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During the almost fifty year history of Rock n Roll there have been a few shining stars in a crowded musical galaxy who stood out from the crowd and made a significant contribution to music as an art form. Reflecting back, these artists stood above the pack because of their natural talent and ability to create music that not only has withstood the test of time but crossed the set boundaries of what defined rock as a genre.  We may look back in a few years and see Jon Crosby as one of these artists. He follows in the tradition of rock scholars like Lennon, Presley, Dylan, Sting, Reznor, and Rose with his multi-instrumentation and exceptional voice - set to music created by a truly gifted composer. Crosby calls his musical creation "Vast" and what an appropriate name that is. For the music crosses many genre lines from hard rock to classic alternative, to industrial. Yet all of these styles blend perfectly to create the "Vast" sound. 

It's Music for People

The second CD from Vast "Music for the People" places Crosby far ahead of his peers. This year we have witnessed the acceleration of rock music going corporate with the music charts seething with mediocrity. Along comes "Music for People" to remind us that yes this may be a business but it still should be about MUSIC not marketing. 

There are a few people who seemed born with the ability to weave notes together in a mysteriously genius way. Such people are often referred to as natural songwriters. You could be the most gifted musician in history but if you do not have great songs, your talent goes to waist. On "Music for People" Jon Crosby shows his songwriting talents by creating 12 remarkably good songs. 

The most refreshing aspect of Vast is that the songs explore different musical avenues. With a song like "I Don't Have Anything" Vast enters into U2 territory without the monotony that plagues that band's music. On the other hand, the current hit "Free" lands Vast in the alternative/industrial realm of Nine Inch Nails. Then with the intro to "What Else Do I Need" Vast pulls together a convincing combination of Morrissey and Enya. The list goes on. It is the dynamic sonic feel of all 12 of these songs coupled with strong melodies that firmly place Crosby in a class all his own. 

When it came time to select our top album picks of 2000, "Music for People" came out at the top of our list. The CD was honored in our third annual year in review special by being named best Alternative Album by a major label artist. 

It can only get better!

The only thing that surpasses Vast on CD is the experience of seeing Vast live. We caught up with Vast recently when they brought their musical styling to southern California during their tour supporting "Music for People".  To properly gauge what it is like to see Vast live, you should take the energy level from both CD's and multiply it by 10. 

Live, Vast transcends well beyond being Jon Crosby's brainchild. The band comes together to become a musical powerhouse. The highly technical playing, coupled with an intense delivery make seeing Vast in concert an unforgettable experience. 

From the moment Jon stepped on stage he owned the audience. With every note he brought the musical rapture to a new level. With a high energy level performance matched evenly with  letter perfect vocals, Jon Crosby offered the cheering fans a compelling reason to love this band and their music. 

While Jon Crosby takes a good deal of the spot light , this album really was a group project. Without the combined team of Justin Cotter on guitar, Thomas Froggatt on bass and Steve Clark on drums "Music for People" may not have reached such a lofty height. On stage these four come together with military precision, never missing a beat and mesmerizing the audience with heavier versions of their songs. 

The technical aspects of the music is well served by Justin Cotter's guitar playing. Throughout the performance his leads showcased his vast talents while he tackled various musical feats, taking the music to a higher plane of existence without hogging the spotlight all to himself. 

Even the most experienced players would approach performing the Vast rhythm parts with apprehension. That didn't seem to phase the dynamic team of bassist Thomas Froggatt and drummer Steve Clark as they provided the underpinning to the music with a skill level rarely seen in popular music today. 

Live, Vast appears to be a totally different band than the one we hear on the latest CD. The music comes across much heavier and even the most casual of observers can see just how much superior musicianship goes into the songs.  If this review comes across as a little over the top, that's only because the live Vast experience was so impressive. 

The final analysis.

This generation has been desperately searching for a musical voice. God help us all if they look to Fred Durst or Eminem to provide it. Jon Crosby and his band mates with their Vast musical talents provide a ray of light for music fans and one can hope that the quest for a voice may soon be over with the delivery of "Music for People" 

Who is Vast?
Jon Crosby - Guitar, Vocals
Thomas Froggatt - Bass
Steve Clark - Drums
Justin Cotter - Guitar

More Vast!

Purchase "Music for People" online

Be sure to check out the brand new official site in Flash @!

Visit Elektra's Vast page with tons of real audio, videos, news, bio, plus lots more!

Parts of this article originally appeared on antiMUSIC in the Oct 2000 artist of the month special.  

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