Red Sand -
Live Salle Sylvain Lelièvre and Art Rock festival

(DVD 2020, 90 min, Spbmusic 2020)

The tracks:
Salle Sylvain Lelièvre - October 05 2019
  1- Forsaken Part 1
  2- Gentry
  3- Very Strange
  4- Human Trafficking
  5- Hello To The Last Goodbye
Art Rock Festival - April 12 2019
  6- Forsaken Part 2
  7- Hello To The Last Goodbye

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The Canadian progressive rock act Red Sand have already released two DVDs in the past. Namely Live Au Cabaret Du Liquor Store (2008, see review) and From Quebec To Germany (2017). Now the band has released a third DVD titled Live Salle Sylvain Lelièvre And Art Rock Festival. A nice release for their fans to relieve the pain of not seeing them perform live because of the corona pandemic. What can they expect on this release?

The title already indicates that the footage is taken from two live concerts recorded in 2019. To be precise one show was recorded October 5 at the Salle Sylvain-Lelièvre, Montreal, Québec, Canada and one April 12 at the Art Rock Festival 2019 at the Neuberinhaus, Reichenbach im Vogtland, Germany.

The largest and best part on this release is one hour footage of the Salle Sylvain Lelièvre concert. It's much better compared to the half hour of footage shot at the Art Rock festival. At first I asked myself why they didn't use the footage of the whole shows. Guitarist and band leader Simon Caron said the following about the two concerts: ”As for the show in the Salle Sylvain Lelièvre , the show is in full, as for the one in Germany, I find that the quality is much less, however I still put two pieces of that show on the DVD”. So, there is the answer.

The Canadian shows were filmed with several cameras and gives rather good close ups of the musicians on stage. It's obvious that the focus during this performance was mainly on the Forsaken album released in 2019. Therefore, the band opens with Forsaken Part 1. A song on which you can see lead singer Steff Dorval wearing a mask to give the song an even more dramatic feeling. That Steff is a great singer as well as an actor and can be seen throughout the entire live show. Sometimes using strange outfits to show what the songs are all about. Good examples are the tracks Human Trafficking and Hello To The Last Goodbye. During the first song he wears a uniform and during the last title he is blindfolded. He can even be seen in a straight jacket. On most of the bands studio albums it is Simon or his daughter Pennsylia Caron who played keyboards. However during the last tours it is guest Jean Benoit Lemire who helps them out behind the keyboards. Giving Caron more freedom to do his excellent guitar parts. Playing some beautiful guitar solos or doing some rhythm parts. Of course, I'll have to mention the strong rhythm section as well. Featuring Perry Angelillo on drums and André Godbout on bass and bass pedals. All of the five songs performed show that the band can easily copy the sometimes-complex compositions in front of a live audience.

As for the second part of the live footage on this release I must confess that I was at first a bit disappointed at what was offered to the fans. Because the audio and video is of a lesser quality compared to the other footage. I guess Simon wanted to use it because it shows a good insight of the European shows even if was only filmed with 3 cameras. However, it's still enjoyable to see again two tracks from the Forsaken album. Namely Forsaken Part 2 and the earlier mentioned Hello To The Last Goodbye. Both very strongly performed.

So, all in all is this third DVD release of Red Sand worth buying after all? Yes. Because you see a band at the top of their game. And that's all that matters I guess. So well done and a nice gift for their fans who can't enjoy them in real during the difficult times we are living in nowadays.

***+ Henri Strik (edited by Dave Smith)

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