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Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by TwizstedJesus, Jan 2, 2015.
Definitely my favorite PP moment.
First was PP IV.
Burke talked with me about III and I WTFd for about a month...
Then I saw this:
Heard they were coming to IV...Bought all the albums available at the time, and said HELL YES.
Been coming every year since...everyone who knows me knows that PPUSA is my "pilgrimage".
It's not the same without Unka Kev...but still worth it.
I went to every Powermad fest, and when Glenn said he was going to do a better one, I figured I should go. I only missed II, and that was because I was getting married. I'm still bummed I missed Angel Dust and Ark.
What's amazing about ProgPower II is the albums the bands were supporting:
Symphony X - V: The New Mythology Suite
Kamelot - Karma
Evergrey - In Search of Truth
Ark - Burn the Sun
Balance of Power - Perfect Balance
Angel Dust - Enlighten the Darkness
So many of those bands were truly at their peak.
1) It was a better version of Powermad, with some of the best bands from that festival over the years
2) A friend of mine from the Perpetual Motion board was putting it together
3) It was within driving distance (the one in Lansing, IL; coincidentally enough, I was living in Lansing, MI, at the time. )
4) It took place at the same venue and the same time of year as Chicago Powerfest from the previous year, so it was easy to schedule
I'd say any two of these things would have gotten me there.
for PP1, the draw for me was Symphony X....did not disappoint. Then to travel to Atlanta for PP6, the draw was Pink Cream 69. I haven't missed one since. Now, PP is the only draw I need.
The MOST amazing thing from my perspective is that I never "clicked" with Kamelot, Evergrey, nor Ark and Vanden Plas was a no show, yet PPII was one of my absolute favorites. Evergrey was an absolute blast to party with though.......
The real reason why PPII was the best was because I was a PP virgin, and of course youngest I was, at any PPUSA, as well........ though I have been counting backwards for a bit now >~ The "Bleed" crowd reaction still stands though. That may never be eclipsed.
I should have come to PP much sooner
My first trip was two years ago, the combination of Zak performing the Wake of Magellan and finally seeing Shadow Gallery were just too good of reason not to go (particularly since a career change had made taking the time a non-issue).
So of course, seeing Jon perform Streets last year was beyond amazing (and Wacken this summer will be my first Euro festival).
But with all the bands that have come through, I really regret not trying to make it work for earlier years.
Glenn was one of the many friends I had made on the Perpetual Motion board and from attending the Powermad festival. A handful of us met in New Orleans to throw a bachelor party for an ex-Perpetual Motion poster named Mike Campbell. I still remember walking from the airport to the parking garage when Glenn told me he was "putting together his own thing". We were so starved for prog & power metal back then. All we had back then was Powermad which was super fun, even with all the organizational problems. Glenn wanted to put together a festival and correct all those organizational problems. Without even knowing who would play yet, I was already committed to attend. I could just tell already how good it was going to be and like I said we were so starved for prog and power metal at the time. There was no way we would ever see all our favorite bands ever play live. When I heard the lineup for PPUSA I, I was absolutely blown away. I've attended every one since, with the exception of VII I think. I was in the middle of a massive home theater construction project and the big home theater industry conference called CEDIA was going to be an hour away from my house. As my luck would have it, it fell on the same weekend as PPUSA, so I decided to miss my only PPUSA to attend CEDIA. Here is a thread where I documented my home theater build:
I plan to keep attending until the very end.
Dave here pretty much summed it up for us. Let me elaborate a bit here.
In the late 90's, early 2000's, I started exploring the more independent, underground music scene via the old MP3.com site. I did not like the direction that the mainstream music that I was hearing on the local FM radio stations was going and wanted to try to find the kind of music that I wanted to actually here. I did not know what it was really called at the time, but I knew the sound. It was that very melodic, almost symphonic sound ala thinks like Styx, Pink Floyd, Yes, as well as something heavy sounding ala Iron Maiden, Ronnie James Dio, and even bands like Def Leppard. After much exploring around, I discovered bands like Blind Guardian and even Amorphous on MP3.com. What really got me was when I heard a song that just absolutely blew me away on my then brand-new DirecTV setup via the old MusicChoice channels (I had the "metal" station on). Turned out it was Stratovarius "One Million Light Years Away" from their Infinite album. I was like "THAT is the kind of music that I want to hear!!". Hell, I even immediately jumped in my car and ran over to the nearby Best Buy to see if they had the album, and much to my surprise, they actually DID! I also bought up any other Stratovarius albums that they had (they also had Destiny and even the classic Visions as well! At that time, I also just installed my current Klipsch HT rig and those albums just sounded friggan UNREAL on the setup. From that point on, it completely opened up this whole new world of music that I was not even aware of, as well as finally figured out it was called Power and Progressive Metal. It did not take to long for me to want to look into actually finding if any of these bands played anywhere nearby as I wanted to actually see some of them live. It was also that time when I discovered that there was a heavy metal club only 45 minutes away in the form of Jaxx and where I got to see Sonota Arctica for the first time. I really wanted to see Stratovarius and after searching, I found about this festival in Atlanta. I was thinking if I really wanted to go all the way to Atlanta but decided to bite the bullet. At the same time, Dave was taking a real interest in this music that I had discovered and was asking me to supply him with some samples of the music and the names of these bands that I was discovering, as he also was getting very jaded with the direction in which the mainstream music was going like I was. While working out at the local YMCA with him after work one evening, I mentioned that I thinking about and wanting to go to this festival in Atlanta in the middle of September to see Stratovarius and a couple of other bands that I was not really familiar with at the time. He mentioned that was his birthday and kinda dropped hint at how cool that would be to celebrate it. I asked him if he really wanted to go, and mentioned that it was probably not going to be cheap, considering that we would need hotel and airfare as well. He said he wanted to go, so I told him I get the tickets when they go on sale as well as found the flight and hotel (the old Hampton Inn that since has been demolished - sucks as that place was actually pretty nice).
Needless to say, when that fateful weekend finally arrived, I was just blown away at what I saw. Holy crap the bands and music was just so friggan awesome. Not only that, here was this whole crowd of people that were into the same kind of music that I was. In the vendor area, I was like a kid in a candy store - so many friggan CDs and so many friggan bands, of many that I never heard of but soon discovered! I knew, by the end of the first night, that I was going to come back. I just had to. After I got back, I learned that Stratovarius was playing at Jaxx that very next Monday. I almost didn't go, but since I had to leave work early that day due to a doctor's appointment I had at the time, I decided to go and glad I did. I got some awesome pictures and actually got to hang out with the band. I never thought in a million years that I would get to actually see these guys, let along actually HANG OUT AND SHARE DRINKS with these guys! Now that I think about it, if I HAD known that Strato was going to be playing at Jaxx before knowing about ProgPower, I may have never even bothered with going to ProgPower, and to think how things could've turned out different for me! By the same token, just at ProgPower 13, I never thought, in a million years I get to meet and see Luca Turilli, but holy crap, there I was EATING DINNER with the guy!!!
Now, here 9 plus years later, now one of the sponsors and as Dave already said, how it came full circle that we actually got to sponsor Stratovarius. I had a picture of myself with Timo K. and Laura Porra from that night at Jaxx. I showed it to Laura backstage after their set and he wanted to "recreate" it! As long as time and money allow me to and as along as Glenn (and perhaps somebody that can continue it after he decides to hang it up) continues to put these things on, I will be there, with check for sponsorship in hand! It has gotten to the point that I come as much as to see my friends as much as seeing the bands and music, thus I will most likely come regardless of what the lineup may be.
This is pretty much how I wound up there as well--I'd heard Vanden Plas who wound up not playing, but wasn't familiar with anyone else. Yet.
I don't remember for sure, but I'm thinking Britt and Harley mentioned it first. I do remember being a little appalled at myself for not already knowing about this going on right in my own backyard.
(And yes, Bryant is absolutely right: Angel Dust playing "Bleed" still stands out as one of the best PP moments ever. )
And I haven't missed one since.
I can't imagine you NOT being a metal-head Greg, though I actually remember you talking about "getting back into it." I feel like I have known you forever. Ha ha ha. I apologize I missed this reply to start with..... PPUSAII was really special not only because of the bands, but also because most of """""""""""""US""""""""""""" met for the first time...... at least as a group. We have met many, many other cool people over the years that we hang out and talk to, often more than each other, but we still have a "bond" of some sort being originals and also being on USENET of all places. Ha ha ha.
PPII will always be a highlight of my life. A lot of it is because of great music that I had a blast listening to and watching live, but a great deal of it is also because I was able to meet awesome people like you in person and hang out and party with them. We rock bro.... I can't stop saying Bro.....bro !!!
You were standing next to me during their set. Of course you were having the time of your life.
The draw for me was Symphony X at PP1 JJ Kelley's in Lansing Il. I first heard about the fest after reading some posts from Glenn (Harvester of Sorrow) on the Perpetual Motion board. I was new to that board and pretty unfamiliar with most of the bands, but people started to commit to attending the fest. Being from Illinois I figured what the heck and bought in. It turned out to be a great decision .. haven't missed one yet.
Symphony X, Evergrey, Zero Hour, Jag Panzer and Pain of Salvation at PPI.
Man, did it ever deliver.
Edit: Also, I wanted to see if Harv could pull it off. Obviously...
I remember Dirk (their singer) asking my wife if she wanted him to sign her stomach while we were waiting at the desk of the hotel. She says "my husband's standing right there" and he says "well I'll sign his, too!"
That was a great show. I got to see them twice that year, which was excellent.
Found out about it at Powermad 2000,as I was just rediscovering this scene after being stuck in the dark ages of the 90's..I had just put out my Dawn of a New Age CD and was promoting this and someone(think it was Larry D) recognized me as "OMG,THAT IS THE DUDE THAT PUT OUT EYE OF THE STORM"(at that time an extremely hard to find release that was limited in quantity and out of print that I released in 1996,since re issued)..told me I had to go to this event in Lansing I'll that "will be the biggest thing in this scene ever"...so I checked back in Nov..saw Symphony X and was OK,there...did not hear any of the other bands...
till a few weeks before the show,at a grand re opening of the top strip club in Myrtle Beach(where I was living at the time)that was having a VIP night...just hanging,one of the feature dancers was about to come on stage(I was talking to the manager as I was friends with him and he got me in )...all of a sudden the lights go out and the intro to Spirit of the Land by Pain of Salvation starts to come from the speakers..as a tiny 5'2 cute young girl dressed as a schoolgirl come out..then Inside kick in....while I had heard of a few bands in the scene,that exact moment,watching a 19 year old cutie (who I became extremely close with and still great friends today )that was into music so incredible and underground to me...(the 2nd song was Nights of Arabia in her set btw)...so obviously I had to seek her out and find out what band just blew my mind like that,told me Pain of Salvation and was bummed that she was missing them in Lansing because it had sold out by then..
So now I was familiar with what was probably THE hype band of that time...
Needless to say that weekend was Magic at JJ Kelly's and to come full circle about Pain of Salvation,watching their set entirely of their really old music,Daniel in full goofball comedian mode on stage,jamming on other instruments...it really reminded me of that JJ Kelly's set.....I then find out they would be having a 2nd prog power later that year in ATL(yay,much closer,no winter bullshit)..watching Glenn announce each band on Perpetual Motion one by one every week...the show was amazing..great bands ,and this was the first time I actually left my midnight pumpkin friend I usually would travel with at the room to go to the party...
Khan reading the sign Shaye was holding up on stage......"PARTY..........AT ROOM 303..............OK......I GUESS WE WILL BE THERE"................needless to say that party is now so legendary it has multiple urban myths that may or may not have happened (anybody remember Glenn's final message about not calling him at 6am because a band member guy was passed out in the hallway e would send every year prior to the event?)Rick from Steel Prophet and Dirk from Angel Dust taking turns cracking up everyone...me having to explain to Tom Eglund about blue laws because the fridge was empty of beer(because nobody remembered that you couldn't get alcohol after 12 am at that time )......many friendships were formed that weekend(including really becoming good friends with Nick that night when we were talking music and he was explaining a project he was creating called Redemption)..............
Needless to say...I am one of the few who has been to every one,a proud gold badge holder every time....some years the line up is not to my liking and its more social(or lately I would set up photoshoots if I didn't like a section of the night early and could do so)some years ..Devin Townsend with Summer of 69 and his Progressive Nipples..........Riverside......the year my sig girl came ot finally to check out that year and it happened to be the most magical 3 days of music ever,Kamelot and Nightwish...probably the only time in the past 8 I sat and watched virtually most of the bands (missed Primordial and Mayan as they were not my thing)...the world debute of Amaranthe,Redemption with their amazing set,Pretty Maids ,and seeing something I never thought I would in my life,Symphony X starting their set off with Divine Wings in its entirety......
Now I count down to what I feel might be even more magical for me personally,Anathema and Riverside back to back....
As long as Glenn keeps doing this people know that weekend is reserved for me to enjoy this drug known as prog and power metal
Awesome post brother !!!
I'd known Glenn for a year or two before the first one from posting on the Perpetual Motion board when I found out he lived near my parents (I was still in college at the time). By the time the first fest rolled around I was out of school but still job hunting (hooray for the burst of the tech bubble...) and therefore had time to spare so I went up for it with the help of Paul Cashman and a college buddy who'd recently moved to Michigan. Had a great time and haven't missed one since.
Nighwish and Kamelot playing the double night set in Atlanta for PP13. I bought the NW and Kam tickets not knowing jack crap about the festival...but then at the the bottom of my electronic ticket I saw that these performances would be part of the Progpower USA festival.
I had heard about it once before vaguely, but when I saw that lineup I went and instantly bought the tickets for the weekend, and made my friend who was staying in ATL at the time buy some too.
The band that got me there was Nightwish, but what sealed the deal was the fact that Amaranthe was playing. I had discovered them that year and had been absolutely smitten with their music, so it was a no-brainer to take the next step to the fest. After maybe a week of familiarizing myself with the rest of the bands on the bill, I was beyond excited. Been back ever since.