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Fish Homepage
Tour dates, e-mail from Fish, etc.
Mastermind Homepage
Tour dates, news, info., a very nice site.

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Fish/Mastermind Live at Tuxedo Junction, Danbury, CT on July 24,1997

The release of "Sunsets On Empire", quite possibly Fish's best album, has finally brought the Fish live experience back to US shores for the first time in 10 years. His pairing with Mastermind is a prog-rock fans dream come true. This show actually started long before the club opened it's doors as an obviously playful Fish videotaped his bandmates during the soundcheck before joining them for renditions of "Tongues", "New York, New York", and "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." This was Fish at his best, happy and enjoying himself. He casually strolled around the club meeting his fans until just before his own set was to begin. Opening with the first track from his new album "The Perception of Johnny Punter" Fish proved that he was indeed back and ready to rock. The set, roughly 2 hours in length, consisted of most of "Sunsets On Empire", the classic Fish tunes, and Marillion favorites "Lavender," "Assassing," and "Fugazi." Fish was backed by a band that included several new faces, all of whom proved more than capable of providing the vehicle for the Fish experience. The sound and lighting were great and were always used to highlight the performance without distracting from it. Fish was in a very talkative mood and introduced most songs with personal and insightful stories. The crowd, while only about half of the club's capacity, consisted of mainly die-hard Fish fans who enjoyed every minute of this night. Fish left the stage exhausted, and promising not to make us wait another 10 years before his return.

Mastermind opened the show to a small crowd but deserves credit for rocking their asses off. Their hard-edged progressive pieces are great live and they certainly impressed the crowd, most of whom hadn't heard of them before. Bill Berends was great on guitar and a special note should be made about the drumming of brother Rich Berends which was truly exceptional on this night. I'm not a fan of drum solos by any means but Rich's was among the best I've ever seen. Here's hoping that Mastermind finally gets noticed. They deserve much more attention.