The RPWL Live Experience

(DVD 2009, 113:00, Metal Mind MMP DVD 0186)

The tracks:
  1- Hole In The Sky
  2- Breathe In, Breathe Out
  3- 3 Lights
  4- Start The Fire
  5- Silenced
  6- This Is Not A Prog Song
  7- Sleep
  8- Opel
  9- Waiting For A Smile
10- Trying To Kiss The Sun
11- Wasted Land
12- Roses
13- Biding My Time
14- I Don't Know

RPWL Website        samples        Metal Mind Records

In my opinion, RPWL is one of the best German live bands. Their music, strongly influenced by Pink Floyd, comes very much alive on stage. Their first DVD The RPWL Live Experience emphasizes those influences again. Besides, the sound of this release is perfect; the bass pedals almost came out of my speakers! The ninety minutes of music on this DVD contains almost the same set list they performed at the last iO Pages Festival. This time we can also enjoy the tracks they erased from the set list at De Boerderij in Zoetermeer.

The opening tune for this concert in Katowice was the wonderful Hole In The Sky. This song was my introduction to the music of RPWL. Itís not only a great song as an encore, but a great start for a live show as well. As I said before, RPWLís music is inspired by Pink Floyd and thatís why the Syd Barrett track Opel and the Pink Floyd song I Donít Know fit the band like a glove. However, these songs are not my personal favourites. I like songs such as 3 Lights, Silenced and Waiting For A Smile a lot more, so I enjoyed them very much on this release. These pieces are perfect examples of the way they colour the songs with fantastic solos performed on synthesizers by Markus Jehle and singer Yogi Lang and on electric guitar by Kalle Wallner.

Unfortunately, on this DVD Ray Wilson doesnít sing the lead vocals on Roses as he did at the Rockpalast gig for the German television network. Maybe the band could have included the footage of this show as a bonus feature. During the interesting interview with Wallner and Lang, they tell how they succeeded in getting Ray Wilson to sing on Roses. Other topics theyíre talking about are the origin of the band and the bandís name.

The remainder of the bonus material didnít mean much to me. The video clip of Breath In, Breath Out is just the same footage you can watch on the stage screen during the performance of this track: an animated baby trying to walk. The footage of the 2006 tour is also disappointing. Anybody whoís expecting to see rare backstage images, rehearsal images or Ďon the roadí movies of a respectable length can skip this feature. The only thing you see is a two minutes stay on an airport in Poland. You donít have to buy this DVD for the additional footage but fortunately, the concert is worth all the money. It shows how RPWL perform their progressive rock songs in the best possible way.

The RPWL Live Experience is a live show with beautiful lights and background effects that camouflage the stage presentation of these musicians a bit. RPWL are not a band of people jumping around on stage or do other strange things to entertain their audience. Itís the music that counts and does all the work and that is meant as a big compliment.

*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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