When things go wrong at a concert, sometimes it makes the event that much more enjoyable. It’s not because I enjoy seeing a band struggle live, it’s because I enjoy the intimacy that technical difficulties bring to a show. Prior to the show Flying Colors had only played three live shows in the US. Two of which were in support of their first album a couple of years ago. The band flew into Chicago the day of the show and were late. They hadn’t slept and just barely made it in time for the show. Many bands would have cancelled. Once they took the stage, there was constant feed back coming from one of the amps, which the audience couldn’t hear unless they weren’t playing. On top of that front man Casey McPherson’s amps, pedals and tuner kept blowing out.
You couldn’t help but feel for the band, but it made for an amazing night. Rather than watching a performance it felt like the band was hanging out with us and playing for us in our living room. With all the technical difficulties the band didn’t miss a beat performance wise. They sounded amazing. How awesome is it to watch guitar God Steve Morse play guitar while trying to fix Casey’s amp without missing a note. The frustration Casey was feeling only made his performance that much more real. You could feel what he was singing. It’s pretty amazing how tight this bands performance was especially since this is more or less a side project for everyone in the band.
We all know that Mike Portnoy is an amazing drummer, possibly the best rock drummer ever. Steve Morse is as good as anybody that’s touched the guitar. The rest of us in attendance were familiar with Dave LaRue and Neal Morse but those of you reading this may not be and they are to their instruments what Portnoy and Morse (Steve) are to theirs. There was so much talent on that stage. The sleeper though is Casey McPherson. He’s the one that makes this band better. I don’t know that Flying Colors is a full on prog rock band, but regardless Casey is the one that makes their music accessible to everybody, whether it be a prog rock fan or just the average rock fan. The tone of his voice is very pleasing to the ear and he’s as good live as he is in the studio.
As a fan I am incredibly grateful that the band decided to make a stop in the Chicago land area. I’m grateful that they didn’t cancel when things didn’t go as planned. I’m grateful that I got to go and experience this tremendous band which very few people in the United States have. It was truly a night I will never forget. They played several songs off the self titled debut album and several off of the follow up (which came out last week) “Second Nature.” Every time I hear these songs I like them just a little bit more. Hearing them live just made it that much more enjoyable. I love this band, it was one of the best live experiences I have ever had and I really want more of you to check this band out. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.