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Day 3 Thoughts (possible spoilers)

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by CrimsonEmotions, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. CrimsonEmotions

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    I arrived at the very beginning of Ascendia's set, it seemed to take about halfway for the band to really kick in. For me, it was a beautiful acoustic ballad that got me more into their set, although others might feel it was their cover of Holy Diver. Their set was pretty much typical for an opening band--solid, but mostly unmemorable.

    Vanishing Point was the only band of the main festival for which I had a CD prior to the announcement last year (aside from Fates Warning, but even then I did not have anything from them pre-Adler). Thus, I was excited to see them, and they delivered.

    Freedom Call was another band that took some time to warm up. In particular, the first part of the set seemed to be fairly generic power metal stuff, but when they kicked in with their epic The Quest, it was one great song after another. Perhaps a lot of it was the charisma of the band that started to show, particularly of the lead singer Chris Bay, who was great at urging the fans to sing along and teaching them how to shout like warriors.

    I was also looking forward to Gentle Storm, and they provided my favorite set of the day. In particular, Anneka was amazing, both in terms of her singing and in terms of her stage presence. While the focus was on their album The Diary (which is one I wholly recommend), they threw in material from Ayreon and Gathering, making up for a very fine set.

    I had almost no knowledge of Scar Symmetry going into the show, and even after their set I wasn't sure what to make of them. I admired their talent in blending the clean and harsh vocals, and I appreciated the musicianship. However, I could not fully get into the set, perhaps because I"m not a huge fan of the harsh vocals.

    In a similar vein, I appreciated the historical value of having the mid 80's Fates Warning lineup doing Awaken the Guardian in its entirety, and the performance was excellent. In particular, I was amazed by John Arch's vocals, which nearly approached his prime (and blew anything Geoff Tate has done in the last decade or so).
    At the same time, I wish that I had gotten around to picking up the album so that I could get into the show more, as I'd have to say it was objectively the best set of the day.

    Nonetheless, this was yet another excellent day at Center Stage, and I'm looking forward to heading downtown for the closing day, particularly the sets by Serious Black and the Devin Townsend Project.
     
  2. CooterIntruder

    CooterIntruder New Metal Member

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    I hate your reviews. Please stop posting them.
     
  3. Moonchild141

    Moonchild141 Member

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    thnk Ascendia was a bit better then u give credit tho pretty much agree with you. Im a big Scar Symmettry fan and thought they killed it tho the sound guy had trouble getting everything at the right levels. a lil too loud maybe? but damn they got the Death jovi thing down! Anneke stole the show inmho. John Arch did a class job Jim pretty much looked like he was cashing a check didnt seem to happy.
     
  4. Moonchild141

    Moonchild141 Member

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    dont read em then
     
  5. ManipulatorGeneral404

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    Jim is not exactly the sort of guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve in general. He generally doesn't look happy about most anything. It doesn't mean he wasn't into it but it doesn't necessarily mean he was phoning it in. I cannot say I know the man well enough to say either way.
     
  6. Mordecai42

    Mordecai42 New Metal Member

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    I like Ascendia, but I don't know if people realize that the Holy Diver song wasn't a Dio cover; they did a cover of Killswitch Engage's cover of a Dio song. So for me, that was a low point of their set....although I do love Dio, it was borderline disrespectful to not even to YOUR own version of it, but someone else's.

    Scar Symmetry was the highlight for me. the most well rounded band in the lineup. And also had the most talented member in my opinion-Per Nilsson

    Jason
     
  7. hoodaman

    hoodaman Is it live or is it Dave?

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    The thing that stood out the most on friday night to me was the concerning lack of keyboard players even though the music that was written clearly had plenty enough keyboards to merit having another person on stage doing it live. this was thankfully not the case on saturday. Putting that aside I enjoyed all the performances well enough but Gentle Storm and Scar Symmetry were the highlights for me.
     
  8. CrimsonEmotions

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    I did note that on Friday. In fact, you could hear keys in some of the music, suggesting backing tracks, which I'm not a huge fan of. If you're going to use the keyboard sound, then have the musician on stage to share in the energy
     
    LunaTEKKE likes this.
  9. ratanda

    ratanda Member

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    Whoa... do you remember what Gathering songs they played??
     
  10. MelbCro

    MelbCro Member

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    Eleanor and Strange Machines.
     
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  11. farren

    farren Member

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    Jim wasn't phoning it in. He admits his favorite part is writing the music, not playing live, but he was happy to do these special shows for the fans and also for his (ex-)bandmates, John in particular, and he enjoyed the shows at Keep It True and the one at the Webster very much, at least by his standards. The main problem was the sound was shit, particularly the mix in the monitors, and it seemed like no one offstage paid any attention to it until late in the show.

    He was also understandably displeased when Frank fucked up Time Long Past with his horrible timing, an intro to Exodus that otherwise inspires chills. When there's no drums, you need to trust the guy playing the acoustic who also happens to be your bassist. Jim stayed with Joe, and Jim's guitar was too loud in the monitors, so at worst Frank could have followed along with Jim even if he couldn't hear Joe well.

    Jim doesn't do things like this for the check. How much endorsement-hopping do you see him doing? New album press junkets aside, he doesn't try to sell anything. He has more integrity than any influential guitarist I know of. The Arch/Matheos and Awaken the Guardian shows weren't about money.

    The good news is the KIT performance earlier this year was professionally recorded.
     
  12. Oblivion Ocean

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    Did you hear the same KSE cover that I did? Their singer Nick sounds somewhat like Howard Jones, but that's about it. KSE version incorporates harsh vocals, while Ascendia's version had none. So if they were covering KSE like you claim, they kinda left out a huge portion of the song.
     
  13. Mordecai42

    Mordecai42 New Metal Member

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    First of all, I love your toothless avatar. I LOVE THAT DRAGON!

    Secondly, listen to "Ascendia's" Holy Diver cover and then listen to Killswitch Engage's. Guitar parts and drum parts are NOTE FOR NOTE identical, and it's significantly different from Dio's version. Ascendia/KSE vocal styles being different is irrelevant because IT"S THE SAME SONG!! I'm pretty sure Ascendia would even admit it. They would have to.

    Again, I like Ascendia. I just question this one move.
     

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