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Spock's Beard - Live CD (album) cover

LIVE

Spock's Beard

 

Symphonic Prog

4.11 | 54 ratings

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E-Dub
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars OK, show of hands: how many people thought the Beard were finished when Neal Morse left? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.......you get the point. I was just really getting into them when Neal left, so it was only a year after that I truly understood just how hard it would be for them to carry on without him. In that time we've seen 3 studio albums (which have gotten stronger and stronger) and now a second live album with an accompanying DVD. Not really sure what I was to expect as I eased back into my favorite chair, put on my headphones and pushed 'play', but what I got was a performance by a band who have not only endured, but who have thrived. It's safe to say that Spock's Beard has found their swagger in the post-Neal Morse era.

Music from the Morse era is well represented on the DVD. Spock's has such a deep respect for their past that they don't tamper with songs from Beware Of Darkness (Walking On The Wind), Kindness Of Strangers (In The Mouth Of Madness), Day For Night (Crack The Sky), and V (Thoughts, Part II). In fact they were perfectly preserved with today's Beard. Even their debut album, The Light, is represented with an encore of The Water/Go The Way You Go. Everything just played perfectly.

It was the new material that gripped me. I would've preferred another entry from Octane than Surfing Down The Avalanche; however, the material from their most recent self-titled album stole the show. On A Perfect Day showcases Nick on guitar, which I'm still getting used to seeing. As we all know, Nick is a top notch drummer, but he bounces from guitar, to drums, and even keyboards throughout the set. His drum duel with Jimmy Keegan was spellbinding--both are extremely talented.

The grammy nominated Skeletons At The Feast was absolutely brutal. Nick took over on drums to give Jimmy Keegan a rest...well, that is until he decided to go crowd surfing. Nevertheless, it's always great to see Nick behind the kit. The set rounds out with the epic As Far As The Mind Can See, which really is the highlight of not only the studio album, but this DVD. The crowd especially gets into it during the They know we know section. A blistering version of Rearranged closes out the first set.

This DVD took me by surprise. I'm a HUGE Neal Morse fan, and I had picked up his Sola Scriptura DVD the week prior (ironically filmed the night after this show at the same venue), but I have to say I might prefer this. Too early to tell, but this DVD is THAT good. Only negative com of those detracts from this performance. Can't say enough about it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

E-Dub | 4/5 |

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