On Aug. 27, 2002, veteran prog-rock outfit Spock’s Beard released what has since come to be known by the band’s fans as one of its most pivotal albums when it released the simply titled, yet complex concept album Snow. The two-disc record was the last for then front man Neal Morse, who left the band for a solo career not too long after its release. Just this month, the band re-visited that seminal album when it released its new live recording Snow Live in stores and online. The recording marks the first time ever that Spock’s Beard has ever performed the album in full in a live setting. That in itself is the bedrock for the recording’s presentation, and will be discussed shortly. Just as important to note in examining the recording is the band’s performance thereof. This will be discussed later. Rounding out the most important of the recording’s elements is its collective bonus material. It will also be discussed later. Each element noted here is important in its own right to the whole of the recording. All things considered, Snow Live proves to be another solid live effort from one of the most respected names in the prog community.
Spock’s Beard’s latest live recording Snow Live is hardly the band’s first live recording. Even with that in mind, it can be said easily that this latest live effort from one of the prog community’s most respected names is another solid effort from the band. That is due in no small part to the very fact that it presents the band performing what has become one of its seminal works in whole for the first time ever in one special setting. The setting in question was the latest installment of former front man Neal Morse’s Morsefest. It is somewhat fitting that the band united members past and present in that setting for the performance considering the importance of Morsefest and of Snow. That combination makes the performance a collective show of unity from the band that shows in itself an appreciation for the fans and their respect for Snow. It all combines to make this first-of-its kind performance from Spock’s Beard that much more important. Audiences will especially appreciate the concert’s production values throughout. The audio was expertly balanced throughout, which says plenty considering the size of the venue and that the concert was performed indoors. Recording live shows indoors always presents its own challenge because sound has only so far to go. Those who handled the concert’s sound both in production and post are to be commended for their work here. The same can be said of those responsible for handling the concert’s video production. The work of all involved makes this all too important concert for devout Spock’s Beard fans that much more that much more important and enjoyable. Of course as key as the concert’s very set list and related productions values are collectively to this recording, they are only one part of what makes the recording such a solid effort from Spock’s Beard. The band’s performance of its set list is just as important to discuss in examining its presentation as the show itself.
The band’s performance of its landmark 2002 concept album deserves just as much credit in making the concert watchable as the show itself because of the effort clearly put in by the band members. Between interacting with one another on stage and with the audience through something as simple as a facial gesture or invitation to be part of the show from the floor, the band shows throughout, its dedication to its fans and to properly translating the album from studio to stage. It pays off, too. Audiences will be impressed to experience that effort firsthand, and in turn will agree that said effort is something that must be experienced firsthand to be truly appreciated and understood. Keeping this in mind, audiences will agree in seeing the band’s performance for themselves that said performance goes a long way toward strengthening the recording’s presentation and making it enjoyable for the band’s fans. That performance, even as important as it is to the recording, is not the last of the recording’s most important elements. The bonus material included in the recording rounds out its most important elements.
The bonus material featured in Snow Live includes an extensive hour-long presentation of behind-the scenes material and a nearly 40 minute encore set from Morsefest 2016. The songs and the audiences’ full engagement makes the encores that much more entertaining for home viewers, ensuring even more their engagement and entertainment. The band shows just as much dedication to the music and the fans here, too, as in the concert’s main feature, making the encores that much more entertaining. The behind-the-scenes featurette includes an in-depth interview with the band members and an intimate audience ahead of the band’s concert. The interview session includes discussions on the band members’ influences, the creative process in the studio, lineup changes and much more. There are also some more intimate on-camera moments with the band members that offer their own insight including Morse’s own discussion on his conversion to Christianity and its impact on his life. Seeing Morse’s genuine emotion as he discusses the change is moving to say the least. Between those discussions and the others not directly noted here, and the bonus encores, it goes without saying that Snow Live offers plenty of enjoyable and engaging bonus material. When that bonus material is considered along with the recording’s main feature and the band’s performance thereof, the whole of those elements makes Snow Live that much stronger of an offering from Spock’s Beard; an offering that will easily reach every one of Spock’s Beard’s fans.
Spock’s Beard’s latest live recording Snow Live is a critical addition to the band’s already extensive body of work. It presents what is one of the band’s most influential albums being performed live in whole for the first time ever. What’s more, the album is presented by the band’s members past and present. That show of unity in performance of the album sends its own strong message that fans new and old alike will appreciate. Speaking of the band’s performance, the energy and emotion put into each song’s performance strengthens the concert’s presentation even more. It translates the album expertly from studio to stage while also showing the band’s dedication to presenting a fully enjoyable and immersive experience for audiences. The bonus material included in the concert’s recording puts the finishing touch on the recording with its hour-long interview session and nearly forty-minute encore set. Each noted element plays its own important part in the whole of Snow Live‘s presentation. All things considered, they make the recording another solid effort that Spock’s Beard fans old and new alike will enjoy. It is available now in stores and online. more information on Snow Live is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:
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