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Transatlantic - Live in Europe CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 123 ratings

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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 Gildenl÷w, 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.

Gatot | 3/5 |


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