Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Procol Harum at Montreal, 3 May 2003

Concert review by Mike Nield


When I first saw that Procol Harum was coming to town, in our local newspaper, I had to look three times to convince myself it was real this was a group I had never thought to be able to see live! I've been a fan since the late 80s and have most of their albums, but I had no idea they had their new album out and were touring, let alone coming here to Montreal!

The Well's on Fire was very hard to find in the local shops in the end, I ordered in online and fell in love with it after the first listen-through. And their show tonight only proved that they are back and in top form what an amazing performance!

My friend Mark Lawrence and I had some of the best seats in the place just to the right of centre stage in the small venue, on the small rise. The place was packed to the rafters, with a great mixed-age crowd, who were into every minute of the spectacle!

Brooker, Fisher and co. did not disappoint! From the blistering open moments of V.I.P. Room to the fantastic organ leads of Mr Fisher on Pandora's Box and his wonderful opus Weisselklenzenacht, they were a delight to watch. Geoff Whitehorn was particularly stoked and ripped through a beautiful lead on As Strong as Samson, which is one of my personal favorites glad to see they included it tonight! Simple Sister was another delight, and as is his custom, Gary joked around with the cheering audience "If you have any requests, please feel free to place them in our suggestion box up here on stage, and we'll get to playing them when we next get back to Montreal in twelve years or so!" he quipped light-heartedly. The weather was wonderful today and he told us about his experience shopping in Montreal and his French was pretty good too, for a 'monoglot' he loved to tell the polyglot story about Homburg! He even mentioned the website in his prelude to Beyond the Pale praising the efforts of a certain Norwegian! :-)

The crowd were left stunned by the beautiful Signature and the fantastic rendition of Conquistador, cheering for more, and they did not disappoint, returning to play crowd favorites A Salty Dog and of course, AWSoP!

We left the place beaming, joy in our hearts, blown away. My friend Mark said that they were one of the few bands he had heard that sound even better live such energy and great synergy as a unit!

Mr Brooker and the rest of Procol Harum. Thanks for the wondrous show! We had a blast! Enjoy the rest of your tour!

"We are all fellow travellers"

A bigger fan than ever
Mike Nield


The setlist from this concert

Procol Harum concerts in 2003: index page


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