March 1, 2012 - W2, Den Bosch (NL)

I think people, who saw Pallas perform on the first day of the iO Pages Festival in 2011 (see review), will agree that they gave an amazing concert then. That night I was speechless by their excellent performance, so I was delighted that the band announced more concert dates later that year. However, they had a run of bad luck. Pallas was forced to cancel two European shows, because the new vocalist Paul Mackie had to be urgently operated upon the sinus. This also meant that they had to cancel the only Dutch show in Den Bosch on Sunday, October 15. Instead a new show was planned on the first of March at W2 in Den Bosch.

Paul Mackie
While entering the venue it became to me clear that this new date wasn't luckily chosen. Firstly it was planned on a Thursday, a weekday, and secondly Pallas had booked another Dutch concert a day later at the Dutch number one progressive rock temple Cultuurpodium Boerderij in Zoetermeer. This proved to be an unfortunate choice since few people attended the show of this magnificent band. Well, Pallas must have been disappointed too. They tried to make the best of the situation and asked the audience to step forward in order to make as much noise as possible. By doing so they didn't get the feeling to play in front of an empty concert hall. They rewarded the spectators with an even better show than I had seen a year earlier with quite a number of songs from their latest release XXV (see review).

The band started overwhelming with Fragments Of The Sun before they presented the first piece of XXV. Due to the slide show at the back of the stage I slipped into another world. Those images of a future world bring the story of XXV much closer to the audience. It looked like being on another planet and also the music could have come from outer space, although Falling Down, Crash And Burn, Monster and The Alien Messiah didn't sound like space rock at all. On the contrary! This is pure progressive rock of the highest possible level. Some older fans consider the new material as being too heavy and straight-forward, but I guess it's all part of the musical concept. Those fans liked the songs they performed before continuing with XXV part 2, much better. Great songs like Ghostdancers, Rat Racing and Midas Touch felt more comfortable to them. What surprised me most during these tracks was the fact that Paul Mackie succeeded a lot better in singing the vocal lines of former singer Alan Reed. Maybe the surgery has made his voice become stronger!  

Niall Mathewson
Not only Mackie was in great shape, but also his fellow-musicians. A good example of their musicianship was the instrumental piece Northern Star. On this piece Ronnie Brown played some fine mellow keyboard parts over which Niall Mathewson played an excellent and very melodic guitar solo. However, part 2 of the album XXV made a deep impression on me with XXV part 1, Young God, Violet Sky and XXV part 2. This time Mr. Mackie returned on stage wearing only a kind of pyjamas and shoes. Well, the two ladies in front of the stage loved it a lot and asked him to put his pants down. Mackie reacted whether the audience preferred sex or the Xbox... Well.., I don't know, but anyway, it didn't have any effect on the music.

This Pallas-concert was again breathtaking. For the encores there was a special request for someone who recently had passed away. Therefore they started this section with Sanctuary that again featured an excellent guitar solo to dream away on. Cut And Run was the last encore ending another superb Pallas concert. The band proved again that they belong to the best progressive rock bands both on stage and on CD. Unfortunately only few people witnessed this fine event.    

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)


Fragments Of The Sun
Falling Down
Crash And Burn
Alien Messiah
Northern Star
Rat Racing
Midas Touch
Alien Messiah
XXV Part 1
Young God
Violet Sky
XXV Part 2

Cut And Run

Pictures by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up:

(left to right)
Graeme Murray:
bass guitars, bass pedals, lead and background vocals
Ronnie Brown:
keyboards, background vocals
Paul Mackie:
lead vocals
Nial Mathewson:
lead guitars
Colin Fraser:

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