November 19, 2023 - 't Blok, Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel (NL)

While scrolling on Facebook, I became rather surprised when I noticed the message of a certain concert at 't Blok in Nieuwerkerk aan de IJssel; 'The cancelled concert of the Polish act Moonrise on March 15, 2020, will now take place after 3.5 years'. I couldn't be more happy about that announcement. At the time the pandemic spoilt a lot of great things for many progressive rock lovers out there. It wasn't possible to attend a concert in public. At the time I was rather disappointed that the concert of the band that was founded in Klucze, Poland in 2008, and led by multi-instrumentalist Kamil Konieczniak was not going to be happen.
Band picture in front of the venue
(►more pics)
People said that it probably never would take place because it was too expensive to get the whole band on the road for a trip to the Netherlands. But never say never! And now not only one concert but two shows were arranged to show the Dutch audience how capable they are to bring the many great Moonrise tunes to a stage in the Netherlands.

After a short soundcheck it was finally showtime!!!

The four members were ready to kick ass. And they certainly did. Lead singer Marcin Staszek, who is the vocalist on Travel Within (2019, see review), was the host on this Sunday afternoon gig. He was assisted by guitarist Marcin Kruczek and drummer Grzegorz Bauer, who both played on Soul's Inner Pendulum (2009, see review) and Stopover - Life (2012, see review). And of course they were all there on stage to perform the compositions of Kamil Konieczniak the best possible way. Kamil himself was behind the keyboards and towards the end of their set he played on electric guitar as well. This was during Calling Your Number and The Lights Of A Distant Bay. A splendid solo could be enjoyed while performing the title track of their debut album The Lights Of A Distant Bay (2008). The audience could enjoy songs taken from the entire back catalogue. However the main focus was on their latest album Travel Within. With six tracks taken from it. Including the sing-a-long song Little Stone. A song on which the excellent lead singer ask the crowd to participate. But it wasn't the only song to clap a long. Also a track such as In The Labyrinth Of The Dream, taken from the debut album, was a perfect vehicle to bring the people in front of the stage in the right mood. The staccato rhythm of the guitar along with the strong beat was perfect, making the crowd even more excited. I will not mention every song performed. But believe me all musicians delivered a high standard of performance throughout the entire set. The excellent guitar solos of Kruczek were so well done, just as the synthesizer solos by Konieczniak. Bauer, who is also the drummer of Polish act Millenium, he hit his drum kit in a perfect way.
Marcin Staszek (►more pics)
Sometimes very sensible on the cymbals, other times hitting the drum bass a little bit harder with his foot. And of course Staszek with his golden voice. Singing and covering the original versions done by Łukasz Gall and Marcin Jajkiewicz in a very strong way. And also his vocals done on Travel Within got a great live rendition. Hopefully this singer and line up will be on the next Moonrise release as well. An album that according to Kamil will be released within two years.

Of course as a fan of the band right from the start you have your favourite tracks. Tracks which I would like to be done by the band during a concert. Well for me personally, almost my dreams came true to hear my all time classic Moonrise compositions. Being Awakened and Angels' Hidden Plan. Both taken from my favourite album Soul's Inner Pendulum. Unfortunately the opening tune of the album was not done but thank God the following track on the album Angels' Hidden Plan was on the setlist. Missing one of my favourite tracks didn't mean the concert wasn't good enough for me. By no means. It was certainly worth the wait for such a long time and they didn't disappoint at all. I guess the band members on stage and the people in front of them had both an excellent time on this rather rainy Sunday afternoon at 't Blok. And that's all that matters! Hopefully they will return very soon when the new album is released. The Dutch audience loves Moonrise and therefore don't let them wait too long...please!

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

Live video recordings

Henri, Eden & Roel Strik

Flying in Empty Lands
Angel's Hidden Plan
The Light Of a Distant Bay

Setlist Moonrise:

Surrender To Win
The Answer
Flying In Empty Lands
Little Stone
Angels' Hidden Plan
Mr. Strange
Calling Your Number
The Lights Of A Distant Bay
In The Labyrinth Of The Dream
Empty Lines

Pictures Moonrise by Arthur Haggenburg

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

Click on the picture to enlarge.


Line up Moonrise:

(left to right)
Kamil Konieczniak:
keyboards & guitar
Marcin Staszek:
Marcin Kruczek:
Grzegorz Bauer:

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