The American avant-garde group The Residents began their (short) European tour in the extremely cosy concert hall De Vooruit in Ghent. "Shadowland" is the third and final part of the trilogy, the third tour to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Living in Belgium, I am very fortunate.
With performances in Brussels (AB, 2010) and Kortrijk (De Kreun, 2010) , Leuven (Het Depot, 2013) and now in Ghent (De Vooruit), I had the privilege to experience the entire trilogy, in which Randy, Chuck and Bob Life aspire to examine life in reverse.
Part 1 of the trilogy, "The Talking Light" was a study about death and ghosts.
Part 2, "Wonder of Weird" was focussing on love and sex. And today, in the third part, "Shadowland": birth and rebirth were examined.
"Shadowland" is a fitting conclusion to the trilogy. A magical scenery awaited us, black and white checkered banners, vertical light bars and a huge white ball formed the setting against these gentlemen were performing.
Ingenious lighting and intriguing films about birth, rebirth, near-death experiences and reincarnation, which were projected on the giant white ball, gave that extra touch, but it was mostly their music (as in each tour) that charmed me once again.
With an extensive catalogue, it is of course not difficult to fill a show and their quirky, new interpretations of their own songs makes this even more intriguing. Randy stumbled and staggered as usual on the stage, and with his conjuring trembling fingers and vigorous gestures all compositions, masterly played by Bob & Chuck, got the necessary visual support to present us one highlight after another.
Their music varies enormously, partly because of their bizarre, quirky combinations of electronics, deconstructed rock 'n' roll and even a touch of avant-garde jazz, all graced with surreal visuals and freaky stories.
It is therefore impossible to discuss all the songs but with superb and wayward versions including opener "Rabbit Habit" (The Bunny Boy) , "Harry The Head" (Freak Show) , "Blue Rosebuds " (Duck Stab) , "Fever Dream" (The Bunny Boy) and "Easter Woman" (Commercial album) The Residents managed to convince me (once again) of their genius! In 2010 The Residents began this trilogy to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
If I count correctly, next year they may celebrate their 45 years of existence. Hopefully they do that again with a smashing trilogy.