Friday the 5th of October was finally there. After a long and arduous trip by train and bus we arrived in Uden in the early afternoon. From the busstation at the town center it was quite a hike to the hostel situated just outside town. During this walk we already encountered our first friends: Anna and Giorgio, who run the Hotel Rudy in Cervia, where the first RanestRane weekend was held. They are big fans, and Giorgio even drives the tourbus off season when the hotel is closed. They told us there would be a get-together of crew and fans at 4 pm in a restaurant in the center of town.
Just enough time to check into the hostel en freshen up. All the other guest turned out to be going to the festival as well, so everybody was in high spirits. At the restaurant it felt like a Cervia reunion, a feeling that was enhanced when we arrived at De Pul. A lot of familiar faces, hugs and kisses, and sharing memories of a magical weekend in May. The big question of course: would this weekend turn out to be magical as well…
RanestRane had the honor of opening the festival. For us personally this felt a bit weird: usually you do not start, but finish a night out with the highlight of the evening. On the other hand, at this point we were still quite fresh and could fully concentrate on the music. At 7pm it was time, the boys entered the stage and moments later the first notes of Semi sounded through De Pul. This was a welcome surprise. For me Semi is one of the best songs of the band, but at 18 minutes, it usually is one of the first to be cut from the setlist, especially if you are restricted to 75 minutes like on this show.
So for me the concert started with goosebumps and tears in my eyes. And like there was no time limit, the band continued with songs from Monolith: Fluttuerò, Materna Luna and the final part of Monolito di Tycho. Logically the band skipped for the most part Stazione Orbitante Uno and Clavius, as these songs feature long dialogs from the movie and at those moments the music takes a less prominent position.
More of a suprise was the fact that after Tycho the band jumped directly to Computer Malfunction, skipping all the other songs of H.A.L.. A bit of a shame, especially since Buio Intorno is always a treat for me, but understandable if you look at the tight schedule. At least it left enough time for the ‘new’ songs, starting with Insieme Delle Cose. The more often I hear this song, the better it sounds. This live performance was totally awesome, and of course Massimo’s guitar solo caused goosebumps all around.
Like there was no clock ticking, all songs from Starchild were played. Only the 14 minute long Stargate was significantly shortened. And after Stargate, the 75 minutes had passed. But such a small detail did not stop the guys, as they launched into Prometeo Tra Le Stelle. They proved to have saved the best for last. Not only is this song a fitting end to the Space Odyssey trilogy, but it proved to be a great closer for a concert as well. Suffice it to say that there were quite a few people singing ‘Hic stellarum plena est’ at the top of their lungs. Even long after the band had left the stage, this chorus could be heard echoing through the venue.
We had to wait for five months, but boy was it worth the wait. What a great concert. I really need to compliment the sound technicians here as well, as they managed to get exactly the right level and the right mix. We really enjoyed the “afterparty”, also due to the Steve Rothery band providing the musical background. After they left the stage, finishing a long set in which Martin even dared to tackle some songs of Marillion’s h-period, there was opportunity to greet the guys. After the obligatory bandphoto there was not really much time to catch up, as there was a lot of attention for the band and a lot of CD’s that needed signing. It looked as the band gained some fans this evening. We tried to make the most of this by handing out fanclub card and informing people about the upcoming Alphen gig.
Satisfied we left for our hostel, well after midnight. Walking under a starry sky we could only come to one conclusion: this night had been literally and figuratively full of stars.