Serious Music Alphen Event:

RanestRane

May 26, 2023 - Parkvilla Theater, Alphen a/d Rijn (NL)


After an absence of almost 5 years the Italian cinematic progressive rock band RanestRane finally returned to the wonderful Parkvilla Theater in Alphen aan den Rijn. They already played at this venue in 2017 (see review) and 2018 (see review). The concerts on Dutch soil were played at Cultuurpodium Boerderij in Zoetermeer in the corresponding years. A bigger venue which can have more people but it doesn't have the cosy atmosphere of a real
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RanestRane playing Apocalypse Now (►more pics)
theatre. Therefore, I wasn't surprised when drummer and lead singer Daniele Pomo told me after the show that he was glad to return to this wonderful venue. Well, I guess he wasn't the only person to be glad on this special day. It seemed that everybody who attended their third performance at this venue left it with a big smile on their faces. Why? That question is easy to answer. The band played on top of their game in front of the video screen on which footage was shown taken from the films their progressive rock compositions are based on.
 

The first set was dedicated to the band's latest album Apocalypse Now (2022, see review). In my review of this masterpiece, I mentioned that this album is an excellent concept inspired by a brilliant movie (the 1979 American epic psychological war film Apocalypse Now directed by Francis Ford Coppola). Furthermore, I wrote that on this album the four musicians demonstrated once again that Ranestrane is comfortable with putting images of a movie into excellent progressive rock tunes. However, this was written after seeing this new "cineconcertos" concert only one time.
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Daniele Pomo (►more pics)
And now after seeing it complete for the second time I can only gasp for air. The band takes you by the throat from the start until the end, just like they did on all of their earlier performed cinematic concerts. They only let you go after the final notes of the album are played by the excellent musicians.

While the music of Richard Wagner's Ride Of The Valkyries (also used in the original movie) came out of the speakers the musicians entered the stage one by one to give the audience something special. In front of a rather large audience the band members performed flawlessly all of the nine compositions. In my review I wrote that the band gave a second life to this story, they revived the musical image of war, human emotions and chaos that creeps like a thief into the mind of a man tainted by the touch of death and cruelty. Seeing it all on the screen behind them with the music that fits like a glove makes it even more impressive to watch and hear. All of the songs performed have a nice balance between up tempo parts and more mellow pieces. When there is a lot of action going on in the story the music gets faster and more aggressive and on the other hand the tender parts show the restless moments. Drama and passion are here keywords that work perfectly in the music performed. The earlier mentioned Daniele Pomo sings his lines with a lot of passion standing behind his drum kit but also
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Maurizio Meo (►more pics)
hits his instrument hard when the story asked for it. His brother Massimo Pomo also shows the cruelties of a war by playing some really hard aggressive parts on his electric guitar but on the other hand also lets his guitar weep on very melodic parts. Also keyboard player Riccardo Romano makes his synthesizers cry like a mother who has lost her new born baby when the US napalm bombs were dropped. But he also sometimes comes up with very romantic gentle parts if needed. I guess the same can be said about bass player Maurizio Meo, He also knows how to play the right parts for the musical score of this cinematic concert. Even though all of the musicians were playing as if they had to fight this war themselves it was one person in particular, I think really impressed me. I guess the man who was most of all on fire during the during the presentation of the new album was guitarist Massimo Pomo. His playing was breathtaking and I sometimes watched it with my mouth open. While hearing the whole new album more than 80 minutes long I only can come to one conclusion. The album was just made to show the excellence of one of the best guitar players on the planet nowadays.

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Massimo Pomo (►more pics)
After the break it was time for celebration. Not only because it was Riccardo's birthday! but because the band is already 25 years alive and kicking. Therefore the second set was announced as the 25th Anniversary Best Of set. Different songs taken from their back catalogue could be enjoyed. After a new small improvised intro it was time for Materna Luna. For me personally the musical highlight taken from A Space Odyssey, Part I - Monolith (2013). On this tune it all falls in place. Beautiful vocal performances together with excellent solos on the synthesizer and electric guitar. It wasn't the only piece taken from this fine album. Also Il Monolito Di Tycho could be enjoyed before they continued with A Space Odyssey, Final Part - Starchild (2018, see review). From my favourite album of the Space Odyssey trilogy they performed Sogner˛ Mai?, Stargate and Prometeo Tra Le Stelle. So I couldn't have been more happy. Unfortunately, I missed the songs taken from the second part of the trilogy. Nothing was done from A Space Odyssey, Part Two - H.A.L. (2015, see review). I guess there wasn't enough time to do them. Next up were the songs taken from the band's debut album Nosferatu Il Vampire (2007). Three songs were played from this double album. PasserÓ Presto, Via Da Wismar and L'Ultimo Incontro. The always popular Via Da Wismar had a new intro which included an amazing piano solo by Romano. Just like L'Ultimo Incontro also had a new intro. After
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Riccardo Romano (►more pics)
that it was 'Here comes Johnny' time again. Before the audience could enjoy two pieces taken from Shining (2011) Daniele came up with short introduction to the album. First it was time for Incubo before album favourite Redrum was next. It is of course all about the evil face of Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance and the scary face of his wife Wendy Torrance played by Shelley Duvall. Most of all the way Daniele Pomo responded to the images on the screen were amazing to watch. A good example was when Jack tried to open the door with an axe. At the same time, you could see how Danny was hitting his drums with a lot of power. Also, the music that followed after this scene gave me shivers down my spine. The images of the escape of this lunatic has such melodramatic music that you feel sorry for the ones who had to run for their lives!

After that it almost seemed as if the concert was done. No more reactions from the audience after the musicians left the stage. Were they already satisfied with what they had seen so far? I guess not because after a couple of seconds the silence was broken by some voices who shouted 'We want more'. Thank God for that otherwise Daniele Pomo could not tell the audience how important a certain movie was for him and the band. Namely Pink Floyd - The Wall, a 1982 British musical drama film directed by Alan Parker. It was probably not a real surprise that the best composition taken from this concept album was the ending of this excellent concert. Hearing the band doing Comfortably Numb was probably for many people present the icing on the cake. The duo vocal performances of Daniele en Riccardo were just outstanding just like Massimo's awesome guitar solo.

There is not much to say after seeing this excellent band performing the best possible progressive rock music the best possible way. So grazie to them. But also, a big thanks to the wonderful people of Music Events Alphen for bringing this amazing Italian band back on their stage. Therefore, a show of hands is in place for the band and the organisation.

Henri Strik (edited by Dave Smith)

Live video recordings

Henri & Roel Strik

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Napalm (20:15)
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Playmate (6:43)
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Materna luna/Il Monolito Di Tycho (12:38)


Setlist RanestRane:


Set 1: Apocalypse Now:

Ride Of The Valkyries (Richard Wagner)
Saigon
Cuore Di Tenebra Pt. I
Dossier
Napalm
Playmate
The Eden Cries
Cuore Di Tenebra Pt. II
The Horror
Un Nuovo Dio


Set 2: 5th Anniversary Best Of:

A Space Odyssey Part I Monolith:
Materna Luna
Il Monolito Di Tycho
A Space Odyssey Final Part Starchild:
Sogner˛ Mai?
Stargate
Prometeo Tra Le Stelle
Nosferatu Il Vampire:
PasserÓ Presto
Via Da Wismar
L'Ultimo Incontro
Shining:
Incubo
Redrum

Encore:
Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)


Pictures RanestRane by Arthur Haggenburg

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Line up RanestRane:

(left to right)
Maurizio Meo:
bass and double bass
Daniele Pomo:
lead vocals, drums and percussion
Riccardo Romano:
keyboards and backing vocals
Massimo Pomo:
electric guitars
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