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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

dvd & video review

District 97 - Live at De Boerderij - 2017

“District 97 at Progdreams Festival 2016”
Inside The Vault Club 9 www.district97.net/insidethevaultclub)

Well this is something special, a live document filmed at our own Dutch prog temple “de Boerderij” in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. It was recorded at the 2016 edition of the Progdreams festival. Also special because it is limited to 200 autographed copies and can only acquired by the members of District 97´s Inside The Vault Club. When you join this club, you will get exclusive audio and/or video material of the band every month. As a coincidence I just finished a review of that other American band named Discipline. Discipline and District 97 are for me the two most exciting American progressive rock bands in the prog scene. On this professional filmed (John VIs, Meriam Verkleij) release you can find a lot of material of the band's latest studio album “In Vaults”. An excellent album from 2015 that has in my opinion no weak points. “Live at de Boerderij” was filmed at the last gig of the band's “In Vaults” tour.

First of all I would like to thank bandleader, composer and drummer of the band Jonathan Schang for providing progVisions with a review copy. Besides drummer Jonathan Schang, the band includes Andrew Lawrence on keyboards, Jim Tashjian on guitar and vocals, Tim Seisser on bass and not in the last place Leslie Hunt on vocals. In my opinion Leslie Hunt has become the best front woman in the progressive rock scene of today.

As said before this release is exclusively available to Premium Members (aka Keyholders) of District 97'´s Inside The Vault Club. Nowadays a progressive rock band has to be innovative at the marketing side of the music business to generate some extra financial support to survive. In Jonathan Schang own words; “This is undoubtedly the definitive audiovisual document of District 97 to date, and I think it's an essential release for anyone who enjoys what we do”. And after watching this wonderful DVD a couple of times, I can't agree more with this statement. So what about the contents of this release that has a total running time of approximately 104 minutes.

The main part of this DVD is of course the Progdreams gig that was recorded April 3rd, 2016 at Cultuurpodium De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. That remarkable day the band played a wonderful set that included the following songs; “Snow Country”, “Death By A Thousand Cuts”, “A Lottery”, “The Perfect Young Man”, “All's Well That Ends Well”, “Takeover”, “Read Your Mind” and “On Paper”. This gig is beautifully filmed with a multi camera setup by the duo John Vis and Meriam Verkleij and the video editing was in the hands of Geert-Jan Schoonbeek. John Vis and his crew are spotted on a regularly basis in this wonderful venue by your reviewer. Also the PA system and lighting facilities in this venue are of a very high quality level. All those things together will guarantee a high quality capture of a performance. The only thing you will need is a band that is in top form. And this was the case at the band's last performance of their “In Vaults” tour. Lucky us that this performance was captured on film. The inspired musicians of District 97 are performing the sometimes complex compositions with eager and a lot of passion. The new members Andrew Lawrence (keyboards) and Tim Seisser (bass) convince with a display of great musicianship. Love the piano solo of Andrew Lawrence. Jonathan Schang treats us with excellent drumming while Jim Tashjian is the master of the electric guitar. And what about front woman Leslie Hunt. I am impressed by her performance. She is an excellent front woman who is blessed with a great voice. One time she's rocking and the other time she delicately sings lovely melodies.

Only for this Progdreams gig you will have to join the Inside The Vault Club, but there is more. As a bonus you will get live performances of the songs “Handlebars” and “Blinding Vision” that were recorded June 12th, 2014 at Martyrs Nightclub in Chicago. Also you can find the music videos of the songs “I Can't Take You With Me”, “Termites”, “Open Your Eyes” and “Snow Country” on this wonderful release. There is also a short (2015) documentary in which Jonathan Schang gives a brief history of the band.

Well what can I say more, District 97´s Live at De Boerderij is a wonderful audiovisual document of one of the most interesting and exciting bands in the progressive rock scene of today. It is an essential release for the fans of District 97. The Progdreams gig is wonderfully filmed by the John Vis crew and the audio quality is fine. You can expect this of a de Boerderij gig. Sadly I missed the 2016 edition of the Progdreams festival. So glad that I have now the opportunity to witness this wonderful gig over and over again. Highly recommend by progVisions.

Note:
To get your hands on this amazing product you will have to become a keyholder of District 97´s Inside The Vault Club ( www.district97.net/insidethevaultclub )

Douwe Fledderus - June 2017
rating - District 97's Inside The Vault Club

 

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