Unitopia: One Night in Europe (DVD)
I am a long distance friend of Mark Trueack and Sean Timms, and one of the things I always wanted to see was some of their greatest works performed live. As a fan of the band since 2008, "One Night in Europe" takes me full circle with Unitopia. With the inclusion of "the Garden", "More Than a Dream" and the full "Artificial World Suite", I, and their many fans now have a record of some of Unitopia's best songs played live before a supportive set of fans. Mark "Truey" Trueack calls these fans, "fellow "Unitopians". As they all sing, "We are, we are, all parts of the whole", (one of the warmest moments on the DVD, by the way).
This is a great documentary of Unitopia's first European tour, featuring shows from the Boerderij, Zoetermeer, in the Netherlands in October of 2010. The tour was all about making new friends and reaching out to many fans who, like me, had been waiting to see the band play live.
Every minute of this disc has been gratefully provided with loving care and the critical scrutiny of a band hoping to bring the love of their life, music, to the world. The DVD and show open with the magnificent, magnum opus, "Artificial Suite", from their latest album from beginning to end. I was lucky enough to hear one of the early versions of this epic from the studio in Australia, and even then, hearing it over the Internet, I knew they had something both memorable and full of magic.
Watching these professionals live on stage, after surviving colds and flus from the journey abroad, I was impressed to see that they had the energy to really show the love they have for their music and the fans who appreciate it. From the steady concentration and joy on the face of Matt Williams, as he weaves the guitar through the mysterious rhythms he probably developed in his mind while climbing in the Himalayas, to the steady, strong leadership of "Truey" standing like a sentry at the bridge of the stage, this band has been waiting as long as we have to show their fans they were ready to perform.
Sean Timms is glorious on stage providing intricate keyboard flavors to all of the band's epic tracks. Tim Irrgang provides spirited bongos and percussion throughout the performance. Craig Kelly's steady hand on the bass keeps the rhythm flowing through each movement of all of these epic tracks. David Hopgood's drums are especially good on the epic, "the Garden" right after Truey sings "…and now it begins!" One of the highlights from the performance is Ian Ritchie's incredible sax playing. He also plays flute and whistle on some of the other tracks. The band had a regular sax player, but he was not able to travel with the band. Ian is now a full member of the band after his wonderful contributions and friendship during the tour.
The "Artificial World Suite" and finally seeing "The Garden" performed live, were by far the highlights of this the first disc of this 2 DVD set. The second DVD is also full of side doors and peeks into the character of the band, including some acoustic songs and a short interview. Band hijinks from the hotel, and more excellent acoustic performances featuring additional songs are also on the menu of this second disc.
I would be making a huge mistake if I did not mention the incredibly elegant artwork that Ed Unitsky, "The Fourth Beatle of Unitopia" produced for this project. The Artificial cover art mixed with the Dutch townscape is a perfect welcome to the new owner of the disc. Each disc is also printed with similar artwork and the collage of pictures, on the inside cover, includes pictures from the tour, including all the important participants and moments. The band takes a bow on the back cover in thanks for this wonderful experience.
I and the many Unitopia fans have been waiting a while to finally see this band play in concert. This DVD collection is a great representation of this band at one of its first peak moments. Unitopians, unite and get out and buy this glorious DVD collection to help make the dream of a world tour a reality!
2. Artificial World
3. Nothing Lasts Forever
4. Not Human Anymore
6. Gone in the Blink of an Eye
7. The Great Reward
9. More Than a Dream
11. The Garden
12. One Day
13. Inside the Power
Added: October 26th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Unitopiamusic.com
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