Sound — 8
Flying Colors may not be the most well known rock supergroup out there, but with the amount of talent that is compiled into this one band, it might as well be. Comprised of Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Steve Morse (Deep Purple), David LaRue (Joe Satriani), Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev) and Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), Flying Colors caught the attention of the music world last year with the release of their debut self-titled studio album. "Flying Colors" was a strong commercial success, with the album landing at number nine on the Billboard Hard Rock Charts and at number 11 on the BBC Rock Album Charts. Considering the band compiled such a broad range of musical talent, the album wasn't subjective to just one musical genre: Flying Colors tackled everything from straight up rock and roll, to it’s progressive and alternative subcategories. Flying Colors have already announced they are steadily working on a followup album, which is currently slated for release sometime in 2014. Unlike the majority of supergroups currently on the scene, Flying Colors are already releasing their first live album, the new "Live In Europe," which shows the band tearing through their entire first studio effort on stage alongside some personal favorites from each members' previous collaborations. Fans who have already listened and enjoyed Flying Colors' debut should have no trouble enjoying their strong renditions of "Better Than Walking Away," "The Storm" and "Forever in a Daze." But perhaps it is the other songs which find their way into the setlist which make "Live In Europe" even more worthwhile. The band executes a standout cover of Dream Theater's "Repentance" on the album's second disc. Although the originally ten minute anthem has been shortened down to five minutes, it was an enjoyable surprise to hear Flying Colors all of a sudden move into that type of musical territory. Flying Colors also try their hand at Spock's Beard's "June," and "Can't Find a Way" by lead vocalist Casey McPherson.
Lyrics — 8
There is no better testimony to a lead singer than a true live album: not one with studio overdubs, but a raw live performance just like the one we have on "Live In Europe." Throughout the entire performance, Casey McPherson gives a solid effort, tackling not only the original Flying Colors material but also selections from "Systematic Chaos"-era Dream Theater, Spock's Beard and his own solo catalog. And like with most great live acts, Casey's live vocal performance, when backed by the group's solid instrumental work, triumphs over the original studio versions.
Overall Impression — 8
Unfortunately, not every fan can't get off from work or from school in order to attend the Flying Colors concert. And the majority of online fan footage which surfaces online the next day cannot capture the performing act in all their live intensity. This is where "Live In Europe" comes into play: the album has the band performing their debut studio album live in it's entirety, alongside foreign selections from each members' own catalog. For those readers who haven't had the chance to catch Flying Colors live, this is one live album that is standout. And for those who did get to catch the band live, it makes "Live In Europe" that much more necessary.