In the past we've already reviewed two DVDs filmed during the Veruno September Music Festival held in the city of Veruno, Italy. The first one was The Best Of 2Days Prog (2011, see review) containing a compilation of the 2010 edition; the second one was The Best Of 2DaysProg+1 (2012, see review) with a compilation of the 2011 edition. The images shot at the 2012 edition, has now been released on a double DVD and like the other releases it provides a fantastic overview of the bands that played during this festival!
The first disc starts with The Turn I Was Gifted, a brand new track from the Italian band Court. Strangely enough this band didn't choose to perform a song from their debut Twenty Flying Kings (2012, see review). The musicians of Court are all dressed like minstrels who lived in the court of a medieval king, making semi-acoustic music without using any keyboards. Next on stage are Wicked Minds. This Italian female fronted band played The Elephant Stone, but unfortunately the English lyrics are sung very poorly. Music wise the band moves towards a style that could be compared to a band like Deep Purple. The largest part of the first disc contains music performed by the Swedish band Pain Of Salvation. You can enjoy tracks like Linoleum, 1979, To The Shoreline, No Way and Sisters, all very well performed. The band is still led by the musical genius Daniel Gildenlöw. At first I had some difficulties to recognize him. It seems that he has lost his hair, so he doesn't look like the musician I remember.
The Flower Kings from Sweden are next. They perform a rather strong version of the epic piece The Truth Will Set You Free. Just like the tour to promote the latest studio album Banks Of Eden (2012, see review), the musicians are all dressed in orange! Gran Turismo Veloce is the second Italian act. I enjoyed their debut Di Carne, Di Anima (2011, see review) a lot. From this album they performed the track La Paura which has some fine Mellotron flute samples. The musicians are dressed in red overalls and black ties; a nice gimmick! The last act on the first DVD is again a Swedish band, namely Trettioariga Kiget. They play two tracks: the instrumental piece Andra Sidan, which has a fine synthesizer solo, and Gnistor containing a great guitar solo that shifts the music in the direction of Pink Floyd.
The second disc opens with Anima Mundi from Cuba, one of the musical revelations from recent years. The excellence of the band live on stage could already be seen and heard on the DVD Live In Europe (2012, see review). During Time To Understand and Cosmic Man they once again prove that they're in good shape. With Carlos Sosa behind the microphone the band is certainly as good as the famous neo-prog band IQ, the next band to perform. They play a great version of Frequency. The Italian band Profusion recorded RewoToweR (2012, see review), an excellent virtuoso album highly recommended to people who like very varied prog metal. Chuta Chani taken from that album is one of the two pieces with adaptations of Georgian folk themes. The blend of classical music and prog metal works very well on these tracks. They're capable of playing this kind of music in front of an audience as well, without making any mistakes!
My fellow-countrymen of Knight Area perform a fantastic version of their classic piece Mortal Brow and this time with the new guitarist Mark Bogert in the centre of attention. At the time bassist Gijs Koopman was still in the band. The French band Lazuli got some more time on this DVD with the tracks Le Miroir Aux Alouettes, Film D'Aurore and Cassiopée. People who ever saw this band play live on stage know that Lazuli aren't an average prog rock band. Their music is rather complicated and difficult to pigeonhole and for that reason some prog heads don't like them. You may call it world music with elements of prog rock, but also from French chansons.
The music of Lazuli is strongly dominated by the Léode, an instrument designed and created by Claude Leonetti. After having a traffic accident, he could no longer use his left arm properly and thus he made a kind of Chapman Stick that sounds like a blend of a musical saw, an electric guitar and a synthesizer. As far as the sound of the band is concerned, his brother and lead singer Dominique Leonetti plays a large role as well. In particular his voice is responsible for the recognisability of Lazuli's music. He sings very emotionally in his mother's tongue with a great vocal range and above all, he's a real entertainer on stage. All this can nicely be seen during the performed songs.
The last act on the second disc is Angelo Branduardi, the patriarch of all Italian singer-songwriters! He already made music in the early seventies. A large part of his performance can be seen on this DVD with the songs Ballo In Fa Diesis, Cogli La Prima Mela, La Luna and Confessioni Di Un Malandrino. Although not all of his compositions can be labelled as prog rock he certainly has a connection with the genre and therefore he's very enjoyable for a lot of prog heads from time to time. Finally Lazuli finish this second disc. All members are gathered around the marimba playing a tune called 9 Hands Around The Marimba In Ver1. It includes a small part of Somebody That I Used To Know, a mega hit for the Belgian-Australian singer Gotye.
The previous DVD releases were all very well shot. This new one is equally good regarding the filming of the musicians on stage. Both the close-ups and the sound are outstanding, so I've got no negative remarks about this third DVD from the Veruno September Music Festival. The only thing that I would have been welcomed is some more footage from a couple of acts instead of only showing a clip. In my review of the previous two DVDs the first one got a rating of three stars and the second got four. I then suggested that maybe the third one would get the highest rating of five stars. Well, that's not the case, but once again the very entertaining DVD The Best Of 2Days Prog+1 2012 deserves four stars!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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