Concert Review Archive

The Flower Kings

19th April 2006
013, Tilburg, The Netherlands

By
Dave Baird

The Flower Kings played the final date of their European tour at Tilburg's famous Club 013 and, like many bands before them, they chose the occasion to utilise the excellent on-site facilities and recorded the show for future DVD release. Arriving at the show a little later that I would prefer I found the hall quite full - bad for me personally as my viewing options were a bit limited but great to see the The Flower Kings had nearly filled such a large venue (well the ground floor at least) and obviously good news for the DVD recording for ambience and visually a good attendance.

The lights dim, the crowd roars and the somewhat predictable spoken intro, Check In, from Paradox Hotel is comes over the PA and The Flower Kings hit the stage. The next two and a half hours is roughly 50% material from the new CD and the rest from their rich back-catalogue. The new material comes across very very well live, mostly better than on the studio version. Particularly strong are the renditions of Hit Me With A Hit, Pioneers Of Aviation, Mommy Leave The Light On and Jealousy, the latter especially being perhaps the hightlight of the show for me with Roine absolutely excelling on the vocals, I found it quite an emotional moment.

This is the fifth time I have seen the band live and the they seem to have shifted up to another level. Previous times all the concerts have been great but they've always been fairly relaxed affairs, I wouldn't say the band were sloppy or anything like that but they certainly have always had a improvisational feel to their gigs. This occasion could be different - their playing is tight, focussed and sharp. That's not to say they're also not relaxed, in fact they all look very happy with life. Maybe it's all for the DVD recording but Roine's smilling for once, Hasse of course is doing his usual rock 'n' roll antics and Tomas is positively beaming at the audience on every occasion - looks like he's had his hair done specially for the filming too, that should go down well with the girls... It's only perhaps Jonas that's looking a bit stressed tonight and the new drummer, Marcos (not the bus driver...) is grimacing fiercely but playing with a passion that completely revises the opinion that I gave on the CD review of Paradox Hotel, he's certainly very much present now and playing great.

There's perhaps less material from Adam & Eve than I would prefer having missed that tour but they do suprise with Blade Of Cain (during the encore) and a medley of Love Supreme with The Truth Will Set You Free from Unfold The Future. I've always struggled with medleys, I think they spoil the essence of the song, I'd rather one or the other was played in it's entirety (well, preferably both actually) and to make it worse they do the same with Last Minute On Earth and In The Eyes Of The World, also two tracks that deserve a full outing, especially the latter which is not only a Flower Kings classic but the first piece of Flower Kings music I ever heard back in 2000.

There's a fun moment with the crowd when someone shouts out "Roine, you're fucking great!", to which Roine responds, "Thank you, you're fucking great too! Of course we'll have to edit that out for the video, it's going to go: You're BEEP great!", merriment and mirth all-round... Will be interesting to see how they actually do edit that on the DVD when it arrives later this year. Roine, dressed as usual in a flowery outfit, is pretty chatty throughout the concert, interacting well with the band and audience, he seems happy with it all, almost the opposite of what we had discussed just a few days earlier.

When the obligatory encore finished with A Kings Prayer (an odd choice I thought) the crowd remained very vocal and didn't show much intention of going home. After some time the band returned to the stage looking humbled by the reaction and somewhat perplexed. Roine says that they were already "halfway back to Sweden and hadn't planned for another song". A large number of people are shouting for Stardust We Are and after some discussion with the band Roine says "You're right, it's Stardust you want and Stardust you will get!". Of course the crowd goes nuts at this point and we really have a fitting end to the show. I genuinely believe that the song wasn't planned and they just responded to the crowd's demands - setlists from the rest of the tour don't show it being played either so that supports the idea as well. It's so rare these days that you get these spontaneous extra encores, it really was a pleasure.

Overall it was a great gig - no noticable technical niggles, no obvious bum notes to repair, perhaps I would prefer to have heard some other songs or full versions rather than the medleys but the band played professionally and with some passion. Roine's guitar was spot-on and Marcus really showed why he has replaced Zoltan. The crowd were great without being crazy and all in all I thought it as the best performance I've seen from the band. I just hope all this is captured well in the DVD which I now eagerly await...
Setlist
Check In
Paradox Hotel
Hit Me With a Hit
Last Minute On Earth /
In The Eyes Of The World
Jealousy 
What If God Is Alone
Love Supreme /
The Truth Will Set You Free

Touch My Heaven
Mommy Leave a Light On
End On a High Note
Life Will Kill You
I Am The Sum

Blade Of Cain
A King's Prayer

Stardust We Are pt 3

 


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