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Spock's Beard - Live At The Whiskey A Go-Go CD (album) cover


Spock's Beard

Symphonic Prog

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erik neuteboom
4 stars In the mid-Nineties I ordered some CD's from Greg Walker his progrock mailorder- service/label Syn-Phonic in the USA. When I received a few weeks later Greg his parcel, it appeared to contain one CD more, accompanied by a small letter. On it was written that Greg had added a brandnew CD from his latest discovery named Spock's Beard, he finished his short letter with the unforgettable words "I am sure you will like it!". Well, this almost turned out to be an understatement, what an exciting and captivating progrock Spock's Beard presented me on their debut album The Light! A few years later I finally could witness my new progrock heroes during a concert in Utrecht, Holland. This video captures Spock's Beard on their Day Of Night tour during a concert in the known Whiskey A Go-go in Los Angeles in 1999.

The USA progrock band Spock's Beard features five excellent, experienced musicians. Their varied musical backgrounds have resulted in very dynamic music with sparkling chemistry, mighty close to the excitement when I discovered Marillion in the early Eighties! On this video (not DVD!) you can enjoy lots of great compositions from their first four studio albums and many sensational solo excertitions. In those days for me Spock's Beard's progrock was a pleasant blend of Genesis, Yes, Gentle Giant and The Beatles, the music alternated from rock and pop to bombastic and complex progrock featuring tasteful vintage keyboards (Mellotron, Hammond, Moog), fiery and biting, often wah-wah drenched guitar soli (using a Fender Stratocaster with the word 'Mellotron' on it!), a dynamic and adventurous rhythm-section and the enthousiastic and humorous multi-talented eyecatcher Neal Morse on lead vocals, keyboards and guitar, AMAZING! Highlights are the long Go The Way You Go (great final part delivering a moving guitar solo and majestic choir-Mellotron), a spectacular solo from Ryo on his 'key-tar' (a keyboard body and a guitar neck) with outstanding support on powerful Rickenbacker bass and creative drumming (it sounds like mid-ELP), virtuosic duo acoustic (6 - and 12-string) guitar play in The Doorway from Neal and Alan, lots of exciting shifting moods and soli in their magnum opus The Light and a harder-edged version from Squonk (by Genesis) with a funny acting Nick on vocals. Perhaps later Spock's Beard sounded more original, for me this video captured Spock's Beard, despite some more poppy oriented songs, at their pinnacle!

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Posted Thursday, February 16, 2006 | Review Permalink

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