Mr. Big :: Back To Budokan

Written by on January 28, 2010 in January 28, 2010, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Mr. Big :: Back To Budokan
mr big

Label: Frontier Records

A two CD release recorded during the Next Time Around Tour in 2009. Mr. Big was formed in 1988. The band returns with their original line-up made up of Eric Martin (vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitar), Billy Sheehan (bass), and Pat Torpey (drums). ‘Back To Budokan’ basically contains all of the best from the first 4 Mr. Big releases. Highlights that aren’t as mainstream include "Baba O’Riley" "Promise Her the Moon" and "Next Time Around". I’ve seen Mr. Big live a couple of times and they were great then and they sound even better now. I for one am glad they put this recording out. Time apart has only allowed them to hone their skills and come back bigger, badder and better than ever. The cover of Argent’s "Hold Your Head Up" is great and fits in with the other classic rock covers they’ve done in the past and still include in their shows. What really caught my ear were the attention to harmonies they demonstrate here. All the guys sing and are able to pull off some really cool harmonizing including a cover of "It’s For You" a song The Beatles wrote but never recorded. Of course the respective solo sections are incredible as always and Paul seems to have toned down his section to focus more on dueling on dual-necked guitar and bass with Billy (outstanding arrangement) instead of just shredding to show how quick he is – although he doesn’t disappoint in that area either. Torpey’s drum solo is different from what you might expect as he does a lot of work on the rims of the drums. While I doubt we will see a US tour anytime soon, it’s very good of them to recognize their loyal Japanese fans with this double live disc, and the target song "I Love You Japan". Its true Mr. Big was far more popular overseas than in the US, but Eric, Paul, Billy and Pat prove that they can still shred with the best of them.