Anubis from Australia are certainly no strangers to the readers of our website. We have already published reviews of all of their five studio albums. The year 2019 sees a second live release for them, another one after coming up with Behind Our Eyes (Live 2014) (see review) in 2015. Featuring recording made in their own country. I guess the new double live album doesn't have any secrets when you name it Lights Of Change - Live In Europe 2018. Indeed is all about the second time they played some concerts in Europe, after the tour in 2015.
July last year was their ten-year anniversary with small but fine European tour. Lights Of Change combines two special gigs in a double pack: On the one hand, the performance at the Night Of The Prog Festival at Loreley in Germany. And on the other hand an intimate club performance in a small Dutch town called Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel.
Unfortunately, neither include the complete setlists. That would have meant they had to come up with two double live albums. As much the fans would have loved that, it just isn't possible to release something like that! Therefore All That Is was omitted from the Loreley gig, and the almost three-hour performance in the Netherlands includes only the live performance of the 2011 album A Tower Of Silence (see review) in its entirety. The band probably made sure that both CDs didn't have any title overlaps. Having All That Is on the Dutch disc meant it didn't have to be on the German disc. All of the songs on this release, gives a wide cross-section of all previous studio albums. Because at least one track from each of all five studio albums is present!
It seemed the warm weather and the early hour of the Loreley performance didn't have any effects on the performances by Robert James Moulding (lead vocals, guitar, percussion, David Eaton (keyboards, samples, bass pedals, vocals), Douglas Skene (guitars, vocals), Dean Bennison (guitars, vocals), Anthony Stewart (bass, vocals) and Steve Eaton (drums) at all. While listening to all of the six tracks, I can only conclude that they gave everything in their ability to come up with excellent live renditions of the for me, well known studio versions. Difficult to mention any highlights. The two 15-minute long epic pieces Pages Of Stone and Disenfected And Abused certainly kick ass. But also the other four more shorter compositions made my heart beat faster. The more than one hour long live recordings of the Loreley concert, shows most of all that the band has grown music wise compared to the recordings you can hear on their debut live album. Lots of touring and playing together certainly made them a strong live unit.
Something which I already noticed last year, when I was present at the recorded Dutch show on the second disc. Their concert at 't Blok (see review) was for me personally one of the best concerts of 2018. The two sets and encores they did at the time impressed me very much. Just as much nowadays when I again hear the excellent performance of the bands true masterpiece.
They just nailed it playing A Tower Of Silence from start to finish in a perfect way. Complements to all for playing the sometimes complex songs so brilliantly. Last year a dream came true to hear them doing A Tower Of Silence completely. Now another dream comes true! Having a live recording of that fabulous live rendition they did of my favourite Anubis album! Thanks guys!
Lights Of Change - Live In Europe 2018 is for me personally a wonderful souvenir of that perfect day in July 2018, when I saw the band for the second time around on a Dutch stage. The happiness the band gave me on that sunny Sunday afternoon at a very cosy venue I will never forget! For the other progheads who didn't attend one of the European concerts, this release shows what they missed by not going out to see Australia's leading progressive rock band at very close range.
Maybe it is a missed opportunity not to come with a live DVD or Blu-ray of both performances as well. Because both shows in Germany and the Netherlands were filmed at the time. It probably would have cost too much, just like releasing everything on CD of both concerts. Hopefully one day all fans of the band can enjoy a great performance of their musical heroes in their own living room on their own TV. That would mean another dream comes true!
Yes released Yessongs in 1973, Genesis released in 1977 Seconds Out, Kansas came with Two For The Show in1978, Jethro Tull released Live - Bursting Out in 1978, Rush released Exit... Stage Left in 1981and Pink Floyd came with P-U-L-S-E in1995. All essential live albums in the progressive rock scene. I guess we can add another one to that list. Because one way or another Lights Of Change - Live In Europe 2018 is an essential live album as well and should be in the collection in everybody who calls himself a true lover of progressive rock! Therefore highly recommended!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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