12th April, Mystery in 013, Tilburg.


Mystery again? Yes, and that has everything to do with the fact that this class band has released a new album entitled Redemption. And of course the always guaranteed high quality of their performances also plays an important role. There is a wide range of very good bands that give concerts in our country, so choice stress! I just can't go to all the concerts I'd like to go to but don’t cry for me, I rather choose spending my money on buying cd’s.

The sympathetic Canadians came to Europe for five concerts, two in the Netherlands and three in Germany. The first was in the Melkweg in Amsterdam, but I chose the second in 013 in Tilburg. (the real diehards went to all five)

Compliments for the venue. There were two concerts in 013 that evening, Floor Jansen in the main hall and Mystery in the stage hall. This gave some laughable moments because there were still a number of people in our queue who came for Floor and only found out when their QR code turned out to be wrong. But that was not 013's fault because there were two separate entrances and that was clearly indicated. Once inside everything was nice and spacious. I had been to 013 before, but never in the small hall. Great little place by the way.

Okay, so Mystery and I have absolutely no regrets about that. Bought the new CD immediately upon arrival and received a T-shirt from one of my friends who were with me. Erno, thank you! The official release date is May 15, but the album was already available at the five concerts of this tour. The review of this album is coming soon but just a spoiler, I'm very, very excited about this one.

I estimate there were about 400 people and I can't help saying it, that's way too little for such a formidable band but unfortunately that's the reality these days. We prefer to go en masse to cover bands of the greats of our genre. Sorry, you are really missing something.

Three songs from Redemption were played, the already well-known Behind The Mirror, the title track and My Inspiration. The last song is beautiful but for me the weakest song of the whole new album. I recently read that someone was disturbed by the sugary lyrics of Mystery and I can understand that a bit. It hardly bothers me, but the lyrics of My Inspiration are indeed a bit sweet and lame. This song also lacks a guitar solo to finish it off, but otherwise there were no complaints about the number of guitar solos. Sylvain Moineau showed that he is also a gifted guitarist, but master St. Pere again sprinkled with beautiful, moving solos. I keep saying it, this man is really a whopper.

All in all, I again thoroughly enjoyed more than two and a half hours of Mystery and I do not regret my choice at all, and yet, you can already feel it coming, there is a small but. There is a lot of live Mystery material on the market, culminating in the beautiful Blu-ray Caught in the Whirlwind of Time. As a visitor to at least one concert from every last tour, it is striking that there is a lot of overlap in the songs played. Well, I do understand that some audience favourites are always requested, but the oeuvre of this band is so big that I personally would have liked to hear some surprising songs. This also applies to the closing of the concerts, which is invariably formed by The Preachers Fall. You could call that tradition, but it becomes very predictable. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks like this, but that doesn't alter the fact that I can still really enjoy the enormous drive of drummer Goyette and bassist Fournier. This tandem is definitely one of the best rhythm sections in prog and they provide a solid base for the otherwise excellent sound. However, it always remains unclear to me why the keyboards (I feel a bit sorry for Antoine) get so little room in the mix while the bass pedals sometimes sound a bit too emphatic.

And I can not get around mentioning singer extraordinaire Jean Pageau. As always his performance was flawless and with his crisp and clear voice he captivates me every time. There are not that many excellent singers in our genre and certainly not live but Pageau is up there with he best. (Damian Wilson, Steve Hogarth etc…) You can simply not fail to feel the energy he brings to the stage.

Above all that he also is an excellent keyboard player and his flute parts are an extra addition to the sound of the band.

I went home with a very satisfied feeling and was very eager to listen to Redemption in its entirety at a carefully chosen quiet moment. (wow, what an album) What a wonderful hobby it is, (prog)music.