Transatlantic - An Evening with Transatlantic: Whirld Tour 2010
InsideOut Music
Disc 1: 4 songs (147 min.) Disc 2: 2 songs (160 min.)
Release year: 0
Transatlantic, InsideOut Music
Reviewed by Crash

Merry Fucking Christmas!? What did everyone get? I got some cool stuff, but the thing on my wishlist I was most excited for was the new DVD by progressive wankers Transatlantic. After nine years of silence they finally released their long awaited third album The Whirlwind last year. If you were like me, you thought it was phenomenal. If you weren’t, then you thought that it was an over bloated longwinded piece of crap. If this was your opinion, I’d stop reading now.

With Mike Portnoy leaving Dream Theater, tons of fans have felt left in the dark. After all, the band has been Portnoy’s baby since day one and it is almost impossible to imagine the band functioning without him. But this is coming from the biggest Dream Theater fan that you know, this is for the best. One only has to watch this DVD to understand that. Mike Portnoy is having so much fun during this show and the backstage material that you would wonder why he wouldn’t have made the decision sooner.

But enough about that. I would imagine that anyone reading this would be somewhat familiar with the band, but for those who aren’t, Transatlantic is a prog supergroup with Neil Morse from Spock’s Beard, Pete Trewavas from Marillion, Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater, and Roine Stolt from The Flower Kings who you probably haven’t heard of (It’s ok, I hadn’t either). Joining them on the road is Daniel Gildenlow of Pain of Salvation. Together, they play a ridiculous type of prog. For an example, the shortest song on this DVD is twenty eight minutes long.

The hallmark of the concert is the performance of their album The Whirlwind in its entirety. It truly is a spectacle to witness. Each musician is a master of their craft and the live setting is where they truly shine. Neal Morse in particular was quite a surprise to me. After all of the hubbub with him leaving all of his projects to focus on Christian music it seemed like he had lost any sense of humor that he had. But watching him in his element it is impossible not to think differently. He loves being on stage. He’s a peculiar front man. He doesn’t command the stage, he simply looks like he is thrilled to be on stage playing music in front of people. And for me as a viewer, the only thing that comes close to the fun of being on stage is watching someone else have fun on stage. Watching the band suddenly break into Santana’s Soul Sacrifice, Highway Star, or even the Mcdonald’s theme only make this atmosphere more friendly and fun. There is a true sense of unity and family with the band. They dismiss the typical band setup on stage and instead are all four at the forefront with Mike Portnoy playing on stage left, Morse on right, and Stolt and Trewavas occupying the middle. Everyone gets their say and everyone gets a chance to shine. Even Gildenlow, playing background percussion and rhythm chords on keys and guitar is having the time of his life. Never once does he look like a hired hand, but a kid who is thrilled to be playing with his heroes.

After the masterful Whirlwind the band takes a short break (Portnoy mentions that they aren’t even halfway finished) and comes back with All of the Above, We All Need Some Light, and Duel With the Devil. All are done beautifully, but I must go into detail with We All Need Some Light. I really used to hate this fucking song. I think that it is so god damned pretentious and wishy washy (even by prog standards). I normally don’t have a problem with a bit of Christianity in my music (I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t mind Satanism but minded Christianity in my music wouldn’t I?) but this song sounds like it should be played on the Jesus channel. But for some reason, it really works here. Roine Stolt takes lead vocals instead of Morse and this might be the reason why. It sounds more heartfelt... And quite honest less typical Neal Morse. Good show, gents.

They finish their set with Bridge Across Forever/Stranger in Your Soul. Truth be told, this is my least favorite of their big epics, but I like it enough to enjoy it. I would have preferred My New World but I don’t want to give off any sort of impression that I am complaining. There is so much material in their set that any fan should leave satisfied. After playing over 75% of their catalogue there is little left to be desired. But after three and a half hours of music, they still have smiles on their faces and look like they are having a great time. It makes one think about what being in a band is really all about and what it takes to play a good show.

If that wasn’t enough for you, there’s an extra two and a half hours of bonus material. If you are like me then you want to know EVERYTHING about what happens backstage and that is exactly what you get here. If you ever wanted to know the specific Starbucks orders of every member and what they will drink depending on the time of day, this is the level of detail that you are going to get. Fortunately, it is never boring and the only drawback is that you might feel a little empty inside knowing that you just watched two hours of other people living out your dreams… Who else other than Mike Portnoy gets to have his birthday on stage and then out of nowhere go into Birthday by The Beatles? Those glorious talented lucky bastards.

An extra added goodie is a live version of Genesis’s Return of the Giant Hogweed with none other than Steve Hackett himself. This is a great cover and it is a great way to end the DVD.

Wow… This is probably the most jumbled and unorganized review I have done yet, but whatever. The only way to do justice would be to write an essay and dammit I’m on winter break.

This concert was released in three editions. A three cd set, a two DVD set, and a special combo edition. In the least, do yourself a favor and pick up the DVD or the combo edition. A concert this good has to be seen to be heard.

Killing Songs :
All! In all of it's proggy greatness!
Crash quoted no quote
Other albums by Transatlantic that we have reviewed:
Transatlantic - The Whirlwind reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 92 / 100
Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever reviewed by Dom and quoted 92 / 100
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