Another childhood’s dream has come true! I’ve been following the Polish prog band Riverside almost since its birth. Okay, I was in my twenties back then, so strictly speaking it wasn’t childhood.
The band has gone through difficult times with the sudden death of their guitarist Piotr Grudziński. At the time they took the decision not to replace him and carry on as a trio. Mariusz Duda, who played bass and sang, would also play guitar in the studio, and for performances they would invite a guest guitarist.
After Piotr passed away, Riverside lay low for a long while, but in the beginning of this year they decided to make a comeback:
2017 must be a better year. And we have to come back to life. But we won’t, unless we come back to the stage… so it is our great pleasure to inform you that Riverside will go back to playing live this year.
The band has played 28 shows in April and May in their Towards the Blue Horizon Tour.
I happened to witness one of them held at De Boerderij club in Zoetermeer. The same place I’ve watched Wolverine et al. just a month ago. Though this time the show was sold out and the venue was packed.
And to me it doesn’t make any sense, why the attendance was so poor the previous time as I don’t think Wolverine’s music is any less interesting than Riverside’s.
Anyway, I guess a big deal of Riverside’s popularity is linked to Mariusz’s distinctive, fantastic voice.
This time I was yet again prohibited from taking my camera with me (looks like this rule is enforced somewhat arbitrarily), and I had to resort to my mobile for pictures.
I also managed to film the first two songs, but was approached by the security at the end of Second Life Syndrome and asked to stop recording.
Even on the video you can see the incredible vibe the band creates, as well as how amazingly the voice agrees with the instruments. Mariusz’s bass part was also striking, I wonder how he manages to sing and play these pretty complicated patterns at the same time.
During the tour the guitar part was taken care of by Maciej Meller, an old friend of Mariusz’s, and it sounded quite authentic. I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference by listening.
In one of the songs Mariusz played an acoustic guitar instead of bass (if you can see that on the photo):
Mariusz also mentioned about his warm feelings for Holland, just like Plini and Wolverine before. Which is fair enough considering that Riverside’s popularity rocketed after their performance at the Progpower festival in the Dutch Baarlo. And, of course, the fact the show had been sold out was flattering for the musicians.
The gig was professionally filmed by numerous cameras (like the one on the left on the photo above), so I expect the official video will become available soon.
To conclude: I really enjoyed them playing so I’m definitely going to see them again.
Both my videos are listed in the sidebar on the right; they are also available on the event page. ■