Prism Doucette

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Prism and

Jerry Doucette

 

Concert Review

"I hear a voice from long ago..."

 

November 10, 2010, at Cascades Casino Summit Theatre. Langley BC.

 

 

Doucette

Jerry Doucette and his band.

Prism Group

Prism's current line up: (Left to right) Marc Gladstone (Keyboard and vocals), Gary Grace (drums and vocals), Al Harlow (guitar and lead vocals), and Tad Goddard (bass and vocals).

 

I didn't manage to get the names of Jerry Doucette's other band members for this concert, but they played with energy and enthusiasm.

 

The low light didn't make for perfect video or photos (and I didn't want to blind the players with flashes). A few video scenes came out fairly well though. The tiny microphone on the camera wasn't so good at capturing the vocals. It picked up some of the audience singing as well: ) So not a perfect recording, but I think it captures some of the feel of the concert. Regardless, I was there to see and here the concert far more than I was there to get a good video.

 

I was at the concert to see Prism, but I was quite glad to hear Doucette for the first time. Jerry and his band played with energy and enthusiasm. Their bluesy rock got people to cheer, dance and sing along, especially to the song "Mama Let Him Play." By the time Prism took the stage, the audience was well warmed up.

As a fan of science fiction, I appreciate the current of science fiction themes which runs through much of their music. This includes the songs "Spaceship Superstar," "Just Like Me," "Satellite," "Armageddon," and "Take me to the Kaptin," as well as their 2008 songs "Big Black Sky" and "Hundred years."

 

Prisms's signature synthesizer work is a significant part of why the "Spaceship Superstar" (by Jim Vallance) was such a success. Keyboardist Marc Gladstone, Prism's newest member, played the extended synthesizer solo for this song, adding his own flavour to it, while respecting the sound and styles of those who've played it before him.

 

The clip from "See Forever Eyes" (by John Hall & Lindsay Mitchell), also features some synthesizer work.

 

Al Harlow's slide guitar solo echoed the blues / rock sound of Doucette's opening act.

 

The original recording of "Young and Restless" (by Al Harlow and Lindsey Mitchell) showcased Prism's harmonious vocal work.

 

"Take Me Away" (by Al Harlow) is a favourite of mine. Apparently it was a favourite of many other audience members as well, as in parts of my video the sound of audience members singing is quite pronounced.

 

The song "Tangiers" (by Al Harlow) is from the 2009 album "Big Black Sky." The live version had more of a rock feel to it than the studio version on the CD, which has more of a central Asian feel to it.

A Prism concert standard is that the song "Mirror Man" (by John Hall) leads into a drum solo. Drummer Gary Grace, who has been with prism for quite a few years now, had big shoes to fill, following on the footsteps of previous Prism drummers, including Jim Vallance and Rocket Norton. He managed to make some amazing music with his drum set, and showed the audience why he won Roland's 2009 Canada wide V-Drum Contest.

The release version of "Take Me to the Kaptin" (by Jim Vallance) includes the following in the intro: "I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I'm afraid that I just can't stay." They sing a slight variation on this at concerts, "I don't mean to sound ungrateful, when I ask him could I stay." Al rocked hard enough to pop a guitar string during this song, but I was changing my camera's memory card when that happened. The guitar work still sounded good with one less string.

At some concerts, "Armageddon" (by Lindsey Mitchell) has been played with a full brass band for the intro and epilogue. I would like to see that at least once in my life. For this concert they used a recorded track as part of the intro. The intro track gave Al time to restring his guitar. The song is an ironic call for Armageddon to bring Elvis back from the dead (conceived at the anniversary of Elvis' funeral in Memphis). They got most of the audience singing the chorus "Armageddon, carry me home." If we get enough people to sing this all at once, maybe Elvis will come back to life.

Prism Al String Guitar

Al Harlow restringing his guitar during the intro to Armageddon

 

After the concert we all cheered like lunatics until Prism came out and sang. "N-N-N-No!" (by Jim Vallance) for an encore. It was the first time I'd heard it live, and it was well worth a few minutes of non-stop cheering and applauding.

 

Information on Doucette and Prism is available at www.jerrydoucette.ca and www.prism.ca respectively.

 

 

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