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Transatlantic - Building the Bridge / Live In America CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 49 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The most recent release from the now defunct Transatlantic is a compilation of two videos never released on dvd. The first is Building the Bridge, a track by track analysis of the entire Bridge Across Forever and their cover of Shine On You Crazy Diamond. The second is the complete show of their Live in America Live album. On the whole, this is a great set because it not only offers great insight into the Bridge Across Forever album, but you can also see the group having a lot of fun on stage and really making fun of the classic staples of progressive rock. It's an interesting collection that really shows every facet of this progressive rock supergroup inside and out.

The first video on this one disc collection is Building the Bridge, which is a comprehensive look into the making of Bride Across Forever. It's informative, exciting to watch and very interesting overall. Want to watch Mike Portnoy take 3 hours to put on the cymbals to his drum set? Want to hear rough versions of the songs from the album? This is the set for you then. Every member of the group gets to put their two cents on the project, but for the most part this is a Neal Morse led documentary that he filmed (along with a cameraman named Luke) to give the viewer total knowledge of the project. In the end, this documentary is a great watch and it will help you learn so much more about the great album that it talks about.

The second video is the complete Live in America performance. Now the video quality on this video isn't that great, but it doesn't really detract from the music and at least there are plenty of shots of all the members. The set is a mixture of covers and tracks from SMPTe, and they really seem to have a ball performing them all. During Honkytonk Woman, Portnoy discusses how Charlie Watts (of The Rolling Stones) never played the snare and the hi-hat at the same time. And before they play We All Need Some Light when Pete Trewavas unearths the double neck Rickenbacker, Portnoy runs off the drumstand and bows to it. On top of that, right before they play their Genesis medley, Morse tells everyone to go nuts at the first chord of Watcher of the Skies. They really seem to have a lot of fun and are really a blast to watch on stage. My only complaint about the Genesis medley is that during the middle of Firth of Fifth, Morse uses a rather dated tone to suffice for the flute solo and when he changes from piano to synthesizer on the same keyboard he does it a bit sloppily.

The real treat of this video, though, is the medley they play at the end, which is comprised of one song from each of the member's main groups previous efforts. It begins with a ripping Roine Stolt vocal for There is More to this World off of The Flower Kings' Retropolis. It segues into Go the Way You Go off of Spock's Beard debut, which is very fun and energetic. Then Trewavas gets a shot at singing the vocals off of the brilliant Marillion song The Great Escape. He doesn't do a bad job at all, but Hogarth is a lot better than Trewavas vocally. Then is Finally Free off of Dream Theater's Scenes from a Memory, which has a rather underwhelming vocal performance from Portnoy, but musically is impressive to hear how other musicians play Dream Theater material. It ends with the outro of The Beatles song She's So Heavy off of Abbey Road.

In the end, this collection is not a bad one at all. It's 4 hours of material conveniently packaged onto one single disc and is a fun, informative, and energetic watch. Granted, the performance part of this had its downsides, as did the documentary, which is why I can't grant the set 5 stars, but it's not a bad dvd at all and is a great addition for symphonic prog fans, neo prog fans, and to a lesser extent prog metal fans all alike. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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