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Transatlantic: Whirld Tour 2010 Deluxe Edition

John Kelman By

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The bonus features on the DVD range from essential to, at the very least, fun for one watch. A two-hour behind-the scenes documentary, compiled from hand-held video footage made by various members of the touring entourage, goes right back to the group rehearsals, and even documents the moment when Portnoy suggests that, for this tour, Stolt sing lead on the anthemic ballad "We All Need Some Light," normally sung by Morse. Portnoy, who was the driving force behind getting the group together in the first place, is like a lightning rod throughout, and with his recent departure from progressive metal superstar Dream Theater, which he cofounded in the late 1980s, the real question now, with the Transatlantic tour over, is: what next?

From left: Neal Morse and Roine Stolt of Transatlantic

And while the concert DVD sticks to the tunes, live clips from throughout the tour show a band not sticking solely to a script, both in its interactions with the audience, and when it occasionally dissolves into garage band silliness, at one point breaking into Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water," with Portnoy playing bass and singing. Stolt may be soft-spoken, with Trewevas a close second, but they're well-represented throughout.

And there it is, again: fun. Even the 20-minute interview with the entire group, from the 2010 High Voltage Festival, is informal, joking about how the ball was always in Morse's court during the hiatus, and that Gildenlöw had Portnoy guest on a Pain of Salvation, leaving a message for God to get to Morse, ultimately leading to Transatlantic reforming in 2009. It's something that could be misconstrued as serious, but in the delivery, what becomes clear is that as much as Morse's religion is an undeniable part of the picture—respected and considered—it doesn't stop the group from being just a bunch of guys, hanging and playing; this ain't no Christian Right. Even more interesting is their revelation of the conflicts and challenges that cropped up about in the making of The Whirlwind: Stolt wanting shorter songs; Morse wanting a double-album; Trewevas writing while on tour with Marillion; and Portnoy, as Morse calls him, "the great gleaner."

The video is a pro, multi-camera shoot in widescreen, with frequent edits that still manage to flow and impart the visual energy of the show. Sonically, it's clean, crisp and big as life, with the CD mix a little deeper in the bass end, especially with Trewevas' bass pedals. And as a bonus, a performance from the 2010 High Voltage Festival captures Transatlantic covering an early Genesis epic, "The Return of the Giant Hogweed," from Nursery Cryme (Charisma, 1971), with special guest, ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett.

Transatlantic, from left: Neal Morse, Roine Stolt Pete Trewevas, Daniel Gildenlöw, Mike Portnoy

In the interview, Stolt says, "it almost feels like the audience was listening with their eyes, and they were so happy—from the first note—to see us together. So the small issues that we worry about—the monitors, or a few bum notes—they don't care, they just love to see us onstage, and that's half the concert, I think. And you can feel it; you can feel it very strongly." Watching Transatlantic: Whirld Tour 2010 may not be exactly like being there, but it's extremely close. With all the positive energy and strong vibes that are somehow captured on both the DVD and CD, it's a live classic that will be the litmus test for progressive rock acts to follow, in years to come.

Tracks: DVD1: The Whirlwind; All of the Above; We All Need Some Light Now; Duel With the Devil. DVD2: Encores: Bridge Across Forever, Stranger in Your Soul; Documentary; Band Interview; Bonus Track: The Return of the Giant Hogweed, featuring Steve Hackett. CD1: The Whirlwind. CD2: All of the Above; We All Need Some Light Now; Duel With the Devil. CD3: Bridge Across Forever, Stranger in Your Soul.

Personnel: Neal Morse: keyboards, acoustic 12-string guitar, drums, vocals; Roine Stolt: guitars, vocals; Pete Trewevas: bass, bass pedals, keyboards, vocals; Mike Portnoy: drums, percussion, vocals; Daniel GIldenlöw: guitars, keyboards, percussion, vocals.

Production Notes: DVD Runtime: 307 minutes; CD Runtime: 182 minutes. Behind the Scenes Documentary compiled and edited by Jerry Guiroz.

Photo Credits

Photos captured from Whirld Tour 2010: Deluxe Edition, courtesy of Radiant Records/Metal Blade Records

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