The Flower Kings

support act: Lalle Larsson

September 17, 2012 - De Pul, Uden (NL)

After Banks Of Eden (see review), the recently released new album by the Swedish progressive rockers of The Flower Kings (TFK), they returned on stage with an intensive tour to promote their latest album and to introduce their new band member Felix Lehrmann, who replaced drummer Zoltan Csórsz. After approximately two weeks of touring, venue De Pul in Uden got the chance to see a band that already had overcome the usual minor problems of the first concerts of a tour. They treated the audience to an excellent show.

Lalle Larsson

Lalle Larsson
Before TFK hit the stage, the rather crowded venue had been warmed up by a solo performance of their compatriot Lalle Larsson. This singer and keyboardist is a member of Jonas Reingold's band Karmakanic. This time Larsson had a challenging mission: just performing alone on a stage with only a Nord keyboard and a lot of passion. When solo artists have to entertain an audience before the headliners they usually have the difficult task to hold the attention. However, I think he got a lot of respect from the people in the audience, who were fairly quiet and seemingly enjoying the virtuoso parts he played adequately. However, he never tried to copy the likes of Rick Wakeman or other progressive keyboard masters. The music was a kind of compromise of a lighter form of progressive rock and fusion, of which I prefer the latter. After a strong three-piece set, he thanked the audience with a bow, knowing that he did a great job.

The Flower Kings

After a short while the lights were dimmed and TFK entered the stage. They were all dressed in orange clothing except for drummer Felix, whose orange clothes were in the laundry because of his sweaty job. Before the concert, the band had asked the audience to wear orange as well, but just a minor part of the public showed up with our national colour. To be honest, my earplugs were all I had to contribute to the 'orange atmosphere' that evening. On stage we were treated to songs of their latest album Banks Of Eden and older songs like Stardust We Are. For the audience it didn't make any difference since the new songs were already part of their repertoire. Some people sang along softly and others, more extravert people, were singing their hearts out. You could see the pleasure on stage, while the musicians were interacting taking characteristic poses. The vocal parts were equally shared by the more progressive guitarist Roine Stolt and rocker Hasse Fröberg. As expected they sounded very good together and also their individual vocal performances were great.

Hasse Fröberg
It was a pleasure to see that Roine Stolt, who's a rather introvert person in my opinion, did a lot of the talking. When he mingled with the audience, playing a long guitar solo on his wireless guitar, I noticed that people were surprised by him doing so. Bass player Jonas Reingold tried to follow him, but he was limited by the wire, so he had to return. However, the intention was great and it's a fine way to associate with your fans. TFK performed outstandingly with strong double guitar parts and small duets of one of the two guitars and Tomas Bodin's keyboards. The sound of the keyboards was nice and clear during the concert and mixed in the foreground. I think the long absence of live performances worked out very well for the band. For me the new drummer Felix Lehrmann is a step forward, because his drumming tends more towards fusion and jazz rock than the drumming of his predecessors. It provided TFK's music with an extra dimension that might explore new musical territories. This German drummer also had a negative side: he managed to damage two snare drums in one gig and therefore a second encore became impossible. I have to credit the crew for replacing a snare drum during a song without inconveniences. However, nothing against Lehrmann; he's a tremendous drummer, who provides the others with some additional'schwung' in their progressive music.

After the encore Paradox Hotel, we went to the bar to get some refreshments, waiting for the band to mingle with their fans. Within a few minutes most band members appeared and they took the time to talk to the people who came to see them, making new friends and sharing memories with the old ones who visit as much of the concerts as possible. This was a fantastic evening: great music, nice people and all that on an ordinary Monday evening in September.

Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Lalle Larsson:

Nightscapes Medley
Where Earth Meets The Sky

Pictures Lalle Larsson by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Setlist The Flower Kings:

For The Love Of Gold
Bass and drum duel Reingold & Lehrmann
Bodin keyboard solo
Stardust We Are (Part 3)
What If God Is Alone
Last Minute On Earth
In The Eyes Of The World
The Truth Will Set You Free
Rising The Imperial
Paradox Hotel

Pictures The Flower Kings by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up The Flower Kings:

Roine Stolt:
guitars, lead and backing vocals
Hasse Fröberg:
guitars, lead and backing vocals
Felix Lehrmann:
drums, percussion
Tomas Bodin:
Jonas Reingold:
bass, bass pedals, backing vocals

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