The term "supergroup" gets bandied around a lot these days, but what else can you call Flying Colors? Comprised of drummer/vocalist Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob, ex-Dream Theater), bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs), keyboardist Neal Morse (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic), lead vocalist Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev), and guitarist Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs), together they represent a dazzling fusion of vintage craftsmanship and sophisticated songwriting chops.
Though their debut album was released several months ago, Flying Colors played their first ever show together last night (Sep. 4) at the James Armstrong Theater in Torrance, Calif.
A packed house witnessed the historic concert, responding with standing ovation after standing ovation. The performance itself was a genuine treat. The band played it loose for the most part, ironing out little spots as new bands do on a first night, but the musical pyrotechnics were undeniable. The shredding of Steve Morse, McPherson's dynamic vocals, Neal Morse's solid keys and vocals, LaRue's masterful basslines and Portnoy just being classic Portnoy, combined for something extremely memorable, and the crowd reacted as if they understood the history being made in the room. Portnoy also made for a wonderful unofficial emcee, cracking jokes and keeping the mood fun.
This show represents a jaw-dropping amount of talent on stage, but true to the design of the band, you get prodigious levels musicianship crafted into tight, memorable songs. Flying Colors played their entire album, and filled out the show with pieces from the members' individual musical repertoires, with tastes of Dixie Dregs, Alpha Rev and a nice slice of Dream Theater's "Repentance" from the Systematic Chaos album.
After the show, the guys seemed relieved, satisfied and anxious to get to the next date in New York before flying off just after that for a tour through Germany. Noisecreep can't recommend this show enough, and all in all, this was a performance that passed with, to cite a phrase, Flying Colors.
Noisecreep has the privilege of sitting down with the entire band not long before they took the stage to talk about the show and what it means to everyone onstage.