Transatlantic – More Never is Enough DVD (2011)

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Turns out, Transatlantic is a modern-day prog-rock supergroup in the most complete sense of the word: That means bass pedal solos.

Make no mistake, there is plenty of serious music making to be found on the forthcoming 2 DVD/3CD package More Never Is Enough, which includes two live shows from the band’s celebrated 2010 reunion tour. Transatlantic — featuring Neal Morse (ex-Spock’s Beard), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) Pete Trewavas (of Marillion) and Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) — does a great job of reinterpreting the long-awaited Whirlwind, which had been their first album of new studio material in seven years, and eventually became their best-selling project ever.

Transatlantic, however, is also revealed — through antics both during sound check and on stage (Portnoy stage dives!) — to be complete and utter fans of their chosen throwback format. Over the course of this gala release, they revel in all of progressive rock’s dizzying musical intrigues, but also all its fundamental (and, heck, still sometimes fun) excesses.

So yeah, seriously, there’s the aforementioned solo turn by Portnoy — with Morse taking over on drums. But perhaps the most telling moment of all arrives with the final encore at Tilburg, the Netherlands, when Transatlantic (having played everything they’d rehearsed after nearly a decade away) plucked out a favorite tune from Genesis to perform — “Return of the Giant Hogweed,” an apocalyptic third-album early-1970s chestnut from the Peter Gabriel era. To recap briefly, this enraged kudzu-like plantlife attempts to take over England, having been brought from Russia to the Royal Gardens at Kew by a Victorian explorer. Despite the best attempts by the local citizenry, including but not limited to some nasty herbicide, the hogweeds succeed in defeating the human race … but only after a keyboard-driven instrumental interlude called, yes, “The Dance of the Giant Hogweed.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Transatlantic’s Neal Morse talks about working with Spock’s Beard again on ‘Testimony 2,’ a fun sideman gig with Eric Burden and his on-going love affair with the Fab Four.]

It’s a brilliantly executed nod to Transatlantic’s childhood influences, and not just because of the visceral joy that’s so obvious in the way they reanimate this deep cut. Transatlantic has already done much to update a prog-rock genre sometimes badly in need of a middle-aged facelift. More Never Is Enough shows they came into this with a deep understanding, and an even deeper appreciation, of its outlandishly imaginative, charmingly eccentric history.

And they’re not afraid to celebrate that, too.

The More Never Is Enough package, set for release on Oct. 25 by Radiant/Metal Blade, includes audio and images from the group’s date at 013 in Tilburg, as well as audio from the tour-closing show at the Academy in Manchester, England. Morse has called the Tilburg show, held May, 20, 2010, “among the best concerts I’ve ever played in my whole life.” The Manchester concert followed on May 22.

TRACK LISTING FOR TRANSATLANTIC’S ‘MORE NEVER IS ENOUGH’ …
DVD 1 (Tilburg)
The Whirlwind (full album performance)
DVD 2 (Tilburg)
All of the Above • We All Need Some Light
Duel With the Devil • Bridge Across Forever
Stranger in Your Soul
Return of the Giant Hogweed

CD 1 (Manchester)
The Whirlwind (full album performance)
CD 2 (Manchester)
All of the Above • We All Need Some Light
Duel With the Devil
CD 3 (Manchester)
Bridge Across Forever
Stranger in Your Soul

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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