‘The Neal Morse Band - Alive Again’ (DVD+2CD)
(The Neal Morse Band / DVD+2CD / NR / 2016 / Eagle Vision)
Overview: The amazing new Neal Morse Band "Alive Again" DVD/2CD Set and Blu-ray will be released worldwide August 5th!
DVD Verdict: For those not in the know, and shame on you those that fall into that category, Neal Morse is an American singer, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and progressive rock composer based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1995, he formed the progressive rock band Spock's Beard with his brother Alan and released an album which was moderately successful.
In 1999, he joined former Dream Theater co-founder Mike Portnoy, Flower Kings' Roine Stolt and Marillion's Pete Trewavas to form the supergroup Transatlantic. In that very same year he also released his self-titled debut sol album, and followed that up with It’s Not Too Late (2002), Lead Me Lord (2005), God Won’t Give Up (2005), Send the Fire (2006), Songs from the Highway (2007), Secret Place (2008), The River (2009), Mighty to Save (2010), Get in the Boat (2013), Songs From November (2014), and the To God Be the Glory here in 2016.
Scattered inbetween all those solo recordings, in 2003 he released an album entitled Testimony and in 2004, Morse wrote and recorded a new concept album featuring Portnoy and Randy George.
Also, in early 2007, Morse released a Christian progressive rock album based on the life of the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther, entitled Sola Scriptura and in September 2012, he released both Momentum, as well as Flying Colors with a newly formed band.
As is plain to see, Morse’s career path is full of unexpected twists and turns, sudden changes and pleasant surprises—much like the epic progressive rock compositions for which he has become known. Indeed, one of those pleasant surprises was the massive success of Morse’s The Grand Experiment, the Neal Morse Band’s 2015 release. In what turned out to be one of his most successful, let alone celebrated releases, it’s energy floods through to their live performances perfectly.
Hence, this brand new live DVD (plus 2CD) from the ‘Alive Again’ tour is a true musical gem to behold, believe me. The group consisting of Neal, Mike Portnoy, Eric Gillette, Bill Hubauer and Randy George sound great, sound just perfect on this DVD+2CD set, and watching them perform live on the DVD just makes me want to go out and see them live, in person, myself when they next come to town.
The show was performed and recorded in Holland at the tail end of the ‘Alive Again’ World Tour of that very same year, and with a set chock full of songs from their last album, combined with some nice-to-hear (after all this time) rarities, and with some spiritual numbers scattered throughout - to welcome that side of both Morse and Portnoy’s fans - Alive Again is pure musical excellence at its top-of-the-game finest.
I mean, just to talk about the opening track here is enough to make you salivate; one would hope. For, and after the intro music has ended, the group immediately dive into the a-cappella opening of “The Call,” the epic opening track from The Grand Experiment. At over ten minutes in length, it truly encapsulates what this band is about.
Each band member is allowed a moment to shine, the track ebbing and flowing as if Mother Nature herself had created it, and as the ending chorus returns, the audience is more than now fully aware that they have just signed up for an incredible night of musical brilliance.
However, the real stand out performance of this tour comes in the form of the 35 minute epic opus, and title track, “Alive Again” ! I mean, man, coming in two-thirds of the way through, even though I know something about Morse, even I wasn’t expecting a 35 minute opus such as this! Here, The Neal Morse Band spin their magic musical wizardry through each beloved section with fluid ease, each member stepping up for their now-elongated moment in the spotlight. And it has to be noted that both Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette’s vocals here are fully worthy of Morse’s decision to add to the band.
So come one, come all, and purchase The Neal Morse Band’s brilliant Alive Again (DVD+2CD), but know in advance, as per my review here today, you will need a LOT of time on your hands to sit back, kick back and enjoy this collection completely!
1. The Call (10:21)
2. Leviathan (6:00)
3. The Grand Experiment (5:48)
4. Harm’s Way (14:12)
5. Bill’s Keyboard Solo (2:45)
6. The Creation (16:49)
7. There Is Nothing That God Can’t Change (7:18)
8. Waterfall (7:18)
9. Eric’s Guitar Solo (3:32)
10. In The Fire (10:28)
11. Alive Again (34:16)
12. Rejoice (3:36)
13. Oh Lord, My God (3:11)
14. Reunion (4:44)
15. King Jesus (6:38)
1. Alive Again Intro (02:06)
2. The Call (10:21)
3. Leviathan (6:00)
4. The Grand Experiment (5:48)
5. Harm’s Way (14:12)
6. Bill’s Keyboard Solo (2:45)
8. There Is Nothing That God Can’t Change (7:18)
1. Waterfall (7:18)
2. Eric’s Guitar Solo (3:32)
3. In The Fire (10:28)
4. Alive Again (34:16)
5. Rejoice (3:36)
6. Oh Lord, My God (3:11)
7. Reunion (4:44)
8. King Jesus (6:38)
Neal Morse – Vocals, Keys and Guitar
Mike Portnoy – Drums and Vocals
Randy George – Bass, Bass Pedals, Vocals
Bill Hubauer – Keyboards, Guitar, Clarinet, Sax, Vocals
Eric Gillette – Lead Guitar and Vocals
This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.