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Live In Europe DVD

Review by Larry Toering

This two disc set wasn't an easy pick between the three Transatlantic DVD's on the market, but ultimately I chose this one because I could review it at MSJ as it hadn’t been covered yet. I have to say I'm glad I did because this is a powerhouse show that comes with a bonus disc with some extras on offer as well. From now on I will be enjoying this band’s CD's, as well. Being exposed to them was a breath of fresh air, as I expected them to be good, but man alive, are they impressive! This is one prog band that should get a lot more recognition, as Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Pete Trewavas and Roine Stolt together are a major force with which to reckon. Everything, from “Dual with the Devil” on through “Suite Charlotte Pike Melody” is performed with mass clarity and precision that it's hard to fathom in one viewing. With repeat spins it still seems to fly by so quickly that it's just hard to catch every single note of brilliance. There are some camera factors that do tend to limit the viewing of some of the players from time to time, but that is only a small complaint in comparison to the performance and overall video. What a killer band this is, though! The music is all so positive sounding (with the exception of Mike Portnoy's unnecessary use of some particularly bad language). I could do without that because it's otherwise such a clean delivery by all. Over and above that, Portnoy does fly like no other on the drums, while Stolt plays a lot of intricate guitar parts and Morse just soars on the keys with fantastic melody and a smile on his face the whole time. It really is a wonder to watch him in action, but more coverage from Stolt's corner could have been added to balance out the performance from a playback point of view. But it's still hard to tell, being so new to this, whether or not that really matters at the end of the day, because it's so good it has me trying to find the slightest drawback. But I am just glad I opted for some all out prog to more familiarize myself with, and Portnoy / Morse completely proved to be the right gamble for me, as they simply blew me away again on this great performance with plenty of Dream Theater and Spock's Beard factors blended for the right balance. I can only recommend it more the more I see it, but it rocks with purity all the way. This is simply an amazing performance by what is obviously an amazing band.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 2 at

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