A live concert or a live registration on DVD gives an extra dimension to the latest release of a band. The music seems more interesting than when you heard it for the first time on CD. That happened to me while I was watching the first DVD-release from Finnish prog rockers Overhead. Their third release, And We’re Not Here After All, didn’t get my appreciation at all although I played it several times. Overhead performed a large part of that album in the Polish city of Katowice, on February 17th 2009. As usual, a film crew of Metal Mind Records shot this performance.
With so many tracks from the bands latest effort, it was obvious that I would probably not like this DVD. The tracks from their second album Metaepitome, the title track and Dawn, I recognized immediately. This time the new songs from their latest album captured my attention, because most of the songs sound much better in a live setting. Entropy and Time Can Stay are good examples. These songs contain, just like the songs from their second album, all the elements that make progressive rock so captivating. Like the excellent guitar solos by guitarist Jaako Kettunen that bring pure lovers of prog rock into prog heaven. Close your eyes and let the emotions overwhelm you! I even noticed that the man behind the camera next to keyboard player Tarmo Simonen could not stand still and moved his feet on the beats of the music.
Overhead has an excellent front man in Alex Keskitalo. His English is very good as you can hear during the interview in the bonus. He knows how to entertain an audience by telling short stories in between the songs. Furthermore, he has a pleasant voice and his flute playing lifts the music to a higher level.
Overhead used the encore to play some improvised guitar solos and the old Korg Polysix synthesizer. The well-known King Crimson- song 21st Century Schizoid Man is a perfect vehicle to show off. Italian band PFM used the same tune in the seventies to freak out. It is certainly not one of my favourite King Crimson pieces, but I can acclaim the way Overhead covered it. Unfortunately, that is not the case for all the included bonus videos. The video they made for Butterfly’s Cry looks like a drawing made by a child at a kindergarten. Maybe this is fine art for some people, but to me it is crap! They also filmed performances of Overhead at five other locations in Europe. The images made at Prog Sud look rather professional due to the use of several cameras. That was also the case at the Semifinal in Helsinki, but this time the images are not bright and they look very blurred. That also applies to the excerpts of the Versailles gig, but they will do. However, the footage shot at The Spirit Of ’66 in Verviers, Belgium, is just very bad. It looks unprofessional, because someone standing in the audience shot the images. The people in the audience significantly disturb the view at the stage. I don’t know why they included these images, but if you have seen them once, you will never see them again. However, as far as the main concert is concerned, Live After All is a fine production. Metal Mind proved again to be one of the leading companies in making professional music DVD’s!
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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