I was first exposed to DeeExpus earlier this year and played the hell out of their debut cd ‘Half Way Home’, which was released in 2008. Upon reading more about the band, I found that it was originally a project by Andy Ditchfield (multi-instruments) and Tony Wright (vocals). The project needed to evolve especially to play live. So Andy found some musicians to do that task. They are Tony’s brother Steve Wright (guitar/ backing vocals), Ian Raine (bass), Kev Jager (drums) and Marc Jolliffe (keyboards).
In February 2009 the band was invited to play the inaugural ProgRock Festival which was held in Katowice, Poland at the Wyspianski Theatre. This event was recorded for a DVD release thanks to Metal Mind Productions. This was perfect way for fans such as myself to be able to witness the band in a live format, without leaving my couch. I must say, that band played very much like a seasoned touring band. The songs featured are true to their studio counterparts with very little improvisations.
DeeExpus played their entire debut album, Half Way Home in a different order plus they played a song not on the album called “Red“ (not the King Crimson song).
The highlights of the set, for me, was the opener “Greed” and the 17 minute title track from "Half Way Home". It’s about a friend of theirs that took life in 2006. Tony also dedicated it to those that may have lost someone before their time. It’s a very moving song that doesn’t have a dreary or gloomy vibe. Now that I know the concept on the song, I find it to be possible one of the best songs I’ve heard in a live setting as well as it’s studio counterpart.
Like most concerts today, the band is brought back out to perform an encore. The encores complete the entire proper album. There’s some cool DVD extras included, like an informative behind-the-scenes documentary that shows the genesis of the band from a project to a full band playing live. There’s also an equally informative interview with Andy Ditchfield and Tony Wright. The concert has been made available in two formats, a DVD and a “limited edition” DVD/CD. This gives the fan a choice of what they want.
In closing, I’d like to thank the internet for for helping me find DeeExpus and Metal Mind Productions for the “live” formats. This is by far one of the best performance dvds I’ve had the pleasure to watch so far in 2009. Highly recommended for established fans and newer ones such as myself. Fans of the modern progressive rock will also need to buy this concert ASAP!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on November 8th, 2009