• SAGA 20/20 CD Release Party at Sound Academy – Concert Review

    Michael Sadler of Saga
    July 21 – Well, it was the return of Saga, the classic prog rock band, to their hometown on Friday July 20 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The band played host to their CD Release Party at the Sound Academy for their latest record, 20/20. This, the band’s 20th studio release, is probably one of their most anticipated by their fans as well as being their first release since the return of charismatic frontman, Michael Sadler (who took a few years off from the band). If you haven’t already read our review of Saga’s 20/20, you can check it out here. The last time we saw Saga was on September 1 2011, and you can read that review here
    Michael Sadler of Saga
    After an inspiring crowd warming session by the Dave Barrett Trio, Saga exploded onto the stage with the catchy “Anywhere You Wanna Go” from the new album. Then the band proceeded to follow through on the title of their opening song, with Sadler soliciting the crowd regularly throughout the evening for requests from the band’s 35 year collection of progressive rock masterpieces. 
    Saga’s Guitarist Ian Crichton
    It truly was a party-like setting with Sadler mingling with the crowd from the stage, signing autographs between requests and handing over the duties of vocals to the audience on a number of occasions including on “You’re Not Alone”, early on in the show, and in the finale “Wind Him Up”. The band was in classic form with Jim Gilmour and Jim Crichton providing the structural backbone of keyboards and bass for Ian Crichton to wrap his complex guitar textures and riffs around…providing the unmistakable Saga sound fans have come to know and love. Sadler excited the fans with his usual confident swagger, opera-like theatrics and his clean and crisp vocals performance while newbie, Mike Thorne, did well to keep up on drums to drive the message home. Note; we had the world’s first interview with Thorne as Saga’s new drummer here.
    Michael Sadler and Jim Gilmour of Saga
    It was a packed house at the Sound Academy but the band did well to keep the atmosphere intimate. Gilmour nailed the intimacy vibe with his solo performance of “Scratching the Surface”, capturing his audience and virtually turning the Sound Academy into a piano lounge for the time being. Another memorable performance included Sadler with Gilmour on keyboards, and the two alternated lines like Shakespearean actors on their performance of “The Cross”, with Ian Crichton provided the violin sounding guitar as the backdrop. Other notable performances from the evening included “The Perfectionist”, “Don’t Be Late” and “On the Loose”.
    Drummer Mike Thorne of Saga
    Verdict: 9 out of 10. As expected an excellent show. Saga has maintained its mastery of live performances with the passage of time and their continued releases of new material reaffirms their passion for their music, which is reflected in their live shows. Do not miss your chance to see this band live during their current tour.
    Anywhere You Wanna Go
    Mouse In A Maze
    Book Of Lies
    Careful Where You Step
    You’re Not Alone
    The Perfectionist
    The Cross
    Drum Solo
    Scratching The Surface
    Tired World
    Humble Stance
    Six Feet Under
    On The LooseDon’t Be Late
    Wind Him Up 


    Saga at Toronto’s Sound Academy during their 20/20 CD Release Party
    Saga’s Michael Sadler
    Check out our interview with Jim Gilmour here.

    Review by TMAK World. Photos by Steve Mallinson

    Click here for additional photos.
    This entry was posted in Concert Review, Music, Rock and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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