Neal Morse finally made his way to Baltimore to play and the world is now perfect. Playing their 2016 album, The Similitude of a Dream, in its entirety, the former lead singer of Spock’s Beard was incredible to see for the first time for me. Always skipping over Baltimore for some reason or another, Morse put on a very long set with a 15 minute intermission after “Breath of Angels.” Breaking out loads of props throughout the night’s performance as well, Morse, guitarist Eric Gillette, keyboardist Bill Hubauer, bassist Randy George, and drummer Mike Portnoy were in perfect unison all night with such intricate playing music. Following the album song for song, “Long Day” started the night off followed by “Overture,” “The Dream,” and “City of Destruction.” With the band not taking a break for anything, the last night of the entire tour, proved to be a great one. When Morse finally had a chance to speak during the second set, he mentioned to the audience this was his first visit to Baltimore ever and then Portnoy butted in and told the crowd this was his umpteenth visit to Baltimore, plugged Hammerjacks, and quickly ran back behind his kit to start playing “The Man in the Iron Cage.” And he was just majestic to watch playing. Now I had not seen him perform live for over a decade with Dream Theater, and he was just like I remembered with meticulous playing all the while having fun. “Sloth” featured Morse dressed in a costume mask of a sloth and slowly singing, like a sloth might. “I’m Running” literally saw Morse running around the entire audience in the crowd playing guitar. “Broken Sky” ended the second set and the album was complete.
The band came out for an encore and played “The Call” off of his first NMB album and the crowd went bonkers.
I do so hope he returns here one day very soon as Neal Morse is a one of a kind unique soul in the prog world and more than proved himself this evening.
Neal Morse @ Baltimore Soundstage
Photo Credit: Nicole Devitio