Personnel: Ben Coombs, Scott Metzger (vocals, guitar); Steve Molitz (vocals, keyboards); Darren Pujalet (vocals, drums); Eric Gould (vocals).
Audio Mixer: Evan Daum.
Recording information: The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA (02/24/2006-02/28/2006); The Henry Fonda Theater, Hollywood, CA (02/24/2006-02/28/2006).
Photographer: Earl Gardner.
It's takes a lot of chutzpah to unveil your new guitarists in front of rolling tape and cameras, but so self-confident were Particle in their new lineup that they seem totally at ease -- so much so that one would think this quintet had been playing together for years, not mere months. And thus did the group take to the Henry Ford Theater stage in Hollywood in February 2006. Transformations Live captures the entire one-hour-and-45-minute event. Particle kick off with "Give," and they do precisely that, offering up a perfect example of '70s-styled blues-flecked prog rock, a sublime showcase for newcomers Ben Combe and Scott Metzger. "7 Minutes to Radio Darkness, Pt. 3" puts the pomp, but not the pomposity, back in pomp rock, this number an extravaganza for keyboardist Steve Molitz. The faces may have changed, but their intent -- and intensity -- remain intact, as Robbie Kreiger takes the stage to join the band on a driving cover of "L.A. Woman." That's fabulous, but "Eye of the Storm" is phenomenal, a weather system that seems to keep on expanding until it surely covers the globe. Particle now head backstage, accompanied by the cameras, eventually returning for an extensive encore that kicks off with a hip-hop-styled "Particle People," joined on-stage by rapper Blackalicious, with Joe Satriani and DJ Logic jumping aboard for a megalicious "W." "Sun Mar 11" seems to float and soar above the crowd and a psychedelic-splashed "Thanks" is short and sweet, while the acoustic "Lucky Man" spins out its beauty for an eternity. And then in fitting style, it's time for a superjam of "Superstitious," with the previous guests and the Lucent Dossier dance troupe returning to the stage for a storming take on the Stevie Wonder hit. It's one hell of a show, and all the more spectacular considering it's the first with the new lineup. Where can the group possibly go from here? Well, check out the new song "The Sweeper" in the bonus features for a clue. And catch up on all the latest with the bandmembers themselves discussing how the new lineup came about, as well as their love of collaborations. ~ Jo-Ann Greene