I was first aware of RPWL when I received ‘Stock’ back in 2003 for reviewing. I was instantly hooked and began collecting their albums. Other albums reviewed by myself are ‘World Through My Eye’ (2005) and Start The Fire: Live’ (2005). The band over the years retained a “signature” sound which encompasses influences by Pink Floyd, Genes and others. All the while, keeping up with modern sounds.
In 2007, I got to see them perform at BajaProg. They exceeded my expectations and further ranked them as one of the better newer prog bands out today. I was hoping they would have put out a DVD of their BajaProg performance since the band was widely received by the audience. I’m sure others would have loved to revisit that concert as I did. We got the next best thing, a DVD of their performance at the Progrock Festival 2009 in the Wyspiaski Theatre in Katowice, Poland.
‘The RPWL “Live” Experience’ was released on DVD in 2009 by Metal Mind Productions. The band was in even better form than I remembered, which I was happily surprised. The editing of the main concert is top notch and looks even better than most “mainstream” DVDs. The band seemed to enjoy the response from the audience.
Personal highlights of the main part of the DVD are their renditions of Syd Barrett's “Opel” and Pink Floyd's “Biding My Time“. These two covers stay true to the originals for the most part. The only difference between the original and the RPWL version is the modern feel to the band’s playing.
Other highlights include an amazing live version of “This Is Not A Prog Song”. This is the band’s response to the progsnobs and it’s done tongue-in-cheek. The projector footage behind the band added to experience. They also did a tongue-in-cheek medley that includes rearranged versions of Steve Miller’s Keep On Rockin Me Baby (Keep On Proggin Me Baby) Status Quo's Rockin' All Over The World (Proggin' All Over The World) and The Scorpions' Rock You Like A Hurricane (Prog You Like A Hurricane). Other bands would have been more confrontational to those progsnobs but RPWL answered in this humorous way instead. I would have love to have experienced this as the audiences did that night in February.
The bonus material include the Tour Footage from 2006 (which includes a demo version of “Sleep”). There’s an interview with Yogi and Kalle which helps fans learn more about the band at this point in time. There’s “cute” video of the song “Breathe In, Breathe Out” which has some rather ugly animation on it. Sorry guys.
This concert comes in two editions, a DVD only and a limited edition which includes a double CD of this show. I guess it depends on the fan as to which one they should get. Either way, this is a highly recommended DVD for 2009. Thank you to RPWL and Metal Mind Productions for this release.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on December 1st, 2009