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Topic ClosedACT 17 july 2006 in Versailles

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    Posted: July 20 2006 at 18:19
A.C.T. : the most entertaining band on stage ! I tell that on the base of my feelings after the show I attended on the 17th of july in Versailles for their "Silence" summer tour. This was a great performance, these guys knowing how to make people dance to their music thanks to the inclusion of dancing rhythms in their songs. They are a prog band with a strong pop side, and a touch of humour. Their performance in Versailles was preceded by a show by a dutch band named Ricocher, which I recommend to no one on this forum because they copy reknown neo-prog bands without originality and don't bring anything to the rich world of prog. Fortunately, I arrived late at the show, because I couldn't wait for ACT to play, I could breath at last when Ricocher left the stage. During their performance there were maybe 20 persons in the concert hall (actually it was a tiny room), then when it was ACT's turn to play the emptiness was filled with some more people and we could reach 40 persons (prog is a world that doesn't meet the adhesion of the majority). They began their show with a playback of a theme of an old broadway musical, then played for real and it was a true delight to hear and see them anew on stage since the last show I saw by them as an opening band for Saga. The vocalist (Herman Saming) is a small guy but with impressive vocal abilities (high-pitched voice but with a childish tone). He behaves like a little child on the stage, balancing his arms to mimic a dance to the rhythm of the drums or tapping with feet on the ground like a little angry child. This time he didn't wear any hat as on the previous show where he used to change the hat from a song to another, probably due to the heat... As the drummer (Thomas Lejon) wore a kilt (making him look like Fish), Herman joked by making as if he was surprised Thomas is indeed a "man", after he bent to check what gender he is. During the performance Herman complained about his keyboard bandmate whom he accused of treating him like a "sh*t" and judging that his voice was too much "high-pitched", regreting that they couldn't be good friends. This was a joke to introduce a song about friendship. Herman even went down from the stage to enjoy the performance with the audience then returned to his duty when it was time for him to lend his vocals to the song that was being played. Herman often tried to make the audience sing-a-long but not always with success as many songs were from the last album that not many people owed. Thanks to the huge personality of the vocalist and the amazing musicianship of the band, the show was a real delight, and very entertaining, unlike the performance I saw by TFK a couple of years ago (for their "unfold the future" tour), in which Roine was more concentrated on his guitar playing than on the audience, to which he throwed an eye from time to time : art for art that's what I call TFK's performances. With ACT, you could lift your right arm, jump and shake your head when some metal-orientated tunes were played, or dance and sin-a-long when some ear-candy pop with some vague echoes of reggae or caribbean music was played, or even flow in tears when the repertoire changed to balads. The only concert I remember that could compete with the fun and humour of ACT is the show Gong performed in the New Morning in Paris, where Daevid Allen wore different clothes to each song, icluding a pyjama. ACT's last album "Silence" was released only in Japan, in Europe we have to wait till october to see it in the music stores, it is due to a change of label (their current label is japanese, and they signed a contract with the big prog record company InsideOut). I listened many times to this album and I didn't change my mind about it : it is an excellent record with the touch of pop, freshness, and humour that lacks to many new prog acts (music doesn't need to be the most complex possible to make you enjoy it, although ACT are able to play complex music but they don't focus in the majority of their tunes on virtuosity but on melodies, unlike Andromeda's music, a band in which Thomas Lejon, drummer for ACT, plays the drums from their beginnings). In a nutshell, I highly recommend this band to all of you who didn't heard about them yet. They will be touring for the release of their "silence" album in october so don't miss them if you have the opportunity to see them live. You won't be disappointed.
"Magma was the very first gothic rock band" (Didier Lockwood)
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