Covid-19 has had a serious impact on everyone and it truly has affected the music industry. The business does know how to fight back though and we have seen albums recorded separately by the musicians and then put together in the studio so that we still have had new music. In terms of live, many bands have also recorded live sessions, again, in the studio so we have still been able to have our live fix. Many of the bands on the Frontiers label have been at the forefront of the ‘live in the studio’ movement and we have seen many performances on YouTube and consequential releases on the digital platform.
Sweden’s Perfect Plan has gone one better and have now released the recordings on CD due to popular demand which is not surprising given just how good this melodic rock band is. The group has released two exceptional AOR albums since its formation in 2014 with All Rise and last year’s Time For A Miracle being as good as melodic rock can get i.e. real contenders for Journey’s crown. If you get chance then please check them out as both records show a phenomenally talented band with a collection of impeccable and immediately hitting songs that are so sumptuous and well formed. The band also has the luxury of Kent Hilli on vocals and he simply is melodic rock personified with his rich and ever so expressive note perfect vocals. As is usual with Swedish bands the rest of the team are similarly skilled with Rolf Nordström on guitar, Leif Ehlin on keyboards, Fredrik Forsberg on drums and Mats Byström on bass and they combine perfectly to give such a melodic rock masterclass.
The live performance was filmed in intimate surroundings with a relatively small stage and pretty basic lighting but this actually allows you to concentrate on the band which is no bad thing. The set lasts just over the hour mark with three tracks taken from All Rise and, understandably, eight from the new album plus a couple of covers in Giant’s Stay and Foreigner’s That Was Yesterday being brave choices but the band pulls it off with aplomb. The video footage features a number of the songs receiving studio introductions from Hilli which are quite illuminating but these are actually left off the CD version. The tempo is upbeat throughout the album and the intensity even remains for the last four tracks which are all acoustic with the entire band being seated for this section which actually draws you more into the performance.
Watch the performance on YouTube to witness consummate professionals at work and listen to the CD (often) as this is a quality recording from a quality band with a skill level that is almost frightening.
Live At Sharpener’s House
- Time For A Miracle (5:05)
- Every Time We Cry (4:32)
- Heart To Stone (3:45)
- That Was Yesterday (Foreigner cover) (4:32)
- What About Love (4:35)
- Fighting To Win (5:18)
- Better Walk Alone (4:35)
- Never Surrender (5:10)
- In And Out Of Love (5:52)
- Stay (Acoustic Version) (Giant Cover) (4:46)
- Heaven In Your Eyes (Acoustic Version) (4:30)
- Nobody’s Fool (Acoustic Version) (3:55)
- Don’t Leave Me Here Alone (Acoustic Version) (5:06)