Moon Safari & Day Six

September 4, 2013, Lakei, Helmond (NL)

It was only one year ago that the progressive rock outfit Moon Safari hit the stage at the Lakei venue in Helmond in the Netherlands (see review). At the time, the musicians promoted their EP  Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteå Serenade (2012, see review). During that performance everything was done so brilliantly that it was hard to believe that the music was played live on stage. But in fact it just was done without any tapes running along with the music that was performed. So I only could give them a big compliment because this band once again showed that they belong on the list of the best live bands in the progressive rock scene! Well a lot can happen during one year and guarantees from the past do not count. Therefore I was very curious if they could do the same kind of live show with a lot of passion and energy at the same the location in early September 2013. It was just at the start of their tour to promote their new album Himlabacken Vol. 1. To get the audience in the right mood, the Dutch band Day Six was asked to show their musical skills! 

Day Six

Desmond Robberegt
Since the last time I saw Day Six at the P=Progrock Festival (see review) in 2010, a lot had happened to the band. First, their bass player Nick Verstappen left and was replaced by ex-Casual Silence bassist Eric Smits. Furthermore their keyboard player Dolf van Heugten (who was present at the venue) left as well and was replaced by Desmond Robberegt. This line up change fortunately did not result in a weak performance because their concert was rather good and enjoyable. But it
Robbie van Stiphout

has to be said that the audience that came to see the headliners were probably not in the mood for some rather heavy music mixed with progressive rock elements. The music played by this band didn't have much in common with the band that would climb the stage later on, but those who had an open mind for different sounding acts did enjoy a live set that was mainly filled with songs taken from their last official studio album The Grand Design (2010, see review). They could even enjoy a brand new piece of music that at the moment didn't have a title yet. To give it a name on the setlist, they named it Piet Piraat, after a character in a Belgium TV program for children. This song most of all showed that the band still has a future after the departure of two long-time members. I guess the will from the other two members Robbie van Stiphout (lead vocals, guitars) and Daan Liebregts (drums) to continue with the band was too strong. After all, their two album releases with strong progmetal music most certainly do deserve a follow up!

Moon Safari

Johan Westerlund
During one of the hottest days in September in the Netherlands ever, the six friendly people from Sweden must have felt it hard to play their music the best possible way because the temperature was not only high on stage but also in front of it. Therefore it was not a real surprise that the jackets that singer Petter Sandström and bassist Johan Westerlund wore at the start of their concert were soon to be taken off. Despite of the fact that they had to deal with those circumstances on stage, they managed to give an excellent performance. To be honest, I didn't expect anything else from them. The high temperature didn't prevent the musicians from fooling around on stage and making jokes about the long hair which Sebastian Äkesson (additional  keyboards, backing vocals) had when he was younger which made him look like a girl or about the hair that doesn't grow anymore on Petter's head. It was obvious that tracks from their brand new album
Johan Westerlund (left, back), Petter Sandström and Sebastian Äkesson
would be included as well. Even for the opening music before getting on stage they used music from Himlabacken Vol. 1. namely the opening tune for the album called Kids. And just like on the album, it was followed by Too Young To Say Goodbye. Furthermore, the set included the new songs Red White Blues, Mega Moon and my personal favourite Barfly. Although a lot of the spectators didn't know those songs at the time, because the album was only out for a couple of days, they certainly enjoyed them a lot. However, it was obvious that the older pieces Heartland, Dance Across The Ocean, New York Summergirl and A Kid Called Panic did get more acclaim. Due to the fact that the venue has a curfew, the band could not do the entire set which could be heard one day earlier at the Cultuurpodium Boerderij in Zoetermeer. This did mean that after the encores Crossed The Rubicon, Lover's End pt III Skelleftea Serenade and the a capella version of Constant Bloom the crowd could not enjoy Yasgur's Farm. But I guess after one whole hour and forty five minutes of superb progressive rock music, everybody went home in a good mood and with a smile on his face. At least I did!

Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)

Setlist Day Six:

Massive Glacial Wall
Castel Gandolfo
7th Sign
Piet Piraat
Fergus Falls
Age of Technology

Pictures Day Six by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Day Six:

(left to right)
Daan Liebregts:
Eric Smits:
bass, backing vocals
Robbie van Stiphout:
lead vocals, guitars
Desmond Robberegt:

Setlist Moon Safari:

Kids (intro tape)
Too Young To Say Goodbye
Dance Across The Ocean
Mega Moon
New York Summergirl
Red White Blues
A Kid Called Panic
Crossed The Rubicon
Lover's End pt III Skelleftea Serenade
Constant Bloom

Pictures Moon Safari by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Moon Safari:

(left to right)
Johan Westerlund:
bass, bass pedals, backing vocals
Simon Äkesson:
main keyboards, lead and backing vocals
Sebastian Äkesson:
keyboard, backing vocals, percussion
Petter Sandström:
acoustic guitar, lead and backing vocals
Tobias Lundgrun:
drums, backing vocals
Pontus Åkesson:
electric guitar, backing vocals

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