In his fortnightly column, Shineback/Tinyfsh man Simon Godfrey reflects on his new life in the States
Simon's been to Progtoberfest for Prog Magazine. Here's six things that left a lasting impression.
Chicago is a prog town – This inaugural festival, held over two days
was home to almost half of the 22 acts that performed. There is no doubt that
not only does the city have a great reputation for live music, it also is one
of the most vibrant progressive scenes in North America.
location, location – The festival was held at Reggies Rock Club in the south of
the city, which sported two separate performance spaces, three bars, a rooftop
beer garden, a record and clothing store all in one building. Even with ten
hours plus of live music each day, there were still plenty of alternative
activities for the festival-goers to enjoy.
everyone – The line up for Progtoberfest was extremely eclectic. From the
unbridled inventiveness of Stick Men, the jaw dropping arrangements of Thank
You Scientist, the intricate prog metal of District 97, the middle eastern
power of Mano, the superbly bonkers Cheer-Accident and the ambient soundscapes
of Steven Wilson’s keyboardist Adam Holzman, through to the anthemic chord work
of Dream The Electric Sleep, the neo-stylings of Presto Ballet and the
symphonic grandeur of Big Elf and Spock’s Beard; no-one went away disappointed.
moment of the weekend – Drummer Jimmy Keegan’s stunning lead vocal performance
on the Spock’s Beard track Carrie during their medley of the album Snow.
fans together - Even though VIP ticket holders got to meet the bands and sign
merchandise between sets, all of the artists were available to talk to at some
point throughout the weekend and even sat with the audience to check out the
Tap moment of the weekend - The band Wertico, Cain & Gray actually
performing a free form Jazz Odyssey in front of a festival crowd. None more