'The Similitude of a Dream, Live in Tilburg 2017'
(The Neal Morse Band / 2DVD+2CD / NR / 2018 / Radiant Records)
Overview: The Neal Morse Band's triumphant double-album, The Similitude of a Dream, is the most acclaimed release that Morse has helmed to date. Now out on Blu-ray and (being reviewed here today) and incredible 2DVD+2CD set via Radiant Records, the 2017 tour was their largest yet, including new continents for the band.
DVD Verdict: For those not in the complete know, 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 super-group Transatlantic.
In 2002, Neal Morse became a born again Christian, left Spock's Beard and began a Christian rock solo career, releasing many progressive rock concept albums about his new religious faith. In the meantime, he continued to play with Transatlantic and formed three new bands with Portnoy, Yellow Matter Custard, Flying Colors and The Neal Morse Band.
At the O13 in Tilburg, Holland, everything came together magnificently, not only for the audience, but for the musicians also. For they had decided beforehand to record this show for both an audio and visual package; the evidence of which we see here today.
For what Morse himself has described as "... an epic night on an epic tour," released via Radiant Records/SONY/Metal Blade, we lovingly, and willing join Morse together with Mike Portnoy, Eric Gillette, Bill Hubauer, and Randy George for over two hours of musical wonderment.
Playing The Similitude of a Dream album in its entirety (which was their second studio album, released in 2016), the concept album; loosely based on The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, is brought to life here quite magnificently. Oh, and there's also a four song encore that will leave you breathless!
1. 'Long Day'
3. 'The Dream'
4. 'City of Destruction'
5. 'We Have Got to Go'
6. 'Makes No Sense'
7. 'Draw the Line'
8. 'The Slough'
9. 'Back to the City'
10. 'The Ways of a Fool'
11. 'So Far Gone'
12. 'Breath of Angels'
(Total Time - 54:45)
0. Slave to Your Mind'
1. 'Shortcut to Salvation'
2. 'The Man in the Iron Cage'
3. 'The Road Called Home'
5. 'Freedom Song'
6. 'I'm Running'
7. 'The Mask'
9. 'The Battle'
10. 'Broken Sky / Long Day (Reprise)'
11. 'Momentum' - Encore (DVD only)
12. 'Author of Confusion' - Encore (DVD only)
13. 'Agenda' - Encore (DVD only)
14. 'The Call' - Encore (DVD only)
(Total Time - 1:33:35)
The live show is, as one would totally expect from such a perfectionist as Neal, spectacular beyond all expectations. The music is played at an incredible pace at times, each orchestration is visually focused on by the cameras, and the colors ... my oh my, the flashing colored lights is like a psychedelic dream!
Showcasing nearly two and a half hours of music, sure the band doesn't move much from their allocated stage spots, but then again, they hardly need to. For their musicianship, individually and as a whole, is phenomenal and this visually stunning DVD (and the Blu-ray) will have you salivating for the chance to see them live next time they come to your town, believe me.
Plus, as a lovely bonus, all pre-orders of both versions of this release received a free bonus track download! That song was 'Ways Of A Fool' which was just the vocals from the studio album and very, very cool to listen to, if you were one of those that received it.
Blu-ray and 2DVD+2CD Purchase Link