NEAL MORSE — Morsefest! 5015 — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

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Movie · 2017

Filed under Metal Related


Blu-Ray 1:

1. Intro (1:56)
2. The Call (10:25)
3. The Grand Experiment (7:36)
4. Go The Way You Go (14:01)
5. MacArthur Park (13:36)
6. A Whole Nother Trip (24:14)
7. New Jerusalem (8:33)
8. Question Mark Intro (3:16)
9. The Temple Of The Living God (6:35)
10. Another World (2:16)
11. The Outsider (2:52)
12. Sweet Elation (2:46)
13. In The Fire (8:02)
14. Solid As The Sun (7:57)
15. The Glory Of The Lord (3:05)
16. Outside Looking In (5:12)
17. 12 (7:00)
18. Entrance (6:14)
19. Inside His Presence (7:16)
20. The Temple Of The Living God Reprise (1:14)

Total Time 144:06

Blu-Ray 2:

1. Intro (2:06)
2. The Door (34:28)
3. The Conflict (27:55)
4. Heaven In My Heart (5:42)
5. The Conclusion (17:34)
6. Waterfall (7:56)
7. At The End Of The Day (17:07)
8. Wind At My Back (7:02)
9. Whirlwind Medley (16:37)
10. Thank yous (7:17)

Total Time 143:44


- Neal Morse / Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
- Eric Gillette / Guitars, Vocals
- Bill Hubauer / Keyboards, Vocals, Clarinet, Guitars
- Randy George / Bass, Vocals, Keyboards
- Mike Portnoy / Drums, Vocals

Guest/Session Musicians:

- Joe Douglas / Alto Saxophone
- Amy Pippin / Backing Vocals
- April Zachary / Backing Vocals
- Debbie Breese / Backing Vocals
- Julie Harrison / Backing Vocals
- Stacie Funk / Backing Vocals
- Wil Morse / Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Choir
- Nathan Brenton / Cello
- Nick D'Virgilio / Drums, Vocals
- Phil Keaggy / Guitars
- Gabe Klein / Percussion
- Nate Heffron / Tenor Saxophone
- Oscar Utterstrom / Trombone
- Ben Clark / Trumpet
- Emmanuel Kalechi / Trumpet
- Eric Brenton / Violin
- Gideon Klein / Choir, Conductor
- Aaron Webb / Choir
- Ally Smith / Choir
- Amber Thompson / Choir
- Ashley Morrel / Choir
- Bonnie Massie / Choir
- Brenda Causey / Choir
- Christian Pippin / Choir
- Dave Klein / Choir
- Jerry Klein / Choir
- Joanie Howard / Choir
- Joey Pippin / Choir
- Justin Zachary / Choir
- Kathy O'Keefe / Choir
- Laurie Klein / Choir
- Reva Farmer / Choir
- Rosie Klein / Choir

About this release

Release date: March 24th, 2017.
Label: Radiant Records

Strictly speaking it is The Neal Morse Band performing on this release and some of their songs are played, however it was issued under Neal Morse and primarily focuses on his albums ? and Sola Scriptura.

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition

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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Morsefest! 2015 is a live release by US musician Neal Morse. Morsefest! shows are without a doubt the most special Neal Morse shows that a fan could attend – a two day event with a different Neal Morse set each night. Morsefest! 2015 was released on either a 2x blu-ray or 4 x CD/2x DVD package in 2017. Strictly speaking it is The Neal Morse Band playing on the release – Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Randy George, Eric Gillette & Bill Hubauer – but Morsefest! 2015 was released under just Neal Morse's name likely due to the event's focus on his albums ? (2005) and Sola Scriptura (2007).

While the focus is indeed on those albums, with ? played in full on night one and Sola Scriptura in full on night two, the set is varied with various extra tracks. The Neal Morse Band had released their debut album The Grand Experiment earlier in 2015 and that album also gets a fair airing across the two nights, particularly in the first half of night one with The Call, the title track and the limited edition bonus track New Jerusalem gets played, while Waterfall was featured on night two complete with some instrument changes for various band members. Three Spock's Beard songs are also brought out, Go the Way You Go on night one and At the End of the Day and Wind at My Back on night two, the latter two featuring Nick D'Virgilio first on drums then co-lead vocals. An edited version of Transatlantic's near eighty minute whole album epic The Whirlwind closes the second night, with further guest vocals by D'Virgilio and guitar by Phil Keaggy, who also makes an appearance on night one and was the support act for the event. Finally the band brings to the live stage for the first time a lesser known Neal Morse epic called A Whole Nother Trip, which appeared on his first solo album while still a member of Spock's Beard amongst what was otherwise a bunch of pop songs. There is also a cover of the song MacArthur Park, originally released by Richard Harris, which has been given the prog treatment by Bill Hubauer on challenge from Mike Portnoy. Neal Morse hates the song apparently and always swore he'd never cover it, but there you go. Hubauer sings lead on it.

The main draw to the Morsefest! 2015 live release is of course the full performance of two of Neal Morse's best known albums. ? is basically one long song in and of itself and is treated like the crowning piece of what Morse describes as a night of epics – a fair description when the shortest song is about seven and a half minutes long. For me personally the performance of Sola Scriptura is the key focal point of the two night show though. That's my personal favourite Neal Morse album, not to mention the one that really got me into his music. It's also one of his heaviest and most metal works which along with various parts of The Neal Morse Band's music gives a metallic edge to those otherwise symphonic progressive rock fuelled double concert.

Morsefest! 2015 is one heck of a show if you're into progressive rock. The scope is tremendous not just through the double show but each night's set is over two hours a pop as well. The amount of musicians on stage at one time goes far beyond the core band – far too many to recite in a review. Suffice to say there's a lot of people involved to pull this off. The sound and picture quality of the blu-ray release is excellent and you certainly get a lot of music for your money. The only fault with the set is that one listed bonus feature called Prog Jeopardy is completely missing from the release. Not sure what the story is there, perhaps it was planned and had to be cut for some reason and they forget to change the inserts before going to the press, who knows? But you weren't buying this for the bonus features anyway right?

There are several of the Morsefest shows released by the time of writing this review in September 2020 so which one holds the most appeal to each fan will of course be different. 2015 was a no brainer for me due to my particular love of Sola Scriptura. Someone else may think 2014's focus on Testimony (2003) and One (2004) or 2017's Testimony 2 (2011) and The Similitude of a Dream (2016) to be better options for them. Regardless any Neal Morse fan owns it to themselves to pick up at least one of these releases for his most special and exclusive concerts.

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