After releasing the successful "Wasteland", RIVERSIDE is now touring extensively throughout Europe to promote their earlier released album. "Wasteland" marks the first release after the passing of guitarist Piotr Grudziński. The result was a wonderful studio album, perhaps even one of the best progressive releases of the year. So, when it was announced that Riverside would play a show at Nosturi in Helsinki on 2 April 2019, I knew I had to be a part to experience these songs live. To be fair, I wasn't really in the mood to see the support act. But I'm one of these people who refuses to miss out on them, unless I am actually busy. So I left for Nosturi, right on time to catch the Dutch art rock act LESOIR. I'm happy I forced myself to go to the venue on time, because I was pleasantly surprised by the band. The band played an impressive set, with mostly songs from their recent release "Latitude". Vocalist MAARTJE MEESEN, isn't only blessed with a great voice, but also with ease plays the flute and keyboards. Sometimes more mellow, sometimes with a bit heavier riffs, the venue slowly started filling up to witness the songs of LESOIR. At times, I feel that the mixing wasn't doing the band justice, but towards the end of the set it started to get more and more balanced out. All-in-all I hope to see this band develop more in the future, I'm curious to see where the road will take them. Perhaps another time at Helsinki? If so, count me in!
RIVERSIDE soon marched up the stage after an atmospheric intermezzo of crows and nature soundscapes surrounding us. One could easily mistake that soundscape for one suiting a horror movie, but make no mistake... It was setting the atmosphere of a magical evening that the guys from RIVERSIDE provided. The band kicked off with "Acid Rain", and immediately looked like they were happy to be playing again for Helsinki.
I'll be honest. I had never seen RIVERSIDE play live before, shame on me! So, I was not only surprised by their music, and how they put me in some kind of a trance with it, but also by the warmth of front man Mariusz Duda, who really did his best to ensure that everyone in the venue felt welcome. With a lot of confidence and joy, the band excited the soldout (or almost soldout?) venue from the minute they started playing their set. Apart from the stellar musicianship, we can also see a band that excels in performing. With a great light show, and the band enthusiastically moving to their own music, it sure was a lot of fun to watch RIVERSIDE finally live. A lot of other "Wasteland" songs were played that night such as "Vale of Tears", "Lament", the beautiful and emotional "Guardian Angel" - I admit I popped out a couple of tears there and many more. The band was also not shy to play some older tracks eg. "Reality Dream I" and "Out Of Myself", and filled up the rest of the setlist with other grande songs that every fan would enjoy.
The band ends with "Wasteland", but not before they give the audience a very warm encore starting by playing "O" Panic Room". Before the band wraps up, Mariusz Duda wants to thank the audience for their support, which came after guitarist Piotr's passing in 2016. He explained that surviving this hard period, wouldn't have been possible without us, and how even though RIVERSIDE is officially now a trio, there will always be a fourth member watching over them. A waterfall of tears seemed to roll over my cheeks as he spoke those words as a result of those beautiful words. A beautiful way to finish off a gig, the band soon starts playing "River Down Below", which concluded an emotional evening. Because of my lack of experience concerning RIVERSIDE shows, I'm not entirely sure whether this marks one of their greatest shows up-to-date, or not, however, to me this evening will always hold a special place in my heart and I will surely remember it as a very beautiful, emotional, sometimes even magical evening. I hope to catch the band soon again.
SetlistAcid RainVale of TearsReality Dream ILamentSaturate Me(instrumental intro only)Out of MyselfSecond Life Syndrome(first part only)Left OutGuardian AngelLost (Why Should I Be Frightened By a Hat?)The Struggle for SurvivalEgoist Hedonist(without third part, second part extended ending)Loose HeartWasteland(extended intro w/ "Night… )Encore:02 Panic RoomRiver Down Below