RPWL & Silhouette

November 2, 2012 - Lakei, Helmond (NL)

There's no better way to start a weekend than going out and watch live music on a Friday night, especially when a band like RPWL performs. They added a new leg to their tour promoting their latest album Beyond Man And Time (2012, see review). The venue Lakei in Helmond (The Netherlands) was nicely packed with fans. A lot of them had already seen the show during the concerts in spring, but apart from them many people showed up not knowing what to expect this evening.


Before the headliners would perform, Dutch band Silhouette got the opportunity to promote their new album Across The Rubicon (see review). I'm familiar with this rather good album and therefore I was curious to find out how Silhouette would perform as a live band, mixing older songs with compositions of their latest album. Well, the performance of the band showed two different sides. On the one hand the songs that were sung by guitarist Brian de Graeve and/or keyboardist
Erik Laan. Those songs could be labelled as neo-prog. On the other hand, the pieces sung by drummer Jos Uffing were bombastic and over the top giving me the idea of attending some kind of musical. His performance was quite theatrical and contrasted sharply with the rest of the music. To be honest, as far as the vocals are concerned Silhouette didn't stand out this evening; they sang often out of tune and sometimes it seemed as if they weren't really focussed. On the album the guitar work sounds good, but on stage Brian de Graeve's lead guitar has a real thin sound. He could hardly compete with the bass guitar of Gerrit-Jan Bloemink, whose strings continuously hit the frets or the elements, which became a bit annoying at some point. I think if De Graeve would consider the use of a plectrum, his guitar sound will improve, but now it desperately lacked power. However, they got some enthusiastic responses from the audience, but I think many people in the audience were family and friends...


When RPWL started their show − which was the first one in four months - it was easy to see that the band was willing to do their utmost. The atmosphere on stage was great. I noticed lots of contacts between the musicians and smiling faces when minor mistakes occurred. This is always the case when you attend the first show of a series to come. The band members
went in turn to the back of the podium in order to adjust their monitor sound. However, that didn't prevent them from giving a professional show. The concept of their latest album Beyond Man And Time was perfectly visualized by singer Yogi Lang, who changed clothes after every song.

In the opener We Are What We Are, ' the keeper' was on stage to perform his vocal duties, wearing an aluminium triangular hat and lighted gloves. Both guitarist Kalle Wallner and bassist Werner Taus started the show behind a transparent screen, so the audience could only see their silhouettes. For the next song, Lang entered the stage blindfolded, but he miraculously found his way to the microphone stand to sing the beautiful title track. Almost looking like a mad scientist and wearing oversized glasses, Yogi sang Unchain The Earth. An impressive character is 'the ugly' with Lang dressed up like the hunchback of the Notre Dame. He acted as if he was a bit afraid of Wallner's guitar. Another character is 'the shadow' entering the stage dressed in black and perfectly copying the movements of Wallner and Taus. During The Wise In The Desert, Lang wore the eyes of wisdom and he sang this song in his characteristic pose: with outstretched arms. 'The fisherman' is a nice act as well. When he came on stage to sing this song, he held a fishing rod in his hands with a camera attached to the end. I think due to technical problems the recorded images didn't reflect on the screen at the back of the stage. Another nice gimmick occurred when the 'real' Kalle Wallner lighted a cigarette that his image, projected on a screen, held in his hand.
Lighting the cigarette

Yogi playing the Moog
Musically I could take note of the fact that the band have grown getting experienced to perform this album live on stage. The cooperation between drummer Marc Turiaux and bass player Werner Taus was excellent. They have become an incredibly grooving rhythm section. With his eyes closed most of the time, Turiaux added a kind of jazzy feel to the band's sound. Keyboard player Marcus Jehle provided some great solos; he was on several occasions assisted by Yogi Lang playing the MiniMoog. This cooperation resulted in excellent keyboard sounds providing the right tension and atmosphere to the music. After finishing Beyond Man And Time there was some time left to perform three encores. The band skipped the part where they had normally left the podium in order to return a couple of minutes later, just to gain time to play these encores. And so we got a fine version of Sleep, the obligated song Roses and a surprise in the form of an obscure Pink Floyd song called Embryo, which was never properly released on a regular album. This last encore almost seemed a jam session: long keyboard passages, soundscapes, bass and drum improvisations and a very inspiring guitar solo.

Instead of leaving after the show, we stayed a bit longer to get the chance to talk to the band members of RPWL. They always take the time to talk to the people in the audience after a show, which in my opinion is one of the highlights of the evening.

Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Silhouette:

Far Away
Grendel Memories
Empty Places
Don't Stop This Movie
When Snow's Falling Down

Pictures Silhouette by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Silhouette:

(left to right)
Brian de Graeve:
vocals, guitar
Erik Laan:
vocals, keyboards
Jos Uffing:
vocals, drums
Gerrit-Jan Bloemink:

Setlist RPWL:

We Are What We Are
       (The Keeper)
Beyond Man And Time
       (The Blind)
Unchain The Earth
       (The Scientist)
The Ugliest Man In The World
       (The Ugly)
The Road Of Creation
       (The Creator)
Somewhere In Between
The Shadow
The Wise In The Desert
The Fisherman
The Noon

Pictures RPWL by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up RPWL:

(left to right)
Kalle Wallner:
guitar, vocals
Marcus Jehle:
Yogi Lang:
vocals, keyboards
Marc Turiaux:
Werner Taus:
bass, vocals

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