Flashback Friday Album Review: Back to the Rock–Live

Though the release of this particular album back in 2011 is newer than what this reviewer prefers to include (20th Century) on his blog, this release is worthy of review simply because–well, it’s an epic 80s reunion.

Last week, we looked at Petra’s Farewell live CD/DVD, released in 2005, which featured Greg X. Volz and John Lawry. Now, it seems appropriate to take a look at the band’s reunion with Volz and company 25 years after he left the group. But this isn’t just Volz’ reuinion, this tour included the entire 1985 band line-up: John Lawry, Mark Kelly, Louie Weaver, and founding member Bob Hartman.

The songs listed on here are parallel to the band’s Back to the Rock studio release a year prior–which is full of re-recordings of the band’s Volz-era hits as well as two new rockin’ songs, “Back to the Rock” and “Too Big to Fail.”

The live version was released in two CD formats–a ‘standard’ version, which is just the songs, and an ‘expanded’ edition which includes the band’s interaction with the audience.

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A double-disc DVD was also released, which included the concert plus a documentary of what inspired, and what it was like, for the band to get back together again, as well as reminising about the good ol’ days.

For being a live album, it is just as polished as a studio recording–which makes one hope it was not too touched-up afterward on the mixboard and whatnot. For being around 60 years old, Volz’s voice is just as good–if not better–than ever. And the band rocks out harder than they had 25 years earlier. A comparison can be heard on the Captured in Time and Space CD; which was recorded during Volz’s final tour with the group in 1985; and released in 1986.

The choice for this 11-song setlist is about as good as it can get. Sure, we could squabble about one or two songs missing if we want, but for the most part, these are the cream of the Volz-era crop. And again, with a 60-ish year-old Volz singing his heart out and 60-ish year-old band members, this single live recording ends up being (I’m going to get into a lot of heat for this) better than the 80s originals and much better than Captured in Time and Space.

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