April 22, 2012 - De Pul, Uden (NL)

This concert of the German band RPWL was one of the concerts I was looking forward to. The past has proven that a show of this formation feels like a family meeting with many familiar faces in the audience and a nice atmosphere. Thus it was good to be in venue De Pul in Uden on that Sunday evening. The new RPWL - tour has been completely built on their latest album Beyond Man And Time (see review). By doing so the band took a risk, because the majority of their fans are very familiar with the songs from their previous albums and there's always a chance that a new album hasn't yet settled in their minds.

However, when RPWL started to play the new album, you could notice that the fans had already embraced Beyond Man And Time. From the first minute they were singing and moving along with the music. The concept of the album was perfectly visualized by vocalist Yogi Lang, who changed clothes for every song thus impersonating the main character of that song. In the opener We Are What We Are, Lang represented The Keeper wearing hand-lights and an aluminium hat. For the next song he entered the stage blindfolded and he miraculously found his way to the microphone stand to sing the beautiful title track Beyond Man And Time. Next was Unchain The Earth with Yogi dressed as kind of mad scientist, wearing oversized glasses.

Yogi Lang as 'The Keeper'
Of course the show wasn't only focused on Yogi Lang. Guitarist Kalle Wallner and bass player Werner Taus started the show behind a small screen that only showed their silhouettes. During the performance we could enjoy the interaction between these two magnificent instrumentalists, who also shared the background vocals. Wallner's guitar sounded great and he played his solos with a lot of emotion. Taus has an additional value to the band and his attitude and playing on stage are a pleasure to watch. In the back sat drummer Marc Turiaux doing a great job, seemingly enjoying the music mostly with his eyes closed and a big smile on his face. This time keyboardist Marcus Jehle had to fulfil all the keyboard parts. Normally Yogi Lang takes care of a number of keyboard passages, but during this tour he had to change clothes continuously in order to impersonate the characters of the album's concept. However, Marcus Jehle played perfect melodies, solos and harmonies.

Kalle Wallner with Yogi Lang as his shadow
Without doubt, one of the most impressive characters on stage was The Ugliest Man In The World. The singer was dressed up like the 'Hunchback of the Notre Dame' and with a portable keyboard he got into a theatrical fight with Wallner's guitar. Another impressive character was The Shadow, who entered the stage dressed in black copying the moves of the two guitarists perfectly. During The Wise In The Desert, Yogi wore the eyes of wisdom and he sang this song with his characteristic pose: with his arms stretched wide open. Another nice act was during The Fisherman. Lang came on stage holding a fishing rod with a camera attached to the end, filming the audience and reflecting the images on the screen at the back of the stage. This screen was also used to show images and pictures to support the songs. During The Noon everything fell in place and the actor transformed in Yogi Lang again, which meant that Beyond Man And Time had been finished.

The enthusiasm of the audience made that the band quickly returned to perform four additional songs. The first encore was just a feast of recognition; these songs are part of almost every RPWL-show I've seen. So after outstanding versions of Sleep, Trying To Kiss The Sun, Breathe In, Breathe Out and Roses, the show was supposed to be over, but the audience yelled for one more song. As a last encore they got the classic piece Hole In The Sky. After the show, a part of the audience stayed in the concert hall to talk to the band members. They were very friendly and willing to talk with their fans, while others made pictures. This kind of openness makes RPWL one of the most accessible bands I've known.

Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist RPWL:

We Are What We Are (The Keeper)
Beyond Man And Time (The Blind)
Unchain The Earth (The Scientist)
The Ugliest Man In The World (The Ugly)
The Road Of Creation (The Creator)
Somewhere In Between
The Shadow
The Wise In The Desert
The Fisherman
The Noon

First Encore:
Trying To Kiss The Sun
Breathe In, Breathe Out

Second Encore:
Hole In The Sky

Pictures by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up RPWL:

(left to right)
Kalle Wallner:
guitar, vocals
Marc Turiaux:
Yogi Lang:
vocals, keyboards and sharp dressing
Marcus Jehle:
Werner Taus:
bass, vocals

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