NEARfest and prog revival

Mike Broadman

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
4,951
Oh man, I am so excited! Tickets for the North Eastern Art Rock Festival (NEARfest), June 28-29, were sold out before I had a chance to order a ticket. People come from all over the world for this weekend-long celebration of prog, and the darn thing is right next to me (Trenton, NJ).

Thank God for the internet and NEARfest's messageboard. Some dude from Calgary is selling me an extra ticket in exchange for letting him crash at my place and driving to and from the show both days. Sweet!

Dig the lineup:

Flower Kings
One of my favorite modern prog bands- gorgeous melodies and wonderful arrangements. I think I've even gotten a couple HTFers digging the flower power.

Magma
Crazy-ass French 70s weird alien rock thing. This should be a doozy in concert.

Kraan
Some ol' German band I never heard of before.

Camel
Heck, I didn't even know they were still around. The last album of theirs I have is from the mid-70s, so I have a lot of catching up to do. Easily the most popular band performing this weekend.

Anglagard
Great Swedish prog revivalists. I thought they, too, were no longer around. I only have one of their albums and adore it, so I need to find the other one somewhere...

Glass Hammer
I've read many good things, but never heard them.

Tunnels
featuring John Goodsall (Brand X) on bass! I saw them open for Porcupine Tree- real avant-gard, nutty instrumental stuff. Just my bag.

Other bands: Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum, Alamaailman Vasarat, and High Wheel.

Today, I ordered a couple of Camel and Magma albums, and one each by Tunnels and Glass Hammer. I haven't bought this much prog since college. It's like revisiting an old friend.
 

TheLongshot

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2000
Messages
4,118
Real Name
Jason
Cool, I might actually get to meet you then.
I've managed to go to all of the NEARFests so far, and I always enjoy it. Nothing quite tops the 2001 lineup, tho. Probably the best lineup ever with bands like Porcupine Tree, Banco, After Crying, CGT, Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic, Under The Sun, White Willow and Djam Karet. All of those bands were outstanding.

Camel
Heck, I didn't even know they were still around.
I think Camel toured a couple of years ago. Guy Le Blanc, of Nathan Mahl (Another great NEARFest performer), toured as their keyboardist, and may be performing this year. (I know he shows up every year to sell his CDs.)

Jason
 

Mike Broadman

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
4,951
We should definitely hook up at the show.

I ordered a Glass Hammer CD, I'll let you know what I think about it.

2001 was the first time I'd heard of NEARfest, again to late to find tickets. But at that time I wasn't into Porcupine Tree and Banco yet.
 

TheLongshot

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2000
Messages
4,118
Real Name
Jason
But at that time I wasn't into Porcupine Tree and Banco yet.
That show was actually my first exposure to Banco. To say I was blown away was an understatement. More like a religious experience.
It made me understand why the California Guitar Trio weren't the headliners.

Jason
 

Dennis_H

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Messages
99
Last year was my first Nearfest and it was fantastic. Decided right then I would be going to all of them if I could get tickets. This year, I went for the Patron program and got row C. Rob and Chad do a great job with diverse acts and run a first rate festival. Beautiful place. Just wish the vendor area was a little bigger (and my wallet was a lot fatter).
 

Michael St. Clair

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 1999
Messages
6,001
Every fall/winter I think about going to NEARfest, and every February I forget about getting tickets.

3 years in a row!
 

TheLongshot

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2000
Messages
4,118
Real Name
Jason
Too bad Transatlantic and Spock's Beard are no more...
Whataya mean? Just because Neal left doesn't mean Spock's Beard doesn't continue. They are in the studio as we speak, working on a new album.

Jason
 

Ed E Lee

Agent
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Messages
45
Too bad I live on the other side of the country, and currently unemployed otherwise I would have definitely signed up. I did make it out to the 2001 , headlined by PTree and Banco with a bunch of fellow prog geeks online. Had a great time even though I wasn't as hard core into it as they were. As much as I loved Banco, I had already seen them at Progfest 2000 (although personally, Kenso stole that festival) and wanted to see PFM.


Just because Neal left doesn't mean Spock's Beard doesn't continue. They are in the studio as we speak, working on a new album.
Right you are. As of the last Progwest, Nick D'Virgilio will be handling singing duties, a la Phil Collins with Genesis.

For those who aren't going to Nearfest, Progday, which happens later in the year in North Carolina, is another great prog festival to hang out. The only other one I know off hand is Progwest that's supposed to be put on in November in Southern California. I don't know about a revival, but there seem to be more and more of these each year. Don't pout just because you missed Nearfest. Check out the others.


NP: KBB - Lost and Found
 

Mike Broadman

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
4,951
Jason, I will indeed be coming from home, no hotel.

Ed, do you know where to get albums by Gorilla Museum and Vasarat (preferably at a reasonable price)?

As for the Beard, I'll definitely be paying attention to them. Virgillio is not a bad singer at all, and to be honest, while I like Morse's singing enough, it's not like his voice was that spectacular or unique. It's more his writing input that I would miss, but the rest of the guys have certainly earned enough credibility to be listened to without him.

I know there are many other prog festivals, which is one reason I do believe there is a strong prog revival. It's just that NEARfest is the one close to me, so it's the one I get excited about.


NP: Deep Purple, Perpendicular
 

Louis C

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 5, 2002
Messages
739
As for the Beard, I'll definitely be paying attention to them. Virgillio is not a bad singer at all, and to be honest, while I like Morse's singing enough, it's not like his voice was that spectacular or unique. It's more his writing input that I would miss, but the rest of the guys have certainly earned enough credibility to be listened to without him.
Same thing when Gabriel left Genesis, but they were never as good since then. I predict the same thing with Beard. Morse's singing and writing will be sorely missed as far as I'm concerned.
 

Mike Broadman

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
4,951
Well, maybe that means we'll get two more really great Beard albums before they start to suck.
 

TheLongshot

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2000
Messages
4,118
Real Name
Jason
Just a bump for this thread, since NEARFest is this weekend.

We'll see if I see some of you this weekend.


Jason
 

Mike Broadman

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
4,951
T minus 2 days.

Since I started this thread, I've acquired:

Camel:

Breathless, Raindances, I Can See Your House From Here, Dust and Dreams, Rajaz, A Nod and a Wink (having owned Snow Goose, Mirage, and Moonmadness before).

I like Camel a lot, but they can never be a "top" band in my book. Very good music and pleasant to listen to, but doesn't hit me in the ass like it does some. The guy that's crashing here who's brining me my ticket is a huge fan, so that should be fun.

Glass Hammer:

Perelandra, Lex Rex

Not impressed. They do exactly what's expected of a modern keyboard-heavy prog band, but that's it. It's not bad or anything, it's just very workman-like, as if they did their job and that's it. I don't regret buying their albums, but I don't see myself buying more. However, I like seeing fancy-schmancy keyboard playing live, which they should provide.

Alamaalman Vasaarat- Vasaraisa (too lazy to look up proper spelling)

This stuff is sweet- Jewish prog fusion? Should be a blast in concert.

Kraan

Self-titled, Andy Nogger, Live, Let It Out

A jam band, basically. Excellent bass player.


Been listening to this stuff all week. I'm wired up and ready to go!
 

TheLongshot

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2000
Messages
4,118
Real Name
Jason
This stuff is sweet- Jewish prog fusion? Should be a blast in concert.
Progressive Klezmer, gotta love it! I'm sure my fiance will....

I'm going to be interested to see how many people leave the room when Sleepytime Gorilla Museum comes on stage Sunday morning...

Jason
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,126
Messages
4,701,289
Members
141,174
Latest member
Bigguz