September 6th, 2005
De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands
Before this concert, I only knew the American band Echolyn from their masterpiece Mei, which I ordered after hearing very positive signals about this band. I was indeed overwhelmed by the broad emotional spectrum and the layered arrangements. Only a couple of days beforehand, I found out Echolyn would play in the fine venue De Boerderij. I decided to go spontaneously. Luckily, on their site there are some full songs available for download, so that I could prepare for the concert a little more.
The evening was opened by support band Mangrove. This Dutch symphonic rock band sounded interesting to me at first, but later on my mind drifted away. I think for a support band, the set was just a bit too long.
Finally Echolyn entered the stage with a warm applause of the not so immense audience (causing a lot of space per person as a nice side-effect). They sounded tight and strong. Highlights of the older material were the great set opener The Cheese Stands Alone, Brittany (containing fine interplay and improvised solos) and an intense 10 minute selection from Mei. The material from their new album The End Is Beautiful sounded a little rougher and more song orientated, but at the same time at least as dynamic and inventive. The show did not bore me for a minute and the musicians themselves seemed to have a lot of fun, too. I was particularly impressed by Ray Weston's voice (from serene to screaming) and the enthusiasm and powerful playing of keyboard player Chris Buzby.
This was a very energetic and entertaining show and I did not regret going there for a moment. If you like progressive music in the true meaning of the word, this band is highly recommended.
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