View Full Version : NEARfest report day 2

07-02-2002, 12:30 PM
Day 2 opened with Spaced Out. The crowd was fairly sparse, which is a shame because Spaced Out played their hearts out and were awesome! A complex and tight fusion outfit, their chops are impressive, and a particularly strong bassist drives their music forward relentlessly. The most under-appreciated band at NEARfest, IMO.
Gerard - I didn't think I'd use this phrase for a keyboard/bass/drums trio, but they absolutely ROCKED! A barrage of keyboards, and high energy bass and drums tied together by in-your-face compositions that work. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and the whole crowd was behind them. The only song that didn't work was when the drummer sang (using the word loosely) - it sounded like a homicidal maniac.
Enchant - I won't say much about Enchant, since they play a heavier style of prog that isn't really my taste - but they are awfully good at it if you like that kind of thing.
Caravan - it's a good thing they sounded better than they looked - because they are some old guys. But voices and energy levels were good, and they played a great mix of music from their collection. The highlight for me was "Nine Feet Underground", about fifteen minutes of extensive jamming that really worked. The surprise for me was their guitarist - I always though of Caravan as more of a keyboard band, with the prominent violin/flute, but their guitarist was VERY impressive.
Steve Hackett - started late but was worth the wait. I can't say enough about how versatile he is. And his band was tight, perhaps more so than Nektar, which is saying a lot. He played a lot of music old and new, including many nice bits from Genesis (but always instrumental for the Genesis stuff). For me the highlights were some pieces from Spectral Mornings, but it was quite poignant when he dedicated a passionate performance of "In Memoriam" to the late John Entwistle. Wrapping up with a killer version of "Los Endos" capped off a wonderful show - and a too brief encore left all of us with that bittersweet feeling following a truly special event - wishing it didn't have to end, but competely overwhelmed. It was also quite fun hanging out in the hotel bar afterwards with most of the bands - Spaced Out, Gerard, Caravan, Nektar, La Torre, Miriodor, Isildur's Bane.
If you didn't make it this year, I highly recommend trying for it next year - and they've already announced the day 1 headliner - Magma!

07-02-2002, 02:22 PM
Wow! Great report Jim! Wish I was there. :-)

Magma next year? Good lord!