Transatlantic - Kaliveoscope

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It’s been a pretty good year for Transatlantic.

Despite the members’ many other musical commitments they proffered their fourth studio album Kaleidoscope, which went Top 10 in Holland and Germany and just glanced off the UK Top 50. The supporting tour saw them head out on their most extensive expedition to date, and the acclaim culminated in their lifting the Album Of The Year gong at the third Prog Awards, at which they also performed.

They do love a pun, these guys. After all, their 2010_ Whirlwind_ live outing was dubbed the ‘Whirld Tour’ – and so it is with their fifth live release. KaLIVEoscope centres on their show in E-Werk in Cologne, Germany back in March, and what a great show it clearly was.

As ever the band are highly watchable. Neal Morse is there on his keyboard podium complete with trademark call-centre mic headset, Mike Portnoy powers proceedings from his kit in typically flamboyant style, his musical foil Pete Trewavas roots down the low end and Roine Stolt gives it full guitar hero in that dignified, Swedish way of his. The ever-valuable Ted Leonard (Spock’s Beard/Enchant) is here too, giving heavyweight support on vocals, keys and rhythm guitar too.

The set includes the whole of Kaleidoscope – opening with 26-minuter Into The Blue and ending with the brilliant Black As The Sky – interpolated by SMPT:e’s My New World, We All Need Some Light, plus The Whirlwind Medley and a stagey guitar-off between Stolt and Morse. It’s all quality, all very nicely shot (complete with cameras rigged on Morse’s keyboard and Portnoy’s drums), and pretty much business as usual. They make this grand music seem so deceptively easy (you’d never even guess Morse was ridden with a heavy cold on the night), and the rapturous crowd only enhances the mood of jubilation.

Depending on the depth of both your pockets and your love for the band, KaLIVEoscope comes in various packages. The vanilla Blu-ray features the Cologne concert plus another DVD’s worth of extras – a fun behind-the-scenes tour documentary, interviews with all members, and bonus live performances. These come from another concert, in Tilburg, Holland, and feature Thijs van Leer joining the band for Focus tunes Sylvia and Hocus Pocus. The special edition of the concert film features that show in its entirety across three CDs, while the limited deluxe edition comes with that, DVDs and Blu-ray too. If you needed further confirmation of how super this supergroup are, look no further.

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.