Concert Review Archive

 

Headspace & Haken

Saturday, 8th September 2012
De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, the Netherlands

Article and photos By Andrť de Boer

British bands Haken and Headspace decided to do a little tour together in September to perform as co-headliners. This Anonymous Visions Tour started off in Belgium, followed by two gigs in Holland, one in Germany and two in the UK. I really think it is a great idea to export UKís progressive knowledge this way. This night they were present at de Boerderij venue in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. I was a bit surprised that the venue turned out to be only half full. But it was definitely more than enough for building a great atmosphere though. And for me it is always nice to be able to easily move around every now and then.

Haken

To be short: their best performance out of four that I have had the privilege to witness. Starting with Progpower Europe 2010, followed by Night of the Prog 2011 and Rock ITtervoort earlier this year. And those were all great performances too.

The set tonight was simple; Haken played their 2011 album Visions in its entirety. Ross Jenningsí unique voice sounded rather well. We know this is not always the case. But on one or two occasions tonight the thought even crossed my mind that Ross did not sing live at all. This of course was absolutely not the case but the fact just made the Haken experience even more intense.

Haken

There were multiple instrumental intermezzos to be enjoyed here. An element that distinguishes Haken's gigs from many other bands in the way they present these interludes on stage. I honestly think they are really different at each show and it feels close to watching some fun jamming in a studio. As if there is no audience present and sheer fun, cohesion and interaction between the artists is all that matters. And it shows! Diego even started a stretched Super Mario extravaganza that finally blended in the continuing Insomnia flawlessly. And again the crowd was treated with a weird lovely extended interlude during Shapeshifter. Even resulting in a little folk dance by Ross Jennings and Charles Griffiths on the sound of Diego Tejeidaís organ. A pounding rhythm by Raymond Hearneís drums strictly ended the fooling around and summoned the others to finish the track.

Haken

Richard Henshall is the most modest band member and focussing on him displays his drive and huge contribution. Charles Griffiths acts in the same way but includes swift eye contact with people in the audience every now and then. Diego started a solo leading to Visions (this song also has an awesome extended 23 minute video clip available on the internet; recommended!) to close Hakenís set with grandeur.

An absolutely stunning show strengthened by Ross' best vocals ever and some deliciously sparkling interludes.

Setlist Haken
Premonition
Nocturnal Conspiracy
Insomnia
The Mind's Eye
Portals
Shapeshifter
Deathless
Visions
 

Headspace

Next on stage, Headspace. With an equally simple set as their predecessors; their 2012 DPRP recommended album I Am Anonymous in its entirety. For the third time as Damian Wilson mentioned later on. In a nutshell: A fine display of their first set of songs available, all impressively displayed live.

Headspace

And speaking of Damian, obviously renowned for his work with Threshold, makes it inevitable for Headspace to be compared to that band. This is also the case on stage. Many Threshold t-shirts in the audience are silent witnesses emphasizing this thought. Damian is present as ever. The songs all suit his voice and you can see it in his passion and you can hear it in his clear and strong voice. I canít think of a voice that would fit better. The teamwork is good, the atmosphere is friendly and of course all band members are very skilled. Lee Pomeroy has a wide experience and does his awesome bass job easy and relaxed. Richard Brookís drumming is flawless yet somewhat aloof. Pete Rinaldi on lead guitar is new to me but seemed in place and is more than capable to act in a band like this. Adam Wakeman of course has his genes in the right place for hitting the keyboards the way it should.

Headspace

Stalled Armageddon of course started off instrumentally, warming up the crowd. Wilson came on stage halfway the song and pushed the experience up to the maximum level. A great beginning. The third song Soldier, being one of my favourites of the album, had my special attention. Would it work out live as well? Yes, it did. A very, very impressive performance. An absolute highlight of the show.

Headspace

Even to the fans gathered tonight the band thought it was a good idea to clarify what the song Daddy Fucking Loves You is all about before it was brought to us full length. A second highlight followed.

And, other then we are used to watching him with Threshold, Damian jumped off the stage to mingle with the audience only right after the final song The Big Day. This is no second Threshold, we have witnessed and enjoyed Headspace.

Setlist Headspace
Stalled Armageddon
Fall of America
Soldier
Die With A Bullet
In Hellís Name
Daddy Fucking Loves You
Invasion
The Big Day
 

Conclusion

A double concert meant there was no room available for encores for both bands. And really, these rather abrupt endings do not justify two great performances. But other than that it was a night well spent. I donít know which of the two headliners was best. For me an number one ex aequo. So donít miss this dual opportunity in either Leicester or London.

Links
Headspace Official Website

DPRP's Review of Headspace's "I Am Anonymous"

Haken Official Website
Haken Myspace

DPRP's Review of Haken's "Aquarius"
DPRP's Review of Haken's "Visions"

De Boerderij

 


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