TRANSATLANTIC – The Final Flight: Live At L’Olympia [The Final Album] (2023)
Following the release of 2021’s ambitious studio album The Absolute Universe, progressive-rock super-group TRANSATLANTIC presents ”The Final Flight: Live At L’Olympia”. A document of the bands triumphant show in Paris, the last night of their tour in support of their most recent studio album, it sees Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas (along with Ted Leonard) performing the entirety of The Absolute Universe (The Ultimate Version), before returning to the stage to perform some of their extensive back catalog.
A night as special as they come, this AUDIO document presents the band at their most majestic. Actually, these songs sound better here than on the studio recordings.
This is the ‘final flight’ as TRANSATLANTIC parted ways, and this show is a worthy circle closer. Transatlantic might have finished its final flight but what a legacy they’ve left behind.
Just over a year ago we were celebrating the release of the fifth studio album from Transatlantic – The Absolute Universe. By their own standards, it was a monster. Two versions, with an extended one as an alternative to the ‘abridged’ version, but as what was perhaps their most accessible album.
The question on the lips of fans was to which version they would play if they toured. Here’s the answer. It comes in the form of a recording from the final show of the tour – and if we’re led to believe it – their final show ever, at L’Olympia in Paris.
Well, not quite as they’re set to play at the 2023 Morsefest later in the year and will no doubt mark that with a live release.
But meanwhile there was never any doubt that the Morse/Stolt/Portnoy/Trewavas collective would go out with anything other than a massive bang.
A full performance of The Absolute Universe is the main course and the live version (necessitating Roine Stolt to adopt a music stand such must have been the magnitude of the task of delivering three hours of music) provides a mini mash-up of what they created in the studio.
Great to report that the audio / bass contribution and presence of Pete Trewavas is well up in the mix again. Easy to miss out on the low end in such a kaleidoscope of musical talent, but as Mike Portnoy has suggested more than once, Pete is a musical genius.
There’s an added poignancy as we hit the final straight – from Can You Feel It? through The Greatest Story Never Ends (although it’s about to…) and the Love Made A Way finale. There’s one climax after another whether it’s in the vocal parts, one of Roine’s solos or the grandiose crescendos you only find in Prog Rock.
The highlight of the album is also the highlight of the live performance. A hint of emotion as we reach the end of the Absolute Universe? Highly likely.
And what do they do as an encore? Another hour that kicks off with their slimmed-down The Whirlwind medley that incorporates the opening fanfare, a big chunk of Rose Coloured Glasses, Is It Really Happening? and a reprise of the main theme.
The real star though is The Final Medley which reaches back to the first two albums and pulls together a bank of Transatlantic greatest bits, greatest hits and greatest riffs. An instrumental tour de force, spot the links between Duel With The Devil, All Of The Above, My New World, Stranger In Your Soul and maybe more.
01 – The Absolute Universe Intro (Live in Paris 2022)
02 – Overture (Live in Paris 2022)
03 – Reaching for the Sky (Live in Paris 2022)
04 – Higher Than the Morning (Live in Paris 2022)
05 – The Darkness in the Light (Live in Paris 2022)
06 – Take Now My Soul (Live in Paris 2022)
07 – Bully (Live in Paris 2022)
08 – Rainbow Sky (Live in Paris 2022)
09 – Looking for the Light (Live in Paris 2022)
10 – The World We Used to Know (Live in Paris 2022)
01 – MP Intro (Live in Paris 2022)
02 – The Sun Comes Up Today (Live in Paris 2022)
03 – Love Made a Way (Prelude) (Live in Paris 2022)
04 – Owl Howl (Live in Paris 2022)
05 – Solitude (Live in Paris 2022)
06 – Belong (Live in Paris 2022)
07 – Lonesome Rebel (Live in Paris 2022)
08 – Can You Feel It (Live in Paris 2022)
09 – Looking for the Light (Reprise) (Live in Paris 2022)
10 – The Greatest Story Never Ends (Live in Paris 2022)
11 – Love Made a Way (Live in Paris 2022)
01 – The Whirlwind Suite (Live in Paris 2022)
02 – NM & RS Intro (Live in Paris 2022)
03 – We All Need Some Light (Live in Paris 2022)
04 – The Final Medley (Live in Paris 2022)