Knight Area

December 10, 2023 - Luxor Live, Arnhem (NL)

Sometimes progressive rock bands just call it a day. Bands such as Martigan and Kayak are good examples. Several reasons to mention why they suddenly stop. Lack of interest by the press and public? Or hardly any concerts so why practise and continue? Too old to tour over and over again? I guess there are even more reasons to mention. Such as stopping at the peak of their (artistic) success. Like the Dutch progressive rock act Knight Area, which was founded in 2004 by keyboard player Gerben Klazinga. The same year they released their excellent debut The Sun Also Rises. Several overwhelmingly positive reviews were rewarded with an invite to Nearfest in 2005. This resulted in getting a band together to perform live and record many more albums. After their two final albums about WW2, the critically acclaimed D-Day (2019, see review) and D-Day II - The Final Chapter (2022, see review), they also called it a day. The five band members chose their own path after 19 years. The band had reached a creative peak with their latest two efforts and therefore they decided that this
For the last time together on stage
is the best time to stop. The very last concert was already planned long ago. Even one year ahead. And that day of the final concert of Knight Area would take place on a Sunday afternoon in Arnhem. The date December 10, 2023 and the venue Luxor Live. The band really wanted to make it a great closing party. For the band, the crew and their loyal fans, this is the moment to celebrate one last time.

After many wonderful years with fantastic highlights to look back on, the band consisting of keyboardist Gerben Klazinga, bassist Peter Vink, guitarist Mark Bogert, singer Jan Willem Ketelaers and drummer Pieter van Hoorn climbed the stage together for the very last time. Would they shine like at the NEARfest festival in the USA, as at the Night of the Prog festival at the Loreleii Freilichtbühne in Germany, the ProgSud Festival in France, the FMPM Montreal Canada, the Slottskogen festival in Sweden, the 2DAYS PROG festival in Italy or at the Progpower Europe festival in Baarlo? Well to answer those questions is rather simple. They ended their farewell concert with a BANG! No musicians on stage that showed that they were glad it all stops here! No Way! No funeral to lay the band to rest. It all looked like a big birthday party on which all of the five candles are still burning in full glory. Therefore difficult to understand why they chose to stop as band. But I guess this is the way to thank everybody for their support!

As for the concert, which lasted two and a half hours, it was obvious that the largest part of it would be taken songs from their final two albums recorded by the line up mentioned earlier. First it was time for D-Day. The crowd could enjoy New Horizon, Overlord, The Landing and Wings Of Time. All done
Acoustic set Mark & Jan Willem
in an excellent way and with footage of WWII behind them on the large moviewall. Which also showed a special version of Imagine (John Lennon cover) before it was time for an intimate acoustic version of Freedom For Everyone. The original band versions can be found on D-Day. However the acoustic version done by Ketelaers on vocals and Bogert on acoustic guitar is one of the bonus tracks on D-Day II - The Final Chapter. They did it in an excellent way while sitting in front of the mixing desk instead of doing it on stage. This was of course a nice surprise for everybody present.

After the intro film of Churchill's speech it was time for five songs taken from the D-Day II - The Final Chapter album. This time around the crowd could enjoy The Enemy Within, For Those Who Fell, The Dream with special guest Ron Ouwehand (Chiron's Return) on guitar, The Journey Home and Crossroads. After those songs perfectly done it was time for the band to put their crew into the spotlight
Very last gig of Peter Vink
and giving them a special signed picture. This was given by the man that stood for the very the last time on a stage. With an age of 74 years old and fifty years on a stage it was for bassist Peter Vink time to retire from the live scene. You could tell that the farewell was difficult for him and tears were shed.

After this tribute to all of the peacekeepers of WWII, it was time to hear some songs from the last album on which former singer Mark Smith did the lead vocals before Ketelaers took over. Six compositions from Heaven And Beyond (2017, see review) could be enjoyed. On one of them, The Reaper, crewmember Michel Blanken (Chiron's Return) joined the musicians on stage to play the drums. Which he did quite good! Before the crowd could sing-a-long with the title track the partner of guitarist Mark Bogert got on stage. Nadine Bogert-Pruim did a duet with Jan Willem Ketelaers, which originally was done by Charlotte Wessels and the earlier mentioned Mark Smith on Nine Paths (2011, see review). Titled Please Come Home. Well I guess they did it perfectly just like on the original version.
Gerben Klazinga Mark Bogert Pieter van Hoorn

Of course the band could not leave without doing an encore. Most people expected that the bands classic song Mortal Brow taken from their debut The Sun Also Rises would be next. However before that song the band had
Special thanks to the crew
one extra surprise encore in store. A perfect rendition of Hypnotized taken from Hyperdrive (2014, see review). After that it was finally time for the Knight Area classic Mortal Brow and the last song they performed together before the curtain would fall for this band. Bogerts partner was also a guest vocalist on the song on which her partner for the last time showed how good he was on his instrument by doing an excellent solo. One final time the band gave their all to please their fans who they could hug and speak to after the final notes were done.

As mentioned earlier the band ended their farewell concert with a BANG! Maybe the fans from the early days would have wanted more songs from their first four albums. Albums on which the band sounded more like a neo progressive rock band before they turned into a more prog metal sounding act on the albums they released after that. Well I guess you can't always get what you want. Just as the Rolling Stones sang on their 1969 album Let It Bleed. But even without all those classical KA pieces of music it was still a very strong performance. One to remember that's for sure...

Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen, pics by Proggy)

Line up Knight Area:

(left to right)
Jan Willem Ketelaers:
lead vocals
Pieter van Hoorn:
drums, backing vocals
Peter Vink:
Mark Bogert:
Gerben Klazinga:
keyboards, backing vocals



Setlist Knight Area:

New Horizon
The Landing
Wings Of Time
Freedom For Everyone (acoustic)
The Enemy Within
For Those Who Fell
The Dream
The Journey Home
Eternal Light
The Reaper
Twins Of Sins
Please Come Home
Heaven And Beyond
Mortal Brow

Special guests:

Nadine Bogert-Pruim:
vocals Please Come Home & Mortal Brow
Ron Ouwehand:
guitar The Dream
Michel Blanken:
drums The Reaper

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