Review #1800: Spock’s Beard “Live at Sea”

JRENG!

Biyuuuuh …! Ini album live yang bener2 menawan, sekurangnya bagi saya, karena selain penampilannya bagus juga ngerock banget! Edan! Saya senang sekali band ini masih exist meski telah lama ditinggal pendirinya, Neal Morse, dan kemudian ditinggal drummer dan vocalist andalannya: Nick d Virgilio yang sukses membuat album Rewiring Genesis. Band ini tetep bertahan dan bahkan album yang ke sepuluh dengan tajuk X merupakan album terbaik tahun 2010 versi DPRP. Memang dahzyat musiknya. Album terakhir Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
(2013) bener-bener manteb nartosabdo tenan. Saya makin salut saj. Eeee …lha kok malah bikin album live yang hanya berdurasi 67 menit namun hebat, bahkan juga menampilkan bintang tamu Neal Morse. Saya baru menyadari album ini bagus ketika dua hari lalu nyetir Jakarta – bandung. Selama dalam perjalanan saya lebih banyak memutar album ini terutama tiga track pertama meski lainnya juga OK.

Selama di Bandung pun saya terus nyetel album keren ini. Tak tahan lagi, akhirnya saya menulis reviewnya pagi ini di ProgArchives yang sekaligus merupakan review saya yang ke 1800 di situ prog ini. Monggo dinikmati album renyah kayak kue nopia ini ….

Live, released in 2014

cover_534411882014_r

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Something Very Strange (9:07)
2. Hiding Out (7:45)
3. Walking On The Wind (9:55)
4. Waiting For Me (14:37)
5. June (7:09)
6. The Light (19:19)

Total Time 67:52

Line-up / Musicians
– Ted Leonard / Lead vocals, guitar, keyboards
– Alan Morse / Guitar, vocals
– Ryo Okumoto / Keyboards, vocals
– Jimmy Keegan / Drums, vocals
– Dave Meros / Bass, bass pedals, vocals
With:
– Neal Morse / Lead vocals, acoustic guitar and keyboards on “June” and “The Light”

Releases information
August 30, 2014 Digital Only

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

Love the live vibes
Spock’s Beard announced a DVD of their performance at this year’s Progressive Nation at Sea festival for the late August release and they also released an audio only version of the mentioned release on Friday, August 8th via Bandcamp. Those who pre-ordered the DVD has the code to download the digital version of the show. The audio quality is terrific.

But what’s more important is the fact that this record is really an excellent live performance of the band and it really rocks! I really love the live vibes and in most cases I love more this live version compared to the studio ones. It covers three tracks from the band’s latest studio album Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep (2013) and another three from the first three albums : The Light, Beware of Darkness as well as Kindness of Strangers. I was not actually in tune with this live set until three days ago when I was about to drive from Jakarta to Bandung (150 KM distance) and I need to equip my car stereo with all prog albums including those from Pineapple Thief, Anglagard live, and of course Spock’s Beard Live at Sea.

Wow! I am totally impressed with the live vibes the Live at Sea record shows. In fact I only played this live set during my three-hour drive to Bandung as I really love it very much. Of course the opening track Something Very Strange (9:07) really blew me away at first spin. I love the opening part with sort of Ryo work on unique keyboard work plus some ambient sounds and it moves it dynamically until the music really turn on followed with great vocal work by Ted. I think Ryo Okumoto’s keyboard work throughout the song is the key differentiator that makes this opening track really live and it does rock! Oh … I cannot afford for not replaying this opening track again and again. It’s so excellent and I love this live version than the studio one.

The second track Hiding Out (7:45) is another rocking track with dynamic keyboard intro bya Ryo followed by a blast of music that moves the track wonderfully. And I think everyone agrees that Dave Meros bass guitar lines are really cool and represent the characteristics of SB music so far. I can hear it clearly his bass lines right here with this second track. Of course other musicians : Jimmy Keegan and Alan Morse also provide excellent work here. The keyboard solo throughout the song is really great. Ted also works his way nicely when the third track Walking On The Wind (9:55) was performed even though this is coming from early albums of the band – the Neal Morse era. This track was performed wonderfully!

One of the big thing that makes me happy is the featuring part of Neal Morse at this live set. I could not imagine how wonderful the show was especially when Neal Morse was invited by the band to come on stage playing two classic tracks June and The Light. I know that actually I did not enjoy the first three albums of the band and you can check my views of the first three albums right here at this wonderful prog site. But it’s not the case now. What matters to me is the fact that Neal Morse still want to play with the band as guest musician even though he was actually the founding fathers of SB. June is actually not my cup of tea as I do not like the acoustic guitar part which sounds boring to my ears. But The Light which I actually did not favor, is now different to me as it’s now live version and it’s performed as a reunion concert with Neal Morse. Yeah .. I love that prog people unite even though they no longer in the same band. This is great. Prog must unite people!

Overall, I am satisfied with this live set even though I expect another 60 minute live record that makes this as double CD issue. But I still recognize this live set as an excellent album! Keep on proggin’ …!

Peace on earth and mercy mild – GW

Review # 1800 (written in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia)

3 Responses to “Review #1800: Spock’s Beard “Live at Sea””

  1. Gatot Widayanto Says:

    test

  2. hippienov Says:

    Aku jadi teringat pertama kali dengar nama band ini kira-kira tahun 2001an saat aku belum lama kerja di distributor Cuban Cigar. Saat itu rekan kerjaku (wanita) adalah seorang fans musik rock dan lebih mengejutkan ternyata dia adalah penggemar prog juga. Kami kemudian sering ngobrol soal band prog termasuk Spock’s Beard. Beberapa lama kemudian aku beli kaset second album “the kindness of strangers” di daerah Blok M.
    Years after that aku pun beli cd album ini di Aquarius PI pas sedang promo diskon.
    Album Spock’s Beard berikutnya yang aku punya adalah “snow”, itupun dari file mp3 yang aku burn ke cd audio.

    • Gatot Widayanto Says:

      Saya kenal SB ya dari Ricky Ananto, putra sulung Ian Arliandy, di sekitar tahun 1998. Kala itu saya lagi juthakan sama prog karena saya pikir prog matek. Gara2 ketemu Ricky di Bandung akhirnya nyambung lagi dg prog melalui IQ Ever, Citizen Cain, Flamborough Head, Sinkadus, Parallell or 90 Degree (cikal bakalnya The Tangent)

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