand that it is also available in NTSC. Sound is 5.1 surround.
The Masters from the Vaults DVD is a definite ‘must have’ for all fans of Focus and the one to get if your pocket cannot stretch to both. However, Live In America is also worthy of consideration as it is a representation of the current line-up and includes tracks not covered by the other DVD.
The DVD is available to purchase direct from Classic Rock Productions (link below) and DVD retailers.
©The Hairless Heart Herald 2001-2009. Reproduction in any means or form of material published on this site is strictly forbidden without the express permission of the editor.