Summer Breeze Project

January 12, 2013
Congrescentrum 't Zand, Maarssen (NL)

After a preparation period of approximately three months the Dutch progressive rock band Summer Breeze Project were ready for the presentation to the public of the stage show called Signs. Those who had come to the venue in Maarssen didn't know what to expect, but after the show it was obvious that the people in the audience had seen a rather good and entertaining performance.

Gert Bruins
The band started with Concrete, a track they had written for the Dutch Exposure album. This piece was visualized at the back of the stage by some fine projections that kept going on during the whole concert and only ended after the final notes were played. Lead singer and guitarist Gert Bruins told the audience to be glad that the band had ended their most difficult song rather well. Next they performed several songs from their mini-CD Energy (2009) and their download-CD Unusual Horizons (2011, see review) complemented by some new material. From Energy people could enjoy fine versions of Caravan, In The Meantime and Power. Obviously they played more songs from Unusual Horizons, because the tracks on this download-CD are more mature and contain more progressive rock influences. Especially a song like Everything's Fine, containing an amazing guitar solo by Gordon van Pelt, showed that they're able to hold the attention of prog heads.

Summer Breeze Project also played a song from the other band in which Gert Bruins participates. Their version of Politics from Taurus & Pisces was well-performed. I guess Peter Everts, the other member of this outfit who took care of the mixing of the live sound, could live with this version. After this number they played Hollow, the single they recorded in order to raise money for the Koningin Wilhelmina Fonds, the Dutch Cancer Society. When they performed this song some technical problems occurred with the microphones. They played Hollow again after these problems were solved. After finishing the last song of the regular set all band members left the stage one by one in a rather original way. While leaving, they all put on their coat and waved goodbye to the audience. A few seconds after drummer René Troostheiden had left the stage they all returned to play the encore Garden Of Delight.

Jørgen puts on his coat before leaving the stage
This final encore is a new song and one of the more progressive rock tunes of the band's repertoire. It was visualized at the back of the stage by The Garden Of Earthly Delights, a triptych painted by the Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch. These images were accompanied by beautiful playing on the keyboards by Fons Panneman. It was just a shame that some visitors found it necessary to talk through these tranquil passages which showed little respect for the musicians on stage. Moreover, it distracted other visitors who couldn't fully enjoy the music on stage.

However, this little incident didn't prevent me from giving Summer Breeze Project a show of hands. It looked all rather professional. The band did their utmost to perform a great live show and the images behind them made sure that there was always something that attracted my attention. Like fragments of Metropolis, a science-fiction film from 1927 directed by the German expressionist Fritz Lang or footage from the World War II D-Day invasion in Normandy during the track Normandy. So well done indeed!

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Summer Breeze Project:

Signs Prologue
Close Your Eyes
In The Meantime
Eye Of The Storm
Everything's Fine
Master & Servant
Signs Epilogue
Garden Of Delight

Pictures by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Summer Breeze Project:

(left to right)
Gordon van Pelt:
electric guitar
Fons Panneman:
keyboards, soundscapes, backing vocals
Gert Bruins:
electric guitar, lead and backing vocals
Jørgen de Jonge:
bass and backing vocals
Rene Troostheiden:
acoustic and electric drums

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