Tag Archives: alan morse

“Live” by Spock’s Beard

Artist: Spock’s Beard
Title: “Live”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 6/24/2008
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 4/5

This CD was released in tandem to the live DVD that bears the same name for Spock’s Beard “Live” concert film and while it sometimes mystifies me why such a release would not be packaged together perhaps in the case of The Beard this is a good thing to have done. My hope is that you are one of those fans who has wisely checked out the video because it was nothing less than a superb affair that successfully blended the bands newest material from the “Spock’s Beard” album along with their classics like “Thoughts (Part 2), and “In The Mouth Of Madness”. As I referenced in the DVD commentary, the set list is strong and not only makes their newest wonders come to a much more vivid life, but it shows just how well the band has progressed with former drummer Nick D’Virgilio now at the helm as their singer. He does real justice to both old and new Beard compositions and it goes without saying about how tight these guys are during the show. New favorites from the “Spock’s Beard” release for me where “Slow Crash Landing Man” based on its lush melodic harmonies as well as the groove and the very Progressive and driving “On A Perfect Day”. This CD is great if you are not much the video person and instead want to just kick back and load this onto your music player or PC or whatever you do with your music these days. I do recommend shopping for the video just the same as sitting through it is time well spent. The DVD was a single disc affair but the CD finds two separate discs and this allows you to not miss out on any of the tunes.
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“Live” (DVD) by Spock’s Beard

Artist: Spock’s Beard
Title: “Live”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 6/24/2008
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

Spock’s Beard are clearly one of the most beloved of the modern Progressive Rock bands that is currently active in today’s music scene and since their formation in 1992 have raised the bar for the genre and managed to remain leaders in it despite losing their founding front man Neil Morse in 2002. As most fans know, the band moved up drummer Nick D’Virgilio to the role of singer, and with him at the helm has continued to deliver tasteful and often very accessible Progressive Rock without incident. With the concert DVD simply entitled “Live” we find the group on top of their game supporting their InsideOut Music release from 2007, the eponymous “Spock’s Beard”. If you had purchased the album, you will remember that it was a recording that seemed to focus on the more melodic aspect of the band as opposed to being over the top with Progressive flair and the bands trademark vocal harmonies made it quite the pleasurable listening experience. As a concert DVD this is a perfect display of the band as they are now in action and since I had seen the band performing on this same tour when it came through my own town, I have to say that it was a great visual reminder of the tight musical evening that I experienced with my friends. To be honest, I must admit that the bands music had escaped me for many years before I finally caught on to what they do and since the enlightenment per se came during a concert, it made the particular presentation on the DVD all the more enticing. As you watch the film, which comes across as a very professionally recorded event, we find that the band has successfully moved on in terms of the front man situation and pressing forward on behalf of their music for the benefit of their fans. To be honest, Nick D. is no longer really new as a front man for the band and he does showcase that he is getting better and better at the task and really has a terrific voice for the material that they are doing now as well as on the older tunes penned and sung by Morse.
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Spock’s Beard @ B.B. King Blues Club (4/27/2007)

If you are a fan of great melodic Progressive Rock then you would love what Spock’s Beard do for the genre. We caught their appearance at NYC’s famous venue and provided comments and photos about it. To learn more just scroll past the logo below

Logo - Spocks Beard

Artist: Spock’s Beard
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 4/27/2007
Label: InsideOut Music

The return of Spock’s Beard would be a welcome one to the legion of Progressive Rock fans that live in and congregate around the Big Apple. Once again the group would make a stop at the legendary B.B. King Blues Club venue and this room is just perfect for their brand of Prog-Rock wizardry. It seemed that this show would also be a seated event and that is often the case with the Progressive shows since the audience often likes to grab dinner with their drinks as opposed to the Metal crowd. While that makes for difficult navigation for someone like me, it’s interesting to be in one spot and simply absorb the goings on every once in awhile. Tonight I would secure a great spot in the back and allow the melodies to reach out to me from across the venue and when it comes to melody there is probably none better at keeping it interesting than the guys in Spock’s Beard. I had caught them last year around the same time and in the same place for that matter and while I thought that was a great performance I was still too new to the group. This would not be the case tonight for in late 2006 the band released their ninth album on InsideOut Music America, the very aptly named “Spock’s Beard” and across the other gigs on the tour it had been noted that the set was strongly focused on new material. Sometimes a band can pull this off and sometimes they cannot. It seems that Beard can because their fans are devoted enough to always attend their shows and sometimes go to repeat performances. I don’t think they would have a problem showcasing new tunes with this kind of hard core demographic and loyalty. The set tonight would find about seven numbers from the new release as opposed to their more classic material but this was a good thing since the last time they came around they did a lot of this stuff.
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Spock’s Beard @ B.B. King Blues Club (5/5/2006)

Logo - Spocks Beard

Artist: Spock’s Beard
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 5/5/2006
Label: InsideOut Music

Progressive Rock stalwarts Spock’s Beard would return to New York City after a several year absence and as one would expect the group would perform at the reputable B.B. King Blues Club. It was a smart move on their part for while the venue has been the host to a myriad amount of Heavy Metal bands over the last few months; they have also made sure they were the place to where the Progressive Rock and Fusion legends can drop by to entertain their fan base. Their performance was billed as “An Evening With” and this would find Spock’s Beard to be the only band on the bill. This gave fans an early show, which was a welcome change for me. A Tool tribute band would come in at Midnight to perform for an entirely different crowd. If you have ever been to B.B. King Blues Club in the past, you will be amazed at how fast the staff manages to clear you out in order for the next performance to run smoothly. This would also be a sit down show, I noticed a larger amount of tables for the event, and this meant no photo pit for me. The lack of a photo area would also have me finding this a little bit annoying for a Progressive Rock crowd is a lot different from a Metal crowd and I find them a little more uptight than you would expect to find in any concert setting. Granted you want to be able to enjoy the set as the band performs, but I am amazed at the absolute level of silence while the groups play. I saw this at Marillion the last time they played and I was shocked that I was actually told to “shush” a couple of times. The part that drives me crazy is the lack of compliance when you are trying to bring the music to the larger public, no one wants to move and you are constantly in the way. Despite this level of dramatic, I was ready to have a rocking time and no one would be able to stop me.
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