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Neal Morse

The Neal Morse Band – Live in Portland, Oregon, March 2019

Review by Larry Toering

This band seem to be very pumped, and it could be coincided with the Morsefest coming on, as announcements have been going out about it while NMB are on tour. Either that or they bring nothing but an A-game show on a regular basis.  Not being familiar with all the material in the set made for an actual bonus, rather than losing me. In fact, it adds more intrigue to the latest release and keeps it fresh in the mind, and also keeps me looking forward to what Flying Colors will sound like on their next release, as well. Yes, I like just about anything Neal Morse does, and am always open to anything I haven’t heard so I’m very glad I saw it.

The lights come crashing on, and it’s hard not to stand there with your jaw dropped. The show simply takes you away, or it does me anyway. If they rocked Seattle anything like Portland, the Pacific Northwest got a glimpse of what these progressive rock musicians are bringing to the world. “Welcome To The World” encapsulates every word of that. It’s not only a stunning show of light shaded music, it’s also a bone crushing show of amazing acrobatics. It’s also astonishing how well it comes across in small theaters because this music was essentially made for the arena because of its ability to carry for miles beyond the ears and eyes of the crowd. It was like taking a bottle of musical pain medication you’ll be glad to swallow.

The vocal delivery of Morse is something you either like or you don’t (as with any singer), but to me his voice would sound good in any band. It has some kind-of familiarity to it because of his understanding of songwriting, and that is the only way I can explain what it does to me. There wasn’t one bum note to find and that goes for the amazing keyboards and drums, as well. Portnoy’s two drummer effect made for a bone crushing combo that must be seen by the masses. Back to Morse’s  vocal deliver, it’s simply mesmerizing. You just don’t get this from every band, and if you want excellent guitar, you also came to the right show.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at:

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