Following on from the release of their 2017 album “Defying Gravity”, Mr. Big set out on a world tour to promote the new release in a live setting. Thankfully I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Mr Big play live numerous times in their nearly 30 year career, with a personal highlight for me on the ‘Lean Into It’ tour at the famous Rock Club ‘The Stone’ In San Francisco back in 1991. Anyone who knows about Mr Big can confirm that the musicianship and vocals are always delivered to a very high standard, with this ‘Live In Milan ‘ offering being no different. Sadly by this time, drummer Pat Torpey’s battle with Parkinson’s disease had been made public, but the true warrior that Pat was, he still toured with the band regardless, and sat behind the drum kit for certain select songs, together with offering quality background vocals, when replacement Matt Starr was taking his turn. This live LP. was captured at the stop in Milan, IT, “Live From Milan” has a track listing that will satisfy any Mr Big fan, both old & new, but was sadly, one of Pat Torpey’s last performances with the band as he tragically passed away aged just 64 not long after this gig.
But with this wonderful release Pat Torpey’s amazing drumming & percussion skills live on, ‘Live From Milan’ is a great set of 22 tracks that cover their entire career, covering the big hits from their debut ‘Mr Big’ in 1989 we have the amazing ‘Addicted To That Rush’ with Billy Sheehan & Paul Gilbert tearing the track apart. To the tracks from the billboard Top 20 album ‘Lean Into It’ we have the fast & furious ‘Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song), the melodic gem ‘Alive And Kickin’, the dance floor classic ‘Green Tinted Sixties Mind’, the beautiful ‘Just Take This Heart’ and the number 1 smash hit ‘To Be With You’.
It’s just track after track of amazing melodic rock played at the highest standard with top-notch vocals from the enigmatic and very funny Eric Martin. Personal favorite of mine, the ‘Cat Stevens’ cover of ‘Wild World’ is just sublime. Newer tracks like the full on melodic rocker ‘Undertow’ and the excellent ‘Open Your Eyes’ and ‘Defying Gravity’ from their latest release fit into their bumper packed set list with ease.
All in all one of the best Live albums ive heard in years, this is a band that loves what they do, despite all the heartache they went through with the passing of Pat Torpey , may Mr Big continue to shine like they have done since 1989. ‘Live in Milan’ is an essential purchase for all the melodic rock lovers out there. The set captures a special moment in time for the band and also serves as a “greatest hits” of sorts as they hit on all their classic songs from the early albums as well as revered material from newer releases.
MR. BIG, formed in 1988, have produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres – be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits include, but are not limited to,“Alive and Kicking,” “Just Take My Heart” and the chart-topping ballad, “To Be With You” (Billboard Hot 100 #1 single in 15 countries for multiple weeks in 1991).