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Spock's Beard

Snow Live DVD/CD set

Review by Gary Hill

Who says progressive rock can't be serious and showcase a spirit of fun at the same time? Obviously anyone who says that has never seen Spock's Beard live. I have only seen them once, and it was with the original line-up, but I will say that you really have to experience them live to fully appreciate their music. This new set comes close.

This was a very special concert. For one thing they performed the entire Snow album in its entirety. Perhaps even more special, though, Neil Morse and Nick D'Virgilio returned for this show. The thing is, they added them to the current line-up of Alan Morse, Dave Meros, Ryo Okumoto, Dave Meros, Ted Leonard and Jimmy Keegan, creating sort of a "super Spock's Beard" line-up.

This line-up (augmented by Ben Clark on trumpet and Nate Heffron on tenor sax) allowed them to really up the ante. There were plenty of opportunities for multiple guitar interplay and walls of vocals. Keegan and D'Virgilio really seemed to have fun as co-drummers. In fact, a spirit of fun was present throughout the performance. You could tell that these guys were having a great time.

The video is quite good with cuts from multiple cameras. There is a video screen behind the band (well, actually more like a cut up video screen with blank patches in the middle). At times the video on the home version was entirely taken up by the footage being placed on the screens. That brings an almost "music video" vibe to it.

The first DVD is taken up entirely by the Snow performance. The other DVD includes live performances of "June" and "Falling for Forever" along with a behind the scenes featurette that is mainly an interview segment with all the members of The Beard past and present. That section is quite extensive and well worth having by itself.

Not only do we get the two DVDs, but this also includes a two CD set of all the music. This was another situation where I wasn't sure if this should land under the video or audio sections of MSJ, but since the DVDs were listed first on the back cover, I went in that direction.

Let's summarize by saying that if you've ever been a fan of Spock's Beard, buy this - now! The performance is a once in a lifetime thing. Not all of us could be there. The rest of us can live that experience to some degree with this set. Those who were there will be very glad to have it to enjoy over and over again. What a great time it is to be a Spock's Beard fan!


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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