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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Transatlantic in San Francisco
    Posted: February 02 2014 at 21:20


Transatlantic at the Regency Ballroom S.F. Saturday, February 1, 2014

This was the quintessential Prog concert. The four veteran and well-known rockers, Neal Morse, Roine Stolt, Mike Portnoy, and Pete Trewavas were joined by Ted Leonard, recently of Spock’s Beard, gave a tour-de-force 2 and ½ hour performance.
I do not go to many rock concerts these days – high volume, flashing bright lights, and bad sound mixing assault my middle aged and jaded sensibilities, and I was worried this show might be similar yet was also willing to take the chance. These worries were compounded by the fact that my seat was not quite where I thought it would be and my view of the stage was partially blocked by the auditorium speakers hanging from the ceiling.
Fortunately, these worries came to naught. The sound was balanced even if Stolt’s vocals and guitar tended to be too low in the mix. I could also see all members of the band just fine except for Ted Leonard who was relegated to back stage due no doubt to his supporting role but also to the fact the stage was rather small. The nice slideshow the band prepared for all of us was lost on me – I could see almost nothing of that. Not that I was concerned by such things. Once the music began, and it wasn’t deafeningly loud, I was absorbed for the entire show. Each of the songs ranged between ten and thirty minutes. No surprise there, but I won’t share with you the set list because I do not like spoilers for shows. In fact, when earlier that day my buddy started playing a video from the new album, Kaleidoscope, I asked him to stop. I wanted to concert to be as fresh as possible for me. I will say that the concert covered their entire recorded career.
Up to this weekend, I have only owned one Transatlantic album, Bridge Across Forever, which I really enjoy. They played very little from that album. Because of that, most of the material was brand new to me and it was a treat to hear it in a live setting for the first time. It was everything I want a concert to be: fresh, dynamic, and exciting. The new material was just as good as the old, and even had a fresh sound to it.
The music was played exceedingly well and everything moved smoothly along. Each band member has his own style of performance: Morse presiding over the proceedings with complete confidence, Stolt stoic and precise, Trewavas looking and sounding almost like a hobbit and totally into the power thundering from his bass, and Portnoy the people’s choice, providing most of the animation and audience interaction.   Leonard was not just a studio pro in the background, but was an integral part of the music and at times visibly rocking to the sound while at others coming out from behind to stand with the rest of the band. The music went through many phases. It was at times just plain rocking, at others a workout through composed intricacies. Great build ups and magnificent crescendos were in abundance, but if you know Transatlantic you know that already. Morse played acoustic guitar as well as keys and even did a duet with Stolt. Leonard has a great voice which was brought out to the forefront a couple of times.
If you have the opportunity, catch this tour! If you don’t, make the opportunity. Progressive rock is not only alive and well with Transatlantic, it is a thriving vibrant force. And it will rock your socks off.
The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2014 at 08:13
Nice review Clap and having seen them on their last tour I am not surprised you enjoyed it.

They are fantastic live and the quality of the musicianship is bewildering.  I saw them on the last date of the Whirld Tour and to see the band members swapping instruments with consumate ease was as hilarious as it was impressive.  I was amazed to see how good a drummer Morse is!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2014 at 11:01
Thanks for this review.  I am disappointed that I won't be able to catch this band on this tour, so I have to live vicariously through reviews such as this.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2014 at 17:12
It seems that your idea of how to enjoy a concert is completley opposite to mine. I want to know the music very well before the concert, because usually the first time I listen to a song I don't like it, nor enjoy it, as much as when I already know it well (as long as it is a good song and of the kind I will end up liking it). Also, I like to know the set-list before the concert, so that I won't be so disappointed if they don't end up playing many of the songs that I really like (it can happen... and it has happened to me). I will go to this concert in about a week, and am rather disapointed that I won't be able to get the album on time to listen to it well enough before the concert (as a matter of fact, I'm expecting to buy it at the concert itself). I hope I can get to listen to it enough on Youtube, but so far at least the first song isn't available, except for the first few minutes, which sound rather promising. Black as the Sky sounds cool, as well as the title track. Shine don't do much for me.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2014 at 08:18
Hi,
 
The only concern I had, and you did not mention it on this one, but the other concert, didn't even have 200 folks?
 
All it tells you is that we bark up a big tree, and don't do enough to make it survive properly. Hopefully/obviously (not sure which) this band is surviving on sales, because a tour with only 200 folks means they can't even eat in a dinner house!
 
I kinda wanted to see this, but I had to work on Monday morning at 5AM, and that would be really bad going to Seattle and back from here in Portland (3 hrs), not to mention the obvious delay, which probably would have me drive back home earlier and miss the show anyway.
 
Portland is not a good place for progressive anything, sadly enough! Sometimes, I feel like I'm one of the few spokespersons for the genre, and I'm not sure that I even fit as a good one at that! And I can't stand Pink Martini!


Edited by moshkito - February 04 2014 at 08:20
... none of the hits, none of the time ... now, where is your own art? An idea? www.pedrosena.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2014 at 11:31
I saw them in El Segundo/L.A. on opening night and they were in very good form for the first night. I wish I had more time to learn the music prior to the concert- 3 days was not enough time to digest all of the cool nuances. I am a huge fan of all four individually, but for the sum of the parts is greater. The Whirlwind DVD is one of the greatest prog concerts ever captured and should be in everyone's catalog. It shows the brilliance they are capable of. My biggest quibble with the new setlist was the way they dismantled The Whirlwind. I knew they could not play it all, but to chop it into 22 minutes doesn't do it any justice either. I am going on the Prog Nation Cruise in a few weeks so I look forward to hearing them play the new stuff after some practice on the road, and after I give the new CD a few more spins.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2014 at 20:34
Originally posted by kjprogger kjprogger wrote:

I saw them in El Segundo/L.A. on opening night and they were in very good form for the first night. I wish I had more time to learn the music prior to the concert- 3 days was not enough time to digest all of the cool nuances. I am a huge fan of all four individually, but for the sum of the parts is greater. The Whirlwind DVD is one of the greatest prog concerts ever captured and should be in everyone's catalog. It shows the brilliance they are capable of. My biggest quibble with the new setlist was the way they dismantled The Whirlwind. I knew they could not play it all, but to chop it into 22 minutes doesn't do it any justice either. I am going on the Prog Nation Cruise in a few weeks so I look forward to hearing them play the new stuff after some practice on the road, and after I give the new CD a few more spins.


Indeed, I wish they would play more of The Whirlwind. I like their other albums, but even so, I would rather they played the whole Whirlwind and nothing else than the set-list they are playing... that's how much I liked that album. Unfortunatley, I didn't get to know the band until they released the live Whirlwind (and of course, the tour was already over), and even if I had known that album, they didn't come to Mexico then.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2014 at 08:36
Originally posted by kjprogger kjprogger wrote:

... My biggest quibble with the new setlist was the way they dismantled The Whirlwind. I knew they could not play it all, but to chop it into 22 minutes doesn't do it any justice either. ...


Hey I was there too. and yes I wanted more Whirlwind and maybe less Kaleidoscope.

Also the fact that Daniel Gildenlow wasn't there. what happened anyway?
I Could have bought a Third World country with the riches that I've spent
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2014 at 09:03
Daniel is unwell - he has some flesh eating bug apparently - not nice Unhappy

He hopes to be back for the second half of the tour
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2014 at 23:58
Originally posted by Dellinger Dellinger wrote:

It seems that your idea of how to enjoy a concert is completley opposite to mine. I want to know the music very well before the concert, because usually the first time I listen to a song I don't like it, nor enjoy it, as much as when I already know it well (as long as it is a good song and of the kind I will end up liking it). Also, I like to know the set-list before the concert, so that I won't be so disappointed if they don't end up playing many of the songs that I really like (it can happen... and it has happened to me). I will go to this concert in about a week, and am rather disapointed that I won't be able to get the album on time to listen to it well enough before the concert (as a matter of fact, I'm expecting to buy it at the concert itself). I hope I can get to listen to it enough on Youtube, but so far at least the first song isn't available, except for the first few minutes, which sound rather promising. Black as the Sky sounds cool, as well as the title track. Shine don't do much for me.


My buddy was very surprised when I told him I did not want to see or hear the video. Part of my thinking on this is in order to fully immerse myself in the concert I did not want to be burned out in any way by the music. Hearing it once that day could have made that possible. I know, I am weird that way, but hey, I am who I am. For me, the concert was merely the cornerstone for an entire weekend. I had a place to stay, but there was gas, meals, parking, all of which added up. No complaints whatsoever - it was well worth it.

In years past, before the Internet, I too have been burned by bands playing the same thing I'd heard them play a dozen times before, namely Yes.
The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2014 at 00:05
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Hi,
 

The only concern I had, and you did not mention it on this one, but the other concert, didn't even have 200 folks?

 

All it tells you is that we bark up a big tree, and don't do enough to make it survive properly. Hopefully/obviously (not sure which) this band is surviving on sales, because a tour with only 200 folks means they can't even eat in a dinner house!

 

I kinda wanted to see this, but I had to work on Monday morning at 5AM, and that would be really bad going to Seattle and back from here in Portland (3 hrs), not to mention the obvious delay, which probably would have me drive back home earlier and miss the show anyway.

 

Portland is not a good place for progressive anything, sadly enough! Sometimes, I feel like I'm one of the few spokespersons for the genre, and I'm not sure that I even fit as a good one at that! And I can't stand Pink Martini!


I had never been to the venue before and was surprised to see how small it was. Yeah, only about 200 people. Hope their other gigs are bigger. I bought a copy of The Whirlwind and my buddy bought a copy of the first Agents of Mercy CD. A lot of people on this thread are not happy with the edited version of The Whirlwind at the show, but I have to say that even though I had never actually heard it before I recognized it immediately. Anything with that long of a lead had to be a super epic. I was expecting about 40 minutes worth of it, but it was far short of that. It was still one of the highlights of the whole show. They may have cut it down, but the parts they kept were damn good.

I don't like Pink Mrtini either.   
The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"
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