Flower Kings, The - Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Inside Out
Catalog Number: IOMDVD005/SPV 563-60467 /
Format: DVD
Total Time: 202:36:00

Normally a DVD release has an entire concert as the main feature whilst a separate bonus section can be found towards the end of the playing time. In the case of this double DVD offering from our Swedish friends The Flower Kings, the band has alternated the "actual" concert with the bonus footage. This way it all becomes a little lighter because, as the band delivers one long epic after the other, it sometimes is nice to have kind of a break in between. The "actual" concert was recorded at the small Stadsteater in Upsalla, Sweden on 10th February 2003, making it kind of a home match for Roine and friends. Instead of the five Flower Kings members you normally encounter on stage, this time two extra guests have been added in order to deliver a more detailed sound. No doubt Roine Stolt struck a good friendship with Pain of Salvation singer Daniel Gildenlöw during the European Transatlantic tour. Daniel is making his Flower Kings debut here on guitar, keyboards, percussion whilst also singing. In "The Truth Will Set You Free" he delivers almost 'female-high' vocals! Together with Hasse Bruniusson, an old friend of Roine and the band, the percussive details form an important part of the whole during both quiet and rhythmic passages. Pity the film director isn't at all familiar with the Flower Kings music as he often misses the solos. There's a part in which Tomas delivers a long synth solo but instead you can see all the other musicians except Tomas! You also get to see some modern ballet choreography but I'm not sure whether at all this was recorded the night of the concert or recorded later (or earlier?) and then included in the final version of the film?

The first "bonus" takes us on tour with the band in America. San Fransisco and the sunny California region is shown like a documentary, ending with Tomas explaining something in Swedish about cola. Pity there are no subtitles for non-Swedish speaking fans. As it stands, we'll have to ask Tomas what it's all about next time he's on tour! From a visual point of view it would have been so much nicer to see Tomas Bodin perform his superb organ solo during "Garden Of Dreams Part One" on a real Hammond organ than on the Nord keyboard he's now using. An authentic Hammond organ still is quite different than a Hammond sample, although I have to confess that the sound of the latter does indeed get very close to the original, Leslie'n all! Roine Stolt's slightly bluesy guitar solo once again is a marvel to listen to.

We're off to Europe where we visit both big cities as well as isolated countrysides the latter including the mysteries of nature such as the mysterious "T"! This shows the way the Flower Kings tour, which is the perfect combination between touring and sightseeing. All bits and pieces from around Europe are pasted together, such as part of Jonas' bass solo as recorded during the fanclub day in Rijssen, Holland which had everything to do with a ? banana! The final bonus shows us in black and white how everything was set up in order to record this DVD. From my point of view this DVD should start with this sequence after which the music starts in full colour. An opportunity missed? Time, however, to lift disc one from our player and insert disc two.

With "Humanizzimo," the Kings once again prove to be the world's number one band when it comes to writing powerful melodies and catchy chorusses. Daniel Gildenlöw is given the space to improvise from a vocal perspective, getting close to the feel of the backing vocals on Dark Side Of The Moon. This vocal explosion gives way to some bluesy guitar courtesy of Roine, the kind of Grateful Dead-like improvisation which can go on for weeks without getting boring. It ends in a freejazz exercise for Jonas Reingold in which he proves to be one of the most adventurous bass players around and stiff competition for the likes of Tony Levin, Stanley Clarke or even the late Jaco Pastorius. We see the band at work in their rehearsal room where Tomas is wearing glasses, looking like Professor Bodin. Hasse Bruniusson uses everything he sees as a percussive instrument such as even a paintbox! The intro for "Circus Brimstone" is the perfect playground for Bruniusson, Csörz and Reingold turning their improvisation towards unexpected avantgarde. We leave the concert again for some footage filmed during the actual recording of the band's latest studio album. Here we see Jonas playing his parts seated behind the mixing desk whilst also Zoltan is heavily featured in this section. Sometimes he plays using a clicktrack.

Back to the concert for "Silent Inferno," which also shows footage of someone juggling with fire. During the intro there's also a duel between Roine and Tomas, but the body of the song is based around Jonas who slides over his bass guitar in a style reminiscent of Tony Levin. During the Latino section, Jonas once again highlights on fretless bass. The band's visit to South-America dates from a while ago as Jaime Salazar still sat behind the drumkit. He was also the ultimate guide for the band whilst visiting Rio de Janeiro. Jonas and Hasse try the pool in the hotel in order to deliver their Olympic record and to stay fit. We see the band in a recordstore (CDcity) for a signing session, whilst people are queing up to see the concert. No doubt an unforgettable experience. The DVD package ends with "Stardust We Are" and it strikes me how long it takes before we get to that impressive melody. Towards the end, Roine Stolt even incorporates a tiny bit of a James Bond theme, and before you know it it's all over. A couple of people throw flowers on stage and in a couple of seconds the cheers from the audience are faded in the mix. That has been a pity throughout the entire concertm as if those present have been asked not to applaude, not to cheer, so as not to disturb the music! Therefore I would have loved to see this concert filmed in front of an enthusiastic sold out crowd, which might well be the reason why most bands choose Holland to record their DVDs, because people there tend to be much more enthusiastic. I looked amongst my many e-mails and found one that Roine had sent me on 30th January 2003. He invited me and other fans over to Uppsala Stadsteater, Kungsgatan 45 in Uppsala, Sweden where on February 10th at 1 pm the band would perform for approximately four hours. With all the bonus bits and pieces added, we have around three hours and twenty minutes, so some material must have been left off. Roine asked the people who would come to dress funny. "Think of a mix between Alice in Wonderland and Beatles 'All You Need Is Love' era video," he said. What was the point to do so if the audience wasn't filmed one single second? In fact for a long time I thought this DVD had been recorded in a studio, as I couldn't see nor hear anyone other than the band. As a non-Swede I also miss the fact that no subtitles have been included as a fair share of Swedish is spoken throughout the bonus features. Probably fun for all Swedish Flower Kings fans but a big question mark for all the rest.

So for me this isn't really a real Flower Kings concert as I miss the ambiance, the atmosphere that I normally absorb during a FK concert. The addition of both Gildenlöw and Bruniusson should have resulted in massive percussive injections that in turn would have set the audience alight. Instead everything remains rather tame as if they were performing in their rehearsal studio. Some of the visual aspects, as well as the lights, are fairly good, but during the entire duration of this package I can clearly say that the guy directing it all doesn't have a clue what the Flower Kings' music is all about. He shows all kinds of angles but never the musician who delivers the solo at that time. What's the point in having a close-up of a drummer when you hear a synth solo? Next time use someone who knows the music "inside out!" Having been present during the fanclub day in Rijssen, Holland, it's also strange to see how little footage from that day has been used, as some weird things happened, I can tell you! The Flower Kings is a superb band, yet I feel they missed out on a great opportunity with this set. Maybe their NEARfest concert will be released on DVD soon, which will most certainly deliver more of a live feel, the kind of atmosphere I have been waiting for in vain here.

Issued in North America through InsideOut Music America (IOMA 6046-7)

Disc One: The Truth Will Set You Free (31:20) / On Tour In USA (4:23) / Garden Of Dreams Part One (27:07) / On Tour In Europe (14:52) / Garden Of Dreams Part Two (17:20) / Setting Up For The DVD (7:17)

Disc Two: Humanizzimo (23:10) / Oddballs Of Rehearsing (3:57) / Circus Brimstone (11:18) / In Recording Studio June 2002 (10:) / Silent Inferno (16:13) / On Tour In South America 2000 (9:14) / Stardust We Are (26:25)

Roine Stolt - guitars, vocals
Tomas Bodin - keyboards
Hasse Bruniusson - percussion, voices
Jonas Reingold - bass
Zoltan Csörz - drums
Hans Fröberg - vocals, guitar
Daniel Gildenlöw? - guitars, voice, keyboards, percussion

Roine Stolt - The Flower King (1994/2001/2004)
Back In The World Of Adventures (1995)
Retropolis (1996)
Stardust We Are (1997/2000)
Scanning The Greenhouse (comp) (1998)
Edition Limitée Quebec (1998) (only 700 copies!)
Flower Power (1999)
TFK fanclub disc (2000) (free CD exclusive to fanclub members only)
Alive On Planet Earth (2000)
Space Revolver (2000)
Space Revolver Special Edition (2CD set) (2000)
The Rainmaker (2001)
The Rainmaker - Special Edition (2001)
Unfold The Future (2002)
Live In New York: Official Bootleg (2002)
Fan Club CD 2002 (2002)
Fan Club CD 2004 (2004)
Adam & Eve (2004)
BetchaWannaDanceStoopid (2004)
Harvest (fan club CD) (2005)
Paradox Hotel (2006)
The Road Back Home (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (Special Edition) (2007)
Banks Of Eden (2012)
Roine Stolt's The Flower King - Manifesto Of An Alchemist (2018)
Waiting For Miracles (2019)

Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording (DVD) (2003)
Instant Delivery (DVD) (2006)
Instant Delivery - Limited Edition (2CD/2DVD) (2006)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin SE

Added: March 7th 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.roinestolt.com
Hits: 1305
Language: english


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