All of the Above
Guitar Solo/We All Need Some Light
Duel With the Devil
Bridge Across Forever
Stranger in Your Soul
One band, two sets, and only six songs. Tonight is a night which is mostly about epic progressive rock and metal music, and nothing showcases that better than Transatlantic's first set, comprising only of their 77 minute track The Whirlwind. The band barely take a pause in it's execution, and those they do are only for affect with the audience. Early on Mike Portnoy remarks about all the camera's around the venue and that the crowd can be extra loud tonight. It look's very likely that the show will be coming to DVD in the future.
Transatlantic preform The Whirlwind flawlessly. Neal Morse in particular is quite the showman. The expression 'giving it some face' that rock stars get really applies here. He looks in his element and by the end of the piece raw emotion shows. The man looked very choked to say the least. Overall the sound comes out really well, and the thundering bass of Pete Trewavas really hits the mark. Guitar wise Roine Stolt is joined by Pain of Salvation's Daniel Gildenlöw, who also doubles on other instruments where required. They both get up the front for the epic instrument section of The Whirlwind's Eleventh chapter, is It Really Happening, which must be on of the highlights of the night.Epic in every sense of the word.
At the conclusion of The Whirlwind the band retire for a 15 minute break. When they return they launch straight in to All of the Above, a 30 minute piece from their first album SMPTe. Upon it's conclusion Mike Portnoy remarks that they've only played two songs so far and would we mind is it's a long night.
No, I don't think we would mind!
They take it down a bit next for a guitar break between Neal Morse (using a 12 string acoustic) and Roine Stolt. Their solo leads into SMPTe ballad We All Need Some Light. They vary it from the album in that Roine does some lead vocal on it, as opposed to just Morse. More's acoustic guitar is spectacular to hear.
The remainder on the set comes from their second album, Bridge Across Forever. That album's epic opening track Duel With the Devil is up next and like the rest of the set, the crowd lap it up. There was a time where you went to a progressive gig you stood there and took it it, but tonight is just as much about having fun and More knows how to get the crowd going and Portnoy is ever popular in this respect as well.
Encore time. First they play the very much Morse led Bridge Across Forever, the second ballad of the night. To end a great three hour show, they bring out Stranger in Your Soul, which is easily got some of the heaviest riffing that this band ever did. It's definitely headbanging time as Gildenlöw in particular proves. During the song, More takes over the drum kit while Portnoy puts on a DHARMA Initiative boiler suit to go crowd surfing in, perhaps some sort of reference that the UK turned out to see them when the final season of Lost is almost coming to a end and the penultimate episode was on during their gig. Fans rush to help him go from the stage all the way to the far end and back again. Many shove just for the chance to touch him, foreshadowed by an earlier shout that Mike Portnoy is God. It's a memorable moment. The crowd love it and so does he.
All in all, a very entertaining night. I would easily rate this gig as a 10 on all counts.
This review was originally written for Heavy Metal Haven and is reproduced on Last.fm by the original author.