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Secret Sphere
One Night In Tokyo
June 2017
Released: 2016, Frontiers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Brat

Once upon a time a baby was born in a little village outside Milan. It was not long before Michele’s parents realised their son was gifted when instead of the sound of crying, a chorus of angels would emit from his opened mouth. So amazing was this gift, that people travelled from around the globe to witness this divine phenomenon….ok, maybe that’s a little far-fetched, but there is no doubt Michele Luppi is one of the best rock/metal singers of our time, so I awaited the delivery of the One Night in Tokyo from SECRET SPHERE with anticipation. I asked for a special favour when I purchased the DVD and the members responded that they would be happy to sign the cover for me.

I have to admit, until Michele Luppi sang for Secret Sphere, I hadn’t heard of them. SECRET SPHERE is an Italian-style power metal/melodic metal band that has been around since 1997 and was founded by axeman Aldo Lonobile. The band is 6 albums old with a myriad of notches on their touring belts. To set the mood closer to the concert atmosphere, I watched ONE NIGHT IN TOKYO on a sweaty 30°Celsius Australian night I was home alone – I couldn’t sleep anyway. All that was missing was the sweaty gig attire, lank hair, running makeup and high heels.

Ice-cold cider in hand, I cranked up the boyfriend’s Bose surround sound and watched on his 65" curved screen while teasing him by text message that I was cheating on him with his entertainment system. I had it so loud I almost needed earplugs. Sound and image quality were superb.

One Night in Tokyo starts with the concert intro music while showing footage of the band arriving at the venue, fooling around backstage and waiting in the wings to individually come on stage.

When all members are on stage, it’s not Luppi that starts the singing ‘X’, but rhythm guitarist, Marco Pastorino.

Watching the live DVD alone at home also meant I could raise my drink while belting the notes of 'Healing' along with Luppi much like I would at a show and not feel self-conscious. It is during ‘Union’ that my illusions of a pure live recording start to crack. I’m a stickler for accuracy so when I saw one mouth moving but heard two voices, I was a little disappointed. A long time ago I was told by a band who released their own ‘live’ DVD that all bands overdub the live sound and it’s industry-accepted …still…Yet during songs like ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ there is no evidence of overdubbing while Michele’s hitting the money note.

‘Lie to Me’ starts Marco Pastorino opening the vocals but then the obvious overdubbing of the live sounds becomes evident in the verse when an imaginary backing vocalist is heard.

After ‘Wish and Steadiness’ Michele Luppi introduces the band. Luppi is comical, at times sending big kisses to the audience and joking around. He's at ease as a frontman and looks to be loving the freedom he would not necessarily have while, for instance, playing keyboards on the Whitesnake tour. At the same time he is humble and gracious. ONE NIGHT IN TOKYO included some great belt-along songs in the set—'Legend' and 'Under the Flag of Mary Read' from the album A Time Never Come. Of course no live show is complete without the talents of the rest of the band; Aldo Lonobile, Andrea Buratto, Gabriele Ciaccia and Federico Pennazzato interact with the audience, are constantly smiling and really look to be having the time of their lives.

I have a bone to pick with Mr Luppi though. Why is the ballad ‘for the girls’ as ‘Eternity’ was dedicated? ‘Mr Sin’ (from Archetype) is probably the heaviest of the SECRET SPHERE songs and has a similar vibe to WARRANT’s ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’. The set ends with ‘Lady of Silence’, with the usual money notes, crescendo of music and thanks. SECRET SPHERE performs ‘Dance with the Devil’ for the encore. It’s raw and an honest recording of a live event.

The two live CDs that accompany the deluxe edition were on high rotation keeping me motivated while I was slaving away in preparation for my boyfriend's 50th birthday. It was during one of these listens during ‘The Scars That You Cannot See’ (from Archetype) that Michele Luppi got kudos from said boyfriend for his impressive high notes. Also included with the live records is a bonus track – a duet version of the single ‘Lie to me’ featuring Anette Ozlon (ex-NIGHTWISH, ex-ALYSON AVENUE).

ONE NIGHT IN TOKYO this is a modest recording of a gig in a modest venue. There are no frills to this production in a very refreshing way. The set list pulls song for the last three albums, keeping the music relevant for newer fans to enjoy. It serves as a souvenir to the fans in Tokyo lucky enough to have been at the Wild Side show and as an opportunity for fans who may never have the opportunity to witness SECRET SPHERE perform in the flesh.
Track Listing

Track listing
1. Intro: A Journey Through Time
2. X
3. Healing
4. Union
5. The Fall
6. Lie To Me
7. Wish and Steadiness
8. Legend
9. 09. Under The Flag Of Mary Read
10. The Scars That You Can't See
11. Eternity
12. Mr Sin
13. Leonardo Da Vinci
14. Lady of Silence
15. Dance with the Devil
CD 1
1. A Journey Through Time
2. X
3. Healing
4. Union
5. The Fall
6. Lie to Me
7. Wish and Steadiness
8. Legend
9. Under the Flag of Mary Read
10. The Scars That You Can't See
11. Eternity
CD 2
1. Mr. Sin
2. Leonardo da Vinci
3. Lady of Silence
4. Dance with the Devil
5. Lie to Me


Michele Luppi – vocals
Aldo Lonobile – lead and rhythm guitar
Andrea Buratto – bass
Marco Pastorino – rhythm guitar
Gabriele Ciaccia – keyboards and piano
Federico Pennazzato – drums



Other reviews

» Sweet Blood Theory
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

» Archetype
by Robert Williams

» Portrait Of A Dying Heart
by Erich

» Portrait Of A Dying Heart
by Waspman

» A Time Never Come-2015 Edition
by JP

» One Night In Tokyo
by Brat

» The Nature Of Time
by John Haseltine

Next review: » Secret Sphere - Portrait Of A Dying Heart
Previous review: » Secret Sphere - Archetype

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