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Van Der Graaf Generator - Live at Metropolis Studios CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.54 | 39 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Sometimes into the recording of their A Grounding in Numbers album sessions, the group bowed to the demand and decided to play a single concert at the Classic rock Legends venue at Metropolis Studios. Braving the freezing winter, something like 100 fans arrived at the venue and made for a fairly informal gig, since they shared the same small room with their semi-gods for a mass. The Generator hadn't played together live in around two years, so it was a challenge, one which they succeeded brilliantly with a rather extensive set of tracks, including three "numbers" (pun intended) from their upcoming album.

With Hugh and Peter sitting on the opposite side of the stage, facing each other, leaving a spot between them of the latter's guitar playing, this left an interesting view to Guy's busy- as-ever banging on skins and cymbals ever so inventively. The show starts very strongly with the superb Interference Pattern (one of Trisector's many highlights) and followed up the still-amazing Nutter Alert from their second-last Present album. The crowd is quite appreciative and doesn't seem to mind that the show will mainly concentrate on 21st Century material. They discover the future opening track of the upcoming Grounding In Numbers album, Your Time Starts Now, which will probably become a semi-classic track in the future. The other tracks coming from that album (Bunsho, Mr Sands) will get equally good reception from the fans, but clearly they still yearn for the timeless classic. It's clear that with the three-man formation, the band's centre of gravity has shifted slightly towards Banton's side of the stage (reinforced by Hammill's front-centre presence when playing guitar), as Hugh is dancing on his stool playing both the organ and the bass part through the pedals? and when he gets a chance also fills in a line that belonged from the now- gone quartet times.

The always abrupt Lemmings gets an almost brutal rendition, being readapted for a three- piece group. Yours truly thinks that the show-closing Man-Erg will come down much better and smoother. Childlike Faith also gets a smooth sax-less adaptation, much appreciated by everyone. The rest of the set is made-up from other stand-outs from Trisector including the awesome and lengthy Over The Hill and the more up-front Lifetime. Overall a very successful night, with an excellent sound and performance, which IMHO is significantly superior to their previous DVD from Amsterdam's Paradisio, which is always a tough all to sonorize properly. So if you should have to choose between Metropolis and Paradisio DVDs, I'd probably advise you to to go with the former and newer release.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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