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Acclaimed prog rocker Neal Morse returns with a new live set, “Jesus Christ The Exorcist (Live At Morsefest 2018)” As the title suggests, this new live album and DVD and Blu-ray, was captured at the annual Morsefest in 2018, where Neal and band performed his then new album, “Jesus Christ The Exorcist” in it’s entirety.

This unique live album presents the entire “Jesus Christ The Exorcist” story set as a progressive rock musical. Here, the biggest change from any typical Neal Morse performance was that he was the musical director and not the main performer. The backing band included some of his usual collaborators like Bill Hubauer and Randy George, of course. Eric Gillette, usually the guitarist, was the drummer for the musical and showed off his incredible skills while Paul Bielatowicz was on lead guitar for the show. The orchestra included a horn section, a choir, backing singers, and a string quartet. The staging and lighting was nothing short of impressive, with the visuals by Christian Rios and sound by Jerry Guidroz (Sons of Apollo, Neal Morse Band, Haken) taking things to the next level.

The lead role of Jesus was taken by Ted Leonard of Enchant and Spock’s Beard. Leonard’s voice is one of the best in rock music and he sounded stellar throughout the night. Joining Leonard was a fantastic collection of singers that included Nick D’Virgilio (SPOCK’S BEARD, BIG BIG TRAIN) along with Jake Livgren (PROTOKAW), Matt Smith (THEOCRACY), John Schlitt (PETRA), Rick Florian (WHITE HEART), Mark Pogue, and Wil Morse. However, perhaps the one that stole the show was newcomer Talon David, a local Nashville singer who took the role of Mary Magdalene.  She has an incredible voice and brought many to tears during the finale duet with Ted Leonard. A highlight moment during the show was in the first act with the song “Legion” where Morse introduced his Gentle Giant influenced vocal medley with multiple vocalists all singing different lines in unison.  

Whether or not an audience member knows or appreciates the subject matter might influence their opinion on the show, but it is impossible not to be impressed by the spectacle of this performance. What Neal Morse was able to write and produce with limited time and rehearsals is nothing short of amazing. The music is the definition of  epic prog and certainly will delight any Morse fan. 

You can preorder this release in its different formats here: https://www.nealmorse.com/product/jesus-christ-the-exorcist-live-at-morsefest-2018/

neal-morse-jesus-christ-the-exorcist-custom-9339874-2150751

Tracklist:

CD1

  1. Introduction
  2. Overture
  3. Getaway
  4. Gather The People
  5. Jesus’ Baptism
  6. Jesus’ Temptation
  7. There Is A Highway
  8. The Woman Of Seven Devils
  9. Free At Last
  10. The Madman Of The Gadarenes
  11. Love Has Called My Name
  12. Better Weather
  13. The Keys To The Kingdom
  14. Get Behind Me Satan

CD2

  1. He Must Go To The Cross
  2. Jerusalem
  3. Hearts Full Of Holes
  4. The Last Supper
  5. Gethsemane
  6. Jesus Before The Council And Peter’s Denial
  7. Judas’ Death
  8. Jesus Before Pilate And The Crucifixion
  9. Mary At The Tomb
  10. The Greatest Love Of All
  11. Love Has Called My Name (Reprise)
  12. Morsefest 2018 End Credits

DVD / BR:

  1. Introduction
  2. Overture
  3. Getaway
  4. Gather The People
  5. Jesus’ Baptism
  6. Jesus’ Temptation
  7. There Is A Highway
  8. The Woman Of Seven Devils
  9. Free At Last
  10. The Madman Of The Gadarenes
  11. Love Has Called My Name
  12. Better Weather
  13. The Keys To The Kingdom
  14. Get Behind Me Satan
  15. He Must Go To The Cross
  16. Jerusalem
  17. Hearts Full Of Holes
  18. The Last Supper
  19. Gethsemane
  20. Jesus Before The Council And Peter’s Denial
  21. Judas’ Death
  22. Jesus Before Pilate And The Crucifixion
  23. Mary At The Tomb
  24. The Greatest Love Of All
  25. Love Has Called My Name (Reprise)
  26. Morsefest 2018 End Credits

– MORSEFEST 2018: Behind the Curtain

Line-up:

Musicians:

Neal Morse: Guitars, keyboards

Paul Bielatowicz: Guitars

Bill Hubauer: Keyboards

Eric Gillette: Drums

Randy George: Bass

Cast:

Ted Leonard: Jesus

Talon David: Mary Magdalene

Nick D’Virgilio: Judas

Rick Florian: The Devil

Matt Smith: John the Baptist

Jake Livgren: Peter

John Schlitt: Caiaphas

Neal Morse: Pilate, Demon 1, Disciple 1

Mark Pogue: Israelite 1, The Madman of the Gadarenes, Pharisee 2

Wil Morse: Israelite 2, Demon 3, Pharisee 1

Gabe Klein: Demon 2, Pharisee 4

Gideon Klein: Demon 4

Julie Harrison: Servant Girl

Additional musicians:

Wil Morse: Percussion, keyboards

Gabriel Klein: Percussion

Violin I: Laura Epling

Violin II: Jake Tudor

Viola: Michael Lucarelli

Cello: Maggie Chafee

Double Bass: Gideon Klein

Horn: Holly Smith

Trombone: David Cooper

Trumpet: Dominique Caster

Sax/Flute: Gabriel Collins

Choir director: Gideon Klein

Background vocals: Amy Pippin, April Zachary, Debbie Bresee and Julie Harrison

Choir: Bill Gilliam, Lisa Gilliam, David Klein, Laurie Klein, Jerry Klein, Rosie Klein, Robin Hanloh, Martin Wilde, Joanie Howard, Kathy O’Keefe, Brant Pippin, Levi Pippin, Josh Turrentine, Trevor Larkin, Elizabeth Turrentine, Pamela George, Dominic D’Virgilio and Marie-Claire Toussaint

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