Available in a variety of different packages/formats, this review is of the 3 CDs and the DVD from the ‘Special Edition Box Set’ of ‘Kaliveoscope’. The bulk of the material on the CDs was recorded on the second night of the band's sell out stint in Tilburg although parts of the encores were recorded on the first night; while the DVD was recorded in Cologne. For those of you who don't know, Transatlantic are a prog 'supergroup' and consist of Americans Neal Morse (ex-Spock's Beard) and Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold, amongst others); Englishman Pete Trewavas (Marillion) and Swede Roine Stolt (Flower Kings). Ted Leonard (Spock's Beard), not a full time member of the band, is drafted in to fill out the sound in live performances.
Although the audio spans 3 discs there are only 13 distinct tracks, which is indicative of the length of some of their compositions. The first disc is a case in point, with just 3 tracks. First up is 'Into The Blue' from the latest studio release ‘Kaleidoscope’, and which is pretty faithful to the studio version, as are the other two tracks, 'My New World' from the band's first album and 'Shine', which is also from ‘Kaleidoscope’. The second disc also features just 3 tracks, although two of them are each half an hour long! The disc begins with a cleverly condensed version of tracks from the band's third studio release, ‘Whirlwind’. The original album clocks up at just over an hour but the live version manages to pack all of the highlights into a song half the length. The next two tracks, 'Beyond The Sun' and the title track, 'Kaleidoscope', are taken from the latest release and, again, are near perfect copies of the studio cuts.
The third CD starts with a nicely played duet featuring Morse and Stolt. A brace of Transatlantic tracks, 'We All Need Some Light' from the band's first album and 'Black As The Sky' from the latest studio effort, follow before the interest levels really pick up with a trio of cover versions. The first is a well worked version of 'Nights in White Satin', which the Moody Blues would no doubt appreciate, before a brace of Focus songs (the gig is in Holland after all!) - 'Sylvia' and the classic 'Hocus Pocus', featuring the madcap yodelling of none other than the Dutch prog legend Thijs Van Leer. The programme is brought to a fine climax by a medley of two tracks from the first and second studio albums respectively, 'All Of The Above' and 'Stranger In Your Soul'.
The track listing for the DVD is the same as CDs one and two and the first three tracks of CD three. The DVD captures a fine performance from the band. The stage is surprisingly small and this is highlighted by the fact that Mike Portnoy's drum riser is to the right of the stage as opposed to the back. The DVD is shot rather darkly but, rather than detracting from the overall feel, it actually gives it an atmospheric quality. As one would expect from a band consisting of four world-class musicians, the tracks that span the three discs are played with a great deal of technical mastery and skill. This doesn't mean, however, that the band are cold and impersonal on stage, as the CDs and, in particular, the DVD show that they have a great collective sense of humour and really enjoy interacting with their audience. This is a great introduction to Transatlantic as you are presented with songs from all four studio albums and both audio and visual perspectives of their live show. All in all, this is an excellent release and a must for all Transatlantic fans.
3CD + DVD
Review by Dave Uphill
27th Oct 2014
CD1: 1) Into the Blue; 2) My New World; 3) Shine
CD2: 1) The Whirlwind Medley; 2) Beyond the Sun; 3) Kaleidoscope
CD3: 1) Neal and Roine Duet; 2) We All Need Some Light; 3) Black as the Sky; 4) Nights in White Satin; 5) Sylvia; 6) Hocus Pocus; 7) Medley of All of the Above/Stranger in Your Soul
DVD: 1) Into The Blue; 2) My New World; 3) Shine; 4) The Whirlwind Medley; 5) Beyond The Sun; 6) Kaleidoscope; 7) Neal & Roine Duet; 8) We All Need Some Light; 9) Black As The Sky; 10) Medley
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...an excellent release and a must for all Transatlantic fans."