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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Live in Europe
Label: Radiant Records/Metal Blade
Length: 2 CDs: CD 1-4 Tracks/79:58, CD 2-2 Tracks/60:58
Also available as a 2 DVD set and a 2 CD/DVD Limited Edition Book Set
On paper it sounds fantastic-take four of the greatest progressive rock writers/musicians, put them together in the studio and on tour and allow them to cut loose. In reality the results are even BETTER than one could expect. TransAtlantic: Live in Europe may just be my favorite live rock CD. Ever. It is that good.
TransAtlantic: Live in Europe features Neal Morse (formerly with Spock's Beard and now a solo artist) on keyboards, guitars and vocals; the inimitable Mike Portnoy (of Dream Theater)-one of the world's most powerful & proficient drummers on the drum chair and vocals; Roine Stolt (of the fascinating Swedish prog group the Flower Kings) on guitar and vocals; the amiable Pete Trewavas (of the legendary prog band Marillion) on bass and vocals, and joined for this live CD is Pain of Salvation's Daniel Gildenlow on keys, guitar, percussion and vox. The strength this CD is the sum of the parts-each of these performers is an incredible artist in their own right, and the combined they are pure dynamite.
TransAtlantic's music is
a potent combination of progressive rock with strong melody, multiple vocalists
(Neal takes the lead vocals, but one of the strengths of the band is that
each member joins in vocally and takes some lead vocal parts as well as
background vocals), jaw-dropping drumming, unforgettable keyboard/organ/synth
parts, shimmering guitar and thunderous bass work. Nearly every song
is an epic in its own right-long songs broken into wonderful segments that
showcase the instrumental and vocal chops of
Some highlights: "Suite
Charlotte Pike" is expanded to 31 minutes and interspersed with great renditions
of Beatle's tunes from Abbey Road. Neal Morse (who you can see wearing
a red New York Yankees baseball Jersey) dedicates the positive vibes of
"We All Need Some Light" the city of New York (the concert was recorded
just a few months after 9/11 at the 013 in the city of Tilburg in the Netherlands).
The standout cut is "Stranger in Your Soul"- a 30 plus minute "epic to
end all epics" (according to Morse)
The lyrics feature a poetic spiritual emphasis-seemingly a reflection of Neal Morse's Christian beliefs. "All of the Above" features this touching refrain from Neal:
Innocence and undying love will reign"Stranger in Your Soul" showcases a man's desire for victory, change and to press on without looking back:
There - wailing into walls
Whatever you're looking for"We All Need Some Light" is a transcendent, positive pop/rock masterpiece that should have been a top 40 hit featuring this lyric/chorus:
Hey you on the brinkThe bands performance In TransAtlantic: Live in Europe is not perfect...a reflection of the fact that the band had not been able to spend a lot of time practicing, as alluded to in the enjoyable liner notes from the band. The less-than-perfect performance and minor flubs here and there only enhance the charm of the CD. This is not a project that was glossed over with a million overdubs as so many groups do with their live performances. TransAtlantic: Live in Europe as it stands is a vivid snapshot of five incredible musicians showing the talent they possess and the love for this music (and each other in the warm between-song banter). It is obvious the band is having fun-they can be heard joking with each other and the audience. The only minus to the presentation for some fans will be Portnoy's occasional f-bombs in-between songs.
TransAtlantic: Live in
Europe is a stunning introduction to a band that deserves space on
your CD shelf-right along classic live performances like the Who Live
at Leeds, Neil Young's Live Rust, Yessongs from Yes,
and the Stones Get Yer Ya Ya's Out. TransAtlantic is successful
in creating music that bridges the gap between progressive music, pop,
and rock with melody,
TransAtlantic: Live in Europe is available in three flavors...a double CD, a high-quality double DVD (featuring a classy multi-camera film of the concert and some fun bonus "home-video" of the band behind the scenes), or (HIGHLY recommended) a beautiful Limited Edition set in a stunning book-like case featuring both the CD and DVD version of the performance. Pick up TransAtlantic: Live in Europe at your favorite CD emporium or pick it up online @ <http://www.radiantrecords.com>
Barry Nothstine 3/7/2004