Metal Mind 2012
The act of trying to balance the charge towards entropy comes hard on the neo-prog heroes.
PENDRAGON is arguably the best-served band on a DVD front, and there’s no overspill thanks to this British quartet constantly overhauling their live repertoire, even though their latest videos are shot in the same Polish venue. But this concert can be summarized by bassist Peter Gee’s fatigues, as the group look both belligerent and tired here.
With the rest dressed in casual clothes, they cut in in a dance manner with a new track, “Passion”, rather heavy and energetic, while the heroic rocking on “The Freak Show” feels quite superficial. A business approach to the performance is made all the more clear when Nick Barrett applies a guitar tuner right on-stage; more so, the picture quality isn’t the greatest now, which, perhaps, a downside of having more than an hour of additional material on the disc, interviews and more, that will hardly be watched twice, if at all.
Yet it takes nothing away from the very natural feeling of “If I Were The Wind” where the singer gets lost in emotion, and from “Back In The Spotlight” that literally brings proceedings into focus – and into the perspective – red light stressing the full-bloodedness of the performance. The back screens being the windows to add another dimension to “Ghosts”, there’s also a visual, headbanging abandon in “Comatose”, although Barrett’s face highlighted in the dark like a horror story teller’s beside a fire, is about the only piece of theatrical show there is. The flow is also marred with rather intrusive cameramen, and regular switch to the sweaty back of drummer Scott Higham only stressing the hard work in motion.
Not that it matters when classics are played among the fairly recent pieces, and 30 minutes of encores are delivered, so the public is only happy to sing “Paintbox”, and clap and dance in their seats – some punters, including one teenage kid, standing – while the band jump joyfully on “Nostradamus”. A nostalgia factor aside, it’s another milestone of the PENDRAGON saga, even though the trick of pulling the sword out of the stone looks difficult this time around.