I always seem to catch some sort of plague when I go out in public. I don’t know if my immune system is just especially protected and low or if people are just -that- gross. Probably a mixture of both.
*hack, cough, snort, sneeze*
We had to cut our trip south short by a week due to Hurricane Irma. Logan was supposed to do some recruiting at his alma mater but it was right in the path of the storm, so it the job fair was postponed until next week…so the company will be flying him back again on Monday. It’s almost ridiculous, right?
ProgPower was, as always, an amazing festival.
Logan built up the courage to go to the floor and mosh for three of the bands: Twilight Force, Amaranthe, and Seven Spires. He’s in the photo below somewhere.
One thing I love about ProgPower is you get to see a full show from each of the bands, they don’t skimp on time, so you actually get to enjoy the bands you came to see. Conversely, if you don’t like a band, you have time to go out and get something to eat and still have plenty of time to get back before the next band. We saw every band this year, though. I’ll link up a few of the better ones in the rundown below.
Wednesday: Power Quest, Serenity, Orphaned Land, and Haken
It was Power Quest’s first ever show in the U.S. and they brought one of their former singers with them…as well as the singer from Theocracy (which I can never figure out why he keeps popping up there other than he’s local to Georgia so is always at the show anyway?).
Serenity’s singer stage dove and crowd surfed after their set, which is always fun.
Orphaned Land is one of the bands that I was most excited to see — they’re Israeli and most of their songs deliver a strong message of peace for the different religions in their homeland.
Haken is a progressive band from London. I’ll admit, I’m not always a fan of Prog bands — I find a lot of them needlessly tedious or like highschoolers in a garage band that just don’t quite know edit their music or end songs…and Haken falls into that category.
Thursday: Next to None, Twilight Force, Vandan Plas, Between the Buried and Me, and Metal Church
Next to None is quite literally a band of teenagers. They’re also a Prog band but they have a lot of potential, most likely because the drummer is Max Portnoy, son of Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy. They varied their music enough that even a 20 minute song remained interesting.
Twilight Force was Logan’s big draw this year. They basically LARP on stage, so how could he not be super happy. He’s also pretty convinced we need to move to Sweden.
Vandan Plas is a German prog band. We stayed for about half of their show before we got hungry and ducked out to grab dinner. They weren’t bad, we were just really hungry after a day of being at the festival.
Between the Buried and Me is another prog band, but from North Carolina. We came back from food about halfway through their set. We were pleasantly surprised by them — neither of us had listened to them before. When we came back, their mosh pit was literally square dancing. It was highly entertaining.
Metal Church is an oldie but a goodie….as in, they’re way older than us but Logan still rocked out and enjoyed them. He’s pretty picky about his metal but he’s starting to appreciate older sounds due to Primal Fear and Battle Beast.
Friday: Daydream XI, Distorted Harmony, Lords of Black, Angel Dust, Myrath, Mike Portnoy
Daydream XI is a Brazilian band. They surprised me….for an unexpected reason. At ProgPower you tend to make a bit of a family over the years. You sit in the same place year after year and kind of adopt the people around you. You never know a single thing about them, but you trust them more than the other weirdos around you. They won’t steal your shit and they’re somebody to casually chat to if you’re desperately bored. On Friday, we were missing six people — our tall guy, who doesn’t like prog music, so we weren’t surprised he wasn’t there…but also the five smelly guys. That was a bit unusual because they never missed anything. ProgPower is sold in Wednesday/Thursday and Friday/Saturday blocks though, so we thought maybe they just didn’t come for the second part of the Festival and didn’t think much more of it….until those five smelly guys showed up on stage as Daydream XI. Who on earth would’ve thought it? Even more surprising, for all their man-buns and body odor, they were actually tolerable. XD
Distorted Harmony was another prog band from Israel. Not bad, but not really my cup of tea either.
Lords of Black are a Spanish power metal band. Definitely a good time.
Angel Dust is an older heavy metal band from Germany. They were great, of course, but made the mistake of pulling a crazy female fan on stage. I have no clue what on earth she said to the singer (as she was groping him) but her trip in the spotlight didn’t last long.
Myrath is the other band I was really excited to see. They’re Tunisian, so not somewhere you’d expect to find a metal band….and let’s be honest, I’m not traveling to Tunisia any time soon, regardless of how much I love these guys. They’re my brand of prog metal; something unique and varied. I’ve always loved a bit of local flare and folk music mixed in with metal though. Zaher, the singer, did something absolutely magical during his set and crawled out into the middle of the moshpit and somehow convinced the entire crowed to SIT on the incredibly nasty floor for a song. I almost died laughing — the event coordinator posted a video before the event fussing about how nasty people are and how they spill trash and beer everywhere and how gross it is for the crew to clean up…so then they had to sit in their own mess. Karma at its finest.
Mike Portnoy did his Shattered Fortress show. It’s definitely a spectacle.
Saturday: Seven Spires, Dynazty, Snowy Shaw, Pain, Amaranthe, Katatonia
Seven Spires was a surprise because they weren’t supposed to be on the roster. One of the band members from Teramaze (Australia) was sick and the band had to cancel, so they filled in last minute…quite literally. It was a happy surprise for us — Seven Spires is a bit of a local band, based out of Boston, so we’ve seen them as an opening act when we’ve attended shows over at the Palladium in Worcester and have chatted with them before. They just put out their first CD a few months ago, so Logan bought it and had them sign it for him. They’re still very sweet and young….I think the drummer may still be a teenager. In a bit of awesomeness, I’d seen the guitarist, Jack, walking around Atlanta on Wednesday morning (the show is attended by LOTS of bands in general), so when Teramaze had to cancel, I told Logan I hoped that Seven Spires would be the replacement…then a few hours later they were announced.
Dynazty started off the rest of the day’s Swedish invasion. The singer burst his pants wide open on the first song and gleefully showed it off. No shame — it’s just a sign of his rock prowess. 😛
Snowy Shaw is a legend. His show was amazing. Logan didn’t listen to the playlist I had made him to prepare for the show so he had NO clue what to expect. He was suuuuper happy.
Pain is actually more of a project than a band. It’s all recorded by a single guy but when he performs shows, he has a band that tours with him. The project itself is an awesome mix of metal with almost a techno influence — again, Logan was blown away. I just spent the hour being completely mesmerized by the bassist, Andre Skaug. That guy should teach headbanging lessons, I’d sign up in a heartbeat.
Amaranthe was awesome, as to be expected, even with their relatively new lineup. I was a bit surprised that Jake (former male clean vocalist — Amaranthe has three singers) didn’t make an appearance since he was definitely at the show (and did show up on stage with Snowy Shaw). Logan had a great time as a gate hugger during their show.
Katatonia is more of a death metal prog sound, so was a good, chill way to end the night. I personally prefer to end the night with really high energy bands as I tend to get tired after being at a festival all day (doors are at 1:30 and the headliners don’t usually go on until at least 10:30), but it was still a good band to end on.
The lineups for next year were also announced and needless to say, we’re already planning on buying tickets the second they go on sale!
Ross the Boss (Manowar set)
Gloryhammer (Logan’s FAVORITE band, another costuming one and the band responsible for both of our ringtones right now)
VUUR (I was tempted to go to Amsterdam to see them while we were in Scotland, so not missing them while they’re here! It’s Anneke’s new band, hooray!)
Alestorm (One of my old favorites — they’re pirate metal. How could I not love them?!)
Tarja (Yes, the old voice of Nightwish)
Redemption (with new vocalist Tom Englund)
James LaBrie (from Dream Theater)