To start I must say I like Knight Area. There is a lot of experience in the band and you can hear that in every song they play on their live DVD Hyperlive. This first official live DVD was recorded in April 2015 in Katowice (Polen) and is produced by Metal Mind Productions, a Polish record label that is specialised in producing music DVDs throughout Europe.
Knight Area was founded in 2004 by keyboard player Gerben Klazinga. In the same year they released their debut album The Sun Also Rises. In 2007 the band released the well praised album Under A New Sign. Realm Of Shadows (2009, see review) and Nine Paths (2011, see review) followed. In 2012 guitarist Mark Bogert joined the band and soon after good old Peter Vink (ex Q65, Finch, Ayreon) became the new bass player. In 2014 the album Hyperdrive (2014, see review) was released.
As said, the band went to Katowice to record this live DVD for a very enthusiastic audience. And Knight Area delivered a solid concert. The musicianship of the members of the band is great. Drummer Pieter van Hoorn is the excellent driving force in this live performance. Together with Peter Vink (66 years old but rocking like a young bloke) he delivers a base on which keyboard player Gerben Klazinga and especially guitarist Mark Bogert can excel. Bogert has become one of the finest new Dutch guitar heroes. This guy can play!
The band starts the concert with Afraid Of The Dark. After a minute or so and some fine soloing of Mark Bogert, the other Mark (Smit), the singer, joins the band on stage. His vocals are better than ever, but why do I get the feeling that he took the outfit from another band to Poland. He looks like the singer of a seventies glamrock band with his tight trousers in the colour of the Union Jack. It distracts the attention of the band's performance. To be honest, I think he is not a natural front man. And the stage is quite small so there is not enough room to move and that certainly doesn't help him. The whole thing is a bit static. Nevertheless the band nails every song and when Smit returns after the impressive instrumental Stepping Out (Mark Bogert is amazing in this song) in a leather outfit (not much better, sorry) Mark Smit delivers a wonderful performance with Songs From The Past. Sitting behind a piano he shows what a great singer he is (goosebumps!). And also what a good piano player he is. He gets a well deserved and very long applause from the audience. After a medley of older songs Knight Area closes with Mortal Blow.
A very solid performance, this live DVD of Knight Area. But forgive me if I say that the live CD of the gig will be played a lot more. Why didn't the band for instance use Cultuurpodium De Boerderij for this recording? I know it's all a matter of money, but with a few extra GoPro cameras, good lightning and a bigger stage this could have been so much better visually. Still, musically it's an excellent show. A band on top of their game, and I must mention Gerben Klazinga who is not the most flashy keyboard player, but he is a very musical one. He makes the sound very special. I was thinking, what would happen if there would be two sets of keyboards on stage and Mark Smit would be singing from behind one of them...Interesting.
**** Arne van Os van den Abeelen (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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