Album review: NEAL MORSE – Live Momentum

Inside Out (2DVD/3CD & BluRay) [Release date: 18.02.13]

This is a real treat for fans of Neal Morse’s work and I am sure the inlay booklets/packaging will be suitably splendid as I only have promo copies of the two DVD discs.

The band consists of Neal Morse plus his long time musical companion’s bassist Randy George and former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy. Joining them are the three lucky musicals chosen by Neal through YouTube auditions, namely Adson Sodre (guitar/vocals), Eric Gillette (keys/guitar/percussion/vocals) and Bill Haubauer (keys/sax/violin/vocals).

The set list covers most of his musical past and present, with an undoubted highlight being the band ripping through the Spock’s Beard classic ‘The Distance To The Sun’. The vocal harmonies on this and throughout the set are truly a delight to listen to.

A couple of albums get a ‘meagmix’ treatment with the ‘Testimony Suite’ including ‘Sleeping Jesus’ and ‘Wasted Life’, whilst the ‘Question mark Suite’ includes ‘Another World’ and ‘Inside His Presence’.

Personal highlights include ‘Weathering Sky’ which sounds even better live and ‘the aforementioned ‘Testimony Suite’. The show is all about the music and musicians as there is no big stage lighting show and that is how it shoudl be as the music does the talking. They even through in a fun cover of the Osmonds classic ‘Crazy Horses’ with Mike Portnoy taking the mic and Neal Morse on drums.

The second DVD has a one hour bonus in the shape of a tour documentary that includes fan shot footage of the live shows.

This is a great idea and although the sound and picture quality can vary it does break down the fan and artist barriers nicely. In between this are backstage shots of the band warming up before a show and the band captured very early one morning at the airport. Only Neal Morse comes across as fresh and ready for the day ahead!

Definitely a ‘must have’ for fans and a decent introduction to Neal Morse’s for those yet to hear any of his wonderful music.

*****

Jason Ritchie


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