RPWL & Lesoir

November 16, 2014 - W2 Poppodium, Den Bosch (NL)


In 2012 the German prog band RPWL surprised the prog community with the superb album Beyond Man And Time (see review) and a tour to promote it. This concept album was greatly visualized by a band of which I would never had expected that they would give such an amazing theatrical performance. In my review of The RPWL Live Experience (2009, see review) I stated that this live show with its beautiful lights and background effects overshadowed the stage presentation of the musicians a bit. RPWL are not a band of people jumping around the stage or to use other things to entertain an audience, I said. Well, how could I be so wrong at the time?

People who didn't have the opportunity to visit RPWL's latest tour, but watched their latest DVD A Show Beyond Man And Time (2013, see review) instead, should agree that a gig of this band is certainly not boring. However, I never thought that they would come up with another concept album called Wanted (2014, see review). It deals with the ultimate liberation of the human spirit. I wondered how they would translate this concept into a rock show without losing their identity. So on a Sunday afternoon I went to the W2 venue in Den Bosch to see and hear them perform Wanted in its entirety. Before RPWL could do their show the Dutch band Lesoir had the difficult task to bring the audience in the right mood.
 

Lesoir

X
Maartje Meessen
Lesoir are a band from the southern part of our country. I had seen them perform in June 2013 at the DRU Cultuurfabriek in Ulft where they supported Mostly Autumn (see review). Although they played a solid set then, they couldn't entertain me that much mainly due to the fact that their heavy music strongly differed from the headliners. Well, the show they now performed didn't make any difference. They played a large part of their recently released third album Luctor Et Emergo including the brand new single Going Home. In the songs My Perfect Self and Flawless Chemistry, taken from their new album as well, I heard some slight prog rock influences. Apart from the lack of real prog their music was presented much too loud. Of course the musicians can't be blamed for that but the one who's responsible for the sound. Anyway, I think many people who came to see RPWL were glad that lead singer Maartje Meessen announced the final song!
 

RPWL

I don't know for sure but I saw many disappointed faces in the audience when people became aware that lead singer Yogi Lang and guitarist Kalle Wallner were still absent at the time they actually had to start RPWL's performance.
X
Wanted !!
They were all waiting for live music by RPWL with or without these two musicians. The remaining band members Marcus Jehle (keyboards), Marc Turiaux (drums) and Werner Taus (bass, vocals), who already had entered the stage, decided to start without them. They started off with a stripped-of version of  Breathe In, Breathe Out sung by Taus, but before they could finish, one of the roadies made clear that it was useless to go on without Lang and Wallner. Bad luck I thought. I'd just decided to go to the toilets when out of the blue from the back of the venue Wallner joined the other musicians on stage to perform Revelation (see first part of video), the instrumental opening of Wanted. At the same time three TV screens showed images of the musicians as being the most wanted criminals of the terroristic organization called RPWL! The band had really pulled my leg and many other people too! All this appeared to be part of the show and soon after Yogi Lang was brought to the stage as the band started to perform Swords And Guns.

X
Swords And Guns: Teaching
During this song (see second part of video) Lang acted as a kind of teacher who pointed out some words that were written on two flip-charts turned over by two assistants dressed in black. However, Lang wasn't the one who played that awesome Moog solo, but Marcus Jehle who really sounded like Manfred Mann. He did all the keyboard parts during the rest of the set as well since Yogi was too busy singing, acting and visualizing the concept of Wanted, which could only be followed if you were fully focussed on the things that happened on stage. Most visitors didn't know where to look, because too much happened. While the band was performing the instrumental piece A Short Cut Line, the two assistants-in-black simultane­ously provided all the band members different clothes (see video), except for Yogi. They now could no longer be recognized; after all they were still wanted by the police... It gave Yogi some time to put on a raincoat, a hat and dark glasses. Being dressed he re-entered the stage to sing the title track. At the same time the assistants were pointing with their flashlights at the musicians and at the audience as if they were looking for criminals.

X
Disbelief: Yogi tied up on a chair
While the band started to play Hide And Seek Yogi stepped behind a kind of curtain held by the assistants. For a moment he was completely out of sight, but you could see him sing on a TV screen attached above the curtain. When he got from behind it, he was tight up on a chair by the assistants while a lamp shone upon his face for further investigation. While sitting, the assistants brought in a kind of shop-window dummy that accompanied him while singing the vocal lines of Disbelief (see video). As the song continued he managed to set himself free, but not for long because the assistants took him in custody and put him in prison; at the same time Wallner played an excellent guitar solo. During Misguided Thought
X
Veritas Forte commercial
Yogi was still held in prison and sang his lines from behind imaginary bars. After he was released he once more sat on the chair while the shop-window dummy kept him company again. The next song Perfect Day started with a TV commercial of the medicine Veritas Forte. This pill had to be taken in order to be enlightened and to experience real truth. The announcements were made in the Dutch language just like all the other messages from the screen. The pill was symbolically presented to the people in the audience by the two assistants by giving them a sweet, while Yogi came on stage in a suite wearing sunglasses with RPWL on it just like the others.

X
The Attack: Smoke
While the band started to play The Attack, Yogi carried two white jerrycans to the stage. He twisted off the caps and at the same time the stage slowly filled with white smoke coming out of large white fire hoses. The smoke made it almost impossible to see Kalle doing another amazing guitar solo, but fortunately the solo he did for the final song could be seen in full glory. During this song not much happened on stage. A New Dawn is the final song of this concept which the band had excellently depicted. I was glad that I had seen the band perform the new album. This show was already the third one in the Netherlands. It would have been better if I'd seen all three shows because watching it only once makes it difficult to understand the complete content of the story!

Unfortunately RPWL did only two encores. I can't blame them that they only did The Shadow and Roses,  because at the end of the show Yogi's voice was in a bad shape. He had suffered from a cold and could hardly speak when he joined his fans after the show. During the performance you couldn't see that he had some trouble with his physical conditions. So I have to compliment him for succeeding in giving an amazing show together with his fellow-musicians.

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Lesoir:


Big Talk
Feet On The Ground
(A Lady Named) Bright
Going Home
In Reverse
My Perfect Self
Flawless Chemistry



Pictures Lesoir by Arthur Haggenburg

>>> Click here to view all pics on one page.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
X X X X

Line up Lesoir:

(left to right)
Bob van Heumen:
drums
Ingo Dassen:
electric guitar
Maartje Meessen:
lead vocals, keyboard
EleŽn Bartholomeus:
backing vocals, electric percussion, keyboard, electric guitar
Ingo Jetten:
bass, keyboard and backing vocals
X


Live video
recordings

   Henri & Roel Strik
    and Nico Hofman

X
Revelation/Sword and Guns (15:18)
X
A Short Cut Line/Wanted (8:25)
X
Disbelief (6:21)


Setlist RPWL:


Breathe In, Breathe Out
Revelation
Swords And Guns
A Short Cut Line
Wanted
Hide And Seek
Disbelief
Misguided Thought
Perfect Day
The Attack
A New Dawn
Encores:
The Shadow
Roses




Pictures RPWL by Arthur Haggenburg

>>> Click here to view all pics on one page.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
X X X X

>>> Click here to view all pics on one page.


X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
X X X X
X X X X

Line up RPWL:

(left to right)
Kalle Wallner:
electric guitars, backing vocals
Marcus Jehle:
keyboards
Yogi Lang:
lead vocals
Marc Turiaux:
drums
Werner Taus:
bass, lead and backing vocals
X





All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2014