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Van Der Graaf Generator

Eclectic Prog

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Van Der Graaf Generator Live at the Paradiso album cover
4.01 | 61 ratings | 3 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lemmings
2. A Place to Survive
3. Lifetime
4. (In the) Black Room
5. Every Bloody Emperor
6. All That Before
7. Gog
8. Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild
9. The Sleepwalkers
10. Man-Erg
11. Scorched Earth
12. Interview with Peter Hammill 2009

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Hammill / vocals, guitar, pianos
- Hugh Banton / organ
- Guy Evans / drums

Releases information

Released by Voiceprint Music

Thanks to Kestrel for the addition
and to proglucky for the last updates
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VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Live at the Paradiso ratings distribution

(61 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Live at the Paradiso reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Reduced to a trio, the Generator rose to the occasion and pulled one of their very best albums, despite the essential sonic landmark of Jaxon's sax. With such a brilliant album under their belt, it made sense to tour, but how would their older material fare. One of the solutions would've been to feature a lot of the new album, but you can't say that they pulled such a stunt either since only three tracks appear on the set list of Amsterdam's concert, although I seem to remember one more from their Verviers concert in Eastern Belgium. It's a bit shocking to see from up close the trio's headgear, two members sporting totally grey or white hairs and the third shaving whatever's left on his helmet, but our heroes are well into their 60's.

Opening on the classic Lemmings, Hammill & Co seem to warm up and play a bit as if going through the motions in Place To Survive, but by the end of the latter, the group and the new number Lifetime is the real kick-start. In the Verviers show I saw, it was Still Life that really got things together and the crowd went nuts, but in this case, we'll have to wait until In The Black Room, once Peter sat down behind his clunky electric piano, and adds another dimension which is directly transmitted to the usually superb Bloody Emperor (from the preceding Present album), but here a bit rushed in its first half. After a blazing All That Before,, the trio has the crowd definitely won over (as if the crowd or the band had a choice), but the amazing Gog has also something to do with that. It is a bit sad that we had to wait this long to see Banton's pedal bass play, though. Jaxon's sax (or the absence of) is not a big issue with me, even though some numbers survive it better than others. Always a crowd pleaser, Meurglys was also a bit long, even fit was always so, but the group is on top of the world and can do no wrong, so it chooses Sleepwalkers, the rest of the set list being an obvious triumph

For some reasons, the present DVD about the Paradisio show is definitely not leaving me with the same glorious after-taste of the show I saw a few days (two weeks I believe) later, part of it, probably lying in a different track list, but also Banton's incredible Verviers performance, especially seeing him almost dancing on his bench from his bass pedal play. Recommended to all fans, although I guess some will inevitably have a thought for Jaxon's sax.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars The DVD of VDGG's 'Live at the Paradiso' has the identical audio as the CD but with the visuals this is the full package and as close as some may get to the real concert experience. As such this is irresistible for the VDGG addict. The visuals are certainly crisp and have excellent camera angles zooming into the face of Hammill or focussing on the extraordinary percussion work of Guy Evans. There are only three members to target so there are a lot of shots of Hugh Banton, a wizard on keyboards. Of course the main focus is on Peter Hammill, decked out in white and sporting a flock of white hair. He looks aged but still has enough power in his vocals to scare off the average unprepared music listener. The crowd are very reserved, listening intenlt and patiently as the band belt out one tune after another.

It begins with the mesmirising 'Lemmings', sounding a bit strained but still a classic in all respects. The absence of sax legend David Jackson is infuriating as he is one of the main drawcards and he is missed on several songs where the organ attempts to replace him to no avail. This would have been the perfect package if he had made an appearance. He returned of course on 'Present' but that was in 2005, whereas this concert was a 2009 performance, so he disappeared after such a great return, unfortunately. Hammill has a turn at some quiet reflective ballads such as on 'Trisecotr''s 'Lifetime', but mostly these tracks are quite raucous, and his voice holds out well. He does not do too much talking apart from the occasional 'thankyou very much' and some humorous banter spoken off the cuff.

Highlights include the jumpy intricate '(In The) Black Room', wondrous killer track 'Every Bloody Emperor' and the existentialist 'Gog', that are always going to be powerhouse performances. The unusual choice of 'World Record' epic 'Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild' is very welcome as it is rarely heard live and unedited at about 23 minutes in length. The other 'World Record' song is the 7 minute version of 'Place To Survive', better than the original. The best is yet to come at the end of the concert with the incredible 'The Sleepwalkers', 'Man-Erg' and 'Scorched Earth', massive crowd pleasers that have them on their feet in excitement, hearing these classics after so many years of playing them on vinyl.

This is one of the best live DVDS of the band in terms of visual quality, showing a whole concert rather than just snippets. It is certainly a wonderful thing to watch them play together after all these years, and they still sound as creatively vital and innovatively fresh even in their golden years. The DVD is the superior product rather than the CD as I think they need to be seen in all their glory, not just heard on the live stage.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Van Der Graaf Generator's live at the Paridso 2007 is certainly worth getting if you're a big VDGG fan, because there are a shortage of VDGG DVDs about, most of which are the same 'Godbluff live,' concert in a new box with a new title. As a modern DVD from prog legends VDGG it will certainly hold ... (read more)

Report this review (#278826) | Posted by Gentlegiantprog | Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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