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Pendragon Concerto Maximo album cover
4.46 | 109 ratings | 10 reviews | 63% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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DVD/Video, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Walls of Babylon
2. A Man of Nomadic Traits
3. Wishing Well
4. Eraserhead
5. Total Recall
6. Nostradamus
7. Learning Curve
8. Breaking the Spell
9. Sister Bluebird
10. Shadow
11. The Freak Show
12. The Voyager
13. It's Only Me
14. Masters of Illusion
15. King of the Castle
16. And We'll Go Hunting Deer
17. Queen of Hearts

Bonus features:
18. Interview
19. Biography
20. Discography
21. Photo Gallery

Line-up / Musicians

- Nick Barrett / vocals, guitars, keyboard programming
- Peter Gee / bass guitar
- Clive Nolan / keyboards, backing vocals
- Scott Higham / drums, backing vocals

Releases information

Recorded in Katowice, Poland on October 13, 2008

DVD Metal Mind Prodcutions MMP DVD071 (2009, Poland)

DVD+2CD Metal Mind Prodcutions MMP DVD071 (2009, Poland, Limited Edition)

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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PENDRAGON Concerto Maximo ratings distribution

(109 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(63%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (7%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PENDRAGON Concerto Maximo reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Pendragon took quite some time (more than ten years) to release its first ever DVD (the excellent Live At Last) but after that they have steadily put out a new one in regular form. And, contrary to what was expected, They got better and better with each release. So I was a bit doubtful they could outdo their last, Past & Presence. But they did it. Concerto Maximo has a superior sound, lightning and even a stage presence that surpass their earlier performances. Those guys are getting old like wine!

I loved the setlist, too. Quite varied and Iīm glad to confirm those guys donīt have to rely on The Masquerade Overture to hold your atention for a full show. There are only two tracks from that album and they could easily have done the DVD without them. Not that they donīt performe it very well, they do, but simply they have a lot more to offer than just their magnum opus. There are so many great songs they have never performed live on DVD before, you just wish they did it more. So I was excited when I found that they included tracks like Total Recall, Weīll Go Hunting Dear and, of course, their best ever song, the magnificent Sister Bluebird (at last! A full version, passionate performance that makes all this waiting worthwhile!)

So why didnīt I give them a full 5 star rating? Well, there are some minor flaws here and there too, all musical and personal ones. First, I really donīt know why Indigo is not here. The bandīs last CD opener would be a great choice for a show that is supposed to be promoting Pure. Second, there are only three songs from Pure (but I can live with that!). But seriuosly, please, tell me why start the show with such a classic track like The Walls of Babylon without its haunting, beautiful, amazing guitar/keyboards intro? Itīs a crime! In a lessser extent the same feeling goes for Nostradamus (I wonder if they ever played that slow, first part, live). I really feel bad when they do that to otherwise perfect tunes.

Still, I watch this video a lot. I love this band and I love the fact that even after 30 years Pendargon is still releasing relevant music and playing with a passion and conviction many new bands can only wish for. 4,5 stars.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars As good as Gold

Pendragon fans have been rather spoilt in recent years with regular DVD releases featuring the band on stage. The question is therefore, do we actually need another one for 2009. After becoming acquainted with "Concerto Maximo", I have to say the answer is emphatically yes. This is a quite astonishing set running to over 2― hours, which gathers in songs from throughout the band's 30 year history.

To celebrate that anniversary, Pendragon headed for Poland, and the Wyspiański Theater in Katowice, a location which has become something of a second home to Clive Nolan in particular. The concert was recorded by Polish prog label Metal Mind Productions, who have gone to great lengths to present what they captured with care and attention to detail.

The set serves to introduce new drummer Scott Higham (who recently worked with Nolan on his Caamora project), who looks for all the world as if he has been playing with the band for years. The rest of the band will never be submitting themselves for a prettiest band of the year contest, but the energy and enthusiasm they convey throughout the show is as palpable as it is enjoyable. Many of the songs are among the longest and most complex the band have released, with familiar titles such as "The walls of Babylon", "Queen of hearts", and "And we'll go hunting deer" being among the 17 which make it onto the set list. The highlight for me is the wonderful "The shadow" from the "Masquerade overture" album, but in all honesty the magical atmosphere of the event is maintained form beginning to end.

While other bands often overload their sets with material from their latest album, Pendragon include a couple of songs from "Pure" but these blend in almost seamlessly with songs which are significantly older.

The Polish audience are enthusiastic and appreciative, while generally avoiding the temptation to seek their moment of fame during the quieter sections.

If the DVD did not already offer superb value in terms of the length of the concert, it is further enhanced by some fine interviews with the band members, plus the usual static text and pictures sections featuring the band discography etc.

In summary, this has to be one of the finest prog DVD releases to date. The filming and direction are spot on throughout and the sound quality is excellent. The fact that the music is of the highest quality too simply results in the definitive Pendragon DVD release.

On a personal note, I was delighted to enjoy the privilege of seeing the band when they visited my home town (Glasgow) in May this year.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars The best of Pendragon - played live

This concert DVD celebrates Pendragon's 30th anniversary and features a large selection of their best songs from throughout this 30 year career. There is always debate over which songs are a band's best, but I feel that this massive set list pretty much covers the band's best songs. The set list is quite impressive and I could hardly have chosen a better one myself.

Despite the fact that the band was founded in 1978, the oldest song played here is from 1988; the newest one from 2008. The debut album is ignored completely, which is a bit surprising given that it is an anniversary concert. But all other Pendragon albums are covered including the most recent one, Pure.

My favourite Pendragon album, Believe, is represented by Wishing Well and Learning Curve. Though I am happy to see these songs here, I think that these songs worked better on the studio album since they are here performed on electric guitar here which takes away something. The Flamenco inspired part in Learning Curve is particularly less effective when performed on electric guitar. Apart from these songs, however, most of the material here is better that on their respective studio albums. The new drummer in particular adds a new dimension to many of these songs. And he is on fire! The music is given an edge that they lacked in studio form.

The small size of the theatre allows both the live audience and the DVD audience to get close to the band and the right kind of atmosphere is created for a great DVD experience. Everything about the sound and visuals are flawless.

Concerto Maximo is thus a fitting title. This might be all the Pendragon you need!

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
4 stars It took me a few years to make my decision before buying this DVD, because i have seen the others one filmed at the same venue, and it was kind or déjā-vu for me. But i couldn't wait any longer after reading the great reviews on this one. I'm glad i did because there is something in the camera work and the visual show that make it better than the previous DVD. Visually, the light show is improve on this release with a unreal use of vivid blue light that give you the impression that some body parts of each musicians seems to disappear. As for the music, it's pure Pendragon as we know it, consistent, passionate and melodic. The drummer is really banging his drums like a rock star and shows is enthusiasm throughtout the 2 hours and 45 minutes set. Nick still got his beautiful voice, and he is enjoying himself here. The 5.1 mix is decent but the separation with the crowd's noise and the music is too abrupt, you can hear clearly someone pushing the button off between songs to shut down the crowd.

The band didn't play much of the Pure's cd on this tour, because of time restraints, but when you have a big catalogue like Pendragon with many good songs, you got everything to make it a complete show with not a boring song.

So this DVD is recommended for those who like Neo-Prog with a PinK Floyd and Marillion influence, and it's a must for the Pendragon's fans or someone who want see a nice visual document of one the most consistent band since 1985, producing 10 studio cd's any many more live and compilation cd's.

Review by lazland
5 stars One of the finest prog live concert releases of all time, this is not only an absolute must for fans of Pendragon from the start, such as I, but would, I think, appeal to those reading this who are curious about the music and personality of a band with a 30 year history, but have never "taken the plunge", because what you have here, in a performance lasting in excess of 2.5 hours, is quite simply a history of the band's output from start to the then new album, Pure.

Therefore, you have the full range, from what we call neo-prog in the beginning, to the wonderfully bombastic symphonic period, right through to the heavier material of latter years, and what is remarkable is just how effortless and enjoyable each period represented is live.

Of course, the main man is Nick Barrett, with his unique voice and quite incredible guitar work, he plays and sings as if he was still a young man. However, star of the show, to me, is new drummer Scott Higham, who quite literally pummels his drum set to near death, has a marvellous rapport with the audience, and is also clearly as mad as a March hare. It would also be remiss to not mention the wonderful keyboards of longstanding ally Clive Nolan and bassist Peter Gee.

The set was filmed in Poland, where many prog bands enjoy a successful and faithful following. The sound is exceptional, the filming lush, and the audience are intelligent and respectful throughout.

I will not mention highlights, simply because this DVD is a treat from start to finish. It never seems too long, and, in fact, you still want more when it does end.

Very highly recommended to all lovers of progressive rock, this deserves nothing less than five stars.

Review by Second Life Syndrome
5 stars Sometimes, there is nothing more richly rewarding than sharing your favorite music with your children. My son, Atlas, is six months old, but he and I have been watching this wonderful DVD for the last few months. Pendragon have taken my world by storm lately, and I had to have this DVD. Even though the guys are looking old, this 2.5 hour+ concert is incredibly detailed and the sound is wonderful. Atlas, being a baby, cries and fusses, but NEVER does any of that when this DVD is playing. He enjoys it thoroughly, and I can't get enough of it either.

The band plays marvelously. Nick sounds sublime, though his attempts at being a "rocker" (that usually only last a second or two) are kinda funny. His guitar work is simply out of this world. I can sit and watch his fingers play for hours and hours. It's mesmerizing, and he is easily one of the best there is. Amazing. Then, of course, you have his partner in crime, Clive Nolan, one of the very best keyboardists. His keys sound so rich, and do not get buried in the mix at all. He impresses me to no end. Peter Gee is outstanding on bass, and also love when he uses his keyboard to create an environment in which Nolan's solos can feel alive. Lastly, but certainly not least, is Scott Higham on drums. My friends, this guy is absolutely incredible. His leadership, power, and passion seem to know no bounds. I especially love watching him play the complex time signature changes, as you can see all the tricks he uses to keep in time. As a whole, then, the band is a machine that just chugs on and on, but the musicians are unbelievably talented on their own, and this shows very clearly in this DVD.

The track list of "Concerto Maximo" is pretty good. Some of my favorites are on here, such as "Walls of Babylon", "Learning Curve", "Breaking the Spell", "Sister Bluebird", and the entire suite of "Wishing Well" (amazing work!). This DVD, however, has an uncanny way of making me fall in love with other songs even more deeply than on the albums themselves. "The Shadow" might be my favorite track from Pendragon now because of the intricacy and passion with which it is performed here. "Masters of Illusion", too, has gotten this treatment. I believe that this DVD has elevated my love for the entire "Masquerade Overture" album in general.

I must comment on the camera work, Most DVD concerts don't have much in the way of special cinematography, let alone camera movement that syncs with the musical flow. "Concerto Maximo" does. I especially love the drummer cameras, and the camera that is on a track at the top of the venue. They always switch to the latter and produce some cool, twisting movements during a really cool keyboard solo, and it just feels so organic. It pulls you into the experience.

Pendragon are one of my top 5 favorite bands, and I'm so glad I can share this experience with my son. I see myself enjoying this DVD for many, many years, and I want to buy all of the rest of their DVDs, too. Someday, though, I hope to take my son to see them live. Here's to hoping...

Latest members reviews

4 stars Concerto Maximo. Maximum lenght,maximum quality,maximum enjoy. The best no doubt dvd concert of Pendragon. The sound,the images,the selection of songs.... There are many awaited songs to be performed in a dvd performance. So here we had:The voyager, Queen Of Hearts(complete),A Man of ... (read more)

Report this review (#212146) | Posted by robbob | Wednesday, April 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a top quality DVD - Not only is Nick and the band on great form, the sound quality on this DVD is better than ever before. The power that comes through from the amazing drumming of Scott Higham - you can really feel it. I have alol the previous Pendragon DVDs, and this is bar far the best ... (read more)

Report this review (#210888) | Posted by pealo | Friday, April 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Having been at the Lille and Ittervoort shows before this was delivered I was interested to see how the DVD would compare. No worries here!!!, this is an excellent DVD with an interesting setlist, sure it would have been great so see Indigo on here but it good to see the likes of Breaking the ... (read more)

Report this review (#210886) | Posted by SLFTB1 | Friday, April 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent DVD, plenty of classics. You get to see the new drummer on this one - he does a fantastic job, and is brilliant to watch. I won't go down track by track, but I will mention that there are some stand outs - The Wishing Well, Learning Curve, Eraserhead, Sister Bluebird, Illusion, Voyager, ... (read more)

Report this review (#210847) | Posted by Staker | Thursday, April 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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