Progarchy Radio, Episode 14

tftd-part-i
Part I, 2010.

Our first show since Halloween!  Lots of great music on this one.  Four thirty-minute sets with only minimal talking on my part.  A restrained DJ am I!  Promise.

Set I

  • The Fierce and the Dead, Parts I-III

Continue reading “Progarchy Radio, Episode 14”

The Neal Morse Band Live – 2017 Tour Kickoff

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The Tour T-Shirt

A fired-up and ready-to-rock Neal Morse Band kicked off its 2017 Similitude Of A Dream Tour last night at RockeTown in Nashville, TN. They performed the entire album before an ecstatic crowd, most of whom knew every word of the 2-disc magnum opus.

This was a different kind of show than Neal and his band mates have performed before. It’s clear that they want the album as a whole to take center stage, and not the musicians themselves. For instance, Neal did not even address the audience until after Shortcut To Salvation, which was in the second half of the set. Mike spoke briefly before Freedom Song. Other than those breaks, the focus was entirely on the songs.

The performance began with a darkly cowled Neal singing Long Day off to the side, illuminated with a handheld light. Then the entire group exploded into Overture, and we were off on an adventure through all kinds of trials and tribulations. Throughout the show stunning videos complemented the songs, and Neal wore various masks and outfits.

As a group, Neal, Mike, Randy, Bill, and Eric have melded into a mighty musical force. When Randy George and Mike Portnoy lock into their groove, the result is ferocious thunder. Eric Gillette has matured into an extraordinary guitarist and vocalist (give him more lead vocals!), and Bill Hubauer’s keyboards and vocals are always rock-solid. Neal, of course, is the consummate showman – singing, pulling off amazing guitar solos, and mugging for the crowd before every keyboard showcase.

But the real star of the evening was The Similitude of a Dream. Everything was done in service to the tale of a pilgrim on a spiritual journey – one that went from the City Of Destruction through doubt, fear, confusion, sloth, and battle until he reaches the shining city on a hill. When I first heard TSOAD, I liked it, but I wasn’t knocked out – it was just too sprawling a work for me to take in. After last night’s performance, I get it now. It all holds together as a unified work of art, and it is a beautiful allegory.

Highlights of the show were So Far Gone, where everyone takes a turn on lead vocals; a very moving Breath of Angels, which ended the first half; Shortcut to Salvation; a heavy Man in the Iron Cage; an all-acoustic Freedom Song; and the concluding Broken Sky/Long Day. By the end, everyone was wrung out and happy.

For an encore, the band tore through rip-roaring renditions of Momentum, Agenda, and The Call. Lasting nearly three hours, it was a very satisfying evening. The boys travel to Seattle and other parts west before heading up to Canada and then over to Europe and Israel. If there is any way you can catch this show, do it – it’s an amazing visual and musical experience.

Tour details can be found here.

Neal Morse, Superstar: The Similitude of a Dream

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Radiant Records, 2016

Here’s the best way to sum up the new Neal Morse Band album.

  • If you loved SNOW, you might or might not love THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM.
  • If you loved SOLA SCRIPTURA, you’ll definitely love THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM.
  • If you loved THE GRAND EXPERIMENT, you’ll think THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM is good, but not great.
  • If you have not heard of any of the albums mentioned above, but you’d like to try some of Neal Morse’s music, you definitely DO NOT want to start with THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM.

Every one of Neal Morse’s post-Spock’s Beard album seemed to get better and better: TESTIMONY; ONE; ?; LIFELINE; TESTIMONY 2; and MOMENTUM.  With the exception of SOLA SCRIPTURA, Morse seemed incapable of making a mistake.  Though I dislike SOLA SCRIPTURA not only for its themes and lyrics and for its music being over-the-top bombast, I was certainly willing to forgive these problems — especially given the honest spirit in which the album was written, produced, and performed.

What about THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM, then?

Continue reading “Neal Morse, Superstar: The Similitude of a Dream”

Neal Morse Band Announce Epic Concept Album: “The Similitude of a Dream”

a072010e-c952-475b-955f-0d3386f1fcc7Courtesy of the folks over at Prog, the Neal Morse Band officially announced their upcoming double concept album, The Similitude of a Dream. According to Morse, the concept is loosely based upon the beginning of John Bunyan’s classic story, Pilgrim’s Progress. The first song released, “Long Day/Overture,” features both the quiet and proggy sides of Neal Morse’s career. From the get-go, this song captures your attention and leaves you wanting more. It is definitely one of the proggiest new songs I’ve heard this year.

The Neal Morse Band is made up of, obviously, Neal Morse, as well as Mike Portnoy, Randy George (bass), Bill Hubauer (keyboards), and Eric Gillette, who is quickly proving himself to be one of the best guitarists in the prog world.

Mike Portnoy has said that this is the greatest album of his entire career, even surpassing Dream Theater’s classic Scenes From a Memory. He has gone so far as to compare The Similitude of a Dream to The Who’s Tommy, Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Those are bold words, and time will certainly judge whether or not those statements are true. If the first song is any indication, though, this album may very well be the best yet by Neal Morse.

The album is set for release on November 11, but you can pre-order the album from Radiant Records now: http://www.radiantrecords.com/products/634-the-neal-morse-band-the-similitude-of-a-dream.aspx.

The band embarks on a four month tour across the US, Canada, and Europe (and a show in Israel) in the beginning of 2017.

 

Get ready to Pre-Order the new Neal Morse Band album

Pre-orders begin at 10am Friday Sept. 9!
 
You Must Be Registered at www.radiantrecords.com to receive the free downloads that will come with your pre-order! Register now so you’re ready! 
(We suggest that you go to www.radiantrecords.com  

now to make sure your username and password 

 

work correctly)
 
The first 200 preorders of the SE or Vinyl versions will receive a 5″ 7″ exclusive framable photo of an actual lyric sheet signed by Neal Morse. And free downloads of 2 tracks from the album!
This is gonna be great!
Thanks,
The Radiant Records Team

Freakishly Huge Sale at RADIANT

STARTING NOW: Radiant’s Pre-Labor Day 3-Day Sale through Wednesday, 8/31!

 

BIG savings on:

Transatlantic – Kaleidoscope

Neal Morse – Songs from November

Neal Morse – Momentum

Neal Morse – LIVE Momentum

Transatlantic – Whirld Tour 2010

Transatlantic – More Never is Enough

Spock’s Beard – Don’t Try This at Home

Order within the next three days for your chance to win a surprise gift! 

(Recipients of surprise gifts will be chosen at random. If you are picked, the gift will be included with your order.)

PLUS: All orders over $60 receive a 15% discount! 

(Discount automatically deducted at checkout – no code required.)

https://www.radiantrecords.com/default.aspx

Only a Few Neal MorseFest Tickets Left

[Morse]fest 2016 is only two weeks away! Guarantee your spot for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
 
[Morse]fest is July 1-2, 2016 in Cross Plains, TN. Remaining ticket options are listed below:
Double Night Tickets (20 tickets remaining)
  • Entry into both Friday’s “Unplugged Storyteller” concert AND Saturday’s “SNOW” concert
Single Night Ticket – Friday (100 tickets remaining)
  • Entry into Friday’s “Unplugged Storyteller” concert
“Unplugged Storyteller” (Friday)
Featuring Neal Morse, Nick D’Virgilio, Casey McPherson, and Eric Gillette. Join us inside the minds of these incredible artists and see where these songs began and what made them the unforgettable songs they are!
 
“SNOW” (Saturday)
For the first time ever, the original members of Spock’s Beard will perform the legendary prog epic “SNOW” in its entirety. The show will include encores and more featuring ALL Spock’s Beard members, past and present, including Neal Morse, Alan Morse, Dave Meros, Nick D’Virgilio, Ryo Okumoto, Ted Leonard, and Jimmy Keegan.
Don’t wait any longer. Get your tickets here.


We look forward to seeing you,
The Radiant Team

Neal Morse Band: aLIVE again

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Forthcoming, August 2016

The amazing new Neal Morse Band “Alive Again” DVD/2CD Set and Blu-ray will now be released worldwide August 5th.  Pre-orders will begin 9:00 a.m. CDT June 21st.

Radiant’s Special Offer! The first 100 pre-orders of either version will receive a tour setlist signed by the whole band. This rare exclusive collectors item is only available through RadiantRecords.com

 

Track Listing

CD 1

1    Alive Again Intro
2    The Call
3    Leviathan
4    The Grand Experiment
5    Harm’s Way
6    Bill’s Keyboard Solo
7    The Creation
8    There Is Nothing That God Can’t Change

Total Time  65:22

CD 2

1    Waterfall
2    Eric’s Gtr Solo
3    In The Fire
4    Alive Again
5    Rejoice
6    Oh Lord, My God
7    Reunion
8    King Jesus

Total Time   73:50

Riding on the tremendous success of their breakthrough album, The Grand Experiment, The Neal Morse Band set out on a tremendously successful world tour in the spring of 2015. Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy have teamed up with Randy George, Eric Gillette, and Bill Hubauer to create one of the greatest progressive rock bands of all time. Full stop. The Alive Again package shows them at the top of their form performing for a rousing audience in Holland March 6, 2015.

Audio mixed by Rich Mouser

 “The Neal Morse Band is a force of nature. They have evolved into a great live band, one that is as good as there is in music and they really shine on this live set. The performances here are jaw-dropping and might have you giving a standing ovation from your couch.” – Roie Avin, The Prog Report

[N.B. progarchy loves the views of Roie Avin!]

[N.B.II, my only complaint is that this does not include a live version of “New Jerusalem,” the single greatest song Morse has written!]

 

Progarchy Radio Episode 7

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Episode 7

Hey everyone, my apologies for taking so long to get episode 7 recorded.  Still, I hope you enjoy it–over two hours of prog and New Wave.  This episode features new songs from Big Big Train, Frost*, Mike Kershaw, Airbag, and Ayreon.

In addition, songs from Neal Morse, The Tangent, Salander, The Reasoning, New Model Army, New Order, Foo Fighters, Catherine Wheel, Echo and the Bunnymen, and The Cure.

Radiant Records: Kristoffer Gildenlöw

This week’s Monday Spotlight is
Kristoffer Gildenlöw’s newly released album
 
The Rain
Born in Eskilstuna, Sweden, Gildenlöw made a name for himself in the progressive rock scene during his eleven year career (1995- 2006) as bass player for world-renowned Swedish band, Pain of Salvation. His skill as a bass guitarist granted him the endorsement by Mayones guitars for more than a decade. In addition to bass guitar, Gildenlöw studied: piano, drums, double bass, guitar, classical vocals and music design; all of which have served the artist well in his transition to a solo career. He left Sweden and PoS to move to the Netherlands, but remained very active working as a session musician in live performances, touring, and recording bass lines on over thirty prominent albums for various artists all over the world. Gildenlöw’s solo career took flight with release of his debut album, RUST (2013). He released charity single, Pass The Torch (2014) and critic’s response to previews of The Rain (2016) have been very positive.
The deep tones of how the mind fights against itself resonate throughout this powerful and poignant work by Kristoffer Gildenlöw. A brilliant effort after his highly acclaimed first solo release: Rust (2013); a thematic album which delved into the realities of aging and one’s perspectives on past, future and ultimately reconciliation with life choices. Again, Gildenlöw has chosen a heavy subject for the theme of The Rain; which is a concept album that examines the life of a man in later stages of dementia who struggles with his own reality, perceived through the metaphor of rain and clouds.
The gentleness of the piano passages oppose the angst and turmoil which lie beneath. The gentle pace at which the album progresses is reflective of the destructive force of the disease upon the man, and you find yourself at the tipping point with the track, ‘Breath In, Breath Out’. It is through this lyrically beautiful song that the realization of the end becomes apparent; leaving the listener grasping for the beauty captured in the mind’s eye.
Never have I been so moved by an album. Put your phone on silent, so you will not be disturbed. It is best to listen with good headphones. Then you hear every detail and is the album the best advantage.
Esther Kessel-Tamerus – Rock Musizn
It’s a beautiful album which rewards further with repeat listening.
Kevin Thompson – Progradar

It is one of those albums that come along once in a generation and has such profound effect on the lives of the listener. It would not surprise me that this shows up as a Top 5 album of 2016
Robert Brady – Power of Prog

Get your copy of this AMAZING album here!