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Morse, Neal: Testimony Live (DVD)

"Good evening…welcome! This is my story…"

This is Neal Morse following an acoustic rendition of "The Land Of Beginning Again", the opening track on his Testimony Live DVD. Much like someone's life the performance is a roller coaster ride. There are moments of sadness, happiness, loneliness, silliness, joyfulness, and times that are very solemn and serious. Neal appears to be reliving his life in his performance, and the performance very sincere and honest.

The band Neal assembled for his Testimony tour is remarkable, many of the members assuming multiple duties during the performance. Eric Brenton (for example) plays the guitar one minute, but the next you may see him on a violin, the next a steel guitar, the next a mandolin! This multitalented and versatile band has so much to do with the Testimony show being pulled off so well! Then of course there is Neal himself singing, playing the keyboards, and playing the guitar. He is a very passionate performer, and this comes across very clearly on this live DVD as well.

The show is beautifully lit, and DVD's picture quality is crystal clear. The sound is very full bodied and is mixed very well, and that's saying a lot considering all of the musicians that take part in this performance. From looking at the credits on the DVD, I didn't see anything about a surround sound mix on this. Personally that really is no big deal to me however, the video looks and sounds fantastic! Inside the DVD case, is a very nice little booklet, which has the appearance of a mini tour program. Within it's pages Neal writes some notes in the beginning, and much like a tour program each band member is given a page where there are pictures and information on what they play.

To the show itself, there are very special moments all over the place. The most touching is where Neal shares the story of his daughter in the beginning of "Oh To Feel Him". There is a lighthearted moment during the country music sounding "Sing It High" where (much like the old TV show Hee Haw) Neal's a pickin', and Neal's a grinnin'. Two of the other band members lock arms and dance a jig, during this rollicking number and it's simply a joy to see! An interesting thing of note here, is the first 2 "parts" of the show the band members are wearing black shirts. At the beginning of "Part Three" (appropriately following a song titled "Transformation") the band comes back out (after leaving the stage) wearing white shirts (even Mike Portnoy had a black then a white derby on his head during the performance). This is to symbolize going from darkness into The Light in his life I believe. I also noticed in the beginning of "Moving In My Heart", that Neal sings "Spock's Beard started doing better, back in 1998" instead of "the band started…" as it is sung on the album.

Speaking of Spock's Beard, Neal performs "The Light" (title track from the debut album) on DVD 2, and also the Transatlantic classics "We All Need Some Light" (from SMPTe) and "Stranger In Your Soul" (from "Bridge Across Forever"). There is also a tour documentary and photo gallery on DVD 2 as well.

Neal's Christian beliefs are very present in this performance, and are the basis of his life story. He doesn't seem to try and be pushy with them, but at the same time doesn't tone down his beliefs or message one bit. Whether one is a believer in Christ or not, I believe they can still "Rejoice" listening to the fantastic music on these DVDs, and also in this man's story having such a happy ending and him finding his answer. For those who are believers, Neal's Testimony will inspire you and help to strengthen your own faith, and fill your heart with music, joy, and the Spirit, which inspired Neal's work.

Tracklisting:

DVD 1

Part One
1. The Land Of The Beginning Again
2. Overture No. 1
3. California Nights
4. Colder In The Sun
5. Sleeping Jesus
6. Interlude
7. The Prince Of The Power Of The Air
8. The Promise
9. Wasted Life

Part Two
10. Overture No. 2
11. Break Of Day
12. Power In The Air
13. Somber Days
14. Long Story
15. It's All I Can Do

Part Three
16. Transformation
17. Ready To Try
18. Sing It High

Part Four
19. Moving In My Heart
20. I Am Willing
21. In The Middle
22. The Storm Before The Calm
23. Oh, To Feel Him
24. God's Theme

Part Five
25. Overture No. 3
26. Rejoice
27. Oh Lord My God
28. God's Theme 2
29. The Land Of The Beginning Again

DVD 2

1. We All Need Some Light
2. The Light
3. Stranger In Your Soul
-Tour Documentary & Photo Gallery

Added: August 14th 2004
Reviewer: Dean Pierce
Score:
Related Link: Neal Morse - Official Site
Hits: 7214
Language: english

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