Polish prog kings Riverside have put the hard work in over the years, but Covid-19, of course, interrupted their flow of success. Four years since their last visit to Scotland, they’re back on the road at Glasgow’s Garage in support of new album ID Entity.
Glasgow Garage – 20 April 2023
Words: Ian Sutherland
Photography: Ya Cheng
Despite the early start time of 8 pm, a loud roar of anticipation greets their arrival on stage from a large crowd of prog heads determined to make the most of their return.
Opening with #Addicted from the Love, Fear And The Time Machine album, the scene is set immediately. The bass-led riff leads the way with the rest of the band seamlessly flowing in unison, and their unique take on prog rock fills the room
Prog is generally reckoned to be quite a serious genre of music, and Riverside can be poignant, thoughtful and complex in many ways. Their genius, though, is that they can make their fabulous musicianship and effortless craft so relatable. Their fans can’t help but sing or clap along at any opportunity. There are melodies and hooks galore to grab onto and a wry and self-deprecating sense of humour between songs too.
A lot of those moments are centred around Mariusz Duda. It’s musically really interesting how much of their sound revolves around his bass lines.
The rest of the band are so good at syncing together that sometimes you barely notice how fantastic their playing is. Drummer Piotr Kozieradzki is a machine that everyone can just rely on. Guitarist Maciej Meller continues to forge his own path in the band, while keyboard player Michal Lapaj is just a joy to watch as well as listen to, dancing away in his keyboard area with a huge and infectious smile on his face.
The set list takes a wander through their back catalogue, including celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Shrine Of New Generation Slaves album with the epic twists and turns of The Depth Of Self Delusion but also peppering the set with old tunes and a selection from their latest album, all of which the crowd already seemed to know very well.
Two hours after appearing on stage, the classic Conceiving You from Second Life Syndrome closes the show in breathtaking fashion.
This talented quartet have thrilled the senses in an intense yet often joyous exhibition of how to match musical ability with complex emotions. A truly stunning evening of music.