Critical Section

CalProg '08

Sunday,  10/12/08  10:31 AM

Yesterday I spent the entire day at CalProg '08, a progressive rock festival held in Whittier.  Thanks to my friend Bill Smith for putting it together!  (our visit, not the festival itself...)  It was pretty cool, four bands spread over twelve hours, with plenty of time for doing nothing (eating, walking, getting coffee, talking about prog rock) in between :) 

CalProg '08

I had never heard of the first band, Presto Ballet, a band from Seattle, but they were pretty cool; their vocalist in particular was great.  Here's a shot of them in action:

Presto Ballet at CalProg '08

Next up were IZZ, and they were okay, I guess; the guitarist in the kilt may have put me off, or maybe their music was too much fusion and not enough rock.  We have to have some rock in "progressive rock", right?  Beat, harmony, melody, that sort of thing?  These guys came out from New York, and they definitely had the "New York feel", with the wizecracking guitarist and all...  here's a blurry shot:

IZZ at CalProg '08

The third band was Sylvan, from Hamburg Germany (!); they're the band we came to see, and they were great.  Really really awesome, all the way from their German accents to their driving bass lines to their wailing guitar.  Could have been louder, is my only complaint, seemed like they didn't take full advantage of the sound system.  Sorry about the crappy camera work but here's Sylvan on stage:

Sylvan at CalProg '08

If you are at all interested in progressive rock, check out Porcupine Tree, Threshold, and these guys :)  Oh, here's what they look like backstage, enjoying the California sun after a long flight out:

Sylvan backstage at CalProg '08

The last band, Echolyn, from Philadelphia, truly sucked.  It is sad to say but I honestly wished we'd just left; their stage personna was hostile, their music was boring, and their musicianship was mediocre.  Hard to say anything good about them except perhaps that they were loud, which wasn't a virtue considering the music.  Too bad it ended that way, but it was a great day anyway!


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