Fresh on the heels of their latest album Similitude of a Dream and the corresponding North American tour, the Neal Morse Band is releasing the 2015 edition of the now annual event, Morsefest, on DVD and Blu-Ray. Both packages will come with corresponding four audio CD’s. Morsefest 2015 is nearly five hours of all things Morse, recorded over two nights in September 2015.
Disc one, the first night, begins with six individual songs from throughout the career of band leader, primary vocalist and keyboardist/guitarist Neal Morse. This portion of the show is highlighted by a progressive, 13 and a half minute version of the classic MacArthur Park featuring keyboardist Bill Hubauer on primary lead vocals. The 24 plus minute A Whole ‘Nother Trip, sees special guest Phil Keagy on stage playing an acoustic guitar solos that eventually becomes a duet with Morse. The second half of the first disc consists of the band playing Morse’s 2005 release “?“. This half of the first disc features accompaniment from a horn section, a five voice backing vocal ensemble as well as a 14 voice choir. As many as 38 performers are said to have taken part in this production. Bass player Randy George also turns in a rousing bass solo as an intro to Solid as the Sun.
Disc two, the second night begins with Morse’s 2007 release Sola Scriptura being performed in its entirety. Disc two is a bit more mellow and introspective musically. The conclusion of this album’s impartation is underscored by the choir and two interpretive dancers, one of whom happens to be Morse’s daughter. As a segue into the finale of this particular night, is the acoustic Waterfall off the Neal Morse Band’s The Grand Experiment. The finale encompasses two songs from Spock’s Beard, At the End of the Day having Spock’s Beard drummer, Nick D’Virgilio assuming the drum stool. For Wind at My Back, D’Virgilio joins Morse at the front of the stage for one verse of lead vocals and backing vocals for the remainder of the song.
A 16 and a half minute medley of songs from Transatlantic’s The Whirlwind Album makes up the encore. This medley is highlighted by Keagy once again joining in and conveying a graceful electric guitar solo followed by a joint solo with guitarist Eric Gillette. This grand finale sees all performers on the stage making contributions to one final crescendo.
Also included in the set is a one hour documentary of the making of Morsefest 2015, featuring interviews with each band member. The making of, offers insight into each member’s preparation for the event and how much work by so many people goes into pulling off an undertaking of this magnitude.
If you are a fan of Neal Morse and were unable to make it to this event, this DVD/CD release will no doubt fulfill your fix of Neal Morse. And not to fear, as Morsefest 2017 has just been announced for September 1st and 2nd in Nashville.