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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

dvd & video review

Lana Lane - Storybook: Tales from Europe and Japan - 2004

Coinciding with the release of the double live CD Return to Japan (see review), Lana Lane takes the opportunity to release her first DVD that also rounds off the CD. As you could read in “Return to Japan” review, the DVD includes songs that are not in CD format… but here you won´t find the acoustic tracks included in CD2. First warning for fans: I´m afraid you won´t have to choose and you´ll have to get both formats.

In the same way you´ll also find lots of interviews between the songs. Not only Lane and Norlander speak but also the rest of the band. As it´s usual, if you don´t speak english language you´ll have to imagine the answers. Anyway you can choose between watching the entire DVD with the interviews, watching only the interviews, or watching only the songs. Sound´s freaks will enjoy with Stereo 5.1 options, and the die-hard fans will enjoy with the rehearsals included as bonus feature.

I won´t talk about Lana Lane´s music on stage because I do it in the CD review, but as a resume I´ll say that it´s more powerful and progressive. Listening to the vocal and instrumental skills on stage, metal fans who think that her music is “not too hard” and progheads who think that her music is “not too progressive” will shut their mouths. As Norlander states, Lana Lane´s music is multidimensional... and it´s the whole truth.

In this DVD there are songs taken from shows in Japan (1998, 1999, 2002), Belgium (2003) and Germany (1997, 2003). The line-up is not the same in every concert but the core is formed by Lana (vocals), Erik (keyboards), and Don Schiff (stick). The rest of the players are as follows:

Japan 98 - 99: Tommy Amato (drums), Neil Citron & Mark McCrite (guitars)
Japan 02: Vinny Appice (drums), Peer Verschuren (guitars), Kelly Keeling (vocals)
Germany 97: Tommy Amato (drums), Mark McCrite (guitars)
Germany 03 and Belgium 03: Kelly Keeling (vocals), Peer Verschuren (guitars), Ernst van Ee (drums).

Here you´ll listen to songs like “Before you go”, “Under the olive tree”, “Symphony of Angels”, “Love is an Illusion”, “Through the Rain”, etc…, that are not included in the double live CD.

As I wrote in the CD review, the guy who played guitar at Japan show in 02 was Arjen “Ayreon” Lucassen, but his guitars parts have been replayed by Peer Verschuren (in estudio, of course). And you´ll ask me.. what happen with the images?. Well, the answer few lines below.

Visually speaking the DVD is very good. I think Norlander has done a great job. There are different cameras, so the “on stage” feeling is greatly recorded. The sound is also excellent. But the most impressive is watching the band playing on stage. Norlander is, definitely, one of the most talented keyboardist in prog-world, Schiff gives the music an extra feeling thanks to his stick, and veteran Appice is a drummaster.

This DVD is filmed, as its own name states, as a “Storybook”, so it´s very interesting to watch how Lana´s music has evolved through the years.

And before finishing.. what happen with Club Citta´s images where Lucassen played and his guitar parts have been replaced by Verschuren?. The guy who has edited the film deserves an Oscar because you won´t find Arjen anywhere (all general views are slightly leaning, and I´m sure that Lucassen has been erased in some views). When a guitar solo is played, you can see Verschuren on studio.

Regarding this affaire I´ve already stated my opinion in the CD review, but I repeat again: I don´t know who´s right and who´s wrong… but it´s sad this situations happen in our little progressive world.

But this is not The Sun, so I´ll simply say that this DVD is a must. Three hours with the best female vocalist and the best keyboardist, and twenty songs will lots of power and instrumental developments. Don´t miss it!

Alfonso Algora - July 2004
rating - Think Tank


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