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5 stars Another year, another live Transatlantic double cd. This time those of us who missed them this side of the pond can see and hear them. Buy the dvd/cd set, this must have been a great date to actually see, but this is an adequate second-best. Neal Morse, away from his own endeavours makes a good pitch for the journeyman of prog., along with Mike Portnoy, who must take some time off, but you are hard pressed to see when. Great songs ("Epics all!"), but still fun for all that. SMPTE may be no more but for a whim, they made a great noise! Thanks guys.
Report this review (#23368)
Posted Wednesday, November 5, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've seen the DVD a couple of nights ago and yet, I feel speechless... Of course, some could say Transatlantic's music is not original. Well, I do recognize the influences here, but someway, they're represented in a new way, freshly enough to get involved with the magnificent sound and stunning performances. This guys, well... they're indeed having fun here. And that's why they deserve five stars. The music speaks by itself: all those influences (of course: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Procol Harum and many, many others) in the pen of this outstanding composer called Neal Morse, side by side with Flower Kings' Roine Stolt, the humble worker of the bass, Marillion's Pete Trewavas and the best rock drummer of our days, the well-known Mike Portnoy, became historical peaces of progressive rock really essentials (and by the way, an excellent gate to newcomers) in every collection. My favourite track is the first one I heard: All Of The Above from SMPTe (don't miss this), but wait till you see/hear these guys playing Duel With the Devil or Stranger In Your Soul from the later Bridge Across Forever (don't you dare to miss this)... Absolutely mindblowing and hardly recommended! An instant classic in prog rock!
Report this review (#23379)
Posted Saturday, February 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have to say that this "Live in Europe" by Transatlantic is an essential album for lovers of prog rock. Finally Mike Portnoy plays drums in good way, in DT is only a clown with sticks. The immense Neal Morse sings and plays keyboards in divine way, as usual. Mr. Roine Stolt is one of my favourite guitarists, because of his clean style and the touch when he plays slow moods. Last, not least, Mr. Pete Trewavas, the mythical bass player of Marillion. The result of this big musicianship is a spectacular live exibition. For me a masterpiece. Highly recommended.
Report this review (#23381)
Posted Thursday, June 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first time I listen to the album from start to finish I said to myself:"How the hell these guys play these songs whitout a single error?"And after a few listens I've realised that I was listening to the finest players in the World!Mike Portnoy's performance live is way above from the normal,Roine Stolt's guitar playing is in permanent evolution and in this live performance he shows his finest skills.Neal and Pete keep up very well with those 2 fabulous players and Daniel gives a great helping hand to the live performance of this magical compositions.The first disc starts with "Duel With The Devil", a 26 min piece divided in 5 sections very inspired in Genesis and Yes.I love the start of this song and is a great start to the album too.In resume typical TA epic,with the intro,then the vocals, a slow instrumental section and then comes back to the grand finale.Because with this album we're talking of a full of epics album we move on to "My New World".This is my least favorite song for this album.Beatles influenced, not much to talk about this particular song.The ballad "We All Need Some Light" sounds better live than in SMPTe.The acoustic guitar solo is superb, and takes I think that is one of the moments that will not be easy to forget to the crowd present at 013.The next track is "Suite Charlotte Pike Medley" wich consists of the original "Suite Charlotte Pike" and the final medley of Abbey Road.As Neal Morse says they had fun doing that.And what a fun! Moving to disc 2 we start with "Stranger In Your Soul", my favourite track here.Starts with slow keyboard intro, then a drum groove, and then explodes into a fenomenal epic.Is a track for all tastes, it has heavy sections,slow sections,technical sections,solos....And after all these great performances we are presented with "All Of The Above".I don't think I have the words to describe this song.Is one of the best compositions of Progressive music since Tubular Bells!This album only has epics with the exeption of "We All Need Some Light", but TA is an epics band.And the only thing that TA knows to do is great music.You will certainly enjoy this live album.


Duel With The Devil - 9.8/10

My New World - 8.5/10

We All Need Some Light - 9.5/10

Suite Charlotte Pike Medley - 9.8/10

Stranger In Your Soul - 10/10

All Of The Above - 10/10

HIGHLY RECOMENDED! I still hope for these guys to reunite again as Transatlantic for more magical shows like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Report this review (#44947)
Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A much better live album and DVD. This is probably the only one they should have released. Still, with only two studio albums, and being so popular amound the prog niche fans, I can understand why they did it. Anyway, good versions of all the studio stuff, particularly Suite Charolette Pike with its interweaving of the Beatles Abby Road side 2. Very nice. Morse gets a little ragged towards the end, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of dynamics to the recording or performance (very loud and driving all the way through), but those are my only real complaints. The patchy epics from Bridge come off much better here than on the studio recordings as well. All in all, a great farewell for the fans.
Report this review (#64400)
Posted Thursday, January 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Those looking for compositions that push the envelope of what Peter Gabriel, Yes, Gentle Giant, ELP, King Krimson, Adrian Belew, Allan Holdsworth, etc. defined will not find it here. Although technically capable with their instruments, TA has not risen above the level of a Large Garage Band. Lyrically, the themes are not deep. They embody genuine feelings, albeit mostly negative, they cannot produce catchy prose that moves. Their Beatles tunes bear the same finger print that the original stuff does...dark. The influences are clearly post 1980. It is hard to stop trying to imagine what they would have become with guidance by a producer like Brian Eno, or with a guiding hand from some seasoned artistic director. They may have found a commercial niche in Europe, in the's not clear. Their live recordings reveal a little more about the artists, which can help put their music in some kind of perspective. The use of explitives: they have their place in many peoples lives, but it seems out of place on the prog rock music stage.
Report this review (#109274)
Posted Sunday, January 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Fantastic live album, you can feel the intense energy of this four genius (well 5, because Daniel Gildenlöw appears like a special guest of the band).I'm very happy personally with this album, because they play all my favorite songs, My New World,We All Need Some Light,Stranger In Your Soul and my favorite one= DUEL WITH THE DEVIL. I don't need to say than the live performance is great (after all is a supergroup) but in my humble opinion i think that Neal Morse protrude in the whole show.

If you want a live album with great performance, great musicians and more important great music; buy this album (you can find this concert in DVD also).

Report this review (#113119)
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Even though the studio versions of these songs are slightly crisper and tighter, it's absolutely mind-boggling that these four guys (plus Gildenlow) can actually play and remember(!) these long and intricate pieces live, almost flawlessly. This is a very worthwhile addition to the small Transatlantic catalogue, and renders useless the earlier (mistake-laden) "Live in America" album. With around 140 minutes of overall music, one gets about 80% of the music released on the studio cd's, plus they intertwine the Beatles' Side 2 Abbey Road suite with their own Beatles-esque "Suite Charlotte Pike". Really well done, and a neat tribute. All songs are played and sung exceptionally well, though the harmonies are admittedly off a tad in a few spots - forgiveable in light of their complexity. There's a nice balance between all four members of the group, both instrumentally and vocally. Yeah, I wish Portnoy's fudgin' mouth behaved itself a little fudgin' better between the fudgin' songs; but I do like his singing vocal touches, and both he and Trewavas sound better in this setting than they ever did in their original bands, Dream Theater and Marillion.

I think the tag "supergroup" is overused, but I gotta admit that these four guys composed and played some of the most melodic, interesting and lush prog this side of 1976, and made it look natural. (Couldn't be because of the peerless Stolt and Morse, right?)

Buy this nugget, and snatch up the two studio albums if you don't already have them. Essential prog in the classic traditional symphonic style (with occasional melodic pop sensibilities).

Report this review (#125670)
Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars (continuing from review of video version), to be honest, I like this one maybe even more. Without images ("how they're doing these sounds"), it's quite treat for imagination. And where I didn't like the studio versions (they sounds simply too unfriendly, too formal and there's no human touch in them), I enjoy this a lot.

Believe me or not, but even sound of Pete tuning his bass guitar in first second of Suite Charlotte Pike - Abbey Road addition, every shout that Neal Morse gives here ("all right we're gonna rock", "one-two-three-four"), or boasting irony of Mike ("wazzzaaap", or "throw money"). Even calm, wise approach of Roine, who really is to be heard only when singing and doing great thing with guitar (I like that).

5(+), well, big boys are playing. I'm sure they were enjoying this a lot. And I think that video & audio only version are inseparable ones, but suit yourself. I'm mostly listening to audio, because you can do other work while listening you know. However, there's maybe one disappointment in form of My new world, but that's just one "short" song surrounded by "fu*kin'" epics (as Portnoy proclaimed), which sounds much better in video version.

Report this review (#247585)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars If I were to recommend an entry point for the listener curious about this fine band, it would be Live in Europe. This album marks the culmination of the energy and creativity that gave us the first two studio albums, SMPTe and Bridge Across Forever. It contains much from both of these excellent albums, and the performances are excellent. That the band is taking joy in what they do, is obvious from their banter with the audience, and that the audience is enthusiastic is equally clear. To my ear at least, the sound mixing is solid, and the pacing of the album, and of the concert that it documents, is good. Though it is difficult to pick a single track from this double CD, I will give special mention to the medley embedded in "Suite Charlotte Pike." The medley is based around the suite of songs that make up side two of the Beatles' Abbey Road, and after repeated?quite possibly obsessive?listenings, I've got to say that these guys capture the spirit of the music beautifully. While not simply covering the Beatles?the rendition is entirely their own?their joyful rendition of the material rings true to the spirit of the original. It is, quite simply, a privilege to listen to.
Report this review (#282951)
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Take musicians from four of the top progressive rock bands around and there is a ready built supergroup. What makes this recording even more interesting now is because Neal not only left Spock's Beard when he decided to take a different course, he also left Transatlantic at the same time. In Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt and Pete Trewavas there were four musicians and singers seemingly capable of turning their hands to anything they wanted and although the first live album was somewhat restricted by the band at the time not having much in the way of self-composed material, but that wasn't a problem when it came to the 2001 tour which is captured here.

There are six 'songs' on this double CD, with the extremely short "We All Need Some Light" only being six minutes long. Yep, there are three songs on this album that are over thirty minutes long! Now that is probably enough to get the progheads salivating, but how about incorporating side two of 'Abbey Road' into "Suite Charlotte Pike Medley"!? There are going to many who think that this album is self-indulgent and over-long, but the fan is just going to be happy that it has been made available. They bring together all of the things that non-progheads think are the worst examples of this style of music, complex and complicated music that is overblown and pompous with harmony vocals and intelligent structuring of lyrics and their place in the piece. But to progheads this is a joy, with each song being better than the last, each one with sections (if not the whole thing) that has the listener shaking their head in wonderment and smiling. This is prog, and it's fun! Because all of the guys had other 'main' bands this was only ever about making music that the wanted to, because they enjoyed it, and that enjoyment comes through on this album. It is also available as a double DVD or a double CD/double DVD limited edition. This is wonderful stuff.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

Report this review (#1021187)
Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2013 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars During a brief trip to Holland (fulfilling a life long dream), I found this CD in a music store in Amsterdam. I was quite disappointed to find so few prog CDs in one of the biggest records stores in that town, so I ended up buying this CD because: a) at just 10 euros it was a bargain for a double live CD and b) although Transatlantic is not exactly one of my favourite bands it was a live album and I supposed the performances would be great. Fortunately I was right. The first two Transatlantic albums did not really excited me much: the combination of four members of four of the most important prog groups in recent history (Spocks Beard, Flower Kings, Marillion and Dream Theatre) promised more than what actually was delivered, In fact it sounded too much like Neil Morse's band (specially on their debut) and the production was too slick, burring most of the guitars and taking away some of their spontaneity.

But on stage the story was different: As I supposed, the tracks had more edge, they are rockier and doubtless the talents of the four members shine equally. Neil Morse, Roine Stolt, Pete Trewavas and Mike Portnoy finally show what they are capable of together. There are even some improvisations here and there, even if most of the songs are played with a surgical precision. The last comment may lead you to think if there was some studio overdubbing, but anyone who saw them live knows those guys can cut the most difficult material with a smile on their faces, even adding some fascinating vocal harmonies. This supergroup is really super live (to top it all they also count with the precious help of Pain Of Salvation mastermind Daniel Gildenlow. Not bad at all!).

There is not much to say about the performances themselves, since words like "perfection" and "impeccable" comes to mind all the time, and that pretty much sums it all. Of notice we have only the 30 minute Suite Charlotte Pike, where they pick up one of the less interesting tracks of their second CD and make it really special by intertwining it with the Beatles Abbey Road medley of the second side of that album. The results are stunning, with Transatlantic proving they can play the Beatles stuff with precision and respect. It is really impressive how their verses come and go with the Beatles, blending it all so seamlessly.

Live In Europe, finally, shows Transatlantic at their full potential mode, and it is far more convincing as a live group than in studio (at least until they released their third excellent effort, 2009's The Whirlwind).

Rating: something between 4 and 4,5 stars. Excellent addition to any prog music collection. And then some.

Report this review (#2023795)
Posted Monday, September 10, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars Transatlantic playing the best of their first two albums and in absence of enough of original material, add in some cover ingredients by one of the best Beatles pieces - the Abbey Road "Suite" which is almost complete (except Sun King)". Since Translantic was a hobby group, they could play whenever they had fun and you can see that they enjoy every minute of it. Morse doing magic on two pieces of keyboards only with synths/Hammond/piano/moog etc. You may complete that the sound is a bit artificial but it's modern and simpler to play. Guitar is less prominent and one would wish for more by Mr. Stolt. Drums and bass are well distinsguishable in the mix. Drumming is very proficient but you can hear that Portnoy is first and foremost, a metal drummer - his technique represens how much you can play in 1 sec and does not contains little feeling.

This concert should be preferred over "Live in America" which contained more covers. This is one of the reference live progressive rock concerts of 2000' so 4.5 or 5 stars can be granted. See them live and you will remember my words.

Report this review (#2572322)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2021 | Review Permalink

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