June 30, 2019 - 't Blok, Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel (NL)

Oliver Rüsing is a very talented German singer and multi-instrumentalist. Under the moniker of KariBoW he already released lots of progressive rock albums. Most of them all recorded by himself with some help of some guest musicians. My first encounter with Oliver was in 2014, when he asked me if I wanted to review his latest release Addicted (see review). Which I of course did! The music on this fine album reminded me of bands such as No Name, Saga, Toto, Styx, Foreigner, Survivor and Boston. At the time I ended my review with the following words: "Karibow also does live concerts with several other musicians next to Oliver. Hopefully one day he will release an album with one of their recorded shows, because I am certainly curious how his music sounds when it's played by others".

Oliver Rüsing (►more pics)
Well so far I didn't see him perform myself until recently. Because the friendly people of the amazing ProgFrog team managed to book him for a concert in the Netherlands. The first one in our country for this very sympathetic musician. He had been here on vacation several times, but never climbed the stage here. Together with a by him special formed new band, he made it to the Netherlands to give a special kick-off show. A show which was a sort of try-out for the soon to start MOnuMENTO tour. At the same time the first concert done by his new band was a kind of release party of the album Supernatural Foe - Rebirth. An album that was on sale here for the very first time. An album that was released for the very first time as Supernatural Foe - Vocalized back in 1998. But as you know, technology improves every day and things that sounded great many years ago, do sound less good nowadays. Therefore Rüsing decided to rerecord the entire album again for his fans. The same fans that gathered around the stage on a very hot Sunday afternoon at 't Blok in Nieuwerkerk aan de Ijssel. To witness a very awesome concert done by some excellent German musicians.

After a short intro by the host of the venue, who was imitating the band leader in a funny way by wearing dark glasses, a black cowboy hat and a blond wig, it was show time! The first set lasted almost one hour and 15 minutes and started off with a fine version of The Raining Silence. A great sing-a-long tune from his latest release MOnuMENTO. During this song Oliver was dressed up like a true rock star. Wearing a great looking coat and leather trousers. He probably did forget it was going to be very warm on stage and kept going on in this outfit
Philipp Dauenhauer (►more pics)
until he was started to sweat more and more. Finally it made him decide to take off the coat and show his beautiful yellow blouse. Well it contained long sleeves and therefore it was still too hot to wear. So during one of the excellent guitar solos done by Philipp Dauenhauer he decided to wear a black shirt without any sleeves. This way he was more comfortable to announce the first composition from the earlier mentioned Supernatural Foe - Rebirth album. During this track Is That You? again the crowd could enjoy an excellent guitar solo done by Dauenhauer. Strangely enough Oliver decided to do a song which contain guests vocalists on the original studio versions. District Of Diginity was one of them done during the first set and featured ex-Karnataka female singer Hayley Griffiths. Before the band turned into an acoustic band one more piece of music was done played on electric instruments. A song which was performed during every concert ever done by KariBoW. 9/16 was for me together with Primeval, Place To Be and F8 Al Ba6 one of my favourites from the earlier mentioned Addicted. Containing again a beautiful guitar solo done by Philipp. The song ended on the acoustic guitar played by Oliver and was a nice way to get into an unplugged mood for the final 15 minutes of the first set. Home Of Cain, Passion and Believe of course sounded acoustically differently compared to the electric studio versions. Oliver was during this short acoustic set accompanied by Philipp Dauenhauer on the acoustic guitar and drummer Gerald Nahrgang on the acoustic bass. Before they started the final piece of the acoustic part of the show Oliver asked the audience to participate. All they had to do was to sing- along with the wordless parts during the chorus. Well they followed his instructions and this way a feeling of bonding came across the artist and his audience. It was certainly a nice way to end the first set.

Well anybody who must have thought it can't get any better after seeing the first set, was in for a real surprise. Because there was so much more beautiful stuff to hear and see in the next upcoming hour. The band continued where they left off when they walked to the dressing room to have a well deserved break. Making strong progressive rock music with lots of beautiful solos performed on the guitar and keyboards. As you could witness for example during
Odd costume (►more pics)
the opening tune of the second set. Titled Here. But also the following track The North Wall Tale contained an excellent solo performed on the electric guitar. It lasted very long and gave Rüsing a chance to change his outfit. Because at the start of Back To The Ashes he walked upon the stage wearing a black robe with a hood and a black mask on his face. His eyes were red light which lit up red every now and then. With an almost dark stage it was really a great gimmick to see only his red eyes. At the same time he started playing and singing behind his E-pads (electric drums). After that it was as if he had disappeared from the stage. But in real he was changing again his outfit behind the E-pads. When he came up he was wearing a bird mask and his hands were wrapped in red bird feathers. This way the song Red Feathers very much came to life. After that he returned behind his E-pads without wearing extra costumes or masks. Only to do his E-Pad Solo. This started as an extra drum solo but soon he also added keyboard sounds to it. Something which made it even more interesting to watch. During Private Babylon it was time for himself to show that he also can do an excellent guitar solo together with Philipp. For the next song again a "virtual girl" was announced. Therefore the crowd could only hear the voice of Dutch singer Monique van der Kolk (Harvest) during a fine version of Inside You. When the last song of the second set was announced, a lot of disappointing sounds could be heard from the audience. But I guess after they heard a splendid version of Change it brought a smile on their faces.

KariBoW @ 't Blok (►more pics)
After enjoying such a brilliant second set it was obvious anybody present wanted more. Much more. So after a couple of we want more request in Oliver's native language he showed up again on the stage. However only on his own. He sat down and took his acoustic guitar and started playing Inorganic Talk. A very old song which he performed on his own almost every day many years ago. Before doing this he invited his band mates to join him, which they did in the end. The final song of the warm afternoon show was done with a complete line up on stage. The Cry was a of course an excellent up tempo song to say farewell to all the fans at the venue. Who certainly had a blast during this very long performance (the longest concert they ever had done) of this excellent live band.

In September KariBoW will visit the UK for seven concerts during their MOnuMENTO tour 2019. For those who will see the band are in for a real treat. Those who will stay at home will certainly miss a spectacular show of one of the finest bands coming from Germany. The Netherlands already can talk about it thanks to the amazing ProgFrog team who booked them for a one off concert. Thanks guys! Hopefully a live release of one of the concerts done this year will follow, so we all can relive it over and over again!

Henri Strik (edited by Dave Smith)

Live video recordings

Henri & Roel Strik

X The Cry
X Private Babylon
X Remember
Back To The ashes/Red Feathers/E-Drums (11:55)
CD release party

Setlist Karibow:

Set 1
Intro/The Raining Silence
Is That You?
District Of Diginity
Home Of Cain (Acoustic)
Passion (Acoustic)
Believe (Acoustic)
Set 2
The North Wall Tale
Back To The Ashes
Red Feathers
E-Pad Solo
Private Babylon
Inside You
Inorganic Talk
The Cry

Pictures Karibow by Arthur Haggenburg

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Line up Karibow:

(left to right)
Felix Jäger:
Gerald Nahrgang:
drums, acoustic bass
Oliver Rüsing:
lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, drums (e-pads)
Philipp Dauenhauer:
electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Guido Seifert:

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