Riverside – gig review from 04/04/06

There’s no need to introduce this band, I guess. All of you, who have more or less been following the prog-rock/metal scene, know that Riverside is a widely praised group of four musicians who marked their perceptible print on the music-map with their debut “Out of Myself”. At the end of March, 2006, they set off on a tour in order to promote their latest effort, “Second Life Syndrome”, and as luck would have it, they stopped off at Gniezno, a town located 30km from my little hometown. I called a friend whom I study with, and we both decided that we would go.

RiversideI got on the train to Wrzesnia at 15.08 and was there 20 minutes later. I had to wait for about 30 minutes before the train to Gniezno arrived. So I got on it at 16.00, found a good seat, and waited ‘til it finally ended its journey (around 16.35). When I got off the train,my friend, Kifer, was already waiting for me, and told me that if we were faster, we might catch Riverside at a press-conference in Gniezno Gallery, which was planned to begin at 17.00. He was driving as fast as he could and thanks to him, we were at the doors of the Gallery in time.

I managed to buy a Riverside CDS (“Conceiving you”) when the band came in and the conference started. Well, there were maybe 20-25 people waiting for them so it wasn’t hard to get all of their autographs. The meeting lasted maybe for 20 minutes and the band was off to rehearse in MOK, the place the gig was taking place at. Then we went to Kifer’s and had a few beers before going out. We appeared at MOK a few minutes after 20.00, but the band hadn’t started yet. I set off to nose a bit around the venue and found a Riverside-poster, which I grabbed immediately.

The wait got us quite nervous but as we were about to go mad, Riverside finally started their live-ceremony. To my surprise, they used a part of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” as the intro, which turned out pretty fine. Then they went smoothly to one of the most memorable songs off “Second Life Syndrome”, namely “Conceiving you”. It’s a very atmospheric and slow song, packed with a great dose of emotions and fantastic piano parts.

RiversideThe audience gathered in MOK (around 100 people, it was kind of a cozy gig) got into the right mood straight away, and lasted in it ‘til the last song. Well, to tell you the truth now, I can’t recall the setlist in chronological order. From what I remember, Riverside played “Second Life Syndrome”, “Acronym Love”, “Out of Myself”, “Artificial Smile”, my favourite “I Believe”, “Reality Dream”, “Volte-Face”, “The Curtain Falls” and “Loose Heart” (encore). There were probably 3 or 4 more tracks but as I said, I can’t list them at the moment. However, one thing very I’m sure of is that they didn’t play “In Two Minds”. Oh dear. Apart from that, everything was beyond reproach. Riverside had a great sound so it all came down to superbly re-played tracks. All instruments were set to their highest, but all of them were audible and easy to distinguish. Even though the gig was rested upon one guitar (Riverside is a quartet), there was nothing missing. The guys seemed to be quite pleased and enjoyed the gig as much as we did. After the encore, the four stepped forward, bowed and that was all to be seen that night.

I returned home the following day, tired but with a grin on my face. Riverside didn’t disappoint and that’s what counts. To close this report, I want to force you all to go and see Riverside at least once in your life.