Saturday, April 13, 2024

Transatlantic Live At Morsefest 2022 Mammoth Collection Due

Progressive rock supergroup Transatlantic has announced the release of Live At Morsefest 2022: The Absolute Whirlwind, a mammoth limited edition 5 CD + 2 Blu-ray artbook set featuring both sets from the event in their entirety, with nearly 4 and a half hours of music in total, due 26th April.

The band, featuring vocalist and keyboard player Steve Morse (ex-Spock’s Beard), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) on guitar and Pete Trewavas (Marillion) on bass, and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) on drums, has released a live clip of the track ‘Can You Feel It’, taken from the second night 2, that you can watch here at RAMzine.

“Not to be confused by last year’s live release of our last show in Paris, this release of Transatlantic at Morsefest 2022 represents the most epic and mammoth of all Transatlantic Live releases!” Portnoy  declared. “Two nights, two completely different sets, two Transatlantic concept albums done in their entirety… Accompanied with strings, horns, percussion, female vocals, etc…Transatlantic has always been about ‘More never is enough’, but no live Transatlantic release has ever been more epic than this one…It’s the ultimate live Transatlantic experience!”

Morse added: “At long last, a musical dream come true in true epic fashion! To play The Absolute Universe, The Whirlwind, and other great pieces of music with Transatlantic, along with an amazing string section, background singers, etc. What more could any musician ask for? This is the very best of the very best in my view. I hope you all enjoy experiencing this as much as we enjoyed performing it!”

Morsefest, the festival put on by Neal Morse annually in Nashville, Tennessee has been in existence since 2014. Typically, the weekend long event celebrated music from his solo work and other bands from his career.  But with each passing Morsefest, there had been one question lingering among the faithful audience that returned every year… When would Transatlantic perform at Morsefest?  In 2022, at the 9th Morsefest, it finally happened, with the other two members also commenting on their festival appearance.

“Playing Morsefest was quite a task, learning all the different material for the two different shows,” said Stolt. “We even got a chance to play that Procol Harum tune, that is dear to me and takes me back to my teenage years, just getting to know what prog is/was. The addition of the strings and choir at Morsefest, plus Philip adding percussion lent a different and perhaps more of an orchestral side. That worked really well and made these two nights very special.”

 Trewavas remarked: “To play Morsefest 2022 was an absolute pleasure for me and gave us a natural break at the end of the North American leg of The Absolute Universe tour, where we regrouped at Neal’s to rehearse for the two shows, back where we had rehearsed for the tour some four or five weeks earlier.

“We had three days I think it was to refresh The Whirlwind full version and learn ‘In Held T’was In I’. The festival was an absolute blast. We were all super relaxed and enjoying ourselves probably due to the little break from touring back to rehearsing. 

“Neal had been wanting to get Transatlantic at MorseFest since we released Whirlwind and it never panned out for various reasons, so it felt fitting that we got it all together for The Absolute Universe tour.”

The Absolute Universe, released in 2021, was the band’s fifth album since forming in 2000. However, as the band’s motto is “More is never enough, it was released as two different versions – The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version), and Forevermore (Extended Version).  In addition, the band combined those two versions for an Ultimate Edition of the album. With touring restrictions due to the pandemic finally lifted, the band finally started their tour in April 2022 ending up at Morsefest on the weekend of 29th and 30th April. 

The weekend at Morsefest provided two nights of shows.  For night one, the band performed their classic album The Whirlwind in its entirety, the first time they had done so in 10 years.  The evening also added ‘Into The Blue’ and ‘Shine’ from the band’s fourth album Kaleidoscope as well as the classic ballad ‘We All Need Some Light’. As a surprise, the band played a song they’ve never performed live before – their cover of the Procol Harum classic ‘In Held ‘Twas In I  from the first Transatlantic album ‘SMPTe.’ 

Night 2 saw the full performance of The Absolute Universe – The Ultimate Edition, combining all of the tracks from the two versions of the album.  The night closed with a medley of tracks from the band’s first two albums including ‘All Of The Above’, ‘My New World’, and ‘Stranger In Your Soul’. For the first time, the band performed alongside a choir and string section, making these shows truly special for those who were in attendance.  

Night 1 tracks featured are: ‘Into The Blue’, ‘In Held (‘Twas) In I’, ‘Shine’, ‘We All Need Some Light’, ‘Overture/Whirlwind’, ‘The Wind Blew Them All Away’, ‘On The Prowl’, ‘A Man Can Feel’, ‘Out Of The Night’, ‘Rose Colored Glasses’, ‘Evermore’, ‘Set Us Free’, ‘Lay Down Your Life’, ‘Pieces Of Heaven’, ‘Is It Really Happening?’ and ‘Dancing With Eternal Glory/Whirlwind (Reprise)’.

While Night 2 featured: ‘Overture’ ‘Reaching For The Sky’, ‘Higher Than The Morning’, ‘The Darkness In The Light’, ‘Take Now My Soul’, ‘Bully’, ‘Rainbow Sky’, ‘Looking For The Light’, ‘The World We Used To Know’,

‘The Sun Comes Up Today’, ‘Love Made A Way (Prelude)’, ‘Owl Howl’, ‘Solitude’, ‘Belong’, ‘Lonesome Rebel’, ‘Can You Feel It’, ‘Looking For The Light (Reprise)’, ‘The Greatest Story Never Ends’, ‘Love Made A Way’, ‘Bridge Across Forever’ and ‘The Final Medley’.

Live At Morsefest 2022: The Absolute Whirlwind can be ordered by clicking here.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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