“Five years ago I stood on this stage and said goodbye,” vocalist Michael Sadler tells a boisterously appreciative German audience. “Five years later I stand here and say, Hello!” And with that he promptly disappears behind a bank of the keyboards that make Saga’s pomp-rock style so distinctive.
Sadler’s decision to rejoin the Canadian group was only a mild surprise, but his reunion with Saga on the 20⁄20 album was well worth the wait. This excellent two-CD/one-DVD package reminds us of what we’ve been missing.
Anywhere You Wanna Go, arguably the best track from 20⁄20, proves a darned fine show opener, but the band then quickly settle down to trawl through the best bits of their spectacular catalogue, peeling off fan favourites Mouse In A Maze, Careful Where You Step and The Perfectionist for good measure.
Among the most individual-sounding (not to mention most under-valued) guitarists in rock music, Ian Crichton weaves brilliantly between the cascading keys of Jim Gilmour and Sadler’s emotive, flamboyant voice. Spin It Again is proof that, even after almost four decades, Saga’s melange of prog-friendly AOR metal and jazz-rock still sounds very fresh, and very exciting.