The Aurora Project
March 6, 2010 - Scum, Katwijk (NL)
From the very beginning I've been a fan of this band. I never forget the time when somebody, who knew my taste in music very well, gave me their debut album, Unspoken Words. I was immediately captured by the voice of Dennis Binnekade. And the first time I saw them live at Progpower, I was even more impressed. In those days, the Dutch singer wore some kind of make-up, and even though he is much younger, he reminded me of Fish. They've now released their second album, Shadow Border (see review), but I didnít get the chance to go to the release party. So for me, tonight's gig was the first time I was able to see it performed live.
The venue was in their hometown, Katwijk. Not really a place for prog. But the festival was sponsored by Progwereld, a well-known and established Dutch website, so I expected a lot of people. It turned out there were a hundred tickets sold in the pre-sale, but I didnít notice that when I was there. I just saw a couple of progheads and a whole lot of young people having a night out. The Aurora Project is a young band and obviously they brought a lot of friends along. They were the second band to play this evening, but this review is only about TAP, and not about the festival as a whole. Due to domestic issues, I didnít stay for the headliner.
The band started with Another Dream, from their second album, followed by The Trial. I expected they would play a lot of the new album, but didnít expect to hear also the old songs! It was great hearing and seeing them again. Remco van den Berg is a great guitar player and does a nice job with the backing vocals. The rest of the band is amazing as well, although they stay more in the background. The sound wasnít too good, and there was a lot of noise of people talking and drinking. But after a while I could forget about that and just enjoy the music.
Dennis to me has real charisma. I just love his voice. TAP has everything a band needs, in my eyes. Melody, warm vocals, amazing guitar solos, heavy riffs, long interludes and the cohesion between all these elements. Prog at its best, I would say. I only think they need to believe in themselves more, to make an even bigger impact. The songs on the albums are perfect. High quality. Yet on stage the group acts a little like an amateur teenage band. But probably it was the environment that gave me that impression, because I couldnít see what the reason was, otherwise than my awareness of it.
The highlight of their performance, and my biggest hope, was the title track of Shadow Border. Just amazing. This piece of 16.26 minutes was played beautifully; even the youngsters were impressed. I must say I gave them a very stern look, when they started talking and messing about during this song, but they got the message. It was over before I knew it. I could listen to this song again and again. I was happy, but still wanted more. Luckily they played one more song. The Untold Prophecy, my favourite for a long time, before Shadow Border saw the light of day. It was strange, I expected so much of this. And even though I still like it, it didnít have that magic anymore. In my opinion, they played it in a hurry. Maybe because they werenít allowed to play any longer? But then again, after Shadow Border, what can you expect? Everything fades....
My friends asked me if I could please stay for headliners Knight Area, but I'd had my kicks, so I went home. For all† the English people who read this review - check TAP out in the UK, April 17th and 18th, in London and Wolverhampton.
Text: Janke Rijpkema
Pictures: Miranda Bril
Unspoken Words I
The Event Horizon
Within the Realms
The Untold Prophecy
Line up:Dennis Binnekade:
Remco van den Berg:
Guitar & backing vocals
Synths & Samples
Pictures by Miranda Bril
Click on the picture to enlarge.
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