Fireworks

Riverside / Lesoir Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 30, 2019    
 
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Riverside / Lesoir - Stylus, Leeds (UK) - 22 March 2019

It was hardly surprising that when the lights went down at 18:30 the venue was sparsely populated. The explanation – there was a strict 22:00 curfew due to it being a club night after the gig. However, Dutch Progsters Lesoir didn't mind. They came on stage and all looked extremely happy to be playing for us. Vocalist Maartje Meessen, who also played piano and the flute at various points during their forty-five minute set, has a lovely voice, the songs varied between slow and brooding to very heavy, and the crowd were definitely won over by the five piece, as was I. Time to check out their albums methinks!

After a very quick twenty-minute turnaround, Riverside graced us with their presence. The crowd was much bigger by this time and I was sooo excited – I've been a fan of the Polish band for almost fifteen years and for various reasons I've always missed them when they've been touring. This was part two of the 'Wasteland' tour – the guys were promoting the brilliant album, which was released late last year, and the first one since the unfortunate passing of lead guitarist Piotr Grudziński. 'Acid Rain' opened proceedings and immediately the crowd were lapping it up, especially the metallic riff. 'Vale Of Tears' was up next and once again the audience were enjoying the variety during the song. The amazing light show added to the ambience.

'Reality Dream 1' from their debut album had the crowd in raptures and guitarist Maciej Meller nailed the solo. Main man Mariusz Duda is very engaging and he had plenty of interaction with the crowd. Duda (and the whole band) came across as very thankful and humble and there were lots of jokes, he is an excellent frontman who sings very well and is extremely proficient on the bass guitar, also playing acoustic at times. 'Lament' began deceptively slowly before it rocked out and we were then teased to the instrumental intro to 'Saturate Me' from 2015's superb 'Love, Fear And The Time Machine'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Out Of Myself', the title track from their debut album, again had the crowd roaring their approval. The fantastic new album continued to dominate proceedings with a faultless rendition of 'Guardian Angel' and then the lengthy instrumental 'The Struggle For Survival' - keyboardist Michał Łapaj added lots of layers and was continually grinning as he and his cohorts were genuinely enjoying the evening and Duda got the crowd to sing along. Drummer Piotr Kozieradzki was solid throughout. The lights once again augmented the music. The title track from the latest album drew the main set to a close (Łapaj using a Theramin in places was a treat) and proved how talented these musicians truly are.

The audience, myself included, screamed at the top of our voices for an encore and we were duly obliged when the band came back out and played crowd favourite 'Panic Room'. Final track 'River Down Below' was dedicated Grudziński and brought a tear to the eye, it had some lovely acoustic work from Duda and Meller finished off with a stunning solo. So, an absolutely stunning show from an amazing band – I can't remember the last time I was on such a high watching an artist for the first time. I cannot wait to see them again. Thank you Riverside!

Review by Az Chaudhry

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