Day Six & HeKz

March 23, 2018 - Parktheater, Alphen a/d Rijn (NL)


One of the upcoming bands in the progmetal scene are without doubt the British act HeKz. With already two albums released, which were sounding very good, their fans were desperately waiting for a follow up release. Unfortunately it took a little bit longer than was planned, but finally it saw the light of day during a specially organised concert in the Netherlands. Their second home in many ways. The home of Serious Music Alphen, the cosy Parkvilla Theater in Alphen aan den Rijn, was the perfect setting to give a release party. But a good release party always needs some special guest to give the audience even more fun. Therefore the excellent Dutch progmetal outfit Day Six was invited to warm up the audience.
 

Day Six

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Robbie van Stiphout
They had previously been with Serious Music Alphen in 2014. A concert which I missed and therefore I was glad I could see this band one more time. Even more so with an amazing new album released last year. Of course the main part of the set included songs taken from The Solitary League (see review). Even without keyboard player Rutger Vlek (who played on the new album and left after the release) the band gave an excellent performance. Desmond Robberegt took over the keyboards parts as you can hear them on their latest studio
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Desmond Robberegt
release. Of course the main attraction on stage is as always lead singer and guitarist Robbie van Stiphout. You never know what to expect when you see him moving around the stage. With a great rhythm section behind him, which are Daan Liebregts on drums and Eric Smits on bass and backing vocals, he could show his amazing talents on the electric guitar. As mentioned before, the main part consisted of material taken from their latest effort. Most of all a song such as Myriad Scars a truely impressive piece of music which they performed very well on stage. But also older pieces got my attention, such as show opener Massive Glacial Wall, which is a real classic Day Six track. Just as Castel Gandolfo, both taken from their former release The Grand Design (2010). All in all the band can look back at a wonderful performance loved by the people present as well.
 

HeKz

Finally it was time to enjoy another concert from HeKz in the Netherlands. The crowd was ready for it and it seemed the band was in the same mood as well when they entered the stage. Of course most of those present hadn't heard the new album yet and therefore possible mistakes would not be noticed. As for myself I was in the lucky position
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Matt Young
to have heard the new album already several times before it would be presented to their fans. And as far as I could hear not that many mistakes were made during the live versions of the new album tracks. Only during one of the first performed songs it seemed the musicians were for a little moment not really in sync with each other. But I guess they noticed it themselves as well and corrected it along the way as the song went on. The album opener Quetzlcoatl is by all means a great tune to start with and the band themselves must have thought the same way. Because it was indeed the song which kicked off the concert in a splendid way. Most of all the charismatic Matt Young, the one with the strong vocals and tight bass parts, showed that he was a true front man right from the start. Jumping around and interacting with his fans made him a true eye catcher for the many photographers in the audience. As the show went on in a very positive way, also the other members of the band felt more comfortable on stage and pulled off wonderful performances. A feast for the ears were most of all the twin guitars parts of Al Beveridge and Tom Smith. Who occasionally got a solo spot as well or had a musical battle with keyboard player James Messenger. James himself often got a place in the spotlight as well by doing some breathtaking solos on his instrument. The man who most of all was on the background of the stage most certainly
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Kirk Brandham
didn't have a place in the shadow of the other musicians. Drummer Kirk Brandham sometimes was a real power house when he did hit his pots and pans. Other times he could touch them very gently while giving the music the right musical touch.

As for the songs performed it was obvious that the main part of the setlist was reserved for the songs taken from new album. Seven out of ten were done from INVICTA. The musical highlight for myself was most of all when they did in a row the final four tracks of the album. With the ultimate highlight the epic piece The Devil's Coin. A piece of music which must have been difficult to do the right way. But they did pull it off in a amazing way. Leaving many listeners speechless. For those who liked to hear more older band favourites they got great versions of Disconnect The World, Bring The Fire and the two excellent encores A Pound Of Flesh and The Black Hand. Most of all the last mentioned title was welcomed with a lot of cheering and applause. A special mentioning goes out to the song For Our Lives, on which the audience had a chance to participate. Singing and clapping along with the music always gives a good vibe between the band and their fans!

Without doubt it has to be said that HeKz delivered a strong performance. Sometimes moving towards a more metal kind of style of music and sometimes going into a musical direction which can be labelled as progressive rock. So it is easy to say that the band manages in a perfect way to combine the more powerful music with more melodic musical stuff. So compliments for the musicians to find the right balance and giving metal heads and prog heads the same kind of musical enjoyment.

Again also thumbs up for the people of Serious Music Alphen. For bringing on the menu two excellent bands who both delivered an outstanding performance! I guess nobody went home without a smile on his or her face. And that's how it has to be!

Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)






Setlist Day Six:


Massive Glacial Wall
Deadlock
Myriad Scars
Castel Gandolfo
Flight to Mars
Math's Patterns
Age of Technology
Hypervigilant



Pictures Day Six by Martijn Kuiper

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

Click on the picture to enlarge.

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Live video
recordings

Henri & Roel Strik

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Deadlock (5:47)
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Hypervigilant (4:46)

Line up Day Six:

(left to right)
Eric Smits:
bass and backing vocals
Robbie van Stiphout:
guitar and vocals
Daan Liebregts:
drums
Desmond Robberegt:
keyboards
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Setlist HeKz:


Quetzlcoatl
Disconnect The World
Bring The Fire
Ultimatum
Trecena
For Our Lives
Liberation
Pariah
The Devilís Coin
Victorious
Encore:
A Pound Of Flesh
The Black Hand





Pictures HeKz by Martijn Kuiper

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

Click on the picture to enlarge.

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Live video
recordings

Henri & Roel Strik

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Piriah (4:22)
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Quetzlcoatl (6:07)

Line up HeKz:

(left to right)
Tom Smith:
guitar
Kirk Brandham:
drums
James Messenger:
keyboards
Matt Young:
bass and vocals
Al Beveridge:
guitar and backing vocals
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