Does anybody remember the German neo progressive rock band Chandelier? In the 90s they released three albums on which they sounded like IQ and Marillion with Fish. Autumn 2018, Chandelier's first two albums Pure (1990) and Facing Gravity (1992) were rereleased on CD, a good 20 years after they broke up. Those CD versions were remastered by Eroc and had a bonus disc. Autumn 2019 finally their third studio album Timecode (1997) was rereleased. In the meantime the band reformed and in between those releases the band was back on stage at the Night of the Prog Festival on July 19, 2019 at Loreley for the first time in 20 years and gave a best-of set list. Now the whole world can enjoy that complete performance on CD and DVD. A release which got the obvious title Live At Loreley.
However it seemed that they probably hadn't planned to have a release of this comeback concert at all. After the performance, the organizer gave the band a multi-track recording and later handed a hard drive with video recordings as well. The recordings surprisingly turned out to be so good that they took care of the material, edited it and made it suitable for an official release. Thank God they did, because most of all the die-hard fans who were probably present at the festival, can now enjoy again their successful live show in full glory. A real enjoyable live document for every lover of progressive rock in general. I will tell you why.
From the musicians that climbed the stage all original members that released the bands first two studio albums, apart from keyboardist Tobias Budnowski, everyone is still involved. A replacement for him was quickly found in Armin Riemer. Riemer is a member of the band Elleven, in which the band's drummer Herry Rubarth is active as well. Rubarth completes the rhythm section with bassist Christoph Tiber. The two members that most of all steal the show at the Loreley are lead singer Martin Eden and guitarist Udo Lang. Eden still sounds brilliant on the microphone and isn't afraid to tell stories in between the songs. A real entertainer! Lang plays his emotional guitar solos in a magical way. That Udo is a fan of Steve Hackett can be heard several times. As a tribute to the master he probably included the brilliant solo of Firth Of Fifth by Genesis in the middle of one their own compositions. He sneaks this classic instrumental part of Firth Of Fifth perfectly into the medley of Glimpse Of Home/Jericha and masters this perfectly with the rest of the musicians.
Mentioning those two doesn't mean that the other musicians are less capable on their instruments. No way! Together they perform their melodic 90s neo-prog perfectly as if they have never been away from the stage for such a long time. So thumbs up and bravo to all of them for coming very close to the original studio versions. A strong selection of songs taken from their entire back catalogue can be enjoyed. I do not want to go into the individual compositions specifically. But I can tell you that in order to be able to present a song such as All My Ways from the Timecode album as true to the original as possible, former Grobschnitt singer Toni Moff Mollo was actually brought on stage to copy his original studio parts. Together they make it a real musical feast. Just as the band makes a feast of every song done!
That the entire show is a feast can be seen most of all on the DVD. On this beautiful day in July last Summer, the group had the heavy task of opening just before IQ. Therefore it's nice to see the band's lead singer Peter Nicholls watch a part of this wonderful performance from the edge of the stage. He must have seen as well that the applause from the front rows for the whole band, who confidently presents their set, is well deserved This unique appearance left no one cold, even the fans of IQ enjoyed it all the way what band comes up with music wise. The audience, sitting and standing in the blazing sun celebrate and have fun. The crowd is raging because there it is again, that typical neo prog sound performed on guitar and keyboards brought by musicians who are just excellent. The music is rather easy to access and very, very melodic. So it's not that difficult to enjoy it whole heartedly. The musicians were also visibly happy with their performance. From the first piece you can see and feel the joy of playing and you can see that they had a lot of fun. It is also surprising how tight the band sounds. For the viewer at home, or where ever you watch it, there is so much to enjoy. The close ups are good enough to see perfectly what each musician does on the great stage of the Loreley Amphitheater in St. Goarshausen in Germany. Also the audio sound is very enjoyable, even if it doesn't have the more preferred 5.1 surround sound. So all in all not much to complain about I guess!
Both the CD and the DVD sound really good, the pieces rock all the way. Therefore Live At Loreley is a first-class document of a very memorable day for fans and band. Even if no colourful booklet with good live shots of each member is included. Their comeback appearance was a perfect show. Successfully recorded in sound and image and therefore can only be recommended to their fans without hesitation. A comeback release of which most bands only can dream about! Well done guys!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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