Riverside – Spirit Of 66 – Verviers Belgium 22 April 2006

This was the first time that I saw this amazing Polish prog rock band alive. Their last album Second Life Syndrome was one of the highlights of the year 2005 and especially guitar player Piotr Grudzinski impressed me a lot with his multifaceted solos, melodies and riffs. The sound in the cosy Spirit of 66 is mostly near to perfect, however this time the volume was way up too high, as even I - with professional earplugs – really found it too loud. Which is really a shame because this fantastic band deserves a perfect sound, but the set they played was out of this world. Especially bass player/singer Mariusz Duda and guitar player Piotr Grudzinski made the difference with their mind-boggling vocals and exquisite guitar passages.

Songs like Conceiving You, Dance With The Shadow and Before really came to life on stage and proved that Riverside is and will be an important new force in the progressive rock world. Highlight of the evening was the astonishing epic title track Second Life Syndrome, during which Piotr almost turned into a true guitar god with his heavenly solos reminding me of Pink Floyd and Sieges Even. Speaking of the Floyd, theband started the show with an intro consisting of Shine On You Crazy Diamond and their own The Same River. Another surprise was the rather unknown song Acronym Love, an amazing track from their Voices In My Head – EP. The show was over in a jiffy, but I hope to see them again in the near future, maybe again in this remarkable venue in Belgium.

Review by Martien Koolen
Photo by Nick Vranken
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