Artiest / Band: 

Pendragon is one of the first neo-prog bands, provided that 'neo-prog' actually is a term fit to describe this genre of progressive rock. The concert filmed on this DVD is a seated concert in the lovely Slaski Theatre in Katowice (Poland), held on October 13th 2008. The band celebrated their 30th anniversary there with a very long show. Concerto Maximo features three songs of the latest album Pure, which would be something to look out for. The ambiance of this theatre is tasteful and breathes grandeur, but since the audience is sitting down and at quite a distance from the band, the interaction between band and audience is somewhat limited. Besides, it’s not a huge crowd so don’t expect to see all kinds of people jumping around. The camera’s are positioned well and especially the shots from some places very near the ceiling are spectacular. There are some images on a screen behind the band, but most of the images come from the cameras following the activities of the band members. The lightshow is not spectacular but tasteful and very functional, providing good lighting for the whole concert. Fortunately there are no big smoke screens, so the viewer is getting excellent shots from the musicians. The sound quality and the synchronization are remarkably good. Newcomer Scott Higham (drums) - and the higher pitch backing vocals - is not particularly shy. He gives a good show and his performance gives the sound of the band a slightly more heavy edge. He joined the band only six months before this show, but he plays as confident as if he’s been with the guys for years. Modest as always and with Pendragon for 29 years now, is bassist Peter Gee and while Nick Barrett (vocals, lead guitar) is the main man for Pendragon, we all know that Clive Nolan calls the shots in Arena together with drummer Mick Pointer. Nolan, playing all keyboards and providing background vocals, is with Pendragon for 25 years. Except for my favourite album The Jewel (1985), every other album is represented with at least one song. Barrett, who plays alternating Fender and Gibson guitars, is in superb form and because his voice has become a little mellower, it actually fits the music better in my opinion. Their hair is getting thinner and the beards are getting greyer, but the guys still know how to rock! During the years it became clear that Barrett is the driving force and therefore the guitar is the dominant instrument, but I have to admit that I would have loved a bit more duelling between guitar and synths or a bit more solos we all know that Nolan is able to deliver. In The Voyager, Nick plays an acoustic guitar at first, while Pete Gee masters the Fender. After It's Only Me, the last song from Pure, the band says goodbye. The audience senses that this can’t be the end of the show and indeed, the band returns with Master Of Illusion. With this catchy up-tempo song Barrett's moving to the front of the stage, the audience has to leave their seats and finally we have a rock show! We even see shadows of heads blocking some of the cameras for the rest of the show. For the second encore the band plays The King Of The Castle and And We'll Go Hunting Deer, both pretty melancholic and mellow songs. Then an extra special surprise, the epic Queen Of Hearts, with Gee playing some acoustic guitar and the first real synth solo by Nolan. This is the end of almost three hours of music. A good show, worthy of a celebration, however not a show I would like to watch over and over again. I’d rather just listen! Which of course you can with either the Special Edition with the two audio CDs or just the two audio CD versions. The extras are an interview mainly with Barrett, a photo gallery, discography, biography, website and logo.