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LIVE IN EUROPE

Transatlantic

Symphonic Prog


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Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An Enjoyable Prog Concert!

As far a prog rock concert concern, this live DVD recorded in Tilburg, Holland at the O13 on 12th November 2001, is excellent. For those of you who have been familiar with the band's albums would find this DVD is exciting. As for my case, I remember clearly that I did not purchase it around the release date as I was informed by my prog-mate that the first pressing of this DVD contains a some mistakes. But finally I got the DVD copy as a gift from my prog mate, Nirarta Samadhi in Malang - Indonesia. Thanks, mate!

As I understand, the concert was filmed during the band's tour in a sort of difficult time, as during the rehearsal / soundcheck the members were informed about a plane crash in the outskirts of New York. Well, you can imagine how the American members of the band (Neal and Mike) felt about this news as the trauma caused by 9/11 tragedy was still around. I think they finally relieved knowing the fact that it was purely an accident and it was not part of terror acts. Evvery member was than back to normal and get prepared for the show.

The video starts with a backstage shot of the band members - which I like it very much - until all of them appear on stage. Neal Morse takes his position at a raised floor at on stage at the extreme left, while on the opposite right is Mike Portnoy and his drum set at a raised floor as high as Neal. Close to Neal is Roine Stolt and close to Mike is Pete Trewavas. At the middle back there is a well known guy, the mastermind of Sweden band Pain of Salvation: Daniel Gildenlöw, who plays his instruments (guitars, keyboards and microphone) interestingly adding good piece of music to the band's sound.

Overall, the band perform their compositions in almost the same way as studio version. It starts with "Duel With The Devil" that ends approximately half an hour. The three members (Neal, Mike and Pete) perform their acts energetically, following the thumping beats of the music. All instruments are played at its best. At the end of this epic, the band (Neal and Mike) comment to the crowd about having them ready to enjoy the epic. If they do not enjoy the epic, they are at the wrong place. It was then followed with an introduction of the band members and guest musician. It continues to "My New World", "We All Need Some Light". The "Suite Charlotte Pike" has been extended with a medley into 30 minutes music( from its original 14 minutes long). Here we go again: the cover of Beatles music! Oh . what a boring part here. I usually skip this part because I don't think the band plays excellently here. It's just mediocre performance. The other issue with me about the band plays the Beatles is that why must it be performed by Transatlantic who claim themselves as prog band? And the cover of Beatles does not sound better than the Beatles. Almost half of Abbey Road album is covered: "You Never Give Me Your Money," "Mean Mr. Mustard," "Polythene Pam," "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight," "The End" and "Her Majesty;". Don't get me wrong, I love the Beatles. But . enough is enough. C'mon Neal, Mike . stop playing the Beatles - it's so damn boring! I'd rather spin the Abbey Road CD of the Beatles than listening you guys playing these classics.

I got BIG problem with Disc Two. First, on the documentary: it's a very lousy and amateur video shooting. No plan, no sound adjustment so that whenever the member of the band talk the sound is not very clear. I realize that this is a documentary. But, I expect something well prepared like Disc Two of Dream Theater "Live at Budokan" or "Rush in Rio". They are all very well planned and produced professionally. But this DVD? - oh man . I cannot afford to have a look for second time; it's so lousy! Second, on the cover of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". It's a nice treat to have this legendary track by Pink Floyd performed differently. But, unfortunately, the band fails to inject "the soul" of the song so that it would make a musical ecstasy when we enjoy this song. Stolt guitar is good but his improvised notes have erode the beauty of guitar solo at the beginning of the song. It's so empty, Mr. Stolt! All members contribute the singing is a good idea, but it destroys the music. The other musician to blame is on drumming. I admit that Mike is one of the best rock drummers nowadays. But, he cannot make this song better with his style. If I compare with Bill Bruford who played drumming in "Cinema Show" for Genesis Seconds Out album, he was able to make a new musical ecstasy for the song even though he was not the original drummer for the song. One of reviewer in this site commented :"The version of cinema show just destroys the studio version" (Review by duhkhaboy @ 8:38:42 PM EST, 2/13/2005). But for this DVD, The Shine on version is worse than the original - musically and emotionally. There are lots of segments that lost its souls. I'm not saying on the musicianship of the band members as all of them are excellent musicians.

The picture produced is NOT excellent - it blurs; despite this is a DVD! Even, the picture quality is a little bit less than my laser disc of ABWH "An Evening of Yes Music Plus". The sound quality is also not top notch but it's still acceptable.

OK, on the basis of rating for each disc, I would go four stars for Disc One and one star for Disc Two - it boils down into a three star overall rating. I think it's fair. It's probably overall four stars if it's reviewed by a die hard fan of the band. But, I have to be fair to the wider audience of this site's readers. What do you think? - Keep on progging!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia.

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#34319)
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
edlira@vuela.
4 stars AMAZING!!! I could not find the CD/DVD edition, so had to buy both separately. No problem. What a Supergroup! This is one of the best live concerts I´ve ever seen. Four of the best prog musicians, virtuosos I must say, not only playing together but adding their very special touch to everything they do, even if they didn´t write the music (Beatles´s stuff). Incredible long songs with a strong message, "Duel With The Devil", that we all have inside our heads, "Stranger In Your Soul" (My favorite), 1/2 hour of all kind of rhythms variations and drums, strings and keyboards amazing performances and cool advises too ("Whatever you are looking for, don´t ever start looking behind; you better start changing your mind first; anything can be done, stand up!") and "All The Above", the first epic they wrote together. "Suite Charlotte Pike" is the best Beatles music medley I ever heard, taking from their gigant catalog, not the most popular or famous classics, but the wildest and Mike nd Neal´s favorites. Neal plays all kind of guitars and keys as usual, even helps and shares a laugh on the drums section. Emotive moment when he announces "We All Need Some Light" and dedicates it to the people of New York after September 11th. Mike Portnoy plays a not-giant set of drums, showing that is able to do whatever he likes or feel to, even without the monters he usually plays in DT (Purple & Double monster). Stolt´s guitar sounds incredible and it is so easy to identify it, even with your eyes tight closed. Great contribution of his there. Pete demostrates that his music stature, is right from his head to the sky and guest is nothing less. The fantastic Daniel Gildenlöw ( famous prog group Pain Of Salvation´s leader), does a great job, helping the music to be heard and enjoyed at its very best. As all was planned I am sure.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#38895)
Posted Friday, July 08, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars A mediocre DVD and a big disappointment. I rented this DVD from Netflix to see how it is, and I was really let down by the poor performance and the mediocre sound quality and picture. Daniel Gildenlow is a guest, but he barely does anything, considering that he is easily the best vocalist in that show. It feels like putting Peter Gabriel as guest and having him as a pianist instead of vocalist.

It starts with DUEL WITH THE DEVIL, which of course blows (at least for me), althrough there are some tasty solos in it. It follows with MY NEW WORLD which starts promising enough with its glorious introduction played with keyboards + guitar, but the song doesn't sound as good as the main version, Roine doesn't play the solos as good as the studio verson either, and Neal Morse sings more (he is not a good singer), but not only that, the jams in the second half sound too loud for my liking. WE ALL NEED SOME LIGHT is the next song and easily the best performance in the DVD, the acoustic playing is really good. SUITE CHARLOTTE PIKE sucks here, and while hearing beatle parts, I realized that the beatles are much better in melodies ... yet ... Transatlantic killed the bealtes covers, they sound terrible with such a bad singer as morse, such loud performance, and of course the horrible moment when Morse Picked up an electric guitar and made me beg for mercy. The next song is STRANGER IN YOUR SOUL which is nice, but it sounds too much like Spock's Beard's 'V' album and the jams are really dull and annoying. The end of the show is ALL OF THE ABOVE which is a good song, but not played as well as the studio version.

Disappointing DVD, do not buy!

My Grade : D-

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Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#41720)
Posted Friday, August 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#83900)
Posted Sunday, July 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Someday you go to the music store and you find Transatlantic "Live In Europe" DVD and The Flower Kings "Meet The Flower Kings @ Live Recording 2003", what would you like to have most? That's a difficult question, especially for the Symphonic Prog fans. Personally, I'll take "Live In Europe" because Transatlantic's members are all the masters of prog. Here, you can see the line-up: Neal Morse (at the time Spock's Beard), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), Pete Trewavas (Marillion), and my greatest influence, Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater). I was so impressed to watch them and I never regret not to choose "Meet The Flower Kings" even I still don't have it yet until now. The concert was recorded in Holland and they played all their epics such as the nearly thirty minutes "Duel With The Devil", "Suite Charlotte Pike Medley", "Stranger In Your Soul", and "All Of The Above". The most favorite track for me is "Stranger In Your Soul" where Portnoy started play his solo drum from the intro. Wow, cool solo, isn't it?? I also give a credit for Neal Morse who could play keyboards, acoustic guitar (on "We All Need Some Light"), and even drums (help Mike Portnoy on "Stranger In Your Soul") nicely. The extras are also fantastic. You can see their tour documentary and the legendary "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (Pink Floyd). After you read my review, could you find the weakness from this DVD? Well, it's almost perfect for me so I'll give the four star and for you, guys, try to find and collect it!

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Send comments to Fernandi (BETA) | Report this review (#89227)
Posted Friday, September 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well first of all, I think this DVD is very, very underrated.

With great, soulful executions of epic masterpieces of all time such as Duel With The Devil, My New World, Stranger In Your Soul and All Of The Above, you can't go wrong with this DVD. Plus, we get a good rendition of the beatiful We All Need Some Light in wich Morse adds a nice guitar solo in the middle of the song. Also included in this huge set is a very well crafted medley of Suite Charlotte Pike with several Beatles songs. Here we see the guys having lots of fun, and is always good to see tallented musicians having fun, they transmit that joy to the audience and at the same time they pay rendition to one of their biggest influences like only masters can (my mom approves the medley so that's something).

Morse is not perfect as a vocalist and his voice has some flaws here and there, but he sings with passion and overall I think he does a great job (and he has a lot of job to do in this set), by the way he also shines on the guitar and even more on the keys, what a talented musician. Trewavas is always tight and sings well, not only as a backing vocalist. Stolt playing is tasteful and his singing is unique. Portnoy is Portnoy. And special guest Daniel Gildenlow helps the band in making this one hell of a show possible, making contributions in almost all areas.

Picture quality could be better, below standards, without being terrible. The sound quality is very good, at least the stereo mix. Second disc consists in a documentary and a performance of Pink Floyd's classic Shine On You Crazy Diamond, plus the typical picture gallery. The extras are just ok, nothing spectacular, but hey they are extras.

Amazing show from an amazing band. Essential.

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Send comments to mistertorture (BETA) | Report this review (#102871)
Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
E-Dub
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars MORSE. STOLT. TREWAVAS. PORTNOY. I should simply stop my review right here because of the weight these names carry in the genre of progressive music. If you want a real sense of what happens when you compile a bonafide 'supergroup', then the DVD and accompanying CD are just what you need.

I've read some reviews criticizing the performance; however, given the fact that they had very little time to rehearse, I think the boys still pulled it off. They begin with one of my favorite epics, "Duel With The Devil". One can tell that they're having a great time (not sure about Stolt sometimes with his ho-hum approach and some of his criticisms of the band on the second disc), but approach it in a very business-like manner.

Morse's vocals are a bit strained throughout the performance; however, the DVD shows what a true talent this man is. I don't think he gets enough credit as a keyboardist, but the man can flat out play--beautiful piano solo during "All Of The Above". One touching moment was Morse explaining why he's wearing a red New York Yankees' jersey in showing support for the (gutless) attacks on New York on September 11th prior to "We All Need Some Light". I just love the end of that song when the chorus of "We all need some light now" is mixed in with Stolt's vocals. Very beautiful.

Pete Trewavas actually impresses me the most and proves to be the rhythmic backbone allowing Portnoy to power away. Pete, however, just anchors it while having just a great time. You can tell that the man loves to perform.

"The Stranger In Your Soul" is worth watching alone. When the song grunges it up and the 4 members trade off vocals, it's very moving. During the extended music section, Morse even runs over to Portnoy's kit (which he has been known to do) and drums along with him. Excellent bass solo by Trewavas, as well.

As for Gildenlow: yes he is on here, but only to lend support. I read a review criticizing that he didn't do anything. Well, that's because he wasn' a member of Transatlantic. He's very valuable to the sound on this disc, however.

I refrain from a 5 star rating because of Portnoy's profanity. I'm not a prude and have been known to utter an expletive now and again; however, he just comes off as a hard nosed New Yorker (which is what he is, I suppose) who spouts off F-bombs that serve no purpose ("Nothing but epics! Nothing but %$@! * epics tonight!"). Do us a favor, Mike, and don't talk.

As mentioned earlier, one disturbing part is hearing Stolt criticize the music and needing to take chances. It shows me that if Transatlantic ever re-form (typing with crossed fingers is hard), Stolt may not agree to it. If you watch the Instant Delivery DVD of The Flower Kings, you can tell that he enjoys that part of his career far more than this side project. Still, it doesn't detract from the music.

I'm still hoping for some sort of reunion. I've heard Portnoy and (especially) Trewavas expressing a big interest in doing something else, but it's left up to Morse on whether or not it happens. Let's hope it does because I think it would be good for progressive music and "We all need some Transatlantic now!"

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Send comments to E-Dub (BETA) | Report this review (#128394)
Posted Saturday, July 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
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2 stars Loads of talent, but great progressive music?

While I have respect for some of the work of Portnoy, Gildenlow, and Trewavas, this is a good example of the kind of mass revered cheese-prog that I don't understand the attraction to. The talents of the players at their instruments are undeniable but the quality of the material is questionable. I don't think it is just this super-group that would have this problem either, I would say if you took a member each from classic period Yes/Floyd/ELP/Crimson and made them work together you might get some equally questionable results. I get a similar feeling listening to another "supergroup" Asia like I'm hearing "prog by numbers" as another reviewer aptly put it. Some of the instrumental sections are pretty impressive but the moment a vocal or "happy" keyboard section begins my blood-sugar usually skyrockets to dangerous levels. The other problems include the mystifying under-use of Daniel, the most talented vocalist on the stage, and fairly unimpressive production values considering their stature. I'll leave it at that, aware that they have many fans here. I don't usually spend much time on acts that don't inspire me anyway, but it's important to briefly weigh in with and for the minority opinion for balance sake. I'd say if you can rent this DVD it might be worth checking out but I can't recommend it as a purchase beyond their fans.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#162820)
Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars First review here where I don't have to listen it while writing to know what to write about at all. I know this for about a year (I hope that youtube version counts, it's not dvd, but it's where I fell in love with this gig) and listened, watched it countless times.

All I can say in few words is that this is this is absolutely masterpiece of progressive rock concert. First I indented to write second-to-second review, literally every move of finger, every sound and tone described, but I'm too lazy to do that. But it would be great if I did (great as gargantuan in size). Anyway, this show is something special. With best ones being Duel With The Devil, short truthful song We All Need Some Light , rocking Suite Charlotte Pike - Abbey Road Medley and Stranger In Your Soul with especially great intro (after "strings". Other songs aren't bad, but these simply shines.

5(+), undoubted.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#247499)
Posted Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permalink

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