Spock’s Beard @ The House of Blues, Hollywood CA 08/21/00
This had to be THE live show where I felt very much in the minority. While 99% of the crowd was having a good ol’ proggy time witnessing the legendary Spock’s Beard, me and my girlie had an extremely difficult time enjoying the show. The group was insanely talented, wicked talented! They were having a great time onstage and with plenty of enthusiasm and friendly chatter from Neal Morse. His voice was flawless and his work on the keys and guitar was just as impeccable. Nick D’Virgilio is an excellent drummer, but damn that man could sing too. His backing vox was out of this world, up there with Neal’s voice.
The songs were epic showcases of “classic” prog rock, colorful, sweeping and lush…and maybe that was the problem for me. At the time I hadn’t explored progressive groups outside of the progmetal subgenre. I preferred the crunch, the heavy riffs, the double bass drumming, etc. Classic Genesis and Yes hadn’t yet made it to my playlist. What I was spinning at the time was music by Queensryche, Conception, Metallica’s Justice album, Fates Warning’s APSOG, etc. So in retrospect, I couldn’t fully appreciate the sweeping arrangements, Beatlesque influences, and non-metal flavorings etc. Everyone else in the club appeared to be having a GREAT time. Any opener that can achieve that feat is awesome in my book.
Neal Morse wore a DT2000 tour jersey during the show, referencing it on a couple occasions to great crowd approval. The Beard rocked the house, giving the DT fans a generous helping of proggy goodness. This was the last night of The Beard’s tour with DT. As such, while SB performed, the guys in DT pulled various pranks during their set. In response, the guys in SB all came out onstage during DT’s performance of “The Spirit Carries On” to sing on the final chorus. Songs performed tonight included “Day For Night,” “The Healing Colors of Sound,” and “June.” I think “Thoughts Pt. 2” and “The Doorway” may have been performed but I can’t be certain. Gross out moment of the night came when the guy a few yards over couldn’t hold his liquor and ended up puking all over the floor, much to the waitress’s disgust and frustration. At least he took care of it and cleaned it up himself. Never seen anyone hurl at a HOB show, hope the dude remembered the show.