Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Progressive Nation Concert Review - Rosemont Theatre, Rosemont, IL - 5-13-2008

Last week, we all took in the Progressive Nation show at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, IL (just outside Chicago), and here are our brief thoughts about the bands that played.


Dream Theater - Dream Theater is accurate...these guys are beyond boring. Sure, they can all play their instruments something fierce, but who gives a damn when these are the songs they've got? All the technical prowess in the world doesn't make up for the fact that watching Dream Theater live is like watching 5 people masturbate, but waaaay nerdier.

Opeth - Best of the fest. Great set list. Amazing musicianship (without being dull show-offs, taking notes Dream Theater?). Mikael Akerfeldt has some of the most hilarious stage banter I've ever heard. Great, great, great. Don't miss Opeth for any reason.

Between the Buried and Me - The little twerps behind us, and the old Richard Lewis-looking hesher in front of us were dead wrong....BTBAM does NOT suck. Crushing, triumphant, mind-bogglingly complex, often quite beautiful, and just flat-out EXCITING is more accurate.

Three - They were fun. Sort of Dave Matthews Band meets the non-irritating parts of Dream Theater meets Rusted Root. Energetic, jubilant stuff. I found the overjoyed crowd reaction to them a bit over the top....they're good, but not "the sickest thing ever" to quote one guy we heard. Honestly, they're one concept album away from being Blue Man Group, but I enjoyed them.


I don't have a ton to add as Wayne pretty much nailed it.

Opeth blew me away. It was an effortless hour for an audience member. I was entranced. It made me order a remastered 2-disc version of Still Life. Can't wait to buy the new Watershed (more like Watershred...) CD (which also has a 2-disc version that I will likely opt for. Also need to get that 2-disc version of Ghost Reveries. So, yea, I enjoyed it! I think it was a brilliant move from a promtional basis to go out as a supporting act on the Prog Nation bill before the album comes out, then likely come around as a headliner later. Good call. They make me proud to be part Swedish. Hats off to the guy in front of us that was banging his head so hard at one point that he lost his balance and stumbled forward. Thanks to his friend who caught him a bit and steadied him so that it didn't get really ugly...

Dream Theater pretty much met my expectations, which were admittedly low. I was most impressed with some of their instrumental cuts, at times I thought they were jamming pretty well. I am just not a fan of lead vocalist James LaBrie. I see his name pop on lists of best metal vocalists, and I just don't get it. But then again, looking around the arena, there are people that love him and the band. Like, a lot. So, Dream Theater, you don't need any advice from me. People like you, and you seem to be doing well. You didn't win me over, but I'm guessing you won't lose much sleep over that...

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