Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Focus Live in America|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
This British DVD, playable on USA systems features the Dutch band Focus in its reformation, featuring Thijs van Leer, live from New Jersey's Patriot Theater. The material includes all of the band's top material, along with... more »
New line up serves Focus well
Matthew Bush | Seattle, WA United States | 06/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No, this is not the original Focus band, nor is it archival footage. It is Thijs Van Leer with a lineup playing all of Focus's best material, plus a couple of new pieces, at Nearfest 2002, a prog rock festival.
Don't let the fact that Jan Ackerman isn't in this line up deter you....the new guitarist, Jan Dumee, is every bit as good, maybe better. In several of the pieces, he goes all out with extended solos that are superb, in the fiery fusion style. The guy is a monster player. Thijs's flute and organ work are also first rate. His playing in "House of the King" and "Flute Improvisations" is as good as ever.
Several of the songs take a few minutes to get going, but then generally work up to a furious level of playing. Hocus Pocus, saved for last, is definately a crowd pleaser. The DVD is shot well, and the sound is excellent. If you enjoy great instrumental prog/jazz/rock with liberal doses of searing electric guitar, you will love this DVD."
This is Focus Live 2002
Herb Atlas | Chicago IL | 04/09/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"BEWARE! If you order this thinking it is "Focus Masters From the Vaults" it is not! This is a Live concert recorded in 2002 at Nearfest. It is not the archival DVD from Classic Rock Productions."
Still in focus ... in 2002.
CU82 | Atlanta, GA | 12/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Focus: Live In America is a well produced document of the band's 2002 performance at Patriot's Theater in Trenton, NJ that includes two short bonus features.
The Focus in America 2002 featurette (3:40) has Liz Steen reporting backstage from Trenton, NJ and visiting with the members of Focus. This is the same featurette that appears on other Classic Rock Legends products. It is a nice (albeit brief) look into the off-stage side of this band.
A 1973 Focus Medley (5:31) is the other bonus feature included on this DVD. I recommend that you view this featurette prior to watching the current lineup in concert. It helps to establish a point of reference both visually and musically.
The main concert production is a no-frills presentation that doesn't try to incorporate special effects or extraneous footage that would otherwise detract from the fine performance of the musicians. The focus is on Focus in concert. The camera work is generally on target with the featured performer being spotlighted at the appropriate times. There is a good mixture of close ups and wide angle footage used in a sensible combination. At times the changes in the camera's focus is much like what one might be personally be doing if they were somewhere in the first 10 rows at the concert themselves. When Jan Dumee is playing one his many brilliant guitar solos on stage the camera is trained on him long enough to capture the fiery details of his performance before shifting to a wider angle shot of the rhythm section or Thijs Van Leer for a brief glimpse of their part in the many masterpieces that this group performs on this disc. The masterpieces captured on Focus: Live In America are as follows:
1. Focus I ... A fine opening piece featuring guitar, organ and flute that is unmistakably Focus.
2. House of the King ... You recognize this one as soon as Jan Dumee starts his rhythmic strumming of the guitar. Flute takes center stage.
3. Focus II ... I really like the sequencing of these first three songs. Focus II picks back up on the theme introduced in Focus I and re-establishes it for further exploration.
4. Eruption ... Not until the 2:05 mark does this tune live up to the title. The beautifully soft introduction is a nice setup. There are even fine doses of whistling and scat singing in this one compliments of Thijs Van Leer.
5. Focus III ... Focus III (both the song and the 1972 album) are personal favorites of mine. This is a slightly shortened version that is performed well.
6. Brother ... Introduced as a special treat, this is the first song on this disc with true vocals. Brother is a tune from the 2002 release "Focus 8" and fits in very well with the classic tunes in this set.
7. Sylvia ... An excellent version of this well known song.
8. Focus V ... Thijs states that this is the first time Focus has performed Focus V on stage.
9. Cathedrale De Strasbourg ... A pastorale piece complete with Thijs' trademark whistling and vocals sung in French.
10. Harem Scarem ... This high energy jam is especially manic and provides ample solo time for Jan Dumee (guitar) and Bobby Jacobs (Bass). Jan's solo is so intense that he breaks a string at the 6:50 mark and then skillfully extracts himself from the predicament with a bit of distortion and with the help of Thijs Van Leer who is shown to be relaxed and enjoying the performance prior to jumping back into action to help lay down an escape route for Mr. Dumee.
11. Focus VII ... Previously unreleased in any form, this is a new piece that the group had considered placing on their 2002 release "Focus 8" but did not.
12. Flute Improvisation .... Thijs soloing on the flute for 2 and half minutes leading into ...
13. Hocus Pocus ... An excellent song and an outstanding performance. Watching the original Focus perform this one on the before mentioned 1973 medley and then seeing the current band's interpretation (featuring a shared vocal arrangement) is a real treat.
Overall, I find Focus: Live In America to be highly entertaining and I strongly recommend it to both hard core and casual followers of Focus as well as progrock enthusiast in general.
Focus On Focus
A. J. Mathison | Lynnwood, WA. USA | 05/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"New lineup surrounding Thus Van Leer, the only remaining original member of Focus, but the new band does an exceptional job in playing this live music as you'd expect it to sound. Thus Van Leer yodels his band through Focus classics........I wish the video was longer though. Also, on the extras was a single song with original lineup including Jan Akkerman of 20+ years prior. I just love hearing their music and the sound quality and musicianship on this DVD makes this a must-have for any Focus fan."