In 2011 the French progressive rock outfit Weend'ô released their debut album You Need To Know Yourself (see review). The music on this album was probably influenced by acts as Pink Floyd, Lacuna Coil, Evanescence, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Tool, Muse, Opeth, Tori Amos, Porcupine Tree, The Gathering and the former singer of this Dutch band Anneke van Giersbergen. Especially Terence Nguyen (guitars, loops) and Laetitia Chaudemanche (lead vocals, keyboards), the two founder members of Weend'ô, were responsible for the music on their excellent first effort. Now, more than two years later, they once again impressed me with a DVD called FairytalAcoustic Concert Live Acoustique.
This new DVD contains a registration of one of the many acoustic concerts the band performed after the release of their debut. This gig was recorded on September 14, 2013 in Villeneuve. People who read my reviews on a regular base know that I don't like unplugged concerts in general. However, if bands succeed in transcribing their studio versions into enjoyable stripped-to-the-bone acoustic versions, I really can enjoy them. I like for instance the DVD Live From Cadogan Hill (2010, see review) by Marillion , and I also like the 2CD-DVD Live At Real World (2010, see review) by Magenta. Both DVDs were very impressive and entertaining. Well, I guess I can add another acoustic DVD to that list, because FairytalAcoustic Concert Live Acoustique kept my attention throughout and I really enjoyed it.
I think the most important aspect on this DVD is the variety in the music. You won't see the musicians just playing their acoustic instruments. If that would have been the case I guess most viewers will get bored after a while, but the use of short film fragments between the performed songs works out well throughout the concert. The footage was mainly shot in a forest where lead singer Laetitia wandered around; the images look mystical and fairy-like, hence the title of this DVD. Every time I watched a fragment I asked myself what is going to happen next. Of course, beside the interesting videos the music is the most important aspect. Well, the music is excellent and differs from the original studio versions, but they are by no means less enjoyable!
Obviously the songs from the band's debut are performed. Everybody who's familiar with this album will recognize these different versions, since the excellent guitar parts of Terence Nguyen and the wonderful voice and strong keyboard parts of Laetitia Chaudemanche dominate the music. Together with Maxime Rami (acoustic bass) and Nathanel Buis (drums) they succeeded in performing a very entertaining show. During this show several attributes like masks, costumes, actors and a female dancer were used to visualize the songs. The only thing I would have left out is the footage wherein the people enter the stage at the end of the concert during which Laetitia warmly thanks everybody who had made this magical acoustic performance possible.
Besides this small remark I haven't got any complaints, whatsoever. The sound and the images are just outstanding with fine close-ups of the musicians, the actors and the female dancer on stage. By doing so, everything can be witnessed at close range. Finally I would like to compliment everyone who was involved in the making of this very enjoyable DVD!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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