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Transatlantic: KaLIVEoscope (Bluray/2DVD/3CD)
Since their formation back in 1999 (can it really be that long?) Transatlantic have gone on to become a Progressive Rock force of nature, synonymous with updating, yet staying true to the values that have always made Prog so revered (and in truth reviled). So much so in fact that it really is hard to believe that the band have only conjured up four amazing studio albums across those years together - and apart. However many in concert offerings have plugged the gaps and that is where the stunning KaLIVEoscope Bluray/DVD/CD comes in, the visual side of this release capturing a faultless performance in Cologne, Germany, in all its glory.
As if you don't already know, Transatlantic consist Neal Morse (ex-Spock's Beard, Flying Colors and prolific solo artist), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), Pete Trewavas (Marillion) and Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, Flying Colors, The Winery Dogs), while onstage in 2014 their number was augmented by Ted Leonard (Enchant, Spock's Beard, Thought Chamber), who substituted for usual live accompanist Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation) - phew!
With the venue packed and expectant, the show kicks off with the epic "Into The Blue", a clear statement of intent proclaimed by hammering out one of four twenty-five minute plus extravaganzas by way of introduction. Morse and Stolt are in fine voice, the slight huskiness Morse has acquired over the years merely adding character to his fine vocals, while Portnoy, Trewavas and Leonard all add superb backing (and on occasion lead) vocals with aplomb. However wonderful though the vocal melodies and harmonies are, the real pleasure here (well the REAL pleasure is seeing how much the five musicians on stage are obviously into what they're doing) is watching five of the finest musicians Prog has to offer really stretching out and going for it; Portnoy sweating buckets, Morse rocking back and forward madly, Stolt stalking the stage, while Trewavas and Leonard, well, kinda just stand there, but they are giving it their all and having a great time!
The sound on the DVD is sharp and clear, yet not too much so, while if I was to pick a fault, then the trigger happy direction, where no shot seems to be dwelt on for longer than a few seconds, does become a little dizzying and a slight issue as you become more acquainted with the show. However a cool video backdrop, decent lighting rig and enthusiastic audience go some way to negating this issue.
Cleverly, with so many lengthy epics in evidence, the shorter blasts of "Shine", "Beyond The Sun", or the neat Morse-Stolt guitar duet (a bluesy, almost Cajun workout) change the focus. Although there's little doubt it is the lengthy "Into The Blue", "The Whirlwind Medley", "Kaleidoscope" and "All Of The Above/Stranger In Your Soul" which really grab the attention.
The standard version of this show comes as a single Bluray (of 2 hours 40 minutes!), while as you'd expect in this day and age, there are plenty of purchasing options also available. The special edition digi-pack adds 3 CDs containing the same set from the Tilburg night of the tour, which adds a few extra songs (detailed below) to a single DVD (not Bluray) of the Cologne show, while the limited edition deluxe edition box set provides the Cologne Bluray and DVD, the 3 Tilburg CDs and a second DVD (which wasn't available for review) containing bonus live takes from the Tilburg show of a Moody Blues cover, "Nights In White Satin", and Focus covers "Sylvia" and "Hocus Pocus" which both feature Thys van Leer of Focus himself. Add in a 1 hour 20 minute tour documentary, and 20 minute band interview, alongside Morse and Portnoy going head to head at "Beatles name that tune" and in short, it sounds like this disc is almost worth the admission price alone!
Basically Transatlantic are one of the best Progressive Rock acts out there right now and KaLIVEoscope is Transatlantic at their best. Really you can't ask for much more.
1. Into The Blue
2. My New World
4. The Whirlwind Medley
5. Beyond The Sun
7. Neal & Roine Duet
8. We All Need Some Light
9. Black As The Sky
10. Medley: All Of The Above / Stranger In Your Soul
1. Into the Kaleidoscope (A behind the scenes look at: Kaleidoscope World Tour 2014)
2. Band Interviews
3. Bonus Live Performances:
3.1. Nights In White Satin (Live in Tilburg)
3.2. Sylvia (with Thijs van Leer - Live in Tilburg)
3.3. Hocus Pocus (with Thijs van Leer - Live in Tilburg)
Additional extras: Mike Portnoy vs Neal Morse in "Name That Beatles Tune"
CD 1: Live in Tilburg
1. Into The Blue
2. My New World
CD 2: Live in Tilburg
1. The Whirlwind Medley
2. Beyond The Sun
CD 3: Live in Tilburg
1. Neal & Roine Duet
2. We All Need Some Light
3. Black As The Sky
4. Nights In White Satin
6. Hocus Pocus
7. Medley: All Of The Above / Stranger In Your Soul
Added: October 27th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Transatlantic online
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