Transatlantic - Live In America

Year of Release: 2002
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 074
Format: CD
Total Time: 99:58:00

Only those whose financial means stretched far enough to go to the States witnessed at least one of only six concerts of Transatlantic when the prog supergroup went on to promote their SMPTe album last year. With only a limited number of their own compositions [in their catalog], needless to say this double disc contains all of the band's original compositions, with especially Mike Portnoy putting in loads of extra energy. Also Pete's bass playing is more prominently in the mix. Why the recording of the final, sixth concert you dare to ask? Well, as this band got together as seperate parts of a great jigsaw it took a couple of gigs in order to cement everything the way everyone wanted it to be. That's both band and audience to you. So the final gig of the package was recorded for posterity and, although there are rumours for an extra tour in aid of the second studio album, I'm convinced this tour will probably be the only one sporting all of the SMPTe material; as for the next tour, they'll have material from two albums to chose from.

So what do you do if you want to entertain an enthusiastic crowd instead of playing the same set twice? You add surprises, musical pyrotechnics which are hinged upon the great prog themes of the last thirty years. So apart from the Procol Harum classic "In Held 'twas In I" all of the other Transatlantic goodies are here, plus some surprises such as "blisters on Mike Portnoy's penis," changed later to "blisters on his peanuts" Check out the actual disc for more explanation on that topic! The actual recording was also transmitted live over the internet at the time so those who were listening at home can now get their hands on much better quality and chuck out those illegitimate CD-R's!

I said surprses, so how about a tribute to the biggest Spock's Beard influence - the Beatles - and what better way to introduce the music of the fab four than by linking their psychedelic masterpiece "Magical Mystery Tour" to Transatlantic's very own "Mystery Train"? Pete Trewavas even goes as far as singing "the magical mystery train" on top of the immortal Beatles melody. There's even a slight hint of "Norwegian Wood" by Roine before Neal's mellotron introduces the superb "Strawberry Fields Forever," a mellotronic orgasm! And orgasm it is, both for the fans in the audience seeing four prog icons on the same stage as well as for the four musicians themselves who feel as they have been playing together all of their lives. If I was another member of Spock's, DT, Flower Kings or Marillion I wouldn't be too sure about the future! The wonderful "We All Need Some Light" once again boasts some superb guitar playing, which in a way holds some Al Di Meola influences before turning into a CSN & Y outtake (a not so evident thing to do live!).

With a crowd filled with prognuts what better way to impress them than by treating them to some Genesis material? And what better way than submerge them with yet another truckload of divine mellotron and kick off with the immortal "Watcher Of The Skies" intro which immediately turns towards "Firth Of Fifth." A great find and probably a unique combination which will even please the Genesis members should they one day be given the chance to hear this album. If the recording of this album is the way the songs were played that particular evening (let's check the setlist) then the actual concert finsihed with a powerful rendition of their very own "My New World." To please the overenthusiastic crowd, Transatlantic had another surprise up their sleeves in the form of a medley which consisted of songs from the members' various bands to end with another Beatles epic. First on the cards is Roine Stolt with the Flower Kings' "There Is More To This World" from the Retropolis album. Next up is Neal Morse with the Spock's Beard classic "Go The Way You Go" from the band's debut album The Light. The medley evolves into Marillion's "The Great Escape" from the concept album Brave and then it's time for Portnoy to put his stamp onto this original concept by means of Dream Theater's "Finally Free" from the acclaimed Scenes From A Memory. The medley ends with another tribute to the Beatles and the Lennon/McCartney penned "She's So Heavy," putting a wonderful end to a one-in-a-lifetime experience. Thank god for CD's so we can at least pretend we were there with eyes closed to fully get into the atmosphere of this great concert. Now all we can hope for is that we'll be able to see the band on a forthcoming tour. If this recording is anything to go by then no one, really no one, can have a worthwile reason for staying at home when these four friends come to perform in your neighbourhood. Time to start booking that babysitter NOW!

Disc One: All Of The Above (30:47) / Mystery Train ? Magical Mystery Tour ? Strawberry Fields Forever (15:32) / We All Need Some Light (6:51)

Disc Two: Watcher Of The Skies ? Firth Of Fifth (10:47) / My New World (16:51) / Medley : There Is More To This World ? Go The Way You Go ? The Great Escape ? Finally Free ? She's So Heavy (19:10)

Neal Morse - vocals, keyboards
Mike Portnoy - drums, vocals
Roine Stolt - guitars, vocals
Pete Trewavas - bass, vocals

SMPTe (2000)
Live In America (2001)
Bridge Across Forever (2001)
Bridge Across Forever - Special Edition (2001)
Live In Europe (2003)
The Whirlwind (2009)
More Is Never Enough (CD/DVD) (2011)
Kaleidoscope (2014)
KaLIVEoscope (CD/DVD) (2014)

Live In America (DVD) (2001)
Live In Europe (DVD) (2003)
Building The Bridge Across Forever/Live In America (DVD) (2006)
Whirld Tour 2010 - Live From Shepherd's Bush Empire, London (DVD) (2010)
More Is Never Enough (DVD/CD) (2011)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin VA

Added: March 21st 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 858
Language: english


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