The Neal Morse Band - Alive Again DVD review

Neal Morse raises his hands to the heavens once more.

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An astoundingly prolific artist and one of prog’s most positive forces of nature, Neal Morse’s latest project, The Neal Morse Band, includes long-time collaborator Randy George and the ubiquitous Mike Portnoy. This live DVD (additionally presented over two audio CDs) documents the 2015 The Grand Experiment tour with a gig from Dutch prog-friendly venue the Boerderij.

Morse’s Christianity has been articulated consistently and explicitly since his departure from Spock’s Beard in 2002, and those who are put off by his more preachy material should buy this with caution. The setlist includes almost the whole of The Grand Experiment album, alongside material from Testimony, One, ? (Question Mark) and Lifeline. There’s even time for a bit of Spock’s in the form of a rousing version of Harm’s Way.

The performances are first-rate: there are the expected solos from Randy George, guitarist Eric Gillette and keyboard player Bill Hubauer; Portnoy is his usual flamboyant self; the camerawork and overall feel are quite intimate; and Morse plays and sings a blinder. Alive Again confirms Morse’s reputation as one of the most gifted artists working in the symphonic prog field.