Neal Morse - Testimony Live DVD
Radiant Records
Progressive Rock
Disc 1: 29 songs (1:00:00) Disc 2: 3 songs (2:00:00)
Release year: 2004
Neal Morse, Radiant
Reviewed by Nathanael

Following up on the release of his outstanding post Spock’s Beard debut Testimony, a dense musical autobiography of the esteemed musician’s life, Neal Morse decided to put together a touring band and play a handful of shows across Europe so as to transpose Testimony’s emotional energy to the stage. Though I was curious to see how Mr. Morse would achieve such a formidable task, considering the density and musical layering exhibited on Testimony, I never once doubted that he could do it. Of course it would suffice for me to say that he succeeded at achieving the task mentioned above, allow me to indulge myself and further elaborate.

This being my first experience seeing Morse perform live, what really jumped out at me aside from the music itself was the sheer emotion and energy he manages to maintain throughout the entire concert. Since Testimony recounted the ups and downs Morse encountered throughout his life, each song is not merely played on instruments, but rather each memory is relived through the music. Every new melody is greeted with a mix of laughs, smiles and introspective looks of somber reflection from the musician, giving an added emotional presence to the overall performance. It’s truly impossible to become in any way bored or uninterested with such an overwhelming amount of emotionally charged and incredibly varied music thrown at you, which is exactly the case here.

From a purely technical view, everything is spot on. The camera work flows beautifully, capturing each band member’s performance in a very fitting manner. This is in no way a simple task considering that the band is comprised of eight individuals (Mr. Mike Portnoy handling kit duties of course). The same can be said about the sound quality. Though there are no options for 5.1 or surround mixes, this in no way affects the enjoyment level, as each harmony, cow-bell, bongo, mandolin, and flute (to mention just a few) are all given equal consideration, making for a very lush and pleasant sound.

Though highlights are abound, certain parts of the concert like the all out country breakdown from Sing it High, as well as Neal’s heartfelt testimonial concerning the miracle experienced by his daughter during Oh, To Feel Him are just a few of the countless memorable moments this DVD seems to possess an endless quantity of.

With an added bonus disc containing an hour long encore of two Transatlantic and one Spock’s Beard song, as well as a very in-depth and insightful documentary recounting the troubles and triumphs encountered by the band during their tour of Europe, it’s very difficult to find any reasons why one should not check this out.

If you consider yourself a fan of outstanding and passionately performed music, by all means give Testimony Live a try. If you are already a fan of Neal Morse, then everything I’ve just said is probably old news to you.

Killing Songs :
To be taken as a whole
Nathanael quoted no quote
Other albums by Neal Morse that we have reviewed:
Neal Morse - Momentum reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 94 / 100
Neal Morse - One reviewed by Nathanael and quoted 93 / 100
Neal Morse - It's Not Too Late reviewed by Dom and quoted 85 / 100
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