So those of you that follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram know this - but last week, I was lucky enough to attend ProgPower 2014 in Atlanta. I made the first ProgPower 15 years ago here in Chicago, but this year's line-up really was a no brainer for me.
So we all have our own musical tastes. Mine have shifted in the past 15 years or so. I used to really love the power metal style - think Helloween, Stratovarius, etc. along with progressive - my readers know how much of a Dream Theater fan I am. The past few years have seen me drift from power to metalcore and technical metal/djent. Think Killswitch Engage, Periphery, and the likes. But when I saw the line-up for ProgPower 2014, I had to attend. Here was the line-up:
Country of Origin
|Seventh Wonder (playing Mercy Falls in its entirety)||Sweden|
|Stratovarius (playing Visions in its entirety)||Finland|
|Pain of Salvation (playing Remedy Lane in its entirety)||Sweden|
|Jon Oliva's Pain (playing Savatage's Streets: A Rock Opera in its entirety)||USA|
Country of Origin
|Pagan's Mind (playing Celestial Entrance in its entirety)||Norway|
Country of Origin
|Pain of Salvation||Sweden|
On my bucket list, both seeing Remedy Lane and Streets was on there. Plus Visions - my favorite Stratovarius album - and Mercy Falls. No way I was missing this. Need, Orden Ogan, Leprous, Withem, Divided Multitude, Masterplan, Pagan's Mind, Draekon, DGM, and Vangough were all first time live for me. They all put on great shows. I wasn't a big fan of Voodoo Circle - too Deep Purple/Whitesnake for me. Overkill kicked ass as they always do (I think this was my 8th time seeing them) and Pain of Salvation was incredible twice.
Due to Kickstarter, I got to go bowling with the guys from Vangough - who are from OK. Nice guys and great musicians. That was a fun afternoon.
I went down by myself, having lucked out getting tickets from a gentleman who had an extra to sell - as the event sold out in the first 30 days! And what an event it was. Besides the music, which was incredible, I can't tell you how incredible this event is put on. It felt like a user group meeting that so many of you reading this understand. A core group of people who go every year. They go early and hang out. That 'going early and hanging out' has extended the event from two days to four. The bands hang out with the fans - not just at official signing's, but at the bar, at the hotel courtyard, and just in general. People were friendly, helpful, and just there to have fun. It's almost as if the event is a backdrop to a group of friends who enjoy spending time together. Sounds familiar. Now - unlike one of the user groups, this event attracts a large number of people and has logistics to run. And the core team, led by promotor Glenn Harveston, do an incredible job. It was weird being at an event like this and being the newbie and on the outside. Put me in an IBM event and I know most of the people - and they know me. But here, I watched others hug and give gifts. It was a bit refreshing. I got to watch it from the other viewpoint. It made me really cherish what we have in the IBM space as a community.
If you are into this music, you need to get to ProgPowerUSA once. ProgPower 2015 looks like a great event - which I will probably not attend. It has nothing to do with the event at all. I highly recommend and endorse it. But it's a big power heavy for this prog guy. We shall see - maybe I will go. But if you like any of these bands - some of which only play the USA at ProgPowerUSA. Go. Seriously.