When you think of successful progressive rock acts that have come out of Poland over the years Quidam has to rank near the top of the list. Since the mid to late 90's the band has been at the forefront of the Polish prog rock scene. By the time this live concert was recorded, and filmed for release on DVD as well, at the gorgeous Wyspianski Theater in Katowice at the close of 2005 the group was touring behind their fifth album SurREvival. The album marked a significant change for the group as longtime vocalist Emila Derkowska departed in 2003, also taking the rhythm section with her. After deliberating for quite some time the remaining members decided to forge ahead and began putting the band slowly back together with new members, vocalist Bartek Kossowicz, drummer Maciek Wroblewski and bassist Mariusz Ziolkowski.
While the DVD features the complete concert as it was originally performed and contains three tracks that are not included here due to the time constraints of the CD, the listener is nevertheless treated to almost seventy five minutes of flawlessly performed symphonic prog rock. Not surprisingly the band plays a big chunk of new material as six of the eight songs on this disc are lifted off SuREvival . The group sounds tight and confident throughout as Kossowicz's warm and rich vocals, along with the performances of the other newer members find them sounding right at home onstage with their fellow band mates. While the emphasis here is definitely focused on the group's new found identity they haven't totally closed the door on their illustrious past either as they run through a splendid instrumental medley of older songs titled appropriately enough "Oldies But Goodies". The individual prowess of each musician is given ample opportunity to shine on these songs, but it's the dynamic interplay between keyboardist Zbyszek Florek, guitarist Maciek Meller and flautist Jacek Zasada that really takes these songs to a whole other level.
If you're a fan of solid symphonic progressive rock that emphasizes soaring melodies and lush arrangements then you should really check out Quidam because these guys are certainly worthy of a listen. This live disc might not be the best place for the uninitiated though, instead I'd suggest seeking out the aforementioned SuREvial or their excellent 2007 release Alone Together to get a better idea of what these talented musicians bring to the table.
1) Hands Off
2) Queen Of Moulin Rouge
5) Oldies But Goodies
6) The Fifth Season
7) Everything's Ended
8) Not So Close