Een droom werd werkelijkheid voor alle Spock’s Beard fans die verleden jaar aanwezig waren op het jaarlijkse Morsefest in Nashville. De originele lineup aangevuld met de huidige bandleden speelden de veelgeprezen dubbel CD concept plaat SNOW in zijn geheel. Het was een moment waarvan de fans dachten dit nooit te zullen meemaken. SNOW was het laatste album dat Neal Morse opnam met de band voordat hij de band verliet in 2002.
Nu kunnen eindelijk alle Spock’s Beard fans over de hele wereld deze gedenkwaardige avond zelf beleven. SNOW LIVE komt uit op 10 November via Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/SONY in verschillende versies: 2 DVD/2CD Digipack, 3 LP Vinyl (komt in vier verschillende kleuren), 2 Disc Blu-ray en als een 2 DVD/2 CD/2 Blu-ray packet met een 48-pagina Artbook, poster en postcards.
Spock’s Beard bestaat uit Neal Morse (lead vocals, piano, synths, elektrische en akoestische gitaar), Alan Morse (elektrische gitaren, zang), Ted Leonard (elektrische en akoestische gitaar, zang), Jimmy Keegan (drums, percussie, zang), Nick D’Virgilio (drums, percussie, zang, akoestische gitaren), Ryo Okumoto (keyboards–hammond orgel, mellotron, jupiter 8, minimoog, vocoder), en Dave Meros (bas, zang).
“It is difficult for me to know what to say about SNOW and Spock’s Beard and this whole amazing event that happened in 2016,” zegt Neal Morse. “I guess what I would like to share from my perspective is that this is an album that meant a lot to many people. It touched the hearts and lives and had profound meaning to people all over the world and in a way, it was like the child that myself and the band bore and then put up for adoption. Since we never played it live and I quit the band right after the album was finished, we never got to experience what it meant to others. We never got to see how it lived out in the world. Until now. I think we always knew that we were going to get together and play it at some point. It just needed to happen. But, as you can imagine, there was a lot of pain associated with this album. So, while Nick (D’Virgilio) had brought it up several times over the years, there was always so much going on in our lives that we put it off and said we were too busy. It just never felt like the right time. Or that’s the way it seemed anyway.”
Bekijk hier een voorproefje met Made Alive / Overture
Progreport.com omschreef Morsefest 2016 als volgt: “…an event for the ages. For any Spock’s Beard and Neal Morse fan it was a wish come true but it also showed the power of this Prog community which continues to bring people from all corners of the world together to celebrate great music and make friends. If you were there, it will be a memory for a lifetime, if you weren’t, don’t miss the next one!”
Rond de oorspronkelijke release van SNOW, AllMusic.com bewierookte de plaat: “Spock’s Beard are the quintessential American progressive rock band. Their music has consistently been brave, restless, and often visionary. On SNOW, a double-CD concept album, they go for broke…Spock’s Beard have taken all of their strengths instrumentally, lyrically, and vocally, and concentrated them in this effort about an albino boy on a noble, if idiosyncratic, quest. While concept albums have been done on much loftier notions, they seem to falter under their own weight, or the light of actual history. Here, Neal and Alan Morse, and their bandmates, use a much more subjective fantasy story, and create a spiritual, physical, ideological, and emotional set of circumstances that follow their protagonist through 26 songs. Musically, SNOW is a wonder…Spock’s Beard has been pushing at their own boundaries for a while now, and with SNOW, they shatter them and enter into the very promise of what progressive rock is always supposed to deliver: discovering some heretofore unknown sonic territory via the individual and collective focus of creating through the applied effort of one’s best musical efforts.”
Neal Morse concludeert: “Obviously, the stars aligned and many prayers were answered as we gathered to play the SNOW album in its entirety for the first time at Morsefest 2016. Some brilliant person had the idea to enlist the extreme talents of both Jimmy (Keegan) and Ted (Leonard) which brought a dazzle and musicality that is off the chart. Between that and Rich Mouser’s astounding mix, not to mention Thad Kesten’s team of amazing video people, this is one of the finest live concert packages of which I have ever been involved.”