December 7, 2013 - De Pul, Uden (NL)
The last time I witnessed a concert of the German prog rock band Sylvan, was in October 2012 during the iO Pages Festival (see review). At the time I didn't know that the excellent guitarist Jan Petersen would play for the last time with Sylvan. In the summer of 2013 he decided to leave the band for personal reasons. However, he took care of a good but temporary replacement, because Jonathan Beck was willing to perform two gigs in German and in the Netherlands. He had learned all the guitar skills from Petersen personally. Jonathan is only seventeen years old, so one of the questions was whether he was able to learn the music of Sylvan in only a few months! I also wondered how many Christmas tunes the band had practiced as this gig in Uden was announced as a Christmas concert.
Obviously lead singer Marco Glühmann was the host of this concert. He took all the time to kiss the girl in front of the stage who celebrated her birthday, he made jokes in between the songs and he asked the audience if they knew the performed songs. He didn't, so he was glad that the audience sang along because he sometimes forgot the lyrics, he said, and let someone else sing them. He told his fans that he, just like the other band
Unfortunately I could only enjoy The Waters I Travelled from their latest album Sceneries (2012, see review) during the regular set, but this piece was so perfectly performed that I could hardly get mad at the musicians. After A Kind Of Eden, Marco Glühmann announced the final song of the evening. Sure, people felt disappointed that the show already had come to an end, but the final piece was a large part of their concept album Posthumous Silence (2006) and then the world suddenly looks brighter! During this excellent piece the seventeen-year old guitar hero could once more showcase his skills on his instrument.
Of course the band couldn't leave without doing an encore. The set list mentioned three titles for the first encore. The first one was No Way Out, a strong up-tempo piece from Encounters that belonged to my highlights of the entire gig. It was followed by Heal and This World Is Not For Me, another classic Sylvan track. Then they left the stage for the second time. I'd seen that Farewell To Old Friends was the final encore on the set list, but would they return again? Well, they certainly did playing that song. It started mellow with an acoustic guitar played by
Sylvan couldn't resist their fans and hit the stage again, but all rehearsed pieces had already been performed. So Marco Glühmann suggested to play a song that had already been done. They choose one of the audience's favourites and I didn't care at all that they ended their excellent performance with One Step Beyond. This is a fine song and a perfect way to say goodbye to ones fans before leaving for Hong Kong! Unfortunately they didn't include any Christmas tunes on the set list. After the gig Glühmann explained that they rather perform their own music and moreover, they didn't have had much time to rehearse any Christmas songs. Anyway, even without Christmas carols their show was excellent and very enjoyable. My compliments to all the musicians, but especially to young Jonathan Beck!
Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
About To Leave
Force Of Gravity
One Step Beyond
The Colours Changed
The Waters I Travelled
Pane Of Truth
A Kind Of Eden
No Way Out
This World Is Not For Me
Farewell To Old Friends
One Step Beyond
Sylvan by Arthur Haggenburg
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Line up Sylvan:(left to right)
bass guitar, bass pedals
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