Alan Parsons Live Project, May 17th 1998
Frits Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

By Ed Sander

This fourth time I saw Alan Parsons' band live became the biggest disappointment of 1998 so far.

Before the break the band played most of the same songs they've been doing for four years now. During Days are Numbers the slide projector, which was used to show images on the black backdrop, seemed to have some problems, resulting in irritating switching and shifting patterns which did not follow the rhythm of music at all.

Ian did the additional long solo in Prime Time and the sax solos in some tracks. He's doing quite well for someone who only has been playing for 1,5 years.

Before the band played Turn it Up Alan made the cynical remark that '... some people bought the album'. Clearly the album and its follower On Air haven't done very well, which is a shame because as far as I'm concerned they've been the most refreshing albums by Parsons and his band in years. I really couldn't be bothered by Eric Woolfson leaving. I already thought that all the albums began to sound the same and got quite bored with Eric doing so many vocals.
Try Anything Once was a wonderful album with new influences from new composers, whereas the albums before were always composed by Alan and Eric. On Air also has great tracks and I consider both of them to be some of my favourite albums. You can imagine my disappointment when, as last year, only one track was played from Try Anything Once.

After the break the same On Air tracks were played as last year. The fragile Blue Blue Sky was spoiled by people still talking and coming in from the bar. The bass player started sweeping the stage floor during the song, and although this was quite funny, it spoiled the track even further.
Although it was nice to hear the On Air songs again in their live versions the band hadn't taken the time to rehearse some new tracks and the second part of the show had as many surprises as the first part. NONE WHATSOEVER !

The crowd was having a good time but I really felt cheated afterwards. What were they thinking ? 'They love us in Holland so why don't we go over there again and play the same old stuff we did last year. That should make us some easy money ! They'll surely pay the rather high ticket prices twice to see the same thing !' ?

I know they don't have a new album yet but they could at least have played some other songs from On Air and any of the 11 studio albums Alan has done. It's not like there's not enough material ! I had an after show backstage pass but I was so disillusioned with the whole thing I didn't even bother to go.

If you want to know more about the show, why don't you check out last years review ? It's almost the same, after all.

The Same Setlist Again ...

(The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether
Can't Take It With You
I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
Old And Wise
Money Talks/La Sagrada Familia (end section)
Days Are Numbers (The Traveller)
Prime Time
Turn It Up
Standing on Higher Ground

- Break -

Intro Tape
Blue Blue Sky
I Can't Look Down
So Far Away
Fall Free
Cloudbreak (instrumental)
Brother Up In Heaven
Sirius / Eye in the Sky

Don't Answer Me
Games People Play


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