In 2012 the concept album Beyond Man And Time (see review) by RPWL came out, which is probably their best album to date. It was followed by an extensive tour through Europe and certain parts of North America. I was so lucky to see them perform this fine album three times in its entirety, the first time during the first Progdreams Festival in April 2012 in Zoetermeer (see review). I was completely overwhelmed and I certainly wanted to see this show more often. For that reason I visited the same show at the venues De Pul in Uden (see review) and at Lakei in Helmond (see review). So after three times, I thought that I was able to tell in detail all that happens on stage, but after seeing the registration of this show on A Show Beyond Man And Time I probably forgot more details than I would have expected. This DVD provides almost the perfect recordings of this excellent stage show. I saw details that I missed during the three live concerts and some I could even remember at all!
Thank goodness the band decided to film the final show of this studio album in Katowice, Poland in February 2013 in order to release it as a live album and a DVD. This way I can watch this show over and over again, which isn't a bad idea at all. I think you'll enjoy the whole performance just like I did during the three concerts. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the live double CD, but I guess it sounds almost the same as the audio of the DVD. The 5.1 surround sound is very good and the people who operated the cameras also did a good job. Everything is well-filmed with many fine close-ups of Yogi Lang (lead vocals, Moog synthesizer), Kalle Wallner (guitars, backing vocals), Markus Jehle (keyboards), Werner Taus (bass, lead and backing vocals) and Marc Turiaux (drums). You can perfectly see how they play their instruments.
To visualize the story of Beyond Man And Time, Yogi Lang used different clothes and attributes to depict the keeper, the blind, the scientist, the ugly, the priest, the shadow, the wise and the fisherman. Of course it's impractible to mention everything that happens during this amazing live performance. Reading the three concert reviews is probably the best way to find out what happened during this excellent stage show. However, certain aspects have to be mentioned and can't be avoided. For instance the way Mr. Lang walks across the stage with a fishing rod, or the blessing of the audience with 'holy' water. A nice gimmick which can also be seen on this DVD is Kalle Wallner who lights himself a cigarette on the projection screen.
Unfortunately only one additional song has been included to the complete performance of Beyond Man And Time. However, this final piece is a real surprise as the band plays Roses from their album World Though My Eyes (2005) with special guest singer Ray Wilson (ex-Genesis, ex-Stiltskin). The only criticism I have about the way they filmed the show is that you can see the equipment on which the cameras were attached and the camera people on stage. For some people this might be irritating; others just don't mind! The usual extras on this DVD include an interview with Lang and Wallner, a photo gallery, desktop images for your computer, details of the RPWL discography and the band's commentary track of the show.
As far as I'm concerned A Show Beyond Man And Time is an amazing DVD. This astonishing concert is both visually and musically a pleasure to watch throughout, which is just what a DVD should be. Undoubtedly this is one of the best DVD releases of 2013 and therefore this is a must have for all RPWL fans, certainly the ones who didn't see the shows live on stage! Highly recommended!
****+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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