R.P.W.L. & Arena at Reichenbach (Saxony, Germany),
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Topic: R.P.W.L. & Arena at Reichenbach (Saxony, Germany),
Posted: June 26 2011 at 09:00
After I seeing IQ at a rather small venue in Berlin last year and enjoying every second, I thought it might be a good idea to travel to the rather small town Reichenbach in Saxony/Eastern Germany to see R.P.W. L. and Arena in a double programme open air. Was it a good idea? It was a brilliant idea!
(P)Rock im Park was what every fan should experience once in a while. Where else, if not in a smaller venue, do you have the chance to get chatting to the artists, to see them walking around having a snack (John Jowitt savouring one of the famous Thuringia bratwursts) or standing in the first row with us “normal” folks listening to R.P.W.L. (John again). A snapshot with the band? No problem, here’s Mick, Clive, John, Paul and John (Mitchell).
Since I’m not familiar with the work of R.P.W.L. I can’t say much in the sense of comparing studio to live work. But they did a magnificent job there at Reichenbach, rocking away on the small stage like it was something more in the vein of Wembley or Shea Stadium. Rocking away in front of what? 250 to 300 people? Can’t have been much more, which is a shame, for not only did the bands do an incredible job, but the organizer of the whole affair, Uwe Treitinger, does his very best to bring the cream of Prog to Saxony on a regular basis. With an attendance like that he’s prone to loose money on a big scale. Mind you, admission fee was only 24 to 30 euros.
But let’s get back to the music. After R.P.W.L. had finished their act after roughly one and a half hour and a short intermission Arena hit the stage. “Witch Hunt” led into about two hours of amazing NeoProg (amazing if you like NeoProg, of course). Although I don’t recall the complete setlist, I can tell you that for my liking they left out nothing. “Crack in the Ice”, “Bedlam Fayre”, “The Eyes of Lara Moon”, “Hanging Tree”, “Ascencion” – you name it, they played it. Plus some material from their new album, which will be out on November, 1st.
And let me tell you something: Paul Manzi is an awesome vocalist! In my opinion it can be quite problematic for a band to install a new vocalist, since it’s often the frontman, the voice you identify a band by (Led Zeppelin with somebody else than Robert Plant? Are you kidding me?). But Manzi does an excellent job. He does not even try to imitate his predecessors (and why should he?) but throws in the weight of his own personality. His voice is different from that of Rob Sowden or that of Paul Rightson, yes, but he adapts the songs as if it was him who sang them for the first time.
I’m looking forward to the new album and I’m pretty sure that you can meet me at Reichenbach in November, when Arena is back there.
Edited by Guzzman - June 27 2011 at 09:25
"We've got to get in to get out"
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