Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Electric Light Orchestra - Turn To Stone

This superlative concert video is a godsend for fans of Electric Light Orchestra, since ELO's Zoom tour was cut short, sadly, because of lackluster ticket sales. Judging from this tour-opening performance (in May 2001, at the CBS studios in Los Angeles), those canceled gigs were a major loss, because Jeff Lynne's revamped ELO is in top form, playing six new songs from Zoom (ELO's first release in 15 years) and 17 hits from the band's beloved legacy. Like the meticulous producer he is, guitarist-composer Lynne plays cordial frontman to an appreciative audience, and his re-creation of ELO's classical-rock sound is astonishing in its fidelity to the studio recordings. From the moment ELO's signature "space-ship" stage blossoms to reveal Lynne's eight-piece ensemble (including, of course, two cellists), there's not a weak song in the brisk 98-minute set. Zoom Tour Live is ample compensation for those who bought useless tickets to an ill-fated show. --Jeff Shannon

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