Back in 2005 I had the extreme pleasure of reviewing Book Of Dead album by K2 (K Squared). K2 started out as a project from the brainchild of Ken Jacquess (bass, keyboards), who was also in a Los Angeles prog band called “Atlantis.” I felt that the band was going to be big within the prog world. Sadly, their rise was halted with the death Shaun Guerin (vocals) shortly after the album was recorded. It was going to be hard for the band to perform live without their lead singer. I’m sure many thoughts ran through Ken’s mind as to what to do. Then they got Josh Gleason who is from a Genesis tribute band called, “The Waiting Room.” The wonderful thing is that both singers had a common denominator, Peter Gabriel. This was the next step in the evolution of the band.
Joining Ken from the debut album is Karl Johnson (guitars) who did an amazing job performing the lead guitar parts that were mostly done originally by Alan Holdsworth. Both Ken and Karl filled the void left from violinist Yvette Devereaux quite well. Doug Sanborn (drums) and Spock’s Beard keyboard player Ryo Okumoto rounded off the live edition of K2. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this line-up perform in North Hollywood at The Baked Potato. If they ever tour again anywhere near you, GO! (Note to all festivals, K2 would be a great choice.)
The setlist was pretty much the entire Book Of The Dead album with some extras. The first was from Jacquess’ old band Atlantis called “Forest Cathedral.” Gleason’s vocals, to me, surpass the original. Another cover tune was “Beware Of Darkness”, which was reworked by Spock’s Beard in 1996. The K2 version is similar but the vocals set it apart. I would say Gleason’s delivery has more power .For those of you who don’t know, the song is an old George Harrison number.
If you enjoy melodic progressive rock that has a slight retro feel, like The Watch, Wobbler, The Source, Astra (to name a few), than this DVD is a “must have.” Just a note, this is a DVD-R but since it’s released by the band, it’s the least thought out part of the music.