Yesterday, Neal Morse kicked of the European leg of his Testimony 2 tour at Hedon in Zwolle. As far as I know, this was the first time he played with this particular line-up, but they could have fooled me. Nearly three hours of awesome progrock.
(This song wasn’t my first choice and it cuts out early, but it’s the best I can do at the moment. I would have loved to include “The Truth Will Set You Free”, but the best version I could find is with the American band—with Mike Portnoy on drums—and the audio isn’t all that. There are some nice photos in this set, but I’m not allowed to embed them—natch.)
Finally, and it really isn’t much of an issue, but yes, Neal Morse is indeed a reli-progrocker. He’s found Jesus, sings about him and his dad, hallelujah, praise the lord. And no, it didn’t bother me a bit. (Okay, well, during the encore it got a little too Kumbaya, raise your hands if you love Jesus for my liking, but overall it wasn’t too preachy.) You see, for me someone singing about Jesus and all that is just like some other artist singing their about their dicks just barely fitting in their pants, seeing rainbows in the dark, offering cute little puppies to Satan, and Thor knows what else: sure, lyrics I can relate to would be a plus, but in the end I’m there to be entertained.
Seen live: Neal Morse at Hedon, Zwolle, on June 2nd, 2011.
Band: Neal Morse: vocals, keys, guitar; Paul Bielatowicz (Carl Palmer): guitar, vocals; Nathan Brenton: guitar, cello, vocals; Kristoffer Gildenlöw (ex-Pain Of Salvation, Dial, Lana Lane): bass, vocals; Ola Hedén (Flower Kings): keyboards, vocals; Collin Leijenaar: drums; Jessica Koomen: vocals, keyboards, percussion; Ben Mathot (Ayreon/Arjen Lucassen): Violin
Setlist: Beware of Darkness (George Harrison cover) / Levitahan / The Seperated Man / Sola Scriptura Medley [The Door: Introduction / In The Name Of God / All I Ask For / The Conclusion: Come Out of Her] / Testimony, Part 5 [Overture no. 3 / Rejoice / Oh Lord My God / God’s Theme] // Testimony 2 [Mercy Street / Overture No. 4 / Time Changer / Jayda / Nighttime Collectors / Time Has Come Today / Jesus’ Blood / The Truth Will Set You Free / Chance of a Lifetime / Jesus Bring Me Home / Road Dog Blues / It’s For You / Crossing Over / Mercy Street Reprise] // Encore: Reunion