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Panzerballett: Live at Theatron Munich 2013 (DVD)

Readers of Sea of Tranquility have special tastes; from A Band of Orcs to ZZG, as long as the music is progressive it has a place on this website. I can't ever seem to get my fill of new music and I'm guessing neither can you. I love being blown away by something I've never heard. That moment you hear something for the first time and your brain scrambles to make some sense of it...there is nothing like it!

Enter the German band named Panzerballett. I've read the name here and there but this is my first exposure to this exemplary group. I've had the pleasure to watch and listen to Live at Theatron Munich 2013, the groups' new DVD.

I don't have ADHD but I'd wager Jan Zehrfeld (guitar/composition/arrangement) may have it. His technical ability could be overshadowed by his amazing Zappa-esque skills of combining guitars, saxophone, bass and drums into a jazz band on a diet of progressive heavy metal. Joining Jan are Joe Doblhofer on guitar, Alexander von Hagke on tenor saxophone, Heiko Jung on 6-string bass, and Sebastian Lanser on drums.

This is a fantastically filmed concert DVD recorded on August 5th, 2013 in front of quite a large amphitheater audience - this type of music may never find such a large audience in the USA. Watching Jan play his 7- and 8-string guitars while wearing an odd headpiece - something that resembles a wig but instead of fake hair there are skinny black protrusions that resemble dreadlocks - is fun indeed. As obviously serious as these guys are about their musical abilities they are about having good fun and a Spinal Tap since of humor.

Take the fifth song, "Time of My Life," which you may remember was a hit song featured in Dirty Dancing. Special guest vocalist Connie Kreitmeier appears to sing with the band and anyone familiar with the song will immediately realize there has been significant re-composition of the music. The chorus hook remains intact but that's about it.

The rest of the band stays fairly immobile - Alex on the sax wanders a little - but the multiple camera angles keeps the music visually interesting, cutting between the lead instruments and the rhythm section. There is a professional light rig on stage so there is no mistaking the rock aesthetic even though there are some serious jazz solos going on.

This DVD has made me an immediate fan of Panzerballett and I'm willing to bet if you are a fan of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Umphrey's McGee, Consider the Source, Screaming Headless Torsos, Hiromi's Sonicbloom, or Liquid Tension Experiment you will join me and help spreading the word.

There are some extras on the DVD including a documentary on the bands' 2013 spring tour on the east coast of the USA opening for Consider the Source. The fact that they took the time to search for and find the location of the Woodstock festival hammers home how music is the ultimate language and no matter where you are from or whether you play jazz or metal the communal experience of sharing a concert is one of the best there is.

Track Listing
1. Mustafari Likes di Carnival
2. Some Skunk Funk
3. Zehrfunk
4. Ein Bisschen Frieden
5. Time of My Life
6. Der Saxdiktator
7. Vulgar Display of Sauerkraut
8. Donnerwetter
9. Freide, Freude, Fussball

Added: February 22nd 2014
Reviewer: Ryan Good
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2122
Language: english

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