Overhead is one of Finland's premier progressive rock bands. While this talented quintet has been together since the beginning of the new millennium and has issued three full length albums since 2002, they seem to be relatively unknown on these shores. In fact prior to obtaining a copy of their first DVD entitled Live After All I have to confess to having never heard of these guys. That being said, after watching this absolutely engaging concert I'm glad I stumbled upon Overheard in this fashion. The visuals are stunning and it's worth mentioning that Live After All was filmed during the first edition of Poland's Prog Rock Festival in early 2009 at the Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice, at the very same festival where SBB recorded their Behind The Iron Curtain DVD.
Led by vocalist and flautist Alex Keskitalo the band pulls out all the stops and kicks off the show in grandiose fashion with their nineteen minute epic "Metaepitome". You could watch this song, turn off the DVD and still feel you got your money's worth, as this track sums up perfectly what Overhead do so well, which is to veer back and forth between heavy sections and softer, more reflective passages. This dynamic light and shade element is also employed to great effect on tracks like "A Captain On The Shore" and "Time Can Stay" as guitarist Jaakko Kettunen and keyboardist Tarmo Simonen turn in some tasty, melodic solos on both songs. Another highlight of this ninety minute plus performance that is definitely worth mentioning is "Entropy", which in addition to some great flute, keyboard and guitar unison runs, is also marked by some searing tradeoff solos between Kettunen and Simonen. The band closes their set with "Dawn" another epic that runs upwards of almost sixteen minutes. Once again though, much like the opening number "Metaepitome", how the sections of this multifaceted composition slowly unfold is a thing of beauty to both see and hear. The icing on the cake to this magical evening is the bands encore of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" which finds Keskitalo embellishing the opening verses with some truly harrowing screams before Kettunnen launches into a furious solo that would make Mr. Fripp proud. I've seen and heard plenty of cover versions of this song but I'd have to say that Overhead do a fantastic job here of matching both the spirit and the intensity of the original, and even manage to put their own stamp on it in the process.
As if the concert itself didn't give you enough reason to shell out the money for this DVD the band tacked on a shitload of extras to really give you the most bang for your buck. You get six additional live, bootleg style performances filmed at shows in Finland, Belgium and France, a video clip of "Butterfly's Cry" and a sit down interview with Alex Keskitalo where he discusses the band's history in detail. All told this pushes the total time of the DVD to three hours. Quite simply this is fantastic DVD from beginning to end.
If melodic / symphonic progressive rock is your thing then Overhead is a band you definitely have to check out. I know that after watching this DVD at least a half dozen times, that I've got quite a bit of catching up to do myself.
2) Time Can Stay
3) Butterfly's Cry
4) A Method
to the Madness
6) A Captain On The Shore
9) 21st Century Schizoid Man
10) Butterfly's Cry (video clip)
11) Time Can Stay Live at Prog Sud
12) Lost Inside- Live at Semi Final
13) Wainamoinen and Youkahainen Live at Semi Final
14) WARNING: Ending (Without Warning) Live in Versailles
15) Point OF View Live in Versailles
16) Konevitsan Kirkonkellot Live at Spirit of 66