September 4, 2014
Bad luck is something you canīt avoid in life. It hit me when I tried to make my way to a concert of the American progressive rock band Spock's Beard. A drive to the De Bosuil in Weert usually is approximately a one hour drive, however due to a car accident on the highway and the heavy traffic jam that followed, in the end it took me two hours and fifteen minutes to get to the location. It meant I only could witness the last song of the performance by American outfit The SixxiS gave to warm up the crowd for the headliner. This made it impossible for me to write a review of their showcase! Too bad, but as it seems, bad luck is just a part of life!
Although the start of the evening wasn't great, I expected it wouldn't spoil the rest of the evening. The Beard was certainly responsible for that fact. I guess most of all keyboard player Ryo Okumoto took the blame, because he was the one who sorted out the songs the band played. He compiled a set list that turned out to be one big, musical highlight, containing songs which were taken from the band's latest fantastic album Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep
Just like fifteen years ago, when the band toured the Netherlands to promote their album Day For Night (1999) and recorded their first live DVD Don't Try This At Home-Live (2002), they opened with Day For Night. A true opening piece which brings the crowd in the right mood. At later stage, a track taken from the same album turned out to be the only encore of the band's performance. At first the audience seemed to be a little bit disappointed to get only The Healing Colors Of Sound as an encore however, with the song being twenty minutes long, you have to admit the band did everything to please their fans! In between these two tracks taken from the Day For Night album, the band gave a splendid performance that lasted two hours. During those two happy hours they only played one track which was taken from Ryo's favourite Spock's Beard album, namely the title track of Beware Of Darkness (1996). A real pleasant surprise for me, because I hadn't heard the band playing this George Harrison composition for a very long time. Real surprises, which I liked a lot, were the tracks taken from The Kindness Of Strangers (1998) album. Harm's Way and In The Mouth Of Madness just blew me
Finally, let me tell you which songs were played from the band's latest effort. First I could enjoy Hiding Out, which contained a fantastic guitar duel between Morse and Leonard. I guess they just had to include Something Very Strange as well, because it's one of the highlights taken from Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep, and it was certainly done in a brilliant way. During the intro of Submerged Ted sang the intro of Broken Wings, a song recorded by the American band Mr. Mister in 1985. During the same song Ted had some microphone problems and used Alan's mike, while a roadie fixed the problem in time to let him end the song using his own gear again. Waiting For Me is another tune they couldn't refuse to do. This great epic piece started as the Genesis track Afterglow (taken from their album Wind And Wuthering released in 1976), and featured an awesome guitar solo done by Alan Morse.
Although the venue could have been more crowded, the Beard played their songs as if they were at a full packed London 02 Arena, so thumbs up to them for giving everything they had to their fans. Thank God the drive back home only took us less than an hour. This time there were no traffic jams and we had a safe journey to our home town, with the amazing music I had heard only a couple of hours earlier still in my head.
Henri Strik (edited by Esther Ladiges)
Setlist Spock's Beard:
Day For Night
Beware Of Darkness
Something Very Strange
In The Mouth Of Madness
Skeletons At The Feast
Waiting For Me
The Healing Colors Of Sound
Spock's Beard by Arthur Haggenburg
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Line up Spock's Beard:(left to right)
lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars
bass, bass pedals and backing vocals
drums, lead and backing vocals
backing vocals, acoustic and electric guitars
keyboards and vocals
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