Riverside & The Sixxis & Lion Shepherd
Sunday, 18th October 2015
013, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Due to unforeseen circumstances we unfortunately missed opening band Lion Shepherd, but we did get to see part of The Sixxis.
Tilburg's 013 is a venue that's widely renowned for its acoustics and pleasant atmosphere.
It's easy to see why Porcupine Tree decided to record their excellent Anesthetize DVD there.
Aside from looking forward to seeing Riverside play, I was also curious to see the refurbished concert hall.
The crowd capacity has been increased, and if this was still the old hall, I'm sure tonight would've been sold out.
As it turned out, the place was rather busy, but there was more than enough space to stand freely and have a nice view at the stage.
Good move on 013's part!
As I mentioned before, I didn't get to see their entire set.
But from what I witnessed, The Sixxis are a powerful progressive metal band with a knack for good song writing.
The sound was pretty good for an opening band, the vocals came through nicely and the lead guitarist is a real monster!
The stage presence of the band is very professional, and the vocalist often took place behind his keyboard to add atmosphere
to the band's overall heavy sound.
Not the most original prog band I've seen - and again,
this is judging from two songs - but a very worthwhile one and an excellent opening act for Riverside.
I'm definitely interested to check out an album of theirs, based on what I heard.
Setlist The Sixxis
Coke Can Steve
I Wanted More
The band's latest album got mostly raving reviews on our Round Table Review, but Andy Read was one reviewer who was slightly letdown by it.
My own take on the album is that it's a pretty good, mature-sounding album, although like Andy, I do miss some energy in there.
I was nonetheless curious to hear how well their new, more straightforward material would translate into a live setting.
The answer to that would be: very well! The new songs sounded a bit heavier live, and definitely added to the already diverse body of work of the band.
New track Lost (Why Should I be Frightened by a Hat?) served as the set opener, and a very good one at that.
It takes a lot of courage to start with a new song, especially this one as it begins with sparse instrumentation and a very prominent vocal.
Right off the bat, Mariusz Duda's vocals came through with full confidence and they were completely in-tune.
When the full band entered, the sound was warm, powerful and defined.
Throughout the entire gig, the front of house engineer did a very, very fine job: Not too loud, punchy, fat bass guitars, fat Hammond organs.
If I had to give one complaint, it would be Piotr Grudzinski's guitars. His playing is fantastic,
but his digital-ish tone can sound a bit thin compared to the analogue warmth of the other instruments.
The band played a set that strongly focused on material from
Love, Fear & The Time Machine
Shrine of New Generation Slaves,
the band's latest two records. My personal favourite album
Anno Domini High Definition
was represented with two tracks.
Hyperactive and longer piece Egoist Hedonist were treated with very energetic performances.
The chaotic, heavy nature of the songs lend itself spectacularly well to the professional lightshow, which was another stand out this night.
Every song had its own lightning scheme, and the overall set was expertly paced and calculated, but not to the extreme.
There was enough room for short banter in between songs, something which Mariusz has gotten only better at.
Another cool thing I noticed was that the band often played an extra interlude to several songs, which really added to the live feeling.
Arguably, the band took that a bit too far with The Same River, resulting in most fans not even recognizing the song for the first few minutes!
The show lasted a good two hours, but there was never a dull moment because of the nicely balanced set and the band's excellent stage presence,
with band members often walking over to each other, even rubbing backs and all! That's how you give a rock 'n roll show,
prog or not, and Riverside understand this.
Riverside anno 2015 are more professional than ever before, and are also playing tighter than ever before.
Strangely enough there was only one song (Conceiving You) from fan favourite album
Second Life Syndrome
but that didn't hurt the enjoyment at all. A testament to the band's greatness.
Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By a Hat?)
Feel Like Falling
02 Panic Room
Under the Pillow
The Depth of Self-Delusion
We Got Used to Us
Discard Your Fear
The Same River
Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching)
Riverside official Website
The Sixxis official Website
Lion Shepherd official Website