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NEO: Broadcast (DVD)

More veteran artists should do of this: Team up with other players from similar bands, form a supergroup of sorts, go on tour and record a DVD of the results. That's what keyboardist Clive Nolan, guitarist Mark Westwood, bassist John Jowitt, drummer Andy Edwards and vocalists Nick Barrett and Alan Reed did in 2006, under the banner of NEO. This 13-song performance captured on Halloween night at the Wyspianski Theater in Katowice, Poland features group versions of songs old and new by Pendragon, Pallas, Arena and IQ, as well as Nolan's Shadowland project and his collaboration with Oliver Wakeman. Because their respective neoprogressive-rock bands boast similar sounds, all of these songs fit naturally into the set, with highlights coming via Shadowland's acoustic ditty "Mind Games" (with Nolan on vocals), Pallas' recent cut "For the Greater Glory" and Pendragon's rocker "Nostradamus," which closes the set on a memorable note. Camera shots linger on the players, who all seem to be enjoying the refreshing change of making music with one another. It almost feels like these guys could have played for hours especially given the depth of their catalogs.

Bonus footage includes an interview with Nolan and Jowitt, and about 33 minutes of soundcheck footage from the 2006 Rites of Spring Festival in Pennsylvania, where NEO made its international debut.

Of course, the set list for a project like this is always debatable, but the worst I can say about Broadcast is that the techno music accompanying the menu screens gets annoying really fast and is far removed from what NEO is all about. The menu designs actually fit more with the equally unflattering cover art, which is better suited to an anime title. But that's a small complaint, and it doesn't detract from the quality of musicianship on display here.

Track Listing
1) Overture
2) Erosion
3) For the Greater Glory
4) Hide and Seek
5) Crown of Thorns
6) The Hanging Tree
7) The Enemy Smacks (End Section)
8) Mindgames
9) Outer Limits
10) Shadows of Fate
11) Paintbox
12) Masters of Illusion
13) Nostradamus

Added: June 22nd 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: MVD Visual
Hits: 2039
Language: english

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