Down By The River

I had to wait quite a while before I could enjoy my first live experience with Poland’s hottest Progressive Rock-band Riverside, but last Friday, the wait was finally over. And, was it worth it? A definitive YES is the only possible answer. But first things first.

There still was enough space in front of the stage when supporting act The Last Supper started their set. The guys from Canada played some OK indie-rock songs with a slight prog twist; and although it was nothing so special, I have to admit that I have seen far worse opening acts.

After a short break, Riverside’s 15-minute instrumental Rapid Eye Movement was blasted through the speakersas as an intro, and then the show began. The four band members entered the stage and started their set with Beyond The Eyelids, the opener from their last album Rapid Eye Movement. The sound was a bit too loud at first, but the technicians eliminated that problem quite quickly.

I don’t recall the whole playlist, but Riverside offered us a very good selection of their best works from all their three albums. It was striking how good all of them blended together, and it perfectly showed how homogeneous the whole trilogy really is. There were many highlights such as Rainbow Box, I Turned You Down, Conceiving You or The Ultimate Trip, but to be honest, there wasn’t one bad song amongst the whole set… each one of them was a little highlight.

Frontman Mariusz Duda was very sympathetic and entertaining, talked a lot to the audience and came across very humble, and seemed to enjoy the evening. Sadly, the audience wasn’t really in the mood to participate in his attempts for sing-alongs, but it didn’t do any harm to the performance. The other band members seemed to be in a good mood, too; they played their instruments perfectly and proved that they really are the most promising rockband from Poland.

Another highlight waited for us in the first encore with 02 Panic Room, the great single from the latest Riverside album. The audience was completely under the spell of the band by then, and so we weren’t satisfied with only one encore and ordered Riverside back out onto the stage for a second time. The evening ended with an absolutely stunning version of The Curtain Falls, and you could see it in the faces of the band that they really were satisfied with that night’s show. And so was the audience… at least I can say that for me!

Due to the fact that the concert hall was only about half full – which was a crying shame really… Riverside definitely would have deserved more people – I was able to take lots of pictures; I’ve uploaded the rest of them to my Flickr-Account. Check them out!

So after Porcupine Tree back in November, I have now seen my other favourite ProgRock-band this year. Two great bands, two perfect concerts, and two great albums in 2007… the battle for the top-list is on!!! The winner will be announced soon on this blog!!!


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