Like Live at the Whiskey & NEARfest, There and Here was mostly recorded right off the board, so this is the real deal -- no overdubs or anything, just raw live Spock's Beard. Since this approach conveys the band's energy so viscerally, the spotty sound quality is a worthy sacrifice. It honestly sounds pretty darn good, despite the fact that it's really just an official bootleg.
As the band was touring for V, a lot of the two CDs are devoted to that album. Hearing "At the End of the Day", which is just about the best song ever, is a dream come true. It has some of the band's most intense live moments, and the heavy guitars surrounding Ryo's solo crush. The theatrical prog frenzy of "Thoughts (Part II)" is stunningly precise and intense. The band proves they are the master of tricky vocal counterpoints (also evidenced on fan favorite "Gibberish", which also appears on this album). "Revelation" sounds thicker and grungier, which may have been the intent all along. On disc 2, we are treated to the band's passionate performance of "The Great Nothing", their half-hour masterpiece. There's also some favorites that have rarely see a setlist. The band kicks off with "Beware of Darkness", and towards the end of disc 1 they perform the stunning "Harms Way". This song's majesty is tremendous, and live the energy is incredible. Alan Morse's solo on this song is intoxicatingly beautiful and gives me massive chills every time I hear it. "Ryo's Solo", which ends the first disc, is a crazy Hammond-fest that's zany and fun.
Some strange stuff appears on the second disc, including a number of fun covers (any Spock's Beard cover song humbles the original artist). You'll hear the Beard's spin on Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Santana. The 20-minute medley of consists of "The Doorway", Steve Howe's "Mood for a Day", "The Light", and "June". During "The Doorway"'s acoustic interlude, brothers Alan and Neal perform both guitar parts on _one_ guitar. It's very weird. And all throughout the album, Neal Morse has strange and funny chatter with the audience which make me laugh, though I'm not sure why.
Spock's Beard has released a lot of live releases relative to studio albums at the time I've written this (five live albums, not including The Beard Is Out There, where InsideOut Music just took The Official Live Bootleg and added "Thoughts" to it). This doesn't make There and Here any less valuable. In some ways, it's the best. Heck, just hearing the awesome performance of "Harms Way" is worth the price. Mighty is Spock's Beard!
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