Around 1990 the German theatrical prog-band Grobschnitt officially ceased to exist.
But thanks to the second generation of former members Willi Wildschwein (sons Nuki on the guitar and Bully as sound-engineer),
Milla Kapolke (his son Manu plays guitar) the band was revived in 2007.
Together with Deva Tattva (keyboards), his son Demian Hache (drums & percussion), Toni Moff Mollo (vocals and lighting) and former member ATS (Admiral Top Sahne) on the drums,
the band started touring as Grobschnitt again.
Many shows in Germany with their newly arranged masterpiece Solar Music as the main event, created a lot of renewed interest in this great band,
contemporaries to acts like Eloy, Anyone's Daughter, Ramses or Novalis.
Improved sound, improved arrangements and still very spectacular visually, Grobschnitt kept on performing.
At present, in the year 2010 it was the right time to revive their rock classic with the famous cover looking very much like some of the Roger Dean covers for Uriah Heep among others.
The band decided to compose a prelude and an epilogue to round off their 1977 concept album Rockpommel's Land.
Before the show I was fortunate enough to have a chat with Grobschnitt's bass player Milla Kapolke,
who told me it was to be a very special show because usually the band plays bigger clubs: the theatricals and fireworks would have to be limited because of the lack of space on stage.
I thought I was my bad luck but the show proved to be nothing less than brilliant nevertheless.
Introduced by 'buddies' Mila and Willi, the band played an awesome selection of their works from the late seventies and early eighties.
The quality of the sound was really superb, which for me is unbelievable.
Not too loud, but certainly loud enough, clear and all instruments and vocals well defined.
Great atmosphere created by dimmed lights, mastered by the 'old fox' Moff Mollo who proved he hadn't forgotten all of his tricks.
All the members of the current line up played with the utmost concentration and with genuine enthusiasm and passion.
Manu is probably the youngest musician in the band and evidently wanted to keep a low profile, but he played and sang beautifully nonetheless.
Nuki turned out to be a great guitar player and a worthy successor to the late "Lupo".
Demian Hache is an all round percussionist and knows how to play the drums as well.
Next to front man Wildschwein, whose voice was in very good shape during the first half of the show, but had to watch his steps in the second part just a bit,
there was also Milla Kapolke who showed to be inspired by one of greatest bass players ever: Chris Squire.
Kapolke plays the Rickenbacker often like Squire and sometimes marching on the spot just like his 'idol'.
ATS is a formidable drummer and Hache plays his keyboards gracefully but always tries to avoid being in the spotlights.
As in the past, the roadies work hard to enlighten the show with all kinds of costumes, candles, special outfits and theatricals, and they did well.
The sparks created by the chainsaws were thrilling and some of the custumes were quite cool.
Also because of the extra tracks, composed by the current band to have an introduction to the fairytale of Ernie and to have a nice 'farewell'
the hole album Rockpommels'Land turned out to be a real treat.
After the break more music from the eighties and a fully re-arranged Solar Music, currently called Sonnentanz.
Still an amazing piece of music and it gave guitarist Nuki plenty of opportunities to excel.
Because both Rockpommels's Land and Solar Music belong to the best music Grobschnitt has ever written as far as I'm concerned, I was one of many extremely satisfied spectators.
Although the band is not planning to go into the studio again,
I would think they'd better reconsider because this line up played really tight and powerful and with this level of craftsmanship,
in my opinion Grobschnitt deserves to play shows outside of Germany too!
In the fall the band plays in Dortmund on October 9 (Westfalenhalle), not too far from the Netherlands and because of the bigger venue,
you would be witness to the full show Grobschnitt has to offer: don't miss this opportunity to see this legendary German counterpart of the early Genesis!
Grobschnit, thank you very much for a really wonderful evening.
I've never been a real fan, but you've made me one after this performance!
I never expected to be blown away to such an extent and I'm so glad I decided to go out and see you!
Setlist (random order)
Film im Kopf
Könige der Welt
Komm und tanz
Solar Music Finale