April 23, 2010 - 013, Tilburg (NL)

The last time that Riverside (from Poland) visited the Netherlands they managed to sell out two venues. Bravo! But that was also the reason that I could not see one of those shows.
This year they had arranged a special headliner tour with two other acts which they named 'An Evening with Riverside and friends'. This mini tour in Western Europe would bring them twice to Germany, one time to Switzerland and with it all kicking off in the Netherlands.
This show at the 013 theatre I witnessed myself together with almost 1200 other people.
The friends that came along with Riverside were Jolly from America and Pure Reason Revolution from the UK. Traffic jams and detours on my way to the venue were the reasons that I only could catch a glimpse of the British act, so this review is focused only on the performance of the headliners.
On the internet I read that at 21:15 it would be show time for our Polish friends. I did not expect that they would start at that time but they did! At the back of the stage we could see projections that looked like images taken from the cover of the Anno Domini High Definition album (see review). It put the audience in the mood for the opening tune that was also the opening tune from the bands latest studio release. Hyperactive was the start of a performance that I could compare to a tropical cyclone. The band started very aggressive, playing only uptempo pieces. Above all the sound was very loud and you could not take shelter from this storm. There was no escape possible. Not that I did care because I had chosen to witness Riverside in full glory. I could only blame myself that I had come into heavy weather.

After a half hour or maybe 45 minutes later, I felt I had entered the eye of the storm. It felt that way because some more mellow pieces were done such as Left Out and Dance With The Shadow. It certainly felt great to hear some more relaxing music. But as with a real cyclone it only stays calm for a while. More fast and loud music than we could swallow came next. Occasionally a resting place was notable-or could I say that I could see the sun through the clouds for a moment as happened with a track such as Rainbow Box. A nice gimmick on stage was the use of a real Theremin. Keyboard player Michal Lapaj must have practised a lot with this very old instrument because he made it sound very good. It could be heared most of all during the track Cybernatic Pillow.  During the whole performance, bassist and lead singer Mariusz Duda tried twice to get a reaction from the crowd to sing-a-long with them. He mentioned that it did work at the same venue several years earlier during the first edition of the Symforce Festival. But the first attempt during Conceiving You was very disappointing. The second attempt was during the last song of the set. The audience participating time during Hybrid Times put Mariusz into a much better mood. This time the largest crowd in front of a Dutch Riverside performance did what they had to do perfectly. It was also the last song of the regular set before the band left the stage. 

Michal was the first that returned on the stage playing some solo stuff behind his keys. He was followed by guitarist Piotr Grudzinski playing also some solo things. Drummer Piotr Kozieradzki and Mr. Duda completed the line up when they joined the other members on stage. At first I had the impression that they did a very new piece of music. But the instrumental track Rapid Eye Movement had been much too long out of my CD player and I  did not recognise it for that reason.
With Panic Room came an end of a Riverside concert that gave me mixed feelings. The bands performance was certainly not bad, but I have to admit that I have seen better shows from them. I did not get the feeling that the earth did stand still for a short moment. Also I missed songs from their debut album Out Of Myself. Strange that we could not enjoy great tracks such as The Same River or Reality Dream I and II. The album made them famous in our country and as a thank you to that fact they could have included songs from their first release. But on this album another musician touched the keys and that might be the reason that the set was focused on the bands latest two albums Rapid Eye Movement and ADHD. It was certainly great that they did two tracks from the second disc- the REM album. I always felt that it contained stronger tracks than on the first disc. But to play everything from ADHD was maybe a little bit too much for me. Something from Out Of Myself instead would have made my day a little bit better!

Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)

Setlist Riverside:

Driven To Destruction
Cybernetic Pillow
Egoist Hedonist
Conceiving You
Lucid Dream IV
Left Out
Dance With The Shadow
Rainbow Box
Hybrid Times

Rapid Eye Movement
Panic Room

Pictures Riverside by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Riverside

(left to right)
Piotr Kozieradzki:
Piotr Grudzinski:
Mariusz Duda:
Bass & vocals
Michal Lapaj:
Keyboards & Theremin

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