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Spock's Beard - Live CD (album) cover

LIVE

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

4.11 | 54 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Music to the ears, candy to the eyes

With Live, Spock's Beard have made the final step in separating themselves from being known simultaneously with Neal Morse. While the band have released a live album since his departure, the incredibly well received Gluttons For Punishment in 2005, this is the first visual documentation of the band since the 2002 release of Don't Try This At Home. What we have here is the band clearly stating that this is the band as the title of their latest record would also suggest this is Spock's Beard. While not a band you would expect to throw a show which features insanities such as stadium pyros, firebreathing, or anything of the like, they certainly put on a very good show, one that easily an hold attentions over the entire two hours of it's running length.

Now let's get one thing strait right off the bat: this dvd looks great! Due kudos have to be dished out right here and now to the camera crew for this one. I've seen my fair share of concert dvds in the past, and have even worked on similar gigs, but these guys knew what they were doing. Taking risks is no small part of the camera game, and many too many dvds that I've seen play it too safe in this department. Just watch this dvd in terms of visuals and you'll see that everything that you'd ever want to have coverage on is shot - and very well.

Of course, what we're interested in here is the band! And I must say, these guys are at the top of their game it seems. The dvd sounds incredible, the band sounds much like their studio selves but with an energetic feel. The playing is tight as well, taken into account some of the things the band forces upon themselves to do, such as the five voices choreographed in Thoughts (Part 2) - perfectly done. The band themselves are very fun to watch, because while they may not be wild personalities like some other performers may be, they do one of two things at any given time: be exceedingly interesting, or be very fun to watch technically. What's also fun is the fact that while the band is usually very technical it makes for a very abrupt and less for granted when one of the band members does decide to pull a stunt, like, say jumping into the crowd to surf, or throwing your lead singer off the stage to let him surf back on. Unofficial member, Jimmy Keegan is quite the site to watch for all these reasons, not to mention that he's a madman playing Nick's drumparts, making you really wonder why Nick decided to leave the kit behind, with his parts being very fun to watch. Of course, Nick steps back behind the drumkits every once in a while, especially on instrumentals and long instrumental parts of songs. Watching him coordinate with Keegan on those parts is also quite the site to see. Particularly impressive one the Drum Duel which escalates the obligatory and often mundane drum solo that every other artist seems to use being that they have the advantage of an extra kit. A very fun track to watch regardless.

If you're worried about the new frontman, stop worrying now. While many of us have not had the chance to see the band live with Nick at the helm until this dvd it's very clear that he's perfect for the job. Whether he be rocking out on the guitar, delicately plucking the keys behind Ryo or trying to peek under the keyboardist while he's climbing on his keyboards he's a very fun guy to watch. His voice also sounds enough like Neal Morse's that it's not a shock to hear someone else singing old favorites. He actually breathes very new life into some of the classic Beard stuff like Crack The Big Sky or The Water.

For tracklisting the band also seems to have made good choices. The dvd represents the band's entire career, with tracks only missing from Feel Euphoria and Snow. It features a lot of material from the new album, which is always welcome, as well as a track from Alan Morse's solo album in the form of Return To Whatever which is a very cool song and very cool to watch.

If you've ever liked Spock's Beard in any way shape or form, this dvd's for you. With no complaints at all about the dvd, this is a very strong package which no fan should miss. 4 out of 5! Highly recommended.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |

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