Knight Area
CD Release Party 'Nine Paths'

October 8, 2011, Dru Cultuur Fabriek, Ulft (NL)

It's always nice to attend CD release parties because you know for sure that the musicians will put their best foot foremost. They just don't want to make too much mistakes in front of their hard-core fans. Mostly they play one set consisting of new material, and a second one for the already familiar songs. The release party of Nine Paths, the new CD of Knight Area (see review), was no exception to that rule. Just like two years ago they started their performance with the new album, but this time they wanted to do it a bit bigger than during the release party of Realm Of Shadows (see review). The venue was larger and they also played on a bigger stage than usual. However, this time the venue was not located in the backyard of the band's hometown. They had chosen for the Dru Cultuur Fabriek, a venue in the eastern part of The Netherlands that used to be a factory. Fortunately, it didn't appear to be a problem for the many fans living in the western part of our country. The large number of visitors made sure that this live gig felt as a home game for the musicians.   

Knight Area started with Ever Since You Killed Me, the opening piece of the new album. From the first notes it was obvious that they'd once again created a special album. The song has a very high standard with all the progressive rock elements we enjoy so much. More tracks from Nine Paths followed, but in random order. Unfortunately, we couldn't enjoy the guest vocals of Charlotte Wessels (Delain) on
Knight Area in concert
Please Come Home. However, this wasn't a problem at all since hardly anybody was familiar with the album version, and thus lead singer Mark Smit sang this ballad perfectly on his own. A special mention goes for the fantastic guitar solo by Mark Vermeule at the end of this song that was followed by Pride And Joy, a superb instrumental piece. This tune was a perfect vehicle for some strong keyboard and guitar duels between Gerben Klazinga (keyboards) and Mark Vermeule. Then another highlight followed. The River - no cover of the Bruce Springsteen-track - has been written by bass player Gijs Koopman. It was easy to determine that he wrote this piece, because of the sublime playing on the bass guitar and the bass pedals. After this song the audience got a little confused. 'More to come', Mr. Klazinga said, as if he wanted to say 'see you after the break', but not all band members left the stage. Then Mark Smit started to sing The Balance. Unfortunately, I missed this piece because I just went for a toilet break and get myself a drink. Fortunately there was indeed 'more to come' in the first set before they performed the final piece Angel's Call. After this strong new tune it was time to present Nine Paths officially. The man, who did most of the promotion activities to make this live show a success, received the first copy from the musicians.

I used the break to talk with the musicians about the new album. Obviously I could only compliment them since the fine new material was very well performed. The second set was dominated by the older songs starting with The Gate Of Eternity, the very first track of their debut. Next was a medley made up of two songs taken from the second album. The combination of Exit L.U.M.C. and Courteous Love
Mark Smit
worked perfectly. All the other performed tracks taken from the previously released studio albums sounded marvellous proving how well Knight Area perform their material on a live stage. They gave a final encore after Dark Souls. I hoped they would finish with Mortal Brow and indeed, they did. It ended a great concert of wonderful progressive rock music.

However, at first I had no indication at all that they would perform Mortal Brow. At first Mark Vermeule started a solo performance on his electric guitar that included several well-known TV-tunes. It was nice to hear short fragments of Inspector Gadget, The A-Team, Dallas and Magnum. Even a small part of Saevis Tranquillis In Undis was performed. It was funny to see that drummer Pieter van Hoorn made clear that Vermeule played much too long on his own. Then the other musicians entered the stage one by one. By the sound of the first notes of Mortal Brow the people in the audience went mad. This was just the piece we wanted to hear! Mark's guitar solo led to an outstanding climax. They even included some reggae parts; very funny indeed, but let's hope that they'll stick to their own genre. Mark Smit ended this great release party by saying that it was their best live show ever. Well, I'm not sure about that, but who cares.

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)


Set 1:
Ever Since You Killed Me
Please Come Home
Pride And Joy
The River
The Balance
Angel's Call

Set 2:
The Gate Of Eternity
Exit L.U.M.C./Courteous Love
Forever Now
Two Of A Kind
Under A New Sign
Dark Souls
Seavis Tranquillis In Undis

Mortal Brow

Pictures by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up:

(left to right)
Mark Vermeule:
guitars, backing vocals
Mark Smit:
lead vocals, portable keyboard
Pieter van Hoorn:
drums, backing vocals
Gerben Klazinga:
keyboards, backing vocals
Gijs Koopman:
bass, bass pedals

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