Fare Thee Well Michael
Prog-Rev-Elation | ALLover | 03/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the main reasons I had for picking up this CD is that it is the "farewell" tour for Michael Sadler. Saga has had a great career despite not getting the success they should have had in the United States. Their stability, chemistry, and release of consistently excellent material over a 30-year period is a testimony to a band that is truly great. I for one will miss Sadler's part in Saga. Saga has a new singer (I haven't heard him yet), and will continue on, but, it is hard for me to imagine the band remaining Saga without Michael.
"Contact" is worthy release for any Saga fan to purchase. To their credit, they have included a good portion of songs from "10,000 Days" and from "Trust," and "Network." This version of You're Not Alone is the absolute best of any of their previous versions. All the songs are enjoyable and performed well, but the old "standard" songs (On the Loose, Wind Him Up, etc.) are pretty much the same as
any of their past live recording, no new additions or nuances.
Some things I would have liked to seen different - Less German Talking (speaking in German is fine, but since this is a world release don't leave us English speakers behind), a wider selection of songs (there is nothing from "Behavior" which is one of their best releases), the old standard songs could have been cut (not from the concert) for some never before released live cuts, Days Like These would have been a perfect end to the concert, and at least a couple minutes of dialogue regarding Michael's feelings and the band's appreciation of his many years of longevity (maybe this will be on the DVD?). One other thing - the version of Security of Illusion is kind of a waste (done completely acapella). I would rather have a performance song, although I love that particular song.
Comparing this live recording with past live recordings, I'd say the quality is as good as any, but the song selection is not as good as "Detours." I would rate this as 3rd, behind "Detours," and "Worlds Apart Revisited."
May Michael Sadler enjoy to the fullest his new direction and focus, and may Saga continue forward propelled by their great legacy thus far."