• Steven Wilson | 013 (2-5-2012)

    Mag 3 2012, 10:07

    Wed 2 May – Steven Wilson
    The second time visiting Steven Wilson. This show was similar to the show in De Boerderij last year. Major differences are: sound quality, new guitar player and a slightly different set list. Let me explain myself a bit further:

    The 013 veneu in Tilburg is a medium/big venue with a superior sound system. compared to the smaller Boerderij. Especially in the lower frequencies the 013 sound is way more defined. Resulting in thunderous low bass sounds from Nick and Adam.

    New on guitar was Niko Tsonev, relieving Aziz Ibrahim of 6 string duties. Wow what a player. Sound wise sounding much like Steven Wilson, however especially when soloing more of a virtuose.

    Another highlight was Luminol, a new track to be released in spring next year. This epic piece was themed in a much more uplifting and positive vibe than the Grace For Drowning tracks. Style wise `comparable` to Saga/Yes/Genesis/Gentle Giant. Don't get me wrong. This composition is something new in itself like we have come to expect from mister Wilson.

    The entire show was packed with musical highlights. Be it an impossible drum fill, keyboard solo, emotional vocals, walls of aggressive/dark sound or tastefull guitar riff. All of these musicians are brilliant in their own way.

    My only point of criticism is the way the saxophone and clarinet were mixed down. In the more heavy sections of the show they were barely distinguishable in the mix. The drums also could have been turned up a notch.

    Anyhow, this evening was yet another experience I will not forget any time soon!

    Tracklist (from setlist fm):
    1 - No Twilight Within the Courts of the Sun
    2 - Index
    3 - Deform to Form a Star
    4 - Sectarian
    5 - Postcard
    6 - Remainder the Black Dog
    7 - Harmony Korine
    8 - Abandoner
    9 - Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye
    10 - Luminol
    11 - No Part of Me
    12- Raider II
    13 - Get All You Deserve
  • Yes | Ancienne Belgique (20-11-2011)

    Dic 13 2011, 15:35

    High expectations for this gig. After the impressive and refreshing release of Fly From Here stakes are high for Yes. At least I was expecting a lot from these legendary Brits. The gig was staged in in Brussels, a wonderful stage almost comparable to the Heineken Music Hall in my own nations capital Amsterdam. Before the show a DJ entertained the thirsty crowds with some nice Prog Rock tunes. Who doesn't love to listen to 'Red' by King Crimson right before a Yes gig :P
    On to the gig itself, there was no band opening for Yes. The band started of with Yours is no Disgrace, one of their many classics. After a minute or so the band was warmed up and the vocal harmonies pumped out of the lovely line array speaker system in Ancienne!
    The Fly From Here concept is derived from the Fly From Here track, composed by Geoff Downess and Trevor Horn from the Buggles (and during the Drama era from Yes). This track was further evolved and also played during the 1980 Drama tour. It's no surprise then that quite some other Drama tracks were played during this concert.
    First amongst which was Tempus Fugit. Time indeed flies. I just loved the compressed bass sound Mr. Squire got out of his Rickenbacker! The song itself was played very well.
    Your Move / I've Seen All Good People was next up. Another of those Yes classics. This is where the first little mistakes where made. The vocal harmonies just weren't spot on. I guess it's not fair to just blame David Benoir for this, lets be clear about this. David's vocal capabilities where nothing but great! He and Chris just didn't align on every harmony.

    Next up was Life on a Film Set, the first of the Fly From Here album played this evening. And this is where the most brilliance was shown. Life on a Film Set and the Fly From Here suite where easily my favourite tracks of the evening! Perfect in execution, enhanced with cool background videos and played enthusiastically! On these tracks David shone most brightly!
    In between Life on a Film Set and The Fly From Here suite where another couple of classic tracks; And You and I, Solitaire and Clap. The last of whom where performed by the brilliant Steve Howe. This must be the second favourite part of the evening for me.

    After Fly from here came Wonderous Stories, one of my favourite Yes tracks. I'm sad to say the execution yet again was a little choppy. Next up where Into the storm and Machine Messiah. Machine Messiah was a real surprise for me. This somewhat heavy 'Rushesque' song was in perfect contrast with the more classic Yes tunes! Well chosen!
    Last track before the encore was Starship Trooper. Maybe one of Yes' most famous, and most played songs. Wow! what an experience to hear this one live for the first time. However halfway the track, Chris and Alan missed a bar, which messed up a couple of bars of the song. These guys where starting to show some fatigue. Which is perfectly understandable for these grandfathers of prog rock!
    The encore, Roundabout was yet again rather sloppy. Still it's fun to hear this timeless masterpiece live for the first time in my life.

    All in all this was a memorable night. Great show, nice ambiance and one hell of a lot of great musicians on stage! Next time these guys play at a venue near me, count me in!

    Setlist: (from setlist.fm)
    1 Yours Is No Disgrace
    2 Tempus Fugit
    3 Your Move - I've Seen All Good People
    4 Life On A Film Set
    5 And You and I
    6 Solitaire
    7 Clap
    8 Fly From Here - Overture
    9 Fly From Here - Pt I - We Can Fly
    10 Fly From Here - Pt II - Sad Night at the Airfield
    11 Fly From Here - Pt III - Madman at the Screens
    12 Fly From Here - Pt IV - Bumpy Ride
    13 Fly From Here - Pt V - We Can Fly (reprise)
    14 Wondrous Stories
    15 Into The Storm
    16 Machine Messiah
    17 Starship Trooper
    18 Roundabout
  • Steven Wilson | De Boerderij (30-10-2011)

    Nov 25 2011, 12:24

    This is my first time attending a solo Steven Wilson gig. This is simply because I wasn't that deep into prog when Insurgentes came out in 2008. After seeing Porcupine Tree and Blackfield in Amsterdam I knew to expect nothing but a spectacular show from this brilliant British song smith.

    The gig was staged in the main hall in de Boerderij, as always the ambience was great. The average age of the attendees was somewhat lower than I'm used to at their prog gigs. People from all age groups were represented quite evenly however people in there twenties/thirties made up the most of the crowd.

    Lasse Hoiles works yet again spiced the entire show with his artwork. While waiting for the show to start we were treated with projections on a large (semi transparent) canvas that hung right in front of the stage (between the stage and the crowd). These projection were accompanied by some intense and haunting noisy/droneish sound scape (composed by Steven Wilson as Bass Communion). Most of Hoiles work is rather dark and macabre this, as we've seen many times, fits perfectly with Steven Wilson's melancholic, nostalgic and dark compositions. So big up for this amazing artist! Make sure to check more of his work at www.lassehoile.com

    On to the main part of the evening, the gig itself! All of you that listened to the Grace For Drowning album know that it's a rather complex release. I mean, choirs, unusual synth parts, mind blowing drum sections and the use of saxophone, clarinet and flute all packed together in a perfectly balanced suite of music epicness. I honestly thought Wilson would not be able to make the live performance sound like the recording. But once again the master proved me wrong :)

    The show started of with No Twilight Within the Courts of the Sun, followed by Index. Index was introduced by Wilson using a vocoder unit. Which brings me to the fact that Steven was rather introvert (towards the crowd) throughout the entire show. He however interacted with much excitement with his fellow musicians. This behaviour suits him well in my opinion. Since his crowd interaction often is rather timid.
    Back to Index, this obscure and rather creepy composition was executed with great skill by the entire band and shows of Stevens excellent poetic writing abilities.
    Next up were Deform to Form a Star and Sectarian. Sectarian was one of the first of the louder, more aggressive songs. The following songs were Harmony Korine and Abandoner. Both tracks from the Insurgentes album. Postcard, one of the more approachable tracks of the album, was augmented with macabre imagery by Lasse Hoile. Wow, what a great combination of music and art!

    Remainder the Black Dog is one of my favourite tracks of the album, needless to say I was exited to hear this track in a live setting. Coolest thing about it are the keyboard (Mini Moog) parts that are essentially really dark sounding arpeggio's. I thought these arpeggio's (who are quite fast) were played with an arpegiator, this however was not the case. Adam Holzman played these arps spot on by hand! The next track; Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye was a nice contrasting track to Remainder, being one of the more sensitive tracks on the album. This more relaxed part of the show was extended with No Part Of Me.

    Veneno Para Las Hadas was opened by Aziz Ibrahim, the lead guitar player on Steven Wilsons touring band. This guy also deserves some praise! Although this Aziz has his own distinctive style, he was very capable to mimic Wilson's style of playing. Veneno Para Las Hadas was a nice turning point in the show, this track served as a bridge between the more laid back tracks and Raider II. The tension in Veneno Para Las Hadas did that job just perfect!

    Raider II was the last track of the main show. Raider II is a complex epic song of 23 minutes. As always perfectly executed by Wilson and his band. The visuals were also stunning on this track. With returning themes from Remainder The Black Dog and Sectarian. As an encore Wilson returned on stage with the Insurgentes gas mask on and played Get All You Deserve. Sadly this was the end of the show. Most of the crowd was hoping for a couple more tracks but it was not going to happen!

    This was definitely one of my all time favourite concerts. And most certainly the most inspiring and impressive gig of 2011. I'm aware that this review is not very objective (me being a Steven Wilson fan). But honestly, I can't think of any negative criticism on this artist and this gig!

    Tracklist (from setlist fm):
    1 - No Twilight Within the Courts of the Sun
    2 - Index
    3 - Deform to Form a Star
    4 - Sectarian
    5 - Harmony Korine
    6 - Abandoner
    7 - Postcard
    8 - Remainder the Black Dog
    9 - Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye
    10 - No Part of Me
    11 - Veneno Para Las Hadas
    12 - Raider II
    13 - Get All You Deserve
  • Neal Morse [Testimony 2 tour] | De Boerderij (4-6-2011)

    Giu 6 2011, 7:04

    Sat 4 Jun – Neal Morse, Neal Morse band
    To start of this review I must admit I haven't listened to Testimony 2 all that much. The concept of the album is great! I love it when the artist opens up about his personal life and become more human that way ;) The thing that bugs me is the execution of the whole concept. Although the compositions are brilliant in many aspects, they somehow do not move me as much any more as say Testimony 1 or Sola Scriptura. Dont get me wrong, I'm still loving all the Neal Morse stuff, its just not one of my personal favourites. That said, let's move on to the review of the gig itself.

    The gig started at about eight thirty. And Neal and the band where welcomed like old friends. Neal realy gained a lot of popularity in the - more mainstream Christian subculture - Netherlands due to his gigs at the "Flevo festival". And these guys are a nice croud! The overall feeling was not a magical and in harmony as say when Spock's or the Agents Of Mercy played the Boerderij last year.

    The sound was not so great (6 out of 10), to loud for my taste. The vocals bass and the drums where distinctly present at all times. This can't be said for the rest of the band. Which is quite a large band. Neal finaly got a good substitute (Kristoffer Gildenlöw) for Randy George who couldn't be with him on tour in Europe. Kristoffer really made the whole thing groove!! Can't be an easy thing with that tight almost machine-like drummer Colin Lijenaar. The other star of the show was the ever brilliant Paul Bielatowicz. Like other reviewers mentioned, he was rather 'underused' throughout the show. But when he started shredding, man.. this guy can play. His tapping and sweeping is quite stunning and moving!! The same goes for Ola Hedén who only played some of Neal's parts when the master was playing guitar. Personally I would have liked more active participation from these grade A artists!

    The set list is what you come to expect from Neal. Never shy of a couple of epics mixed in with poppy prog songs. This is the set list (taken from setlist fm and my own memory):

    Part one:
    Beware of Darkness
    The Separated Man
    Seeds of Gold
    Oh Lord My God

    Part two Testimony 2:
    Mercy Street
    Overture No. 4
    Time Changer
    Nighttime Collectors
    Time Has Come Today
    Jesus' Blood
    The Truth Will Set You Free
    Chance of a Lifetime
    Jesus Bring Me Home
    Road Dog Blues
    It's for You
    Crossing Over / Mercy Street Reprise


    My personal favourites where Beware of Darkness (executed perfectly), The Separated Man, Time Changer (superb madrigal vocal parts!!), Jayda and June. June was more of a little Neal joke. The band did not rehearse this song. And Neal barely remembered the guitar licks to the song. Yet another example of an artist that is not afraid to open up on stage and make little mistakes and actually enjoys them (if that makes sense).

    Ending the gig at around eleven forty-five. This was yet another gig to remember.
  • Blackfield and The Pineapple Thief at Paradiso (Amsterdam)

    Apr 11 2011, 14:00

    Sun 10 Apr – Blackfield, The Pineapple Thief

    This was an epic gig!! Many superb Blackfield songs were played! Setlist:

    Glass House
    Go to Hell
    On the Plane
    Rising of the Tide
    The Hole in Me
    Miss U
    Where Is My Love?
    Dissolving with the Night

    End of the World
    Cloudy Now

    Setlist taken from: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/blackfield/2011/paradiso-amsterdam-netherlands-73d3b649.html
  • Dansen met de maanlichtridder (The Watch plays Genesis' 'Selling England by the…

    Mar 14 2011, 10:31

    Sat 12 Mar – The Watch plays Genesis' 'Selling England by the Pound'
    This was my first time at a The Watch show. And I must be honest, I was somewhat sceptical about this show. Playing Selling England is no small task after all! But boy did these guys deliver!

    The Watch started of with a warming-up song from the Primitive album. Followed by Watcher of the Skies. At this point all my scepticism was gone. These Italian gentlemen sure know how to imitate Genesis from the early seventies era. Simone Rossetti's vocals are an almost perfect replica of Peter Gabriel from that time. At times a bitty Italian-English but never untrue to the original.

    After this epic second track The Watch started playing the first half of the SEBTP album. Again, perfect covers of the original album by Genesis. After one of my personal favourites (Firth of Fifth) they played another track from their latest release Timeless (go check this album out!!). The title of this track is One Day. Inspired by the From Genesis to Revelation album, this track was more retro than the other tracks played.

    After the intermission the Italian proggers started of with another Genesis hit The Musical Box, or as Simone called it, ''De muziekdoos' the Dutch translation :) . The second half of the show was sound wise less tight than the first half of the show. The rest of the Selling England By The Pound was played with great skill! Aisle of Plenty was superbly done. The acoustic pieces were skilfully played by The Watches guitar player Giorgio Gabriel. The encore also was a real treat: Suppers Ready.

    This was a night to remember! Again, the atmosphere in De Boerderij was super friendly, almost family like!
  • The Tallest Man On Earth and Idiot Wind - Botanique (20-11-2010)

    Dic 27 2010, 9:34

    The Tallest Man On Earth and Idiot Wind - 20-11-2010 - Botanique - Brussels

    Let's start of with a little review of the venue. The Botanique is an unique venue which holds several stages, rooms for exhibitions, a museum, and a beautiful garden. All of this wrapped in a tasteful mix of bamboo, ponds with fishes and stone benches.

    At 20:00 Idiot Wind kicked off. All of her songs were played on electric piano. Her smokey voice combined with the piano was truly brilliant. Some people couldn't appreciate here intense somewhat monotone voice. However the crowd was silent and respectful throughout the entire performance.

    Onward to the main event: The Tallest Man on Earth who in fact is Kristian Matsson. Kristians guitar playing was flawless. His voice needed some warming up but was in tune throughout the entire show. After the first couple of tracks I could detect some minor irritation on Kristians part. Throwing around his guitar on his strap, and shooting angry faces into the crowd.

    Many tracks from the new album were played. In fact I found the set list of this evening on setlist.fm:

    Set list:
    A Field of Birds
    Burden of Tomorrow
    I Won't Be Found
    Pistol Dreams
    Love Is All
    King of Spain
    Thousand Ways
    The Wild Hunt
    Tangle In This Trampled Wheat
    The Sparrow and the Medicine
    Like the Wheel
    The Gardener
    Where Do My Bluebirds Fly
    Thrown Right At Me

    The Dreamer
    Kids on the Run

    The last track before the Encore was a duet with Idiot Wind. A beautiful duet, a bit like seeing Dylan and Joan Baez. To sum this review up. Great venue, great music and lovely people. Be there next time!!
  • Karmakanic and Agents Of Mercy at the Boerderij (07-10-2010)

    Ott 8 2010, 9:41

    Thu 7 Oct – Agents Of Mercy, Karmakanic
    Harmony, peace and craftsmanship.
    Sadly (for the artists), there weren't a whole lot of people attending this epic event. That luckily didn't stop Karmakanic nor The Agents of Mercy for giving it all they got.

    Opening for The Agents was Karmakanic. Playing mainly tracks from Who's The Boss In The Factory? including: Send A Message From The Heart, Two Blocks From The Edge and Eternally. Jonas also pitched a new track (sorry, the title of this track slipped my mind) with some serious riff rocking (as he claimed himself after the show). This track really stood out in explosive energy, go Jonas!!! Göran Edmans vocals were haunting and defined Karmakanic the way I came to love them!! All tracks were played perfectly.

    Agents of Mercy played a whole lot of new tracks from their upcomming new release Dramarama. Which will be a worthy successor of The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight. The track Journey really stood out from the other tracks, themed around the journey of a sixties thrillseeker which finds his peace in Goa (India). Wow what a insane keyboard/guitar solo. Lalle and Roine are one well oiled bunch of Swedes! As the track is related to Indian music, Roine emulated his Telecaster Thinline (the fat, red Telecaster he also plays on The Whirlwind too) to make it sound like a Sitar. This is where the crowd went WHOOHOOO.

    Furthermore Nad Sylvan is a grade A entertainer. Dressed up like a young Peter Gabriel (and acting like one too) he stole the show! His dark eyes pierced the audience and added heaps of mystery to the show. His piercing yet warm vocals are the perfection of the Agents of Mercy!

    Thats it for now, maybe more later! And please let me know 'if I maka the mistaka' ! This review came from the top of my (weary) head.

    I've posted some pictures of the show on Flickr
  • Spock's Beard and Enochian Theory

    Set 16 2010, 9:50

    Last night I visited Spock's Beard and Enochian Theory in de Boerderij. To start this little review of: WOW what a great night it was.

    Enochian Theory kicked of for Spock's. In a way Spock's and Enocian Theory is a strange combination of beasts. Sadly (IMHO) Enochian Theory did not impress me live as much as they did with their latest release: Creatio Ex Nihilio . The tracks were played with skill and for a band comprised of three members they sounded massive! This was mainly achieved by the use of a backing track playing keyboard and fx sounds. The rhythm section was rather disappointing at times. Shaun Rayment on (one heck of a nice setup (Warwick Thumb Neck Thru 5 string over a massive Eden stack)) was the strongest part of the rhythm section. Squeezing out great, clear and convincing bass parts. Who, at times sounded much like Riverside which is meant as a compliment! On to the main course!

    Spock's Beard was GREAT!! They kicked of with 'Their Names Escape Me' (not played live but played from CD) as a tribute to the fans who made X possible. The first part of the gig was dedicated to the X release. Ryo just woke up from a nap in the tour bus, so he needed to warm up for a couple of tracks. Fortunately, this did not mean he played flawed or introvert, he just needed to come up to speed. And when he did, boy what a show he gave!!

    As you can read in my previous post I really like the new Spock's release so this show was perfect for me. After finishing the X set list the band left the stage for a moment after which Nick and Jimmy Keegan gave one heck of a drum solo! After this intermission the Mighty Beard returned opening with Edge of the In-Between. Followed by one of my all time favourites "Thoughts" (part one). And this is where some minor imperfections showed. As most of you know Thoughts is quite a complex little tune some parts were not 100% tight. But hey this was only their first gig in the Europe tour so it's forgiven.

    Setlist with some comments:
    1. Edge of the In-Between
    2. The Emperor's Clothes
    3. From the Darkness [Great singing performance by Nick (except for the part he forgot some lyrics :D )]
    4. The Quiet House
    5. The Man Behind the Curtain
    6. Kamikaze [killer keyboard solo by Ryo]
    7. Jaws of Heaven
    Intermission [with brilliant drum solo]
    8. On a Perfect Day
    9. Thoughts [And the crowd goes wild]
    10. The Doorway
    11. June [With Neal Morse's Dutch drummer on Nick's kit]
  • Thousandth Spock's Beard track scrobbled

    Ago 9 2010, 11:27

    As I'm writing this little post Spock's Beard is playing Thoughts which is my 1000th scrobbled track by this killer band

    On to the 2000 :D