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8 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As It Gets!
I have been a fan of Arena for many a year and have loved pretty much everything that has been recorded by them but funnily enough, have never managed to get to see them in the flesh, something always cropping up to prevent that most magical of evenings! But, if I have to take second best, then this double CD dishes out their most superlative, sophisticated take on prog...
Published 16 months ago by J. M. Green

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but...
I really liked the previous incarnations of Arena, especially with Rob Sowden on vocals and Ian Salmon on bass.

I have been listening to this CD in my car for a week and it doesn't grab me. I have tried to like it but can't.

The CD has many good musical moments, including a great set list. The standard of playing is very high. I really like John...
Published 15 months ago by Samuel Houston


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As It Gets!, 27 Jun 2013
By 
J. M. Green "john94682" (Sutton Coldfield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arena: Live (2011/2012 Tour) (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of Arena for many a year and have loved pretty much everything that has been recorded by them but funnily enough, have never managed to get to see them in the flesh, something always cropping up to prevent that most magical of evenings! But, if I have to take second best, then this double CD dishes out their most superlative, sophisticated take on prog rock that you will find anywhere - it's an absolute stunner and, moreover, is recorded so well that it's verging on the studio renditions!
From the outset, the band prove that they can hold their own with any prog outfit, either in their songwriting or, indeed in their prowess with their chosen instrument and whether running numbers from their last studio effort (the excellent THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPERATION) or tracking through their extensive back catalogue, every number is given the full melodic treatment that is the unmistakeable sound of Arena.
The "new boy" Paul Manzi has slotted so well into the band that it's hard to believe that he hasn't been there since the beginning. Clive Nolan continues to produce his understated, yet at times, soaring keyboards while John Mitchell plays as only John Mitchell can with infills and runs that sometimes defy dexterity, truly, one of the most under-rated axe players that this country has yet produced!(Witness "SERENITY" and you'll see precisely what I mean - understated and beautiful with a capital B!). And, of course, Messrs Jowitt and Pointer punch the proceedings along with their powerful and strident understanding of rythmn.
Indeed all the Arena big hitters are pretty much here in this neat little package, so that if you only ever buy one live prog rock album, make absolutely sure that it's this one - you'll not regret it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arena: Live 2011/12 Tour - quite simply: WONDERFUL., 13 Aug 2014
This review is from: Arena: Live (2011/2012 Tour) (Audio CD)
With this latest release Arena yet again continue to prove that they are a magnificent live band.
A crystal clear recording featuring new vocallist Paul Manzi who shines throughout.
The songs from the latest studio album: "The Seventh Degree of Separation" come across strongly with the usual excellence displayed by messrs Mitchell and Nolan, in particular.
It truly baffles me that Arena do not have more of a worldwide fanbase as the intriguing, dark sublect matters they explore continue to enlighten any listener.
I have every Arena album and they have NEVER realeased a weak or disappointing album - how many bands can hold their hands up and claim that also ?
Arena: Live 2011/12 Tour - quite simply: WONDERFUL.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Live Album, 2 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Arena: Live (2011/2012 Tour) (Audio CD)
Enjoyed this offering from a good solid professional progressive rock outfit.Vocally excellent with good solid musical components and an excellent guitarist
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arena is great!, 31 Oct 2013
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Carlos R. Galvez Barragan (México) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arena: Live (2011/2012 Tour) (Audio CD)
Arena for me is a great Band like IQ, Marillion era Fish, Pendragon, Pallas, I like the new prog ever!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterclass in Progressive music, 13 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Arena: Live (2011/2012 Tour) (Audio CD)
Having already got the DVD from this tour I knew what to expect but even so the sheer quality of musicianship is stunning. OK I'm a fan of prog with IQ & Arena being particular favourites but how anyone could fail to be blown away by John Mitchell's incredible guitar playing, plus the return of John Jowitt on bass (not that Ian Salmon was less than excellent) and the powerfull yet sensitive vocals of new singer Paul Manzi bring a whole new vitality to the band. Stalwarts Clive Nolan & Mick Pointer need no introduction and yet both seem re energised by this line up. Long may it continue - if you love classic Prog - melodic but with a hint of darkness, buy it (& the DVD) you won't be dissappointed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Music!, 21 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Arena: Live (2011/2012 Tour) (Audio CD)
Having only recently bought The Visitor, I listened to Live 2011/2012 Tour on Spotify and the double CD arrived yesterday. Magnificent, moody, powerful, beautifully performed prog music. Very strong drumming underpinning the music, fantastic lead guitar work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Arena are just amazing, 25 Aug 2013
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Mr. M. Pinney (Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arena: Live (2011/2012 Tour) (Audio CD)
I only discovered Arena about 3 years ago on hearing a song from Pepper's Ghost, which blew me away. The Seventh Degree of Separation took a while to grow on me, but is now up there with Pepper's Ghost as my favorite. I saw Arena live in Leicester and their musicianship was brilliant. When I saw this Live CD of that tour I had to have it. It includes a few extra songs that they didn't play when I saw them, such as the excellent Solomon, so that was a big bonus. It is probably not quite as good as the Smoke and Mirrors live DVD, but very close and still worth 5 stars. I can't recommend Arena highly enough.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but..., 28 July 2013
By 
Samuel Houston "Sam1" (Perth Western Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arena: Live (2011/2012 Tour) (Audio CD)
I really liked the previous incarnations of Arena, especially with Rob Sowden on vocals and Ian Salmon on bass.

I have been listening to this CD in my car for a week and it doesn't grab me. I have tried to like it but can't.

The CD has many good musical moments, including a great set list. The standard of playing is very high. I really like John Mitchell's guitar playing and it was nice to hear this clearly on the newer songs here. He gives them more punch that is so different to the muddy mix of 7th Degree.

For me, the biggest problem is Paul Manzi's voice. I just don't think he fits the Arena sound.

I know he can sing but he only very occasionally lets go. Too often his delivery is bordering on lazy, a bit off/flat and lacking emotion. He just sings the words without conviction particularly on the older songs.

So, not really sure what to score this. Perhaps 4 1/2 for the musicianship and 2 for the vocals.
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Arena: Live (2011/2012 Tour)
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