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On stage: Flower Kings

- Flower Kings - Nov. 2007 - Oberhausen (D) -

Flower Kings - Nov. 14th 2007 - Oberhausen (D), Zentrum Altenberg

This year quite a few good prog albums been released and it seems that now more prog bands tour. Tonight it was time to catch The Flower Kings on their current tour. At some shows - like tonight - they were accompanied by Tuner, a project of King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto - who is also The Flower Kings tour drummer - and Markus Reuter.
TunerWhen Tuner started playing I was still talking to Tomas Bodin and so I only saw the last 10 minutes of the Tuner show. But it was quite interesting, coz they haven't set up on stage! The trio used the space in front of the sound / light boards and were so in the middle of the audience. Their music reminded me a bit of Tangerine Dream... The trio worked with different keyboards, synthesizers, computers and e-drums, but Pat Mastelotto additionally had 2 floor toms. If you want to get an idea of Tuner, then listen to some tracks at
Hasse FröbergAfter a short break it was time for The Flower Kings! They kicked off with Love Is The Only Answer. Most bands wouldn't start with such a long track, but The Flower Kings do things different - as the stage set up! Tour drummer Pat Mastelotto was placed at the side of the stage and in the back on a podium was keyboarder Tomas Bodin placed. Behind him a white backdrop which was used for visual effects - in the beginning the cover of the current album The Sum Of No Evil was projected and partly in form of a cube which turned. From the first moment it was obvious that the band enjoyed being on stage. The were very relaxed and played the complex parts with airiness. Time to get back to some older stuff...Back to 1996's release Retropolis with There Is More To This World.Roine Stolt More then 10 years between the songs, but it sounded homogeneous. After this one Roine Stolt took over the mic to speak. "I have a problem with cigarettes, if you just step back a bit..." Roine addressed to someone in front of him and when the audience started applaud Roine said "No applause!". He didn't want to forbid smoking, just wanted to have some space between him and the smoker. After this intermezzo they played to Rhythm Of Life - and the the title track of Retropolis. During Retropolis bassist Jonas Reingold got the chance to play a solo part and while playing Trading My Soul from their latest album drummer Pat Mastelotto showed some creativity and played some cymbals with a bow.Pat Mastelotto The last tune before they took a break was I'm The Sun Pt. 1. After a break they played e.g. Stardust We Are.
The sound was excellent and so it was a pleasure to hear the songs and the Swedish - and their tour drummer - showed class with their variations and improvisations. Well done!
Unfortunately only about 150-200 people came to see The Flower Kings while bands like Dream Theater draw thousands. On the other hand it's nice to see bands in small venues and to get close to the band. It's just a different atmosphere at the small places. Hopefully they will come back on tour soon and that more people will attend future shows! Thanks for a great evening!

Claudia Ehrhardt

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