It's hard to say how many times I've seen Pendragon perform live on stage; I've already lost count. However, I'll never forget one of their first Dutch shows. This must have been in Amsterdam at the famous Paradiso venue in 1986. Another performance that I can easily recall is their concert at the well-known Baja Prog Festival in Mexico, 2002. Their live shows are almost always a real treat to the senses because Pendragon always deliver outstanding performances. It's something you can be sure of just like the shining sun or the falling rain. Unfortunately I missed their concert the last two years due to unforeseen circumstances.
For that reason I felt rather lucky that the band released live CDs and DVDs from the tours of their penultimate album Pure (2008, see review) and their latest record Passion (2011, see review). Yet I could see and hear what I'd been missing during the concerts I was unable to witness. From the Pure tour the band already released Concerto Maximo on CD and DVD (2009, see review). Recently recordings of the Passion tour were released as well. Out Of Order Comes Chaos (2012, see review) already appeared on DVD and got an excellent review on our website. The show was recorded at the Wyspiański Theatre in Katowice, Poland in April 2011. Now the double CD version of that gig has been released which of course contains the same track list as the DVD. That may be a reason why some devotees of prog rock music won't buy this album. But I think that isn't a wise decision because without seeing the band perform there's still enough to enjoy.
On both discs Nick Barrett (lead vocals, guitars), Peter Gee (bass, pedals, guitars, keyboards, backing vocals), Clive Nolan (keyboards, backing vocals) and Scott Higham (drums, backing vocals) succeed in keeping you focussed until the last note has died down. It's difficult to mention any highlights since all tracks are outstandingly performed by a band in great shape. It doesn't matter whether or not it concerns classic Pendragon tunes like Back In The Spotlight, Not Of This World, Last Man On Earth or Paintbox, or new pieces like Empathy, Feeding Frenzy and This Green And Pleasant Land. All those pieces contain amazing guitar and synthesizer solos making sure that you're in prog heaven all the time! The sound of this live album is superb and sometimes you wonder if you're listening to a live recording. Thanks to the introductions of Nick Barrett, the cheering and applauding of the audience and the extra long versions of some tracks, you just know that these aren't studio versions.
Out Of Order Comes Chaos is a magnificent live album in its own right, no matter if you already possess the DVD version! It's a must have for all Pendragon fans in particular and for lovers of neo-progressive rock music in general. Highly recommended!
****+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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