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How would you rank the performances this year?

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by Senecadawg, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Troy the nomad

    Troy the nomad Actually I've resettled

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    I am suspicious of anyone that does not have Voyager listed high on their list. That set was flawless! Energetic, funny, and you could really tell how much they have grown since 2011 when they were great.
     
  2. OrbWeaver

    OrbWeaver BECAUSE FALCONER

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    I think you all know who I would rank at #1. If you don't know, you haven't been paying attention.

    My other top bands, in no particular order because I could never in a million years choose how to rank them:
    Angra
    Voyager
    Saxon
    Dragonland
    Royal Hunt
    Helker

    And I thoroughly enjoyed all the other bands!
     
  3. labrekk

    labrekk Member

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    These are the only bands I watched the whole sets and I thought all of them were excellent to awesome:

    Helker
    Armored Saint
    Jeff Scott Soto
    Saxon
    Voyager
    Royal Hunt
     
  4. Mooseknuckle

    Mooseknuckle Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

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    I prefer not to rank anything because everything was awesome. But Native Construct and Archers were amazing. They definitely won me over as a new fan
     
  5. Malaena

    Malaena Member

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    Just the top three because of reasons:

    Voyager
    JSS
    Helker
     
  6. jem777az

    jem777az Bozzman

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    Falconer
    Voyager
    Anathema (acoustic)
    Angra
    Saxon
    Evergrey
    Dragonland
    Anathema
    Jeff Scott Soto
    Royal Hunt
    Riverside
    Almah
    Armored Saint
    Helker
    Unleash The Archers
    Ashes Of Ares
    Halcyon Way
    Native Construct
     
  7. MeTuLHeD

    MeTuLHeD A Member To Remember

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    1. Jeff Scott Soto & Angra - Tied for top honors. Never seen Soto live, although I have most of his work on CD. Amazing performance. Angra was as good as I have ever seen them. Great musicianship. Fabio nailed the songs imo, even though his voice made them sound 'different' from the originals. Bruno was the best drummer at the festival, hands down. And that's saying something for a festival with many excellent drummers.

    2. Helker - In my opinion, these guys delivered a crazy good performance. Diego rightly deserves all the hype he gets. Simply spot on vocal delivery in every possible way.

    3. Riverside - Not really my cup of tea. Not sure why, as I have pretty broad musical tastes. But these guys have never really tripped my trigger. However, I must give credit where credit is due. They delivered a flawless performance.

    4. Royal Hunt - Excellent show. Great melodic hard rock. If US classic rock radio programming made ANY sense whatsoever and was not stuck in a perpetual 60's-80's loop, this band and many others like them (Saffire anyone?) would be HUGE.

    5. Voyager & Native Construct - These bands are over-the-top good. Their instrumental prowess alone lifts them above the crowd.

    6. Saxon - One of my old favs. I still remember going into Birdland Records and seeing 'Denim And Leather' the week after it came out. Loved it. Wore that record out. Seeing these guys still kicking ass so many tears later warms my old heart. :-D

    7. Armored Saint - Once again, delivering the goods. Insanely high energy level. Not really a favorite of mine musically. But these guys deserve major props for a sustained musical assault that never let up in intensity.

    8. Dragonland - These guys were troopers to do a second set. And to be honest, their second set blew their first set away imo. They were clearly more relaxed and confident, having obviously caught the Prog Power Spirit.

    9. Falconer - Great music. But as others have said, rather lackluster from a showmanship perspective. Pretty obvious that these guys love making their music, but don't really care for live performance. I still say they are one of the most unique bands on the scene.

    10. Unleash The Archers - Wow! Brittney Slayes (Hayes) is a stunning vocalist. Imagine a young Doro mugs Amy Lee in a dark alley. Did I mention they have a great vocalist?

    11. Anathema
     
  8. templeofmax

    templeofmax Member

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    Well, Andre Andersen is not a boss. He is THE boss of Royal Hunt ;). DC moves do appear certainly sexual sometimes, even weirder with his kids and maybe his wife watching the show, hahahaha.
     
  9. KingsGene

    KingsGene God of Thunder

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    Anathema (electric) - I know a lot of you don't get it, but this really was "prog" and "power"...but the power was in the emotion rather than speed/volume. So amazing...
    Voyager - Pumpin, sweatin, leapin, movin, crunching - and a keytar to boot. The most energetic band, hands down.
    Riverside - Another hypnotic set, awesome mix, brilliant lights to accent their performance. Would've scored higher if they played "Loose Heart" as the last song.
    Saxon - Bucket list band. Insanely clean, polished and perfect sound and performance. Played all the best tunes. Biff still has it going on.
    Armored Saint - Not a big fan of the tough guy image, but I couldn't ignore the intensity; they really brought it. Tech issues hurt the momentum, but last two songs were killer.
    Anathema (acoustic) - Numerous goosebump moments. Would've ranked higher if they weren't so dependent on tech loop tools and just had the other missing band members play along.
    Jeff Scott Soto - Great set of different tunes from JSS' different projects, including the Rock Star soundtrack favorites. The Yngwie songs brought down the house, glad he played those.
    Helker - Awesome vocalist, really nice guy. Loved the fact that they played a spanish tune, which is important for them. Wish they had a little more energy for the style they played.
    Royal Hunt - Having DC Cooper was way better than the last time they played PPUSA. Unfortunately, the heavy use of backing tracks and DC's stage antics pushed this down the list.
    Dragonland (Saturday) - Admired the effort, just didn't know the songs. As someone else said, they were more comfortable on Saturday, and it showed.
    Angra - Flashes of brilliance, great drummer, but expected more out of these legends of the scene.
    Unleash The Archers - Loved the headbanging energy, just not familiar enough with the music for me to enjoy it more
    Dragonland (Thursday) - Excellent musicians and vocalist, just a bit stiff.
    Evergrey (acoustic) - This could've been so much cooler if the sound was better, couldn't hear the guitars hardly at all. Tom is still one of the best vocalists in the genre, and he gives me chills when he wants to get serious.
    Almah - Played too many Angra songs; there's plenty of songs for this band to play of their own.
    Falconer - Solid live sound, just didn't know any of the music, and their lack of stage presence didn't help me get into it.
    Native Construct - Kudos to the drummer who learned all of their stuff in a very short time. But, when your most prevalent player is a computer laptop, something's wrong.
     
  10. 70KTonsOfMetal

    70KTonsOfMetal Regretting the user name

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    The theme of this ProgPower for me was that my favorite bands left me a bit underwhelmed - but don't get me wrong, they're still better than 99.99999% of live shows I've seen - and I was blown away by some unfamiliar acts.

    Don't know if I can rank them, per se, but definitely put the performances in different tiers.

    Tier 1

    1. Voyager

    I've never seen them live before and was only vaguely familiar with their material. I listened to all the "popular" stuff - which just so happened to be what they played - and they were so unbelievably good, a ton of fun, had great stage presence, and genuinely enjoyed being up there. Easily the best performance of the weekend.

    2. Dragonland

    Another band that I've never seen live before but have been a fan for 10+ years. Two sets, lots of energy, note-perfect vocals on the first set, and super, super awesome guys (I'm sure I was bugging the shit out of their drummer since no one else was down in VIP for an hour or so yet he was the coolest musician I've talked to in a while, and thanks to Kadria for sharing the baked goods with Dragonland and myself!). And now I get to catch them in Gothenburg again next month? Yes, please!

    3. Native Construct

    Guess I'm in the minority here but I loved their set. Yes, they looked scared to death to be up there and they used a shitload of backing tracks. . .I know, I know. . .didn't ruin it for me. The set was phenomenal and I have so much respect for the fill-in drummer, Jake Dick, to learn all those songs in a week. I think he was the best one on the stage.

    Chromatic Aberation is still my 2015 Song of the Year.

    4. Helker

    The theme here, again, is bands I've never seen before. I love Skiltron. They're one of my favorite folk metal acts ever. So to be able to see Diego was a dream come true. They were flawless. What I liked best was how appreciative they truly seemed to be of the opportunity to play at ProgPower.

    Super passionate set. Perfect vocals. Lots of energy and crowd interaction. I know I have them listed at 4 right now, but this may have been my second favorite performance of the festival.

    5. Falconer

    I've made it known that Falconer has been my favorite band for quite some time and when I saw them last month it was soul-crushingly disappointing (setlist was ehhhh, no energy, zero crowd interaction). I get it, they're not live performers. This set was special though. The crowd's energy more than made up for the lack of stage presence of the band and having them play some songs I thought I'd never hear live ("The Past Lives On", "Himmel Så Trind", etc.) was icing on the cake.

    I'm also surprised at how many people were singing along to the Swedish songs! Yay! We had a pretty awesome group stage left rocking out - singing, crying, headbanging. Great, great setlist. Entertaining as hell show.

    6. Unleash the Archers

    Last time I saw them was in San Francisco in a tiny, tiny bar (The Knockout) which has a total area of about half the size of the stage. There were less than 10 people at that show. I'm glad they got a bigger venue (I'm not glad that Hibria and the other bands had to drop in order to do so). I probably rocked out hardest to this set and my neck is still in recovery from it.

    They're not the best songwriters or the most talented musicians at ProgPower but they put everything into their live shows. And another great setlist.

    Tier 2

    7. Almah

    They were good! A couple of mic problems but Edu was smiling the whole time and the band, again, seemed to enjoy the hell out of the performance. And if I can be completely honest, I preferred their Nova Era to Angra's. But that's Edu's song, so I understand.

    8. Royal Hunt

    Another really good performance but nothing special. I told my girlfriend that DC Cooper may be the most beautiful man I've ever seen and she disagreed and now I'm not sure if it's going to work out. He's still one of my favorite vocalists ever (and one of the main draws of the festival for me) but it just felt like something was. . .missing. I'm not sure what that was though.

    Tier 3

    9. Angra

    Yup. My second favorite band ever (behind Falconer) and, honestly, I was not impressed. At all. I've seen them quite a few times before and I think, for me, it's honestly Fabio that makes it strange. I don't think he fits the band but, hey, who am I to judge?

    That said, I love these guys and Bruno was incredible. He and Jake Dick are two of the best live drummers I've seen.

    As for the setlist, I think my problem is that Holy Land doesn't really fit Fabio. He has a very similar range to Matos and he's a *great* singer and an emotional singer, but I think he misses the emotions of that album and it becomes more of him singing rather than him performing the material. And, for me, he sort of butchered it. Again, hard to explain what I mean - and I see a lot of people listing this as their best performance of the weekend - but I was quite disappointed by this set.

    10. Anathema

    I had pretty high hopes for them too, but the set was quite soporific and I was struggling to stay engaged. The Lost Song(s) was a huge highlight and the band played quite well and quite passionately but it was just difficult to get into the set. Would I see them again? Probably. But after Voyager it was a major, major letdown.

    11. Riverside

    I honestly don't get this band and I think I'm in the minority on this one too. I wasn't entertained at all and I really, really wanted to be. But, nah, no chance I'd ever pay money to see them again.


    Sets missed:

    Armored Saint (was downstairs drinking with Almah/Dragonland)
    Saxon (was downstairs drinking with Almah/Dragonland)
    Jeff Scott Soto (which I guess I'm regretting now as everyone said how good it was)
     
  11. nailz

    nailz Member

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    I think I'm going to have to respectfully disagree here. I was up front for this watching Daniel set up those loops and working that pedal and it was just like he was playing another instrument. I mean, he had a grace and control over it, it was just something else to watch. I loved it.

    I thought just the opposite. The fact that they played The Lost Songs and Untouchable Pt 1/2, was just soul shivering. Anathema's set, I found, was just as intense as Voyager's but for different reasons. I know others didn't have it click, but I definitely wish it could have for everyone the way it did for me. I guess it didn't hurt to have 3 or 4 people to share it with during the set blaring out every song with me. :)
     
  12. KingsGene

    KingsGene God of Thunder

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    That's cool, I can completely understand that viewpoint. I was way in the back so all I saw was Daniel disappearing while trying to get it "just so"... thanks for the perspective.

    I just prefer acoustic sets to be.....acoustic. I get that logistically you can't easily wheel in a grand piano to the Loft, so exception allowed for the electric keyboard. They have not one, but two drummers in the band, yet they were not involved....even just to tap on an empty box for a beat. I'm a huge techno-nerd, but it just bugs me a bit when technology replaces real people in a situation such as this (unless, of course, said people are unavailable).
     
  13. KingsGene

    KingsGene God of Thunder

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  14. 70KTonsOfMetal

    70KTonsOfMetal Regretting the user name

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  15. KingsGene

    KingsGene God of Thunder

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    Unfortunately, that didn't make it better for me... :)

    From dictionary.com

    soporific
    [sop-uh-rif-ik, soh-puh-]

    adjective
    1. causing or tending to cause sleep.
    2. pertaining to or characterized by sleep or sleepiness; sleepy; drowsy.
     
  16. nailz

    nailz Member

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    Sure! Glad to shed some light on it. On the other hand, I can respect the whole organic desire for acoustic set etc, but backing tracks at live shows and extra tricks like loops never really bothered me, because I find it enhances the performance, and shows. Different strokes. :)
     
  17. CoreEpic

    CoreEpic Member

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    1. Angra
    2. Voyager
    3. JSS

    All 3 could be interchangeable. Everyone else was on par with each other, great performances. But these 3 were in my mind the very best of the weekend.
     
  18. CoreEpic

    CoreEpic Member

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    "Mommy, why is daddy taking his clothes off?"

    Phenomenal set though. One of my favorites.
     
  19. nomisofsiman

    nomisofsiman Member

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    I'm throwing Armored Saint and Saxon out just simply because that was more of a tour that happened to stop during progpower.

    My top 5 is this:
    1. Anathema (both sets) - This is one band I've been dying to see for years. I'll admit at first I was afraid to see them in this setting as a somewhat similar band that I like (Wolverine), when they played I just wasn't in the mood after high energetic sets. Anathema though I don't think you necessarily had to be in the mood. It was so emotional, so atmospherically heavy that it worked. Both sets.
    2. Angra - One band I never thought I'd see. People can bitch about Fabio singing for them all day long, but fact is he's one of the best live singers. Secondly, their musicianship is second to possibly none on the fest (exception maybe Anathema). Bottom line, they were everything a progpower headliner should be.
    3. Almah - Another band I never thought I'd see live, and they were absolutely incredible. High energy and fantastic presence.
    4. Voyager (main fest set) - My interest in this band has waned in previous years. This is mostly because I really just don't like their last two albums. That said, they still are amazing live and even have me enjoying some of the newer songs when played live. THAT is the sign of a good live band.
    5. Dragonland - I'll be honest in not being too familiar with them when announced, but loved what I heard on disc. They were just purely great epic power metal hitting on all cylinders. Sure, there were a few songs I wasn't happy they skipped but that always happens. I also have to give kudos to them filling the spot on Saturday when Dynazty couldn't play. Sure, they played most of what they played on Thursday but still phenomenal.
     
  20. edgeofthorns

    edgeofthorns 24 Hours Ago...

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    For my personal tastes, I'll name my top three.

    1. Helker...they just blew me away!
    2. Voyager...honestly, I've never been into them, but their set made me a fan. I agree with some others that said they've grown tremendously since their 2011 performance...they were spot on!
    3. JSS...I'm a big fan of his and I thought he delivered a massive set!

    ~Brian~
     

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