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The Neal Morse Band


Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Great show last night!

Sorry the pics aren't great, just from my phone; I was trying really hard not to worry about pics (I maybe took ~20 total) but just enjoy the experience. Honestly I almost didn't go when this event popped up in my Facebook feed last week; I'm a home-body who doesn't go out much, I don't know Neal's solo band's music all that well (though I've heard some of it), it's at a venue I haven't been to before so I wasn't sure what to expect. Fortunately the snow/ice had turned to rain by the afternoon, so driving into town wasn't a big deal. But of course it was totally worth it! Paid a whopping $10 extra for a closer ticket (making the total price all of $43); I ended up in third row roughly center, directly facing Portnoy's kit (that was very much intentional). Close enough that even with a wide angle cell phone lens, I could barely get the whole band in the shot (above).

They were having fun, with some costumes and changes:

Overall the prog rock music was more hard-hitting than I was expecting; in some ways closer to Dream Theater (note the shirt of the dude in front of me) than Transatlantic or Spock's Beard. But still, there were some quieter moments:

Neal's a Christian and doesn't hide it, but he doesn't beat you over the head with it either. I'm pretty certain the word "Jesus" doesn't appear in any of his lyrics. But there are themes of love for others that came through in the lyrics (when I could understand them). I heard the phrase "Rock Church" more than once in the chatter around me!

But in truth, Portnoy is really the man I came more to see for the live performance aspect!

He chatted with the audience some - more than Neal actually:

He was great! He didn't steal the show or anything, the whole band each got their moments in the spotlight, but especially in the encore medley at the end, Portnoy cut loose a little more and was a blast to watch.

The sound was quite frankly pretty terrible. REALLY loud, even with my etymotic earplugs cutting ~30dB there were plenty of times where it still felt excessive. And there was a harsh front-facing speaker on the stage about 10' to my left; man I can't imagine being the people sitting right in front of that thing with no ear protection... Was pretty muddy overall, hard to understand much of any of the lyrics (not that I care about that too much as you all know). But hey, SQ is not the reason for going to a live concert! And I could hear the drums just fine. :cool:

Anyway, great show, and quite the experience. Highly recommended if you get a chance to go! They're doing a pretty substantial tour:


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"Do you know who I am?"
So I introduced his band to this forum. I am always promoting them, reminding all of you whenever they are working on a new album or releasing a new concert video, yet... yet... I have never seen them live because they never ever play anywhere near me, even in my travels.

You suck!!!!