Saturday, 10th April 2015
Cultuurpodium Boerderij, Zoetermeer, the Netherlands
Last time Renaissance played in the Netherlands was about 40 years ago,
so the audience was very pleased and eager to finally experience them live (again).
Unusual punctual for a rock band Renaissance took the stage applauded by the vast audience in the almost sold out hall.
When Annie Haslam joined the band a few moments later she was welcomed with an even bigger applause,
like a long lost child.
Annie clearly enjoyed this big enthusiasm and further one she hailed them by saying “What an audience, very loud”.
For me Annie is the “Grand Dame of Exceptional Prog” and that’s exactly how she presented herself,
but very modest and without any airs and graces, just a friendly, little bit older, lady with a wonderful voice.
She kindly asked the lights man to reduce the bright lights that shined into her eyes,
since it was just too much for her eyes.
After the first song Annie shortly welcomed the audience and told a little bit about the last
time they played in the Netherlands.
Every song was introduced shortly by Annie thus giving the audience a real feeling of getting a real gift presented.
From start to end the audience was almost ecstatic and thanked every song played with a burst
of enthusiastic applause and howls.
Drummer Frank Pagano showed a clear tendency to look up to the sky when he was in full ecstasy when drumming and singing.
Apart from some little minor errors Annie remarkably was still
able to hit all the high notes for which she became so famous.
The high screams at the beginning of The Mystic and the Muse were spot on as in the old days; respect!
Annie also shortly raised the attention of the audience for a fund raising project to release a
live DVD from their London gig.
Near the end Annie again showed her delight for the brilliant atmosphere in the hall by singing the first
line of the famous song “Tulips from Amsterdam”.
Backed up in the vocals section by several band members the bigger vocal harmony segments
came over quite well too, although I must say that the vocal qualities of the guitarist Mark Lambert,
who did most of the additional singing, did not convince me as he sometimes was a bit off
or his vocals just didn’t match with Annie’s.
The only encore Ashes are Burning included a long solo by Rave Tesar on piano,
then Leo Traversa on bass and finally Tom Brislin on keyboards; excellent stuff which one would expect on a live show!
At the start of the song Annie’s vocals were a bit uncertain, maybe caused by some fatigue,
but later on the longer high vocal plays were as they should be again.
During all longer instrumental segments Annie closed her eyes (sometimes too when singing)
and clearly fully lost her herself in the music and almost looked like she’s in trance.
Although the gig was a bit short the audience was still treated to a splendid concert and clearly showed its appreciation.
This was an evening to remember.
Carpet of the sun
Grandine il vento
Symphony of light
The mystic and the muse
Ashes are burning
Renaissance Official Website