Album Review: Harem Scarem Live At The Phoenix

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Harem Scarem was formed back in 1987 after Pete Lesperance (guitar) and Harry Hess (vocals) of Blind Vengeance, teamed up with Darren Smith on drums and Mike Gionet on bass.

In 1991, the S/T album was released and after a few changes in the band, and a few more albums, Harem Scarem are back with another live album. This past summer, before they left for a couple of shows in Japan, they warmed up with a show in Toronto.

HaremScarem_Live at the PhoenixThe new Live At The Phoenix CD/DVD or Blu-ray (not for North American play) will be released December 4th, 2015 from Frontiers Music.

Recorded on July 11th, 2015 there was a good crowd cheering on their hometown band. Sadly I had to miss this show due to a bad cold and wouldn’t want to get everyone sick.

The next day I was on setlist.fm checking out what I had missed and it was a shock to see 22 songs played live! Not only can I not get this on Blu-ray in Canada, but they missed 2 songs on the release, one of them being “Karma Cleansing” – my favourite song. Back to positive vibes, I am about to listen to one of my all time favourite bands.

Harem Scarem Live at the PhoenixAfter an exciting intro by Drew Masters (of M.E.A.T. Magazine) to get the crowd going, Harem Scarem hits the stage opening with “Garden Of Eden” from their new CD. It is great to have Pete back after breaking his arm with only one show played before this concert. While supporting the new album 13 on this tour, we get to hear 5 new tracks and the sound on the CD is perfect.

Up next they go back to the first S/T release with “Hard to Love” then “Saviors Never Cry”. Always classic hearing songs from the first 2 albums. As a fan and having all their albums including the greatest hits, live and DVD’s it is great to hear a variety of songs from their 24 years of album releases. Songs like “Dagger“, “Killing Me“, “So Blind” and the rare track “Voice Of Reason” from their most underrated album of the same title. Closing off this amazing show they go to the Mood Swings album for “Change Comes Around” and “No Justice“.

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The production sounds great. Harry‘s voice is bang on and Pete, what can I say, it’s his talent which is like no other mastering the guitar. Following up on bass is Stan Miczek, the most recent edition to the band, who does a great job keeping Harem Scarem a great live act. Cannot leave this review without mentioning not only the incredible drumming of Darren Smith but his hard rocking voice in “Sentimental Blvd“. This shows Darren as an all around musician genius. It is an honest and raw performance that is a must for any fan of melodic rock.

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My copy is already pre-ordered. Can’t wait to put this in the player and sit back and watch it on the 60-inch screen!!

Track Listing same on DVD, Blu-ray and CD’s:

CD1 – “Garden Of Eden”; “Hard To Love”; “Saviors Never Cry”; “Dagger”; “Distant Memory”; “The Midnight Hours”; “Mandy”; “Killing Me”; “Slowly Slipping Away”; “Troubled Times”.   CD2 “Sentimental Blvd.”; “Turn Around”; “Stranger Than Love”; “All I Need”; “Saints And Sinners”; “So Blind”; “Human Nature”; “Voice Of Reason”; “Change Comes Around”; “No Justice”.   Harry Hess: vocals, guitar Pete Lesperance; lead guitar, vocals Stan Miczek: bass guitar, Darren Smith: drums, vocals

Shawn “Animalize” Irwin

HAREM SCAREM LIVE PHOTOS BY: Sue Sadzak

BUY: Harem Scarem – Live at the Phoenix (Blu-Ray) / BUY: Harem Scarem – Live at the Phoenix (CD/DVD)

Harem Scarem Website / Harem Scarem Facebook / Harem Scarem Twitter

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