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Transatlantic - Live in Europe CD (album) cover

LIVE IN EUROPE

Transatlantic

 

Symphonic Prog

3.76 | 96 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Transatlantic's Live In Europe DVD is a collection of great live performances with subpar bonus materials. The concert portion, filmed in Tilburg, Holland, towards the end of 2001, shows a band having fun and performing well written and crafted epics (which comprise 5 of the 6 songs they play during the concert). Along for the ride on the tour and this video is Daniel Gildenlow of Pain of Salvation, who offers a backing role in the guitars/keyboards/percussion/vocal aspects of the band (a lot, eh?). He offers another layer of sound that creates the overall whole of the intricate songs performed. The rest of the band seem in top form (except Morse's vocals, which seem strained and at times are out of key). Overall, though the band perform the concert well, but the bonus features really kill the set.

The first disc is naturally the concert portion and it is naturally the best part about the set. It opens with a rousing version of Duel With the Devil, which has some nice backing vocal from Gildenlow and Portnoy really shines with some top notch drumming. Neal Morse's vocals are a bit underwhelming, but he does his best to perform the material (he's never been a strong live vocalist). After some introductions of the members of the band, you'll come to notice that Portnoy swears a lot on this dvd, I mean a word here and there doesn't bother me, but here it's a bit different. The songs My New World and We All Need Some Light are both played excellently, with Gildenlow giving a great backing performance adding to the overall sound in a great way. Suite Charlotte Pike is where everything gets a bit kooky. What they do here is play all of Suite Charlotte Pike, but with bits of all the songs from the Abbey Road Beatles Medley (except Sun King). Now they don't do a bad job on the Beatles songs, but let's just say nothing can touch the original versions that the Beatles wrote.

The final two songs of the night are the epics Stranger in Your Soul and All of the Above. The first is benefitted wonderfully from a great piano solo from Morse before going into a more mellow section. Unforunately, Hanging in the Balance doesn't quite come off as heavy and punchy as the studio version. All of the Above is played as expected from the studio album and there isn't reall that much invention to it, but it is performed nicely. You'll see during the crowd shots that there are a wide variety of people at this concert, you see Dream Theater fans, Marillion fans, Spock's Beard fans, and Flower Kings fans. You'll also see a more diverse audience age wise, you'll see some older people here and there! If the concert was superb, the second disc of special features falls flat. An amatuer feeling "documentary" really gives no insight into the group except Portnoy's fascination with the Beatles and a somewhat campy feeling See Me Feel Me from the Who's Tommy album. Their live version of Shine On You Crazy Diamond is also underwhelming, with all the soul being gone in it. Where's the emotion in the solos, Roine? Totally gone. They have guts to attempt a song of this caliber, but it doesn't come off quite right in the end.

In the end, Transatlantic's final video release (except the rerelease of The Making of Bridge Across Forever and the Live in America video as one package) is a bit underwhelming in then end. The concert itself is spectacular and really makes the dvd worth it, but the second disc of features is subpar and it in the end makes the set cost more. It's good, but I wouldn't call it a masterpiece. 3.5./5.

Cygnus X-2 | 3/5 |

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