Chris & Sky Architect

June 22, 2010 - Theater Zuidplein, Rotterdam (NL)

Being invited for a concert that also included a leaving examination for the academy of music was a big honour. Two musicians, Christiaan Bruin and Wabe Wieringa, who both studied music production, had to finish their study with this concert. Because I was asked on the day of the concert, I couldn't listen to any of the songs of either bands; I only heard some fragments of what was going to come. Anyhow, the atmosphere in the theatre was very cosy; both graduates had invited many friends and family for attending the concert.

Chris, which stands for Christiaan Bruin, started the concert. Last year the band released their debut album A Glimpse Inside (see review) which in general was received well by the critics. They began their one-hour show with fine keyboard playing over a backdrop showing behind the band. Chris didn't make it easy on himself without having a bass player in the band. The bass and all the extras were programmed into the computer which meant that the band had to play very sharp; there was no room for mistakes or interruptions whatsoever. When Chris started to sing, it was obvious that he was very nervous singing in front of his teachers and family. His voice wasn't like the bits of songs I heard before, but despite all the stress he was under, the compositions were strong. With the help of the additional vocals and the guitar of Sebas Honing it all sounded very well. During the show there was a fine guest appearance of the lovely Maartje Dekker, playing keyboards while singing with a beautiful voice. As the concert went on and some of the heavier songs passed by, it was clear to me that these songs were vocally the strongest of his set. The one musician I would credit most is Bas Immerzeel. He's a fantastic guitar player and his solos were a real treat for my ears. Chris are a fine band and I'm sure we'll hear more of them in the future.

After a 45-minute break the next graduate, guitarist Wabe Wieringa appeared on stage to play with his band Sky Architect. In this band Christiaan Bruin participated as well, but this time on drums. The set of Sky Architect was divided into three parts. The first part consisted of an atmospheric progressive song with a lot of variety in it with clapping and a lap steel guitar. The singing of guitarist Tom Luchies was not only excellent, but also emotional. The guitar solos by both players were very tasteful. Wabe's playing was more technical, while Tom's final solo, was more in the vein of Jimi Hendrix. The second part was a solo spot of Wabe accompanied by keyboardist Laurens Hoppe, a soundscape with some slide in it which certainly had some Robert Fripp-influences.

After this the band entered the stage again for the third and final part of the set. They performed a great heavy progressive rock song this time, again with excellent vocals, exquisite guitar work and fine keyboard melodies played by Rik van Honk along with some great bass lines by Guus van Mierlo. This piece had a marvellous build-up towards a tremendous climax. Wabe finished this piece on only five strings? Personally I think that Sky Architect is an outstanding band having a great musical future in store even across the Dutch borders!

Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Website Chris
Website Sky Architect
Sky Architect on MySpace
BM review 'A Glimse Inside"
Chris on MySpace

Setlist 'Chris':

Under Your Spell
Sky Castles
My Way Back
Guitar Solo
A New Life
The Final Hour

Pictures 'Chris' by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up 'Chris':

(left to right)
Christiaan Bruin:
vocals, keyboards, guitar
Arjan Bruin:
Bas Immerzeel:
Sebas Honing:
guitar, vocals
Maartje Dekker:
(guest) keyboards, vocals

Setlist 'Sky Architect':

Fantasy Drift
Death's Fountain
Deep Chasm

Pictures Wabe Wieringa & Laurens Hoppe by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Pictures 'Sky Architect' by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up 'Sky Architect':

(left to right)
Wabe Wieringa:
Christiaan Bruin:
Rik van Honk:
Guus van Mierlo:
Tom Luchies:
vocals, guitar

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