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ConcertsNektar's Live Internet Broadcast: A Tale Of Two Continents

Posted on Monday, November 05 2007 @ 20:12:47 CST by Duncan Glenday
Concert Reviews

E-Mail:

Hi Duncan,

Hope you and the family are well.

On this tour we are doing a "live" Internet broadcast on the 21st September from the Substage in Karlsruhe Germany, this will be accessible on the link below. http://s3.pop-stream.de:7592/listen.pls. The show should start around 20:30 CET - hope you can tune in.

all the best to you,

Roye

I couldn't. Damn! You see, "20:30 CET" is 1:30pm Central time, and I was out of state, in a city I didn't know, and struggling to find a break between meetings and a run to the airport to catch a flight home, to run to the local Starbucks to find an Internet connection. Couldn't do it - when I finally ponied up the ten bucks to get online, the connection didn't have the bandwidth and all I heard was a few snippets. Ah - the pain!

My friend Ed, however, was in Germany, at the show, as well as a previous show in Achaffenberg, and kindly supplied the Sea Of Tranquility with his observations - and his photographs. Or maybe he wasn't really very kind - his accounts and pictures merely served to rub salt into my wounds.

Sea Of Tranquility's Duncan Glenday reports:



Having seen Nektar two night earlier in Aschaffenberg, Ed was now in Karlsruhe - a friendly, medium-sized city on the banks of Germany's Rhine river. While I was in the American midwest struggling to connect to rearrange my schedule and find a high speed connection, Ed stood outside the venue, with about twenty people, and rued the disappearance of the posters advertising the show. As 8:00pm approached the crowd of predominantly sober, 40+year-old males bearing Nektar shirts and memorabilia awelled around Ed - and finally filed down the brightly colored stairwell and into the Substage.

Known to be a prog-music friendly venue, the Substage is an intimate setting in what used to be a pedestrian subway at a major intersection - so the acoustics were defined by the hard concrete structure and the low ceiling. The club has standing room for a few hundred hardy fans, and the stage is almost at floor level so the audience is treated to a far more personal experience than your typical stage environment.

The sound and light board were just twenty feet from the stage - that's 6 metres, for the Germans - alongside the station that was broadcasting the show back to the Internet. Across the Internet, for those luckier than I, the sound seemed to be quite good for such a small, concrete-encased environment. Live, Ed thought the sound system was quite adequate, though he regretted leaving his ear plugs in the car.

I've seen many Nektar shows, and "A Tab In The Ocean" is the band's signature tune - played at every show I've seen, and always appreciated by Nektar fans. Yet, in Karlsruhe, "Tab" was strangely absent from the set list. An interesting omission. But more important, was the inclusion of songs from the band's upcoming Book Of Days album. "King of The Deep", for example, has all the traits of a classic Nektar song. Tempo changes, soft interludes followed by broad strokes, Albrighton's excellent fretwork, and the evolutionary theme that is becoming a Nektar staple.

You may think you know Nektar, but the current lineup is one you've never seen before.

Charismatic frontman Roye Albrighton, now the franchise's principal, is a virtuoso guitarist who has shared a stage with Jimi Hendrix - and still plays guitars, sings, writes the songs, and handles the on-stage audience interaction.

Ron Howden exhibits a fluidity rarely found in a drummer, and has been a backbone of consistency for the band dating back to its early days, in 1969, in Germany.

Keyboardist Klaus Henatsch - as my friend Ed puts it - "has mastered some of Taff Freeman's and Larry Fast's keyboard sounds, and plays along with Roye's lead guitar in a really harmonious manner. He also plays high synthesizer to help simulate where the chorus sang on "Recycled". and his supporting vocals help lift Roye's delivery.

Roye And Peter, Ron Howden, Klaus

Peter Pichl is a competent bass player who has apparently studied Mo Moore's work on the Nektar back catalog, but plays those lines on a a five-string fretless bass - a somewhat different instrument to Mo's Rickenbacker.

While Ed was rocking to Nektar and I was still scratching for an Internet connection, several friends (Ed, Keith, Terry, Jim, and Ron) did manage to get online - and although I couldn't get into the webcast, I was able to monitor their comments - which went something like:

"Whatever they are playing it is very distorted."
"Yes - they are rehearsing, I hope they can get it together because the levels do sound way overblown."
"I think Herr Schmid just hooked us up! A song apparently from the new album is now being given a run through!"
Then Keith joked that Nektar was performing for him, personally, because it was his birthday, "Next year, I'll have them perform and do a simulcast from my living room!"

And the chatter flowed...
"Is it breaking up a lot or is it just me?"
"It's not here - only a intermitent dropout or two so far"
"Playing A Day In The Life OF A Preacher. The sound absolutely ROCKS!"
"Recycled being kicked out as I type"

And Eddie concluded it nicely with:
"We all got kicked during Remember the Future at the same point! I needed to re-enter the link, lost about 5 secs or so"
"It was very cool of the band to do this - with all the problems the band has had the past couple of years it's great to have a nice step in the right direction. That said I thought the new guys played their bits a bit differently so in that sense it definitely had my interest but I would have been happy if they played the whole new album. I liked what I heard of the new players however I will always miss hearing Mo Moore play. And the new song "King of the Deep" - I thought it pretty well fit with the songs that were on "Evolution" - a good sign to me."

For me, it had started with an E-Mail, and ended with one as well:

I'm the Dude who made the Broadcast from Karlsruhe Substage on 21 Sept. The Options there wasnt the best (just 128kbp/s) their complete upload-Bandwith so the Quality wasnt the best. Normal i'm broadcasting with 192kbp/s.

Also, it was my first live-broadcast so .. next one will be better

Just to let ya all know:

I'll make an re-Broadcast in better Quality this Sunday 30 September 2007 from 08:00pm European time!! Hope you'll all be on and listen to with many other Friends all over the World to this fantastic Music.

Greetings to ya all from Karlsruhe/Germany!

I managed to pick up the re-broadcast, and heard Roye say that the new album will hopefully be out by Christmas - and some joker who sounded remarkably like Ed yelled "What year?" Happily, Roye was amused. And I agree - the new song sounds excellent.

The live Internet broadcast is a new formula for Nektar - a novel idea that was well received. Now if only I can arrange to be at home for the next one, perhaps I can enjoy at least a small part of Ed's experience.

Peter Pichl, Roye Albrighton, Ed Igoe, Ron Howden, Klaus Henatsch

Thanks to Eddie - a different Ed, but also from Maryland - for the following setlist:

  • Recycled
  • Dream Nebula / Desolation Valley
  • King Of Twilight
  • Remember The Future Part 1
  • King Of Deep
  • That's Life / Show Me The Way
  • Preacher
  • Cast Your Fate / The Debate / Man In Le Moon
  • Good Day / Woman Trouble


    All photographs owned by
    Ed Igoe
    Published with permission



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