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Transatlantic - Whirld Tour 2010 - Live From Shepherd's Bush Empire, London CD (album) cover



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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars Even if this is one of the "longest" live albums of the music history, it will have one of my shorter reviews. It's simply perfect. Good sound quality, the crowd giving the sense of a live exhinition without disturbing the performance (and the listener), The Whirlwind album played without interruptions and with a bit of "interactivity" with the people that makes it "live".

Then some of the most famous Transatlantic songs (only 5 because of their length) with one of the best versions of "All of the Above". I can't imagine a live performance longer more than 3 hours, I don't know if the material is taken from different gigs, however should you have to drive for a long travel, don't forget to take this album with you.

1 star each 35 minutes, it makes 5

Report this review (#308876)
Posted Monday, November 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is perhaps the best live DVD I've got. Transatlantic hit *exactly* the songs I want to hear: all of the 30+ minute epics are played in this epic-ly long concert. It's stunning to see them perform each of the songs straight through without interruption. How do they have the stamina to tackle the entirety of The Whirlwind in one go? I have no idea, but it's impressive.

The band sounds amazing. Neal Morse is happy and smiling throughout, and it's really infectious. I'm not even that big of a Spock's Beard fan, but he sold me here. Mike Portnoy is his spastic, crazy self and has some good crowd interaction moments.

One thing I love about prog are the huge build ups and releases. I dare you not to crack a smile and do some air drumming when Mike's hands are flying and Daniel's jumping up and down with the biggest grin on his face. Songs like Set Us Free and Is It Really Happening are *made* for live performance.

To top it off, the second disc has endless bonus material. The behind-the-scenes documentary captures everything from their reunion and first rehearsal up to the final concert of the tour.

My favorite moment is after they've played The Whirlwind and All of the Above:

Mike: "You know we've been here on stage probably for more than two hours at this point. We've only played two songs so far."

Report this review (#319958)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think what strikes me most about this album is how it makes it plainly obvious how this bands first song (first that listeners would have heard on their first album) is still easily their best.

My opinion, of course, but shared by others I know that like this band. The performance of that song, All Of The Above, is quite good here, possibly even better than on the previous two live albums. Having said this, it's fair to say that this is a band that is extremely professional and is at the end of a tour, so the performances all around are quite good. The Whirlwind is pretty much studio perfect, with a couple of small differences thrown in, but mostly the same as the album. I suppose this was inevitable, being such a long suite, and the rest of the albums offers differences from the studio versions of the other songs (longer solos, audience participation bits, etc.). The highlight for me, is the intro to We All Need Some Light, performed by Morse on 12 string acoustic and Stolt on electric. Beautiful improv playing by both. I also love the decision to have Roine sing the lead in that song, as I find his voice to be far more emotional, and have more character, than Morse's. On the documentary, you can see this decision being made in real time.

Which bring me to the bonus material, which is the documentary and the "bonus track". The documentary really makes this worth having for the TA fan, as it is very well done and provides much insight into all aspects of the tour. Well done, and quite entertaining (though like nearly all such things, not really worth more than one viewing......though maybe in a few years it will be worth watching again). The bonus track is a performance of Return Of the Giant Hogweed, featuring Steve Hackett on lead guitar. This is not as good a performance as you see on the main feature, but it is quite enjoyable to see Hackett playing this tune again (he doesn't perform it with his solo band, never has to my knowledge). I can only imagine what it was like for the TA members to play with a person who obviously was an influence on all of them.

All in all, the deluxe edition, featuring DVD's and CD's, is a must have for the TA fan (if it is still available). For others, well, I'm not sure there is much to interest you. The casual fan can probably just get the DVD only package, possibly just the CD's if they are not a fan of DVD's. Obviously, if you don't like TA, this will certainly do nothing to change your mind, as it is epic after epic, done as bombastically and flamboyantly as possible. Pure gold to us fans, however. For myself, I will give this 4 stars, with the caveats above for people who are not as enthusiastic about the band (probably a low 3 for them). I would never call this a masterpiece, as TA in general is too formulaic for that in my opinion, but also because live album so rarely are.

Report this review (#388231)
Posted Friday, January 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars When I think of TRANSATLANTIC the word "epic" often comes to mind. I mean just check out this triple live album with an opening 80 minute track followed by a 30 minute song. Oh yeah there's a couple of other 30 minute tracks on here as well. Epic ! I still feel honoured whenever I hear the music of this group knowing that Roine Stolt and Neal Morse are together in the same band.That still freaks me out a bit being a big fan of early SPOCK'S BEARD and early THE FLOWER KINGS. And yes the fact that MARILLION's bass player and DREAM THEATER's former drummer are also part of this, well that's epic ! On this concert it's even more mind blowing because PAIN OF SALVATION's leader Daniel Gildenlow is here as sort of a Jack of all trades playing guitar, keys and singing.

"The Whirlwind" is here in it's entirety and man they don't disappoint. An almost 80 minute ride. Love when it kicks in around a minute and the boys let their hair down. Especially the guitar and organ.Vocals arrive at 6 1/2 minutes. So good. A change after 9 minutes as we get a calm. It does build as the vocals get more passionate and the bass becomes chunky while the organ peels off some heavy runs. Another calm 15 minutes in then the bass comes in as the crowd claps along. Great section. Other highlights are when Roine comes in vocally around 23 1/2 minutes, then it turns heavy with mellotron. It becomes pretty intense around 29 minutes. A beautiful passage after 34 minutes with tender vocals. Roine is lighting it up 39 minutes in. It turns heavy again 51 1/2 minutes in and then the vocals come in followed by mellotron 53 1/2 minutes in. Love the guitar 55 minutes in and check out Portnoy 59 minutes in. We hear some samples followed by reserved vocals then the tempo picks up. How good is this ! When the heavy jam stops after 67 1/2 minutes the crowd roars it's approval. It then becomes ballad-like for some time then Roine returns on guitar. What a song !

"All Of The Above" starts off disc two. Lots of cheering to start then the band kicks in. Nice bass 2 minutes in as it settles back. It kicks back in before 3 1/2 minutes and vocals come in before 5 minutes. Check out the Portnoy / Stolt section before 8 1/2 minutes. Piano and chunky bass follow.The crowd sings along when the vocals return after 14 minutes.It starts to pick up 18 1/2 minutes in then we get a reprise at 20 minutes. Nice. It settles again after 25 minutes as the crowd sings along. It kicks back in at 26 minutes. So freaking good !

"We All Need Some Light" is where the band takes a break except for Morse and Stolt who continue until the band returns. I love the keys here before the band returns.They remind me of the band BAUER.Vocals after 3 minutes.Why is this so emotional ? Great sound before 7 minutes. "Duel With The Devil" is one the crowd is really into. Some ripping organ and guitar after 2 minutes.It's funny when they do that DEEP PURPLE bit with a brief "Highway Star" section. Portnoy puts on a show after 11 minutes. Love Roine's guitar 15 minutes in and when he finishes someone from the band yells "Mr. Roine Stolt !".

Disc three begins with "Bridge Across Forever" which is mostly reserved vocals and piano. "Stranger In Your Soul" is the 30 minute closer. It kicks in right away with drums then a full sound. It settles after 2 minutes with reserved vocals and piano. It kicks in again with a heavy sound around 5 1/2 minutes. Amazing sound 8 1/2 minutes in and after 10 minutes and 13 1/2 minutes. Another calm follows as contrasts continue. Kicking ass 21 minutes in. It's so moving after 24 minutes.The crowd refuses to stop going crazy long after this song ends.

Just an emotional ride with lights out instrumental work too. If your even remotely a fan then this is well worth picking up. 4.5 stars.

Report this review (#490995)
Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars There's so much about Transatlantic which ought not to work. Their album covers are among the tackiest in the business. Their lyrics make me cringe. (The song titles immediately reveal what pseudo-mystical sentiments are expressed within. "We All Need Some Light". "Bridge Across Forever". Nuff said!) Again and again the band attempt to rewrite "Supper's Ready", with ever grander climaxes. Oh, here's a completely new version which goes on for 28 minutes and 31 seconds. Here's a 30-minute version! And - wait - here's a version which goes on for SEVENTY-NINE MINUTES AND FIFTY-TWO SECONDS. Unbelievable. (The last-mentioned just comprises the FIRST CD in this overpowering triple-disc set.) Giganticism on an unseen scale... The worst of the Flower Kings and (old-style) Spock's Beard combined???

Well no - not the worst. Definitely not. As soon as I listen to the actual music, all (ALMOST all) my reservations disappear. The tunes are THAT catchy. The tempo changes are truly exhilerating. The solos (on electric guitar, retro-synths or WHATEVER) sound vivacious and inspired. The rocky bits just carry you along, the ballads bring a tear to your eye, and all the grand climaxes simply make you wish you were right there among the fans, in the concert hall.

In the past twenty years or so many acts have tried to recreate the thrills and triumphs of classic symphonic prog. Many bands have attempted to reach those rare heights but collapsed under their own weight. Transatlantic themselves, I think, would be the first to admit they're not achieving something original. They're working in a specific tradition but invariably do so in high spirits. It's this which lifts their work above the throng. The music rocks hard. While not exactly refined, it sounds truly uplifting. (And to my relief there are few, if any, attempts at imitating "The Battle of Epping Forest" type of humour.)

It seems unlikely that WHIRLD TOUR 2010 will appeal to anyone in your family (or among your friends) who's not yet a prog-head. But if you need a soundtrack for your next three-hour car journey ALONE, this album might be just what you need.

Report this review (#745066)
Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Since this live album was announced I wanted it really bad. Not really the audio CD but the DVD. They didn't come to play where I was living so the DVD would at least give me some 'news' on their live set. It turned out that I couldn't find the DVD at the time for a decent price and then I ended up forgetting about it...

Fast forward to 2014, Radiant Records was doing some Clearance on their stock and they have this triple cd for 3 dollars. No second thoughts, bought it.

Talk about Transatlantic is quite hard, and this 3 hours set is everything you could want from the band in the live department up to that point.

The band record their concert in their 'The Whirlwind tour' so nothing more common than having 'The Whirlwind' (full with 79:52) played in its entirey. But the band didn't left any of their epics off and we have an amazing version of 'All Of The Above' (with 30:19), 'Duel With The Devil' (with 28:31) and to close everything 'Stranger In Your Soul (with 30:00).

The band is playing flaless (as usual) and the addition of Daniël Gildenlöw as a backing musician is always well welcomed.

This is indeed a hell of a live set! Go for it!

Report this review (#1185236)
Posted Thursday, June 5, 2014 | Review Permalink
2 stars Swayed by all the glowing reviews of The Whirlwind and my love of the previous studio album, I not only bought the new studio album, but also the 3-hour live recording of the London closing tour. I'm sorry I did. The band's live version of the epic, "The Whirlwind" on the first side, is as boring as the studio version. "Duel with the Devil" on the second CD is the highlight of the concert, but we could do without the 30 minutes of "All of the Above", which isn't a strong song. Strange that in a 3-hour long concert of a band whose discography consists of three albums, they couldn't perform my favorite Transatlantic number, "My New World". Symphonic Prog doesn't have to be as pretentious as this.
Report this review (#2453396)
Posted Friday, October 2, 2020 | Review Permalink
2 stars I got this 3 disc set in one of Neal Morse's radiant sales over a year ago, it was a mere $1.99 so I figured if I didn't like it, it wouldn't be a big deal. What's included here is a pretty exhaustive setlist covering a giant chunk of their discography over the course of a 3 hour concert. I gave it a few listens and while the performances seem perfectly dialed in and competent.... I just find the actual music here to be extremely aggravating to listen to. I consider myself a lover of music as a whole, and when I listen I'm always actively searching for something to like about whatever I'm currently playing, but this record was an extremely rare case where upon walking away from each listen, I just felt annoyed afterwards. It comes off as modern prog for people who don't like modern prog. The songs will have brief moments where it's actually pretty nice and pleasant, maybe a nice melody here or there, but the songs just tend to meander on and become very predictable. A lot of the stage banter and random detours they take during some of these tracks really take me out of it as well. I don't want to hear Highway Star inserted into the middle of a prog epic. There's something from each of these members that I love and besides Neal Morse, they all got 5 star albums to their names in my book. With that said, this conglomerate just doesn't work for me. Of the songs here the two I enjoy the most are actually the shortest, Bridge Across Forever is just genuinely a really lovely and intimate sounding song, and We All Need some Light is incredibly cheesy, but I still kinda dig it.

I'll add that I have heard the studio versions of all these songs, I've never been into All of the Above, but I remember thinking The Whirlwind, Stranger and Duel were decent in their studio forms. Perhaps my tastes have changed since, but these live versions don't do it for me at all. After a while of listening, the music just becomes one big blob on transatlantic-isms to my ears.

2 Stars, fans will probably dig this, I unfortunately did not.

Report this review (#2491071)
Posted Thursday, January 7, 2021 | Review Permalink

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