Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Neal Morse - Testimony Live|
Actor: Neal Morse
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests
TRACK LISTINGS — 01. The Land Of The Beginning Again — 02. Overture No. 1 — 03. California Nights — 04. Colder In The Sun — 05. Sleeping Jesus — 06. Interlude — 07. The Prince Of The Power Of The Air — 08. ... more »
Testimony is an honest autobiography from a sincere believer
Book Reader | USA | 07/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a Spock's Beard and Transatlantic fan, I was curious when Testimony the CD came out. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you liked the CD, you'll absolutely love the DVD. The layered, textured sound is brought to the stage in a masterful way in this DVD. Supported by a superb group of musicians (including the phenomenal Mike Portnoy of the progressive band Dream Theater), Neal Morse sings his "testimony" detailing how he went through the rock and roll thing and other adventures to a saving faith in Jesus. The music is beautiful and the lyrics are straight from the heart. His eight man ensemble includes an electric cello player, a saxophone player, Portnoy, Morse, a bassist, another keyboardist, a guitar player, and a gentelman who plays the guitar, mandolin, violin and flute. The overall effect is astounding. There is also a one hour home video documentary of the tour. What I found most touching was Neal's candid sharing of his faith and how his daughter's medical condition brought him to his faith. He openly discusses his faith in Christ and how it has changed his life. It is refreshing to see his unapologetic proclamation of what God has done for him in his life and how he now wants to share that with others. The DVD has outstanding musicianship, great mutiple camera angles and an uplifting message. If you like progressive rock and want to see how one man's spiritual quest brought him peace, this DVD will be something you'll watch again and again."
Morse Back in Tilburg
P. H. Blom | Amsterdam Netherlands | 07/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After Neal Morse's surprising departure from both the group he founded, Spock's Beard, and prog's super-group Transatlantic, he brought out his third solo effort, titled "Testimony". This DVD contains a complete rendition of this CD in live format, filmed and recorded in Tilburg's "013" in the Netherlands.
Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater's drummer, who was also a member of Transatlantic, joins Morse onstage together with some of the musicians that also played on the CD. All musicians performing in this concert are highly skilled, so there is no lack of musical quality. Neal Morse's voice breaks at times - but those who have followed his career know that this has become something of a trademark. There is no doubt the author of the songs is the same person who wrote a large amount of the Spock's Beard material - the resemblance is quite obvious. Keyboard and guitar sounds, use of layered vocals and song structure all have that distinct Spock's Beard "flavor". The songwriting is top notch and clearly displays Morse's abilities.
However the lyrical content is a definite departure from his previous solo efforts, Beard material or Transatlantic recordings. His spiritual development is the focus of the lyrics. This spiritual/Christian "storyline" might be a bit too much for some.
Due to the more serious nature of the music (this is not KISS or Mötley Crüe), there is not much in the form of a stage or light show. Morse simply lets the music speak for itself. The picture quality is quite good - however the lighting is rather dark at times. But then again, this is a concert. The way it is filmed reminds me of Germany's television program "Rockpalast" (in which the Beard once made an appearance).
For fans of drumming in general and Mike Portnoy in particular, a camera was positioned over the drum kit and shows an interesting view of Mike's office and Mr. Portnoy at work.
The sound quality is very good. (I attended the concert featured on this DVD and would have been happy to have heard the concert with the same quality as it is featured on the DVD.) Furthermore there are no feedback or other bothersome and irritating noises.
The mix has also turned out well. Unfortunately the DVD only features 2.0 sound, which is quite disappointing. With the amount of musicians onstage a 5.1 or perhaps even a 6.1 sound would have been a very interesting experience. One of the great features of the DVD medium is the possibility of truly engulfing sound and 2.0 sound simply is antiquated. Of course one could argue that a good 2.0 mix is preferable to a bad 5.1 one. I just wonder "what might have been?"
As far as "special features" are concerned, there is a documentary of the tour included on the second DVD. This features backstage views, impressions from rehearsals and onstage performances. It has clearly been shot by members of the band, which has a certain charm, but do not expect high-definition quality.
The DVD captures an excellent Neal Morse appearance with a solid musical performance by all musicians. Unfortunately the Christian message is a bit overbearing at times and the more easygoing attitude of Spock's Beard or Transatlantic is missed. I personally bought this DVD as a memento of the concert in Tilburg. As discussed the 2.0 sound mix on the disc is good, but I wish it would have been 5.1. If you are a fan of prog rock, especially Transatlantic and Spock's Beard, you will enjoy the music, although the lyrics might be a bit too much on the preaching side. When I attended the concert I was hoping for more of his early solo material and Beard and perhaps even Transatlantic songs. The encore on the second DVD contains 3 songs from the Beard and Transatlantic era. (It is funny to watch the audience really getting enthusiastic when this final encore is performed, while the band - aside of Portnoy and Morse - seem to be more at ease with the Testimony material.)
I rate this DVD, which features almost 3 hours of live play, 4 out of 5 stars due to the somewhat disappointing picture quality and the 2.0 sound."
The Producers Of This DVD Chose The Wrong Audience
A. Calabrese | NJ--United States | 01/24/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Really 3 1/2 stars. You get a lot for your money here, 255 minutes of mostly music and an OK documentary of Neal Morse's Testimony Live tour. First off the music on this DVD is great, even though, at times the vocals could be stronger. But, that happens in most live concerts, so it is a forgiveable offense. In Testimony Live Neal Morse essentially takes his faith on tour. Not that there's anyting wrong with that, but the audience in the majority of this DVD, while polite, really show no enthusiam for most of the concert. It was filmed in the Netherlands and I suspect, looking at the mostly male audience, these folks were fans of Morse's work with Spock's Beard and Transatlantic. This audience obviously was not moved by Neal's testimony nor his full embrace of Contemporary Christian Music. It is most evident because on the bonus DVD, number 2, Morse and the band featuring Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy. Both Morse and Portnoy were bandmates in Transatlantic. Here Morse does pre-CCM classics from his Spock's and Transatlantic perios, like We All Need Some Light, The Light, and Stranger In Your Soul. And while admittedly, all 3 selections have strong Christian overtones, because they were not overtly Christian the audience, finally, came alive. But, from the bonus documentary, I gather, Morse's Christian message and music had a better reception in some of the English and German venues. So one wonders why the producer and director of this DVD didn't film those shows? Having said this, the cuts from the Testimony CD like The Land Of Beginning Again, Transformation, and I Am Willing are some of the better cuts on this DVD. Those heavily and emotionally invested in Contemproary Christian Music will love this DVD. But, fans of Morse, Spock's Beard and Transatlantic should have this DVD in their collection. Again, you do get your money's worth, 255 minutes of mostly music."
This blew me away
Lee T. Fellman | BERKLEE!!!!! | 09/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gosh...I was amazed when I first saw this. I touched me more than I could believe. Neal Morse has an amazing testimony to tell and I am so happy he is telling it, especially through music! The music is pure genius and the musicians are definitely up to Neal's composition. This is a must have for anybody, not just Neal Morse, transatlantic, or Spock's Beard fans. BUY IT!!!!!!!"