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on 5 November 2007
Neal Morse is a talented multi-instrumentalist and a gifted composer, though his songlines tend to sound very alike. But first of all his an engaging, manic and charismatic performer, as evidenced on his "Testimony Live"-DVD. Emanating a profound and apparently hard-earned spirituality. And of course known from his many years with Spock's Beard and as part of the seminal Transatlantic, one of the greatest prog-units ever.

Here he is caught live a summer night in Berlin 07/14/06 with a band comprising of young (and rather wierd-looking) Dutchmen. Playing the whole of the "?"-album. One could feel tentative wether these umknown musicians could recreate an album played by giants like Roine Stolt and Mike Portnoy. But they not only re-create it, they actually take it far beyond the studio-version, just as an authentic live-recording should.

And while Collin Leijenaar might lack the authority and sheer technically brilliance of Portnoy, he certainly is a monster drummer. In fact all musicians plays great, with enthusiasm and the instrumental finesse required to play the intricate music of Neal. Not least the very solid and inventive bassplayer Wilco van Esschoten. They all might sound a bit stiff the first 3-4 numbers, but then everything start to gel and built up to some very high moments. Great solos, fine interplay, very strong backing vocals, not least thanks to the only female in the band Jessica Koomen.

We also get a healthy dose of songs from the strong "One" album, including "King Jesus", originally only on the bonus-disc. And a snippet of the beautiful Transatlantic-anthem "We All Need Some Light".

Neal probably wouldn't be Neal if we didn't get a little sermon/rap, this time based on Ezekiel and the dry bones in the desert, and his little son Wil singing on "Cradle To The Grave".

Magnificient stuff that should appeal to all fans of progressive music, intelligent metal and heartfelt and inventive music. And of course fans of classic rock as Neal always have been musically inspired by Pink Floyd and Yes.

And you sure don't have to be a Christian to enjoy it. (Personally I wouldn't mind to see Neal someday embrace a more universal spirituality, less obsessed with sin and devil).
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VINE VOICEon 26 December 2007
Since leaving Spock's Beard, Neal Morse has put out some of the finest melodic prog albums of the last few years with "?" and "Sola Scriptura" two of the best albums you are ever likely to hear. But a live rendition of "?" raises a few questions of its own, the biggest being why? If you've spent all that time refining an album in the studio, making it sound just right then why try and recreate it live. You're unlikely to match the perfection of the studio creation, and if you change things too much live, then people will just get narked at the tinkering.

However, it's a chance you have to take. Because it's Neal Morse, people, and these are some of the finest songs he's ever written. So, we're off to the Columbia Club, Berlin on July 14, 2006 to hear Neal and his European band work their way through the entire ? album live. And it is very good. Not as good as the studio version, but that's still a hundred times better than most people will manage in a lifetime.

Now I hope you've remembered that Neal Morse is a Christian. His work is an expression of his Christian beliefs, and this is even more apparent in a live setting where he gets the opportunity to speak directly to his audience. But, for those who are unbelievers, it never gets in the way of some remarkable music with opening number 'The Temple Of The Living God' an unbelievably inspirational beginning. Across the hour you get some incredible moments of musical magic.

As if that weren't enough, this is a double album which means there are even more treats waiting. The second set sees an array of tracks from "One" and an encore medley running to 77 minutes. It's also full of classic moments with 'The Creation' probably the highlight. If you haven't experienced the power of his music, then I wouldn't start you off here. I'd point you towards "One" which I regard as one of the finest albums ever, but once you've dipped into the music of Neal Morse, there's no turning back and this will become a firm favourite.
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on 20 December 2007
Neal Morse is a talented multi-instrumentalist and a gifted composer, though his songlines tend to sound very alike. But first of all his an engaging, manic and charismatic performer, as evidenced on his "Testimony Live"-DVD. Emanating a profound and apparently hard-earned spirituality. And of course known from his many years with Spock's Beard and as part of the seminal Transatlantic, one of the greatest prog-units ever.

Here he is caught live a summer night in Berlin 07/14/06 with a band comprising of young (and rather wierd-looking) Dutchmen. Playing the whole of the "?"-album. One could feel tentative wether these umknown musicians could recreate an album played by giants like Roine Stolt and Mike Portnoy. But they not only re-create it, they actually take it far beyond the studio-version, just as an authentic live-recording should.

And while Collin Leijenaar might lack the authority and sheer technically brilliance of Portnoy, he certainly is a monster drummer. In fact all musicians plays great, with enthusiasm and the instrumental finesse required to play the intricate music of Neal. Not least the very solid and inventive bassplayer Wilco van Esschoten. They all might sound a bit stiff the first 3-4 numbers, but then everything start to gel and built up to some very high moments. Great solos, fine interplay, very strong backing vocals, not least thanks to the only female in the band Jessica Koomen.

We also get a healthy dose of songs from the strong "One" album, including "King Jesus", originally only on the bonus-disc. And a snippet of the beautiful Transatlantic-anthem "We All Need Some Light".

Neal probably wouldn't be Neal if we didn't get a little sermon/rap, this time based on Ezekiel and the dry bones in the desert, and his little son Wil singing on "Cradle To The Grave".

Magnificient stuff that should appeal to all fans of progressive music, intelligent metal and heartfelt and inventive music. And of course fans of classic rock as Neal always have been musically inspired by Pink Floyd and Yes.

And you sure don't have to be a Christian to enjoy it. (Personally I wouldn't mind to see Neal someday embrace a more universal spirituality, less obsessed with sin and devil).
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on 23 May 2015
what a brilliant double live cd this is.cd1is the question mark live cd2 is one live.both are very well recorded
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