Magenta - The Point, Cardiff - 24 September 2004
After a five month break from live performance (feature), you might have expected Magenta to be a little rusty. Not a bit of it, as Magenta have exploded back into concert playing with an electrifying performance at the Point in Cardiff, the band's home venue. Setlist: "Gluttony," "Lust," "Broken," "King of the Sky," "The White Witch," "Call Me," "I'm Alive," "Genetesis" (excerpt); encores: "Pride" and "Children of the Sun" (excerpt).
On the face of it, very little has changed. The band took the stage, each band member adopting their own individual styles of stage wear, from guitarist Chris Fry's white shirt and pinstripe trousers, to a newly-slim bassist Matthew Cohen's bandana and t-shirt and singer Christina Booth's fetching white dress and new, straighter hairstyle. Indeed, they opened on familiar ground with the excellent "Gluttony." However, by the end of "Lust" it had become clear that we were watching a band that had taken their own live performance to a new level, with Christina, in particular, offering a much more animated, chatty persona whilst maintaining her usual standard of immaculate vocal performance. The extended end section of "Lust" was quite breathtaking.
After a crunching "Broken," the band played the first of two new songs, the remarkable "King of the Sky," a piece of sassy, sexy hard rock with Christina prowling the stage and spitting some powerfully emotional lyrics. It was good to see "The White Witch" played in its entirety for the first time in a year or so, and the second new song, the anthemic, forthcoming single "I'm Alive" also impressed. The shorter version of "Genetesis" closed the main set, followed by encores of the jaunty "Pride" and a shortened "Children of the Sun."
Though the band were playing to a largely non-prog audience, which lead to some irritating chatter during the longer pieces, on the whole Magenta generated a remarkable amount of electricity, which bodes well for future concerts in 2004 and beyond and the live album due out in Autumn 2004. Hugely impressive.--Stephen Lambe in Cheltenham, England
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