Tuesday, July 20, 2004

abscond, somnolent, orotund

Before I completely forget to do so, I'd just like to make a few comments about this year's NEARfest. It was a lot of fun. Still, it did not top last year's primarily due to the near-religious experience that is Magma. That said, this year's lineup was more even in that there was no band that sucked outright. Even Pallas was tolerable during the first 2 songs that I heard before I absconded from the theater. Though they didn't necessarily suck, I found Metamorfosi's set to be somnolent. At one point I had to be awoken to let someone pass by my seat. Thankfully, I did not snore. I have to mention that Metamorfosi's singer was quite a character. He had an intimidating presence about him and a deep grating voice that fit extremely well with the orotund tone of their music. They were, after all, adapting Dante's Inferno and Paradiso into rock opera.

The highlights of the weekend for me were:
Univers Zero - It was a lot of fun seeing Daniel Denis intricately play the drums. There were a lot of subtlety going on. Furthermore, I enjoyed the live renditions of their songs better than the album versions. They seem to have more strength and impact, and they simply kick ass live.

Hidria Spacefolk - Speaking of kick ass... These guys really kicked ass! They kicked ass on the first song they played. Then they proceeded to kick ass on every song they played afterwards. No slow ballads. No soft, peaceful instrumentals. They were there simply to kick ass. In fact, they continued to kick my ass long after their performance ended and I was eating lunch. The audience gave them a long, rousing, standing ovation. They were even allowed an encore, something quite rare for a band in the first slot of the day. They gave the best performance of the weekend in my opinion.

Meeting Dave Kerman - Well, I didn't really get to "meet" him. I bought a few CDs from his merchant table before a friend pointed him out to me. This guy is the amazingly talented and sick drummer for Present, 5uu's, Ahvak, Thinking Plague and countess other projects. I confess to have displayed some involuntary hero worship when I realized who he was. So I shook his hand and got him to autograph my Ahvak CD.
I just learned last sunday that Present has been confirmed to play in next year's NEARfest. This elates me greatly because they are the next band on my list of "must see"s, at the same time I am saddened by the fact that I will not be in the US in July next year. I am now hoping that I can work out getting a tourist visa so that I can be in attendance for this glorious event.

now playing: Present - Certitudes