THRESHOLD (& Day Six & Damnation Angels)
Zoetermeer (NL)-De Boerderij-9 December 2017
It’s been more than 10 years since the last time that I saw Threshold perform live. I was heavily disappointed when the news broke that Andrew “Mac” McDermott left the band before the “Dead Reckoning”-tour took off and the subsequent decision from the band to re-hire Damian Wilson as a replacement for “Mac”. Don’t get me wrong; I am 100% convinced that Damian is an excellent artist and a phenomenal performer but I can’t deny that his voice never really clicked with my personal taste. To be perfectly honest I only regard the album ‘Psychedelicatessen’ from Threshold’s earlier back catalogue as ‘easy to the ears’ and that is mainly due to the vocal performance of, the then one-time singer, Glynn Morgan.
So, it may come as no surprise that I was fairly psyched when Threshold announced that they would reunite with Glynn for a new album and a subsequent tour. During the last few months I wondered if I could regain some of my fandom for Threshold that I had lost over the past few years. As we all know by now Threshold’s latest album ‘Legends Of The Shires’ has proven to be a worthy successor (and that’s quite an understatement as the album turned out to be bloody brilliant) to their previous albums and the only question left for me was how would the new incarnation of Threshold hold up in a live-setting. Luckily the ‘Legends Of The Shires 2017 Tour’ would also stop at the famed Dutch Prog temple ‘Cultuurpodium Boerderij’ in Zoetermeer (NL) so I really made sure that I didn’t miss out on this show to get an answer to this question.
But before I come to the conclusion to that question I would first like to focus on the two excellent support acts that warmed up the audience before Threshold took the stage. Day Six from the Netherlands showcased their talents within the 30+ minutes slot that were at their disposal. Singer/guitarist Robbie van Stiphout is definitely the most striking member within the band. He ran quite a few miles on stage during their set all without losing grip on his guitar skills or the shared vocals with bassist Eric Smits. His enthusiastic performance was quite entertaining. I also think that it’s safe to assume that this performance was more or less a ‘home match’ for them judging from the number of people who wore a Day Six-shirt and the positive reactions from the audience on Day Six’s unique blend of prog, metal and sympho.
Damnation Angels (from Doncaster, England) surprised me also positively with their professional stage presence and the impressive high pitch vocals of Ignacio Rodriguez (hailing from Argentina). Damnation Angels used their 30+ minutes set to the fullest of their capabilities to showcase their take on the Symphonic Metal genre. Both bands were also blessed with a very good lightning production and an excellent soundmix, which is a rather uncommon for a support band but you don’t hear me complain!
At approximately 21:45 the renewed Threshold line-up took the beautiful stage of ‘de Boerderij’ and immediately set the mood with a splendid rendition of ,,Slipstream’’ and it instantly struck me how well the voice of Glynn Morgan fitted with the songs from the “Mac”-period. Speaking of this period; three songs from the phenomenal ‘Dead Reckoning’ album would pass this evening; the aforementioned ,,Slipstream’’ but also ,,Hollow’’ and ,,Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams’’ which was dedicated to the late, great Andrew “Mac” McDermott.
Another two songs from the prolific “Mac”-period were played namely; ,,Mission Profile’’ from the ‘Subsurface’-album and one of my all-time favourite Threshold songs ,,Long Way Home’’ from the ‘Hypothetical’ album. What a treat to hear this phenomenal song again! Glynn Morgan seem to fit perfectly within the band dynamics; he even picked up the guitar to support Karl Groom with most of the instrumental parts of some of the songs. This came very in handy as guitarist Pete Morten recently left the band.
The beautiful ,,The Man Who Saw Through Time’’ from Threshold’s latest album; ‘Legends Of The Shires’ was dedicated to a recently deceased Threshold fan. A very respectful gesture to his friends and relatives who were (in all probability) among the audience. Threshold’s latest album was also amply represented during the careful composed set list; six songs from the ‘Legends Of The Shires’ passed by during the set with the uplifting ,,Stars And Satellites’’ being my favourite of them all. It will not surprise anyone that Threshold would play some material from the ‘Psychedelicatessen’ album ever since Glynn re-joined the band. So ,,Innocent’’ and a fabulous rendition of ,,Sunseeker’’ from that album were let loose on the ecstatic audience. Both these songs were the absolute ‘cherry on the pie’ for me.
I am truly grateful that Glynn re-joined the band as he turned out to be a better singer than I could imagine, especially on how he handled the songs from the “Mac’-period. His performance surpassed all my expectations. So did I regain some of my Threshold fandom? You betcha! Threshold is back and better than ever!
2. The Man Who Saw Through
4. Long Way Home
6. Stars and Satellites
9. The Shire (Part 2)
11. Pilot in the Sky of Dreams
12. Mission Profile
13. Lost in Translation
14 Small Dark Lines
Photos by Ronald den Dekker of WACON-IMAGES