CD-presentation "Beyond Reality"

27 June 2009 - De Gigant, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

A couple of days before the release party of the fourth studio album of Dutch progressive rock outfit Mangrove, the world was in a shock caused by the death of Michael Jackson. Almost every TV-channel covered this tragic event. The King of Pop is no longer among us. It is a cliché, yes, I know, but life goes on. Soon everyone proceeds with the order of the day. Personally, I looked forward to Mangrove’s concert held in De Gigant in their hometown Apeldoorn. It was rather hot in that venue. The temperature almost rose to thirty degrees Celsius. However, that was no problem for the musicians. They just wanted to give the audience a perfect live show.

The band’s performance was outstanding and professional. Elements taken from the music of bands as Camel and Genesis melted into a blend many musicians can only dream of. I think Mangrove nowadays belongs to the best live bands in The Netherlands. I never saw Mangrove giving a bad or even a mediocre concert, but this one at De Gigant was one of their best ever. The set consisted of a balanced selection of classic Mangrove-songs taken from their previous albums. Guitarist Roland van der Horst proved regularly to be a born entertainer. When the band started to play I Fear The Day, he stood in the spotlights at the back of the stage where a small stage was created in order to show his talents. At the end of the first set, he wandered off stage and mingled with the audience, still playing his guitar riffs needed for the track There Must Be Another Way. I’m not going to mention every song performed, because they all soothed my ears, but I will make an exception for Wizard Of Tunes. After the acoustic intro, specially made for this occasion, it was not easy for me to stand still. Wow! What a song! In my opinion, this track belongs to the highlights in the history of Dutch progressive rock music.

After a short break, Mangrove appeared for the second set consisting of the integral performance of their latest studio album Beyond Reality. In the meantime, they changed clothes and were now dressed in a professional white outfit (during the first set they were dressed in black). Again, Roland began on his acoustic guitar with the intro of Daydreamer’s Nightmare. While the concert continued, I realized that Mangrove recorded a fantastic new album. All those years of working together resulted in a top-notch album of a supreme quality. Maybe the compositions are not always original, but who cares! The end of Time Will Tell, for instance, sounded very much like Pink Floyd’s Echoes, but I loved it anyway! The keyboard sounds produced by Chris Jonker made my heart beat faster. His mellotron sound samples and great synthesizer solos were just excellent! During the intro of Reality Fades, you could hear the sound of church bells ringing done by drummer Joost Hagemeijer. Therefore, he used a special device of Roland Instruments. Joost also took care of the backing vocals and sometimes he did the lead vocals as well. However, I got most goose bumps of the fantastic melodic guitar solos that led to several climaxes, especially during the last track of the second set. It seemed that the eponymous track was the final piece of the second set, because of the grand finale at the end, but fortunately, there was one track left to perform. Voyager was the cream on the already tasty Beyond Reality cake.
Once again, the musicians gave everything they had and ended the show with a splendid climax of breathtaking progressive rock music! Not only the musicians were breathless, but they also left the audience panting from breath for they witnessed a fantastic CD release concert.

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
"Beyond Reality" album review

Set list:

Set 1:
I Fear The Day
Facing The Sunset
Zone III
Fatal Sign
Wizard Of Tunes
City Of Darkness
There Must Be Another Way

Set 2:
Daydreamer's Nightmare
Time Will Tell
Love And Beyond
Reality Fades
Beyond Reality


Pictures by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up: (picture left to right)

Roland van der Horst: electric & acoustic guitars, lead vocals
Pieter Drost: bass guitar, bass pedals
Joost Hagemeijer: drums, vocals
Chris Jonker: keyboards.

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