CalProg 2008 – What a Blast!
Jerry Lucky Commentary November 2008
Copyright Jerry Lucky © 2008 All Rights Reserved
This was the second time I’ve had the opportunity to attend Calprog. The previous occasion was in 2005 and that being my first
experience at a progressive rock festival it holds a special status of its own. This time I was more aware of what to expect and what
I needed to do. Mainly mix and mingle. Shawn Gordon from Prog Rock Records had agreed to sell copies of my new book The Progressive Rock Handbook and I offered to be at the venders table helping to hawk my wares.
I already have a bit of a soft spot for
Calprog is staged in an intimate theatre in
At 11 am
sharp things got underway with Presto Ballet whose CD I’d had the chance to listen too only once before seeing them live. Interestingly
enough, before starting their set, they let it be known that their keyboard player had left them but rather than cancel (that would
have been the second time) they chose to record the keyboard tracks on the computer and play along with the bed. Now, you need to
understand the keyboards play a major part of Presto Ballet’s sound so this was either going to work or be a big mess. In the end
the band made it work although I’m sure that it took away from the spontaneity of the performance somewhat. This is a band that comes
off much harder in the live arena but even so I loved the set. They were like the best Styx, only
Next up was one of my favourite bands, IZZ. I saw them perform at Calprog in 2005 and was exited to see them again. This is one of those bands that DOESN’T sound heavier live than on record. Their music is so layered and arranged with loud and soft segments that my ears were given plenty of time to enjoy the full package. They performed a great selection of material off of every CD and then topped it off with a couple of encores: the traditional Calprog cover, this time being “Trilogy” from ELP and then “He Knows You Know” from Marillion. It was pretty amazing to see the band perform from such a wide spectrum of music. I got the feeling the band really connected with the audience and this being their third time at the festival, they were appreciated much like a house band.
After the set up
and sound check it was time for Sylvan. Coming all the way from
Last up, I guess you could say in the headliner spot was
I spent a good portion of the in-between time working the ProgRock table in the vending room showing off my new book
The Progressive Rock Handbook. In that time I had a chance to have a great chat with Michael Sadler about his departure from Saga
and his new life as a dad first and musician second. It was also great to renew acquaintances with Chris from
All in all it was a great day. Twelve hours of great music and great friends. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event. You may want to consider attending CalProg yourself.