Thursday, July 28, 2022

Transatlantic @ l'Olympia, Paris - July 28th, 2022



Less than two months after two of its core members played the Trianon in Paris as part of the Neal Morse Band, neo-Prog supergroup Transatlantic decided to end their short European tour with a bang at the famous Olympia theater in the French capital.
Be warned: this show isn't easily digestible if you're just a casual fan or if you aren't accustomed to complex, ambitious and challenging music. The first set consisted of their current record The Absolute Universe played in its entirety, which amounts to roughly a hundred minutes of some of the finest modern progressive rock you're likely to hear today, sounding like if Genesis and Pink Floyd had collided in the 21st century.

The second set was a slightly abridged rendition of their The Whirlwind album, followed by some excerpts from SMPTe and Bridge Across Forever. 

Quite a hearty meal, clocking in at over three hours, the show was absolutely breathtaking. The musicianship is of course absolutely astounding, with every player on top of their game, never eclipsing each other, industriously replicating the complex arrangements and even flawlessly reproducing the studio versions' heavenly vocal harmonies. What's most disconcerting is how easy and fun they all make it seem: they are not up on that stage sweating over their parts, they are having a blast. And consequently, so is the audience.

Every member of Transatlantic is usually busy in another group, and getting them all together for a short tour isn't easy, or cheap. In fact, in almost a quarter century of existence, this is only their fifth album and tour cycle. Transatlantic is not a commodity. Transatlantic is a rare treat. Transatlantic is a privilege.

Thankfully this privilege was captured on film for an eventual DVD release, so we re-experience this epic, grandiose, magical night over and over again.

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