Transatlantic - Live In Europe

Year of Release: 2003
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 140
Format: CD
Total Time: 140:56:00

Although I don't have any firm proof about this, I dare to say that this live recording dates from November 12th 2001. That night everything was set up to film the concert for a possible DVD release. The place was the O13 venue in Tilburg, Holland. Hoping all would go well on the night, the tour manager suddenly got the information that a plane had crashed in New York. He didn't know what to do but decided to inform the band after all. Although we all know it wasn't a repeat of the disastrous September 11th events, that particular night the guys in the band weren't feeling comfortable at all. Especially Mike Portnoy, who started to phone family and friends to be 100% certain all of them were OK. In the end, the band managed to deliver an unforgettable show and after fifteen minutes of nonstop clapping (yes FIFTEEN minutes) the audience was treated to a superb version of the Floyd classic "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." This song you can now only find on the DVD version of this Live In Europe set, although the version of the Floyd here was recorded at the NAMM fair in California, so the Live In Europe DVD set should in fact read Live In Europe ? and a little bit in America! In fact, there are three different versions of this long awaited live set. First you have the 2CD set, then you have the 2DVD set, and to make the ideal Christmas gift you can also get your hands on a lavish 2DVD 2CD set.

When Transatlantic released their Live In America set in 2001 they had just released their debut album SMPTe, so in order to have sufficient material for a complete show, they delivered some cover songs as well. Next to some Beatles and Genesis covers, the band also did a medley in which they included parts of Flower Kings, Spock's Beard, Marillion and Dream Theater material. When they toured Europe they had released two studio albums, so this time around there was plenty of own material to chose from, so they cut down on the covers. With three songs from SMPTe and three songs from Bridge Across Forever they only needed to treat "Suite Charlotte Pike" in order to get something really special. As we all know, both Mike Portnoy and Neal Morse are huge Beatles fans, so they decided to turn their own composition into a huge medley featuring tons of Beatles material. In fact, what they did was include an entire side of the famous Abbey Road album (the B-side, if you're thinking in vinyl terms!). Later on, as most of you know, Neal, Mike, Paul Gilbert and Greg Bissonette teamed up as Yellow Matter Custard to pay tribute to their heroes. Some Beatles tracks have been omitted, but you will hear Transatlantic's renditions of "You Never Give Me Your Money," "Mean Mr. Mustard," "Polythene Pam" (which almost sounds like authentic punk here!), "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers" (featuring superb vocals from Daniel Gildenlöw), "Carry That Weight," "The End" (including a short drum solo from Mike) and finally "Her Majesty," which due to the inclusion of Portnoy sounds rather appropriate.

When I listen closely to this recording, I do however miss the ambience. I know for a fact that all of the instruments were miked, but there were no ambience mikes present. I know because I was there, remember? As no other live recordings were made during this tour, the audio edition of this live set has to be the same as the one used for the DVD, thus also containing few cheers from the crowd. If you know that no fewer than 1800 people were present, then this recording does not live up to its expectations. When you consider the fact that no ambience mikes were used, you understand that the only "noises" you hear have been recorded through the individual microphones that were linked to the various instruments -- in other words, weak and way in the distance. You could give these recordings to anyone, but as long as the material has not been recorded properly, there's little you can do in the studio unless you use overdubs, of course. However it sounds silly to not overdub any instruments but overdub the noise of an audience. What audience then? Surely not that of another gig? Knowing this entire gig was recorded at the O13 venue in Tilburg, Holland, the quality of the recording sounds more as if the entire show was recorded in a tiny club. For those of you who have visited the O13, you know that this is one of the best venues around, with wonderful acoustics, so the end result should accordingly be brilliant. Instead it's more like a testament of time rather than a proper recording. and if the audio version is like that then I'm afraid the DVD (which I haven't seen!) will be the same. The DVD sports a 5.1 surround sound recording, but as said before if the actual recordings were not 100% you will still hear the difference. With the Transatlantic story now definitely closed, and considering the long delay this release had to encounter, Live In Europe remains a great souvenir from one of the all-time prog superbands. If you have to choose between audio and DVD then go for the latter one, unless of course you have won the stakes in which case the audio/DVD issue is your best investment.

Disc One: Duel With The Devil (26:00) / My New World (16:20) / We All Need Some Light (6:41) / Suite Charlotte Pike Medley (30:00) Disc Two: Stranger In Your Soul (30:36) / All Of The Above (30:19)

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


Daniel Gildenlöw - guitar, keyboard, backing 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: October 19th 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 602
Language: english


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