Anima Mundi - June 15, 2013

Cultuurpodium De Boerderij, Zoetermeer (NL)

Since the Cuban progressive rock band Anima Mundi got themselves a Dutch manager, the Netherlands have become their second homeland. They spent almost two months in 2012 in our country to do some concerts in Europe and to record a large part of their latest studio album The Lamplighter (see review). Therefore, it was obvious that the start of their European tour and the release party of the new album would take place in the Netherlands. The location was an already familiar venue for them. Because in 2012 they opened the iO Pages Festival (see review) held at Cultuurpodium Boerderij in Zoetermeer. Only this time the band was fronted by a brand new lead singer. Carlos Sosa decided in early 2013 to leave the band and was replaced by Emmanuel Pirko-Farrath. The question was of course if he could forget their former lead singer, because it's always difficult to step into the shoes of an amazing singer.

Before the band came, a couple of lanterns could already be seen on the stage just like on the cover of the new album. Like for example next to the keyboards and drums. It was a nice way to get the audience into the right mood. But I guess that their loyal fans probably didn't need any of those extra attributes to
Emmanuel Pirko-Farrath
enjoy the music of this fantastic band. They were fantastic once again, like on all the other times I had watched them, and the first part of the concert very much proved this. They chose to perform the new album in its entirety during this first set. The sound was perfect right from the start and that made it possible for the difficult musical parts to come across well. That most of the people present didn't know the music of the new album didn't seem to be a problem at all. The album was on sale for the first time during this CD release party and only a couple of music reviewers and friends had already heard the album. Everybody just enjoyed the new songs which contained excellent guitar parts by Roberto Díaz. Sometimes he sounded just like Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd) on Echoes (Meddle 1971) and even more so than on the original studio versions. The sound of the keyboards played by Virginia Peraza came very close to the studio versions. The beautiful flute sound on the album could be heard many times. Excellent was also the way Yaroski Corredera handled his bass guitar-sometimes pounding and other times very delicate. However , the bass pedal synthesizers sounds were performed by Virginia on her keyboards. A special guest was welcomed before they started Endless Star. It was Remco Engels from the Dutch progressive rock band Mangrove who assisted drummer Manuel Govin
Special guest Remco Engels
on percussion. As they had done in their 2012 concerts, they together gave an excellent drum solo which was very much enjoyed by the crowd. Remco remained on stage until the last song of the first set was done. During this set it turned out that Emmanuel  must had practised a lot to get the new album under control because he succeeded very well in singing his difficult vocal lines in front of a live audience.

After the break it was time to enjoy the music from Anima Mundi's back catalogue. However they had decided not to include any material from their debut Septentrión (2002/2012, see review). They started with a great version of Time To Understand taken from their masterpiece The Way (2010, see review) Band leader Roberto Diaz once again played a breathtaking guitar solo; goosebumps all over! During this song, everybody at the venue was of course very curious to see how Mr. Pirko-Farrath managed to sing the parts that were originally done by Mr. Sosa. Well, to be honest, I have to confess that he pulled it off very well. Singing several lines
Virginia Peraza and Roberto Díaz
differently and others together with Mr Diaz, he succeeded in bringing the song to a strong finish. During the next piece, he was not allowed to sing because Rhythm Of The Spheres is an entirely instrumental composition from their second album Jagannath Orbit (2008, see review) and a composition that gave the musicians a chance to improvise on their instruments. Most of all, the keyboards and electric guitars shined all the way through. Flying To The Sun and Cosmic Man from The Way finished off the second set. During the first track, I could enjoy once again the fantastic-and most of all impressive-church organ sound produced by Virginia on her keyboards. The second title of course included the amazing bass guitar solo done by Yaroski. The first encore was an obvious choice because it was done many times before. However this version of Sanctuary was a bit different from the other ones. This time Roberto took over the lead vocals of Emmanuel because he could not reach the high notes. The last encore was also done before but maybe not how you'd expect. It already appeared on the setlist when the band made their debut on Dutch soil at Lakei in Helmond in 2011 (see review). At the time they gave it the title Arthur but was none other than a large instrumental part of the classic Genesis piece Firth Of Fifth. This perfect version of this amazing song was most of all a perfect ending to another strong performance by Anima Mundi. Maybe the band had deserved a much larger audience. But those who came out to see this band, that took a flight across the Atlantic Ocean from Cuba to visit Europe for the third time in a row, never regretted coming to see them! All I can say is welcome back Anima Mundi! We love you all the way!

Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)

Setlist Anima Mundi:

Set 1:
Suite The Lamplighter
- On Earth Beneath The Stars
- The Call And Farewell Song
- Light The Lantern Of Your Heart
- The Human House
Suite Tales From Endless Star
- The Dream Child Behind The Mask
- The Return - Part I
- Endless Star
- The Return - Part II
-His Majesty Love

Set 2:
Time To Understand
Rhythm Of The Spheres
Flying To The Sun
Cosmic Man

Firth Of Fifth

Pictures Anima Mundi by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Anima Mundi:

(left to right)
Roberto Díaz:
guitars, lead and backing vocals
Virginia Peraza:
Manuel Govin:
Emmanuel Pirko-Farrath:
acoustic guitar, percussion, lead and backing vocals
Yaroski Corredera:
bass guitar

Special guest (not on picture):
Remco Engels:

All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013