Don't worry, this isn't a knock against the fest at all! So ProgPower is coming up, this will be my 11th one. I know the festival extremely well. I know who's who and what to expect every year. It's not bad or anything, I really enjoy that because there is really a sense of community. I know many who have been going for years would echo this sentiment. My first year going was back in 01 at the first Atlanta show. It's a really interesting story (at least I think so) about how I got involved and I think that some time in the near future I may write up a long essay about my experiences throughout the years. A loyal audience members memoir perhaps? But I found out about ProgPower by way of the Evergrey website way back in the day in all of it's terribleness back then. Then I found out Nightingale would be there. I'm pretty sure I completely creamed myself. Angel Dust and Kamelot were just icing on the cake. I couldn't believe I was going to get to see all these bands that I never thought I'd have the chance at seeing. Ever. Let alone Nightingale, which continues to be in my Top 5. It was a near religious experience for me and despite how many people joke about Dan having the lyrics in front of him, I don't really give a damn. But I'll leave my defense for him for another time. Thankfully I already knew some people that were going to be at ProgPower because of a Norwegian friend I had met years earlier in 1996 on IRC through our obsession with Quake/Hexen II/etc. He had no idea that I was into metal until 01 and he asked me to pop into a different irc channel called #seismic. It was there that I met many of my closest PP friends. I don't talk to them as often as I'd like these days, but that is the way of things no? Those of you reading this know who you are of course. I started going when I had only recently turned 19. Most of these people were in their mid to late 20's. Now I'm almost 30 and these people are hitting their 40's. It's pretty surreal to be honest. I asked one of my friends how old he was when he first started going to PP as I never asked his age back in 01. He was 25. This meant that I was now older than he had been at his first PP, and at the time it seemed like he was way older. But I digress, where is this going you might ask? I love going to this festival. I used to be someone who was super excited throughout the year about it. These days excitement usually starts coming as I actually drive to Atlanta. It's just part of my yearly ritual at this point. Once again, this isn't bad necessarily. I've just done this so many times that well..you know. I still look forward to it. But this year is different for me. A lot has changed for me financially in a very short amount of time. In some ways I am dreading PP this year. I almost wish I could push it back another month or two. I'm not broke or anything, but I know that part of me will have issues just taking vacation time from my job. I don't know why I feel this way, I have no sincere dedication to my job and I haven't taken any vacation time at all this year. But is this normal? I'm sitting here thinking "Shit, if I could just hold it off another month or two, maybe I'd worry less about money and shit at PP" when it used to be "Oh I'm totally going to blow my load at PP this year". I don't want to come to PP and sit there and worry about all of this and I'm sure that once I'm on my drive to Atlanta, all of this will melt away. But shit, I want to be able to buy some cd's and support the vendors that have been coming for years. I want to sleep somewhere of course. I want to have a beer or two. I don't want to freak out so much about money that I just sit there and don't do anything at all. And since I've taken a major interest in concert photography, I've made it a point to glue myself to the rail. You can see how this can cause problems if you want to be social with people and maybe get that Therion - Time Shall Tell vinyl signed right? But in the end, I realize that this is stupid to stress over. I'll figure it all out even if I have to give sexual favours to people. I'm being neurotic about the 'moving from the rail' but I kinda just want to get it out there. So if you've made it this far, props to you. Do you have anything to say? Do you have similar freak outs about PP (especially those of you who have been doing this for a few years...I realize that anyone pretty new probably still has the 'freaking out with excitement' bug). I look forward to seeing all of my friends this year, and I apologize for not keeping in touch as much as I'd like. Also, someone hold my spot while I go get this vinyl signed.