Progventure Part 7: Dianoya, Jolly, Riverside - Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium, 19.03.2013

Event: Riverside: New Generation European Tour 2013
Written by: Ivor
Published: 05.04.2013


Dianoya, Jolly, Riverside - Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium, 19.03.2013 by Ivor (49)
Having seen Threshold and company just two days earlier at the same venue, I was rather curious to find out how this would turn out and compare to the previous show. Would the venue sound as great as before? Would Riverside draw in more people than Threshold? Would it be at least as awesome? To be honest, what I was becoming more interested in was to know whether Biebob is indeed an excellent place for great gigs. Any guesses?

While Riverside are a good enough reason for a Progventure trip on their own, I think this time around they weren't the actual culprits. I mean, it's not like I have a chance of seeing Riverside whenever I fancy but, to be fair, Poland is only a very long day's drive away and they have ventured up north to Estonia on two occasions already. Well, all right, they weren't (and still aren't) coming here on this tour by what was known at that point, so we had to take matters into our own hands. But that's only part of the actual truth. But more on that a bit later.

I must say it's rather confusing for me personally when the first act goes on stage a measly fifteen minutes after the doors open. It doesn't really leave much time for people to arrive. Thus, when the first notes were struck, the place still seemed rather empty. Then again, I don't think many considered Polish Dianoya good enough a reason for coming in early. Were they really worth it? Well, if I'm honest, yes and no. Musically the band is sound, they've got the instrumental voodoo and the compositions seem varied and ought to be captivating for the prog fan. However, to me it all appeared kind of detached.

There might be a couple of different aspects to that. Firstly, the band didn't look to be all too stage experienced. They aren't exactly newcomers with two albums under their belts but it seems this is one of their first big tours. And thus they didn't engage the crowd. They were there, on stage, and I was here, in the hall, and it felt as if I was looking through the window at them. Probably the aforementioned sparseness of the audience didn't help either. Secondly, and more importantly, I don't think the band got properly into the flow of things. It all felt more than a little rushed. They were rushed on stage at the beginning of the show and they were cut short at about half an hour mark to mine as much as their surprise. Just when they wanted to start another tune they were sent packing. This felt unnatural and wrong, and left a bit of a sour after-taste to their performance.

Anthony "Einstein" Rondinone

Jolly might very well have been the real reason for this trip. Firstly, Jolly have delivered some awesome music recently that's gone straight to the top part of my favourites list. Secondly, this tour with Riverside almost didn't happen for them. To overcome the hard blow that Hurricane Sandy dealt them, to finance the release of the new album and to support the tour, they ran an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign. Some of my friends and I chimed in. So, naturally, we had a close personal interest in this tour, even if our help was only marginal. Besides, them being from NYC, who knows when they'll manage to hit the European mainland again.

So, after the rushed departure of the opener, Jolly stepped on stage in the persevering atmosphere of urgency. Sadly, it didn't go away as the show went along, it just faded into the background and became less noticeable; and you could feel some of the inevitable pressure the time-constraints were putting on the band. However, while they may not have had a long time to play, they sure tried to make it a worthwhile experience for the audience. And from what I saw, they would've been glad if they could have kept playing on and on.

With Jolly the show took a turn for the intense. It was not exactly a wall of sound kind of intense that leaves you devastated, if you know what I mean. It was an intensity of layered music, a joy of playing and delivering songs crafted with love, with a complex, all encompassing aural feeling of flowing emotions. To some extent, Jolly's performance became a kind of state of mind. Whether it was the band, or the music, but in some way it all reached out to you, the band and the music where there with you, not unlike Threshold two nights earlier, although on a lesser scale, either due to time constraints, or experience. Yes, I think you can tell it was awesome and I was happy to see them play.

Jolly set list:
1. Storytime (The Audio Guide To Happiness, Part 1)
2. Firewell (The Audio Guide To Happiness, Part 2)
3. Where Everything's Perfect (The Audio Guide To Happiness, Part 1)
4. Dust Nation Bleak (The Audio Guide To Happiness, Part 2)
5. Joy (The Audio Guide To Happiness, Part 1)
6. The Pattern (The Audio Guide To Happiness, Part 1)

It seems to me the latest Riverside album Shrine Of New Generation Slaves has left people divided. Some love it, some don't, and think it's a step down from Anno Domini High Definition. And, if you look at the set list, the present tour should add to some of the confusion, for the band is primarily playing stuff from their last two albums. However, think whatever you will, it actually works really well together on the same set list and will likely help non-believers to convert and get over their prejudices.

While I have to say I totally love the new songs, I'll also have to admit that I wasn't expecting them to work as well as they did live. The floating start of "The Depth Of Self-Delusion" sounds just awesome, and the slight pause in "Escalator Shrine" at the point of "... no one here is real" has an impressive, deep impact live. The songs may not have the heaviness or the pace of some of the previous works but they work just as well. They are Riverside all over, and live you won't really notice the contrast that you might see between the albums. However, I have to agree with the opinion that as far as raw pace and pure, straight up awesomeness is concerned, repertoire of Anno Domini High Definition is hard to beat. You kind of respond on a different emotional level to that stuff.

The show was made even better by Mariusz's talkative and apparently good mood. When "Escalator Shrine" was starting, a problem with the microphone and rolling bass sound occurred. The band stopped playing and Mariusz proceeded whispering "What's this? What's this sound?" A couple of moments later after resolving the issue came a whispering question "Are you OK?" YAY! "Shhhh!" was his response, tapping his finger on his temple indicating are you all nuts? Think people! Think! "Are you OK??" The silent yay-scream that followed has got to be one of the coolest things I've ever heard at a concert. A pure win. It was just so brilliant and spontaneous, a perfect introduction to the coming bass lead of the song itself. I believe this silent scream is the thing this show at Biebob is going to be remembered by.

Riverside set list:
1. New Generation Slave (Shrine Of New Generation Slaves)
2. The Depth Of Self-Delusion (Shrine Of New Generation Slaves)
3. Feel Like Falling (Shrine Of New Generation Slaves)
4. Driven To Destruction (Anno Domini High Definition)
5. Living In The Past (Memories In My Head EP)
6. 02 Panic Room (Ending) (Rapid Eye Movement)
7. We Got Used To Us (Shrine Of New Generation Slaves)
8. Egoist Hedonist (Anno Domini High Definition)
9. Escalator Shrine (Shrine Of New Generation Slaves)
10. Left Out (Anno Domini High Definition)

While Riverside delivered an excellent 90 minute show, the feeling of urgency remained. A small note of unpleasantness in an altogether great evening of good music. Riverside keeps evolving their sound and refining their performance, and doesn't disappoint live. And Jolly - they deserve a chance for a longer set on a bigger stage. May we meet again, fellows!

More from the same trip in Progventure Part 6 and Part 8.


Written on 05.04.2013 by
I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.
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BloodTears - 07.04.2013 at 13:23  
Riverside are playing so many new songs live, which is great I wonder how they sound live. You seem to enjoy it, Ivor.

Also, great to see them play songs from Anno Domini High Definition still. This tour needs to come here!

Sounds like you had a good night. Riverside are so relaxed live, I still remember that here their keyboardist literally drank a cup of coffee during one of their songs. It was hilarious.
Promonex - 09.04.2013 at 13:12  
High time for me to check out Jolly, it seems.

Looking forward to Progventure Part 8
Marcel Hubregtse - 09.04.2013 at 13:19  
Written by Promonex on 09.04.2013 at 13:12

High time for me to check out Jolly, it seems.

depends, I would say.
Do you like Britpop?
If you hate Britpop then stay clear of Jolly. Not that they play Britpop totally but there is loads of it in their sound.
Promonex - 09.04.2013 at 13:28  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 09.04.2013 at 13:19

Written by Promonex on 09.04.2013 at 13:12

High time for me to check out Jolly, it seems.

depends, I would say.
Do you like Britpop?
If you hate Britpop then stay clear of Jolly. Not that they play Britpop totally but there is loads of it in their sound.

You're too late, man. I'm already five tracks in and I'm loving the shit out of "Dust Nation Bleak"
Marcel Hubregtse - 09.04.2013 at 13:37  
Written by Promonex on 09.04.2013 at 13:28

You're too late, man. I'm already five tracks in and I'm loving the shit out of "Dust Nation Bleak"

so, you clearly don't hate Britpop then

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