July 8, 2018 - 't Blok, Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel (NL)

Anubis is without any doubt Australia's leading progressive rock band. In 2015 I already had the chance to witness one of their concerts during their first European tour. Unfortunately not at one of the most cosiest venues in our country. They had the chance to perform at 't Blok in Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel, but had to say no because the date was at the same time they had to take their flight back home. So there first concert in the Netherlands was at Cultuurpodium Boerderij in Zoetermeer. Not on the main stage but at the much smaller but more cosy rock cafe. At the time not enough tickets were sold to perform in the main concert hall. Too bad because they deserved a much larger crowd. After the show they promised to be back again but on the place at this venue where they belonged. They also promised me personally to do one of my personal favourites from their masterpiece A Tower Of Silence (2011, see review). Archway Of Tears was the song they did not include on the setlist.

Anubis @ 't Blok
Now three years later the band announced to come back to Europe for the second time. Again the Netherlands was on the list of countries they wanted to visit for a concert. However they could not fulfil their promise to play at the main stage of Cultuurpodium Boerderij in Zoetermeer. However this time around 't Blok was again willing to have them on their stage for a Sunday afternoon show. Keyboard player David Eaton promised me personally to do the earlier requested song when they would climb the stage for their performance. A couple of weeks later the news arrived that this performance would be a special one for their Dutch fans. They would be doing a complete live version of the earlier mentioned band's masterpiece. It was a way to thank everybody in the Netherlands who picked up this album at the time. You do have to know that A Tower Of Silence was my number one in my personal top ten of 2011 and gave it the highest rating of five stars in my review. So instead of doing not only Archway Of Tears, they also would be doing the rest of the compositions from the aforementioned album. So in a way the practising of my favourite piece of music set the spark to do the entire album. How awesome is that!

Finally the day had come that I could be seeing this six piece from Down Under once again. After a warm welcome from all band members they made their way to the stage. A stage they would set on fire for almost three hours. The temperature in the Netherlands was already high in and outside the venue, but they even made it much hotter as it already was with their amazing performance. A performance which started with a first set which lasted 45 minutes. During this first set they showed right from the start that they are a real live act who could easily copy their sometimes complex music taken from their back catalogue. Music which has references to Pink Floyd, Genesis, King Crimson, Marillion and IQ. They opened very strongly with a piece taken from their latest effort. Namely Pages Of Stone. Another song taken from The Second Hand (2017, see review) could be heard later on in the same set. Of course a fine rendition of Fool's Gold could be
Robert James Moulding
enjoyed as well. The other three songs (Dead Trees, Partitionists, and Hitchhiking To Byzantium) on the first set can all originally be found on Hitchhiking To Byzantium (2014, see review). Again fine live versions could be heard. No tracks taken from their first two albums were done. Those who came for them had to wait for the second set and the final encore.

As mentioned earlier an entire performance of A Tower Of Silence was promised to do. And they kept their word and played it completely during the second set. I would have expected that the album would get an introduction by lead singer and front man Robert James Moulding. At the start of the second set he just said the words;"This is A Tower Of Silence". He could have told the audience that it is a concept album which tells the story of the strong spirit of an eleven year old girl lost between the walls of a Victorian hospital for paupers where she lived and died. I will forgive him that because he sang the sometimes emotional vocal parts just as you can hear on the entire album. Also the many great guitar solos throughout the original album were perfectly copied. Dean Bennison sometimes sounded like David Gilmour, while playing on his lap steel guitar or on his white Fender guitar. Also the other guitar player, Douglas Skene, did played excellently on his instrument. As you could hear him doing the awesome guitar solo on Archway Of Tears. It was from time to time a real feast for your ears when you could hear Skene playing together with Bennison doing some amazing twin guitar parts. Beside the amazing guitar solos and emotional vocal parts I also enjoyed the fantastic sounds of many keyboard instruments played by the earlier mentioned David Eaton. He is a maestro on the organ, piano and synthesizers. But also the sound of a Mellotron could be heard on several tracks which provided the music with many bombastic moments. David's brother Steven Eaton was sitting behind the drums and was together with Anthony Stewart
Anthony Stewart
on bass the perfect rhythm section throughout the entire performance of A Tower Of Silence. Many times it was not easy to avoid goose bumps! Such as on The Passing Bell and Archway Of Tears. Or on the ultimate climax of the album. Namely on All That Is. Once again the band showed during this epic what they are capable off while playing such fantastic progressive rock music. I loved it all the way and it was amazing to hear all of the great compositions from this excellent album. They just nailed it playing it from start to finish in a perfect way. Complements to all for playing the sometimes complex songs so brilliantly.

After been listening to a complete stunning live version of an album that grabs you by the throat it was officially time for the band to say goodbye to their audience and leave the stage. But like many bands before who were performing on this sometimes too small stage they didn't leave before doing the requested encore. They hardly moved before playing These Changing Seasons III and Silent Wandering Ghosts. The two closing tracks from respectively The Second Hand and Hitchhiking To Byzantium and therefore perfect songs to end a concert. But they weren't the two closing songs because after several band picture shoots the crowd still wanted more. Well David couldn't refuse the wild cheering and clapping and decided for the whole band to do a another song before going off stage. Because not anything was done from their debut album they ended with Disinfected And Abused. The longest and final track taken from 230503 (2009, see review).

It was the perfect ending of a perfect concert. A concert which was for me personally one of the best concerts of 2018 so far. Thanks guys for coming back to the Netherlands again. Hope to see you soon for a third time. You are as always welcome to return. Thanks also to the amazing Progfrog team for having Australia's leading progressive rock band on their stage!

Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

Live video

   Henri & Roel Strik

Hitchhiking To Byzantium (9:36)
Dead Trees (6:47)

Setlist Anubis:

Set 1
Pages Of Stone
Dead Trees
Fool’s Gold
Hitchhiking To Byzantium
Set 2
A Tower Of Silence:
The Passing Bell
Archway Of Tears
This Final Resting Place
A Tower of Silence
Weeping Willow
And I Wait for my World to End
The Holy Innocent
All That Is
These Changing Seasons III
Silent Wandering Ghosts
Disinfected And Abused

Pictures Anubis by Arthur Haggenburg

>>> Click here to view all pics on one page.

Click on the picture to enlarge.


Line up Anubis:

(left to right)
Dean Bennison:
lap steel guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals
David Eaton:
keyboards, backing vocals
Robert James Moulding:
lead vocals, electric guitar, percussion
Steven Eaton:
Anthony Stewart:
bass, backing vocals
Douglas Skene:
electric guitar, backing vocals

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