View Full Version : NEARFest report - day 1

07-02-2002, 12:09 PM
Wow! What a show. Last year, we wondered how they could top themselves, and I think they figured it out. The bar is set that much higher for next year now.

Day 1 opened with La Torre dell'Alchemista. A young Italian band in the classic Italian style, with two keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and flute. The bass player also contributed clarinet to two songs. Their keyboardist was awesome - just a kid, but he can compare with Wakeman/Emerson pretty well. Good vocals in Italian, but the instrumental passages were their strength. The flute was a nice touch, sometimes aggressive Tull-style, sometimes a gentler sound. Look for their debut CD on AM soon.
Miriodor was next - incredibly tight, complex music, and a fun attitude both in the playfulness of their music and their stage banter. The drummer was particularly good, and interplay between all of them (drums/bass/guitar/keys/woodwinds/violin) was impressive. Lots of time changes, polyrhythms, and multiple melodic lines.
Isildur's Bane - took a few songs to grab me - while their musicianship was unquestioned from the beginning, the first two songs (fairly long) kind of meandered to me - good moments but there was a lack of focus. Then they played a few songs introducing their new singer - and I honestly feel they are better without him. One of the songs with him was pretty good, though not terribly progressive to me. They finished strong, however, with two powerful, intricate, and well-developed pieces that left us wanting more. Their unique sound stems from the inclusion of an accomplished tuned percussionist, and trumpet and violin (though usually only trumpet OR violin, depending on the song).
Echolyn - was polished and tight, as expected. By this time of the day (and this also happened to me last year), I was kind of in sensory overload from hearing so much good and varied music, that I just kind of drifted through Echolyn's show. I enjoyed it, and I think they put on a great performance, I just only retained general impressions of it.
Nektar - wow! I can't say enough about how good they sounded. ALthough their first concert in over a decade, they were tight, the lead singer's voice was incredibly strong, and the interplay between the band was superb. Running through many of their classics, I was blown away when two hours into the show they announced they were going to play "Remember The Future", as it is an album long piece! They played it in full, and continued finishing out a three hour show that never dragged. They also announced that the entire show was being filmed and recorded for a DVD to be released.
Day 2 in the next thread...