2007 Fan Reviews
Photos by Fans

Here's the photo of my son with Rod and Jordan, and then a photo below that of my son with Spiraling (another excellent band, that my son enjoyed listening to!) .

I just wanted to tell you how truly grateful I am for help in getting good viewing seats for my eleven year old son. The memory of his new musical heroes, Rod Morgenstein and Jordan Rudess have been etched into his brain. I wish you could have seen my son's eyes twinkle as he got his drum head and drum kit warm up book (written by Rod) personally autographed by Rod! You were just feet away when it happened, and I wanted to thank you profusely, but I was freaked out that I might miss an opportunity to take a photo of the magical moment. Then instead of tracking you down to thank you afterward, my son and I floated back to my van and relived the day back at The Radisson.

You'll never know the profound effect that day had on my son. He's been drumming for six years now and has a number of favorite drummers, but to end an evening of very strong drummers with the jaw dropping clinic of Rod Morgenstein was absolutely sublime.


Thanks to everyone involved with CalProg, including all the good folks that came out, it was a pleasure meeting many of you face to face, and getting to see old friends again as well. The highlight for me was getting to see Puppet Show (not to take away from the other acts, but I've seen the other 3 before), I got to meet these guys face to face finally after talking to them for almost a year now, and the show was just great, for a band that's been out of the circuit for so long, they really kicked some butt. 

I'm already looking forward to next year, but for today I think I'm gonna sit around and watch movies :)

Shawn Gordon

In hindsight, I'm thinking that this may be my favorite CalProg of all, and I've been to all of 'em! The fact that there were "only" 4 bands gave me an opportunity to really appreciate them. I didn't feel so overloaded or burned out. And what bands! They were all incredible in very different ways. Way to go PapaJ and Co. Excellent choices!

A quiet dinner break was a very welcome respite. Just what the doctor ordered. It gave me time to kick back a little before the mind-blowing headliner.

More vendors might have been nice, but I still got plenty of new music to appreciate in the coming weeks.

CalProg '07 was a lean, mean festival experience. Very satisfying all around. It was time and money well spent.

...and to think I almost skipped it this year!



Hi folks - Craig from Puppet Show here. I'm not sure how many of our band are subscribed to this list, so I'm going to take it upon myself to write a note on all of our behalfs. (behalves?). In speaking with them after the show, I'm pretty certain they share my enthusiasm for the whole event.  First, I hope everyone had a safe trip to and from CalProg, and that everyone had even half as much fun as we did! This was a great festival...  just wonderful fun, super nice people everywhere.. . just great all around! Any band should consider themselves lucky to get the opportunity to be involved with CalProg!  We'd like to thank the festival staff for the great experience we had with them from long before load in to getting in our cars to drive home. The hotel was excellent, the theater staff was super nice and helpful...  everyone involved was a pleasure to work with. Papa J, thanks so much for the opportunity to be involved with such a great tradition! You guys all did everything possible to make sure that nothing got in the way of the performance, thank you!  Thanks also to the patrons of the event... you're all really doing  something wonderful by contributing to such a special event. We're all lucky to have had your support, and it was such a pleasure to meet so many of you.  Also, thanks to the other bands for being such cool guys. Such a treat to meet you all - I wish we had more time to hang out and share some stories. A pleasure to share the stage (at least sequentially) with you all!  I'm trying to find new ways of describing people as being really nice and a pleasure to be around... it's getting hard to not repeat myself, but I'll try.    

To everyone who attended, a real heartfelt thanks... I really mean that. It's been too many years since we were out playing and getting that immediate feedback from an audience. Recording is a great experience that takes a sustained effort, but pays off in the long run with a lasting work you can be proud of (or at least that's the idea). But if composing and recording an album is like squirreling money away to buy that new bike you’ve had your eye on, playing in front of an audience of Prog fans like yourselves is like blowing your week's allowance on an orgiastic trip to  the candy store! It sure is fun and immediate... but without the tooth decay or stomachache! Thank you so much for the wonderful reception and  the kind comments. Personally, overall, my favorite festival experience so  far.  I threw together a photo diary of our CalProg experience and posted it to:  http://www.puppetshow.com/calprog20 07/  It's not linked to the main Puppet Show web site yet, but the link above  works. It only represents the photos taken by my wife and I with our mid-range digital camera... great for many situations.. . except concert photos, so those are pretty iffy. Also, the battery ran out after Spiraling’s performance, so that's where the photos stopped. I know better  concert photos are coming, and I expect more photos from other band  members, but for now I figured I'd put together what I have and add images  later as I get them. Hope you enjoy what I've got so far. Also, if you know the name of the sound guy in the picture where he's standing behind the board, please let me know and I'll add it in.  Hope to see you all sooner rather than later. We'll try to shave a year or two off of our next album release!  

Take care everyone,  

Craig & the Puppets

Thanks to all who make Calprog special and that includes the bands, staff, vendors and attendees. I am still kinda tired and will probably post my full reviews on other sites but I do want to agree with a few comments I read here.

First of all Puppet Show was amazing and a great way to open the show. On top of it they were great people as we got to speak to all of them during and after the show. You guys were great fun and we both look forward to your future efforts.

Frogg Cafe; I do agree with the jam band element and thanks to the poster that mentioned the Phish song. I never would have known it as I am not familiar with that band. I got the feeling throughout their set they remind me more and more of Umphree's McGee. Not that they sound like them but the amazing instrumentals and improv throughout the set was close. Only regret is we didn't get as much time to talk with you as the other bands.

Seeing Spiraling is like seeing old friends and even if they are not a pure prog band (although that synth solo Tom did on one of the new songs was almost a religious experience )they bring a great deal of energy and fun.

RPM won me over not only with their great musicianship but also with their pure joy of playing. I thought both of them to be accessible and pleasant people. That piano solo was incredible.

As for other people Papa Jim and the Calprog staff what can we say? We will always come back to Calprog as many times as you want to put it on. And Kudos to Roland who was pressed into the stage announcers role just the day before he did a great job.

To all of our friends both old and new we were so happy to see you again and for those of you local maybe we can see one another more than once a year?

The only complaints we had were hotel related (and why we were late getting to the Friday dinner, sorry Jim) but I am not going to bring them up to ruin what was a tremendous festival. We can't wait for next year.

Brian And Stacy

It is hard to believe that it's been a whole week since we were driving up to Whittier for Calprog. This year each band was so different--each act a facet on a beautiful jewel.

Puppet Show really Punched my Judy! All that prog energy at eleven A.M. really socked (puppeted) it to me. Great music! I'm so happy they were a part of the Calprog line-up this year.

Spiraling--It was wonderful to have them back! Their new songs are musically and lyrically stunning. I can't wait for their new CD. I love how they put together a limited edition preview CD for Calprog. What a gracious bunch they are, too! They were hanging out in the merch area all day, and even afterward in the lobby of the hotel.

Frogg Café: I can't say too much about this band.... because my jaw is still dropped!!!!! I couldn't believe the musicianship of this band. They were so tight. Their arrangements were brilliant. The pace of their songs was perfect--lots of contrast between songs. Frogg Café has to go down as the most "countingest" band I've ever seen at Calprog. Very complex music. I'll give them two rid-dips up.

Rudess/Morgenstein was a complete surprise. I wasn't sure what to expect. I was certainly blown away when they started, though. They were an "E" ticket ride the whole set. The Yes medley was gorgeous and I loved the "jam."

The vibe of Calprog is always wonderful, and this year is no exception--this year had a very intimate feel. It was a beautiful thing. Hats off to Papa J and everyone involved...and Roland, you were absolutely wonderful as emcee :D


What a great weekend.  What a great opportunity too see musicians and fans that feel so passionately about their music.  The association with all of you simply adds to the magic of the event.  The sample from Jordan is fantastic.  Oh how I look forward to hearing his entire solo again.  As in almost every one of these weekends, there is a moment or two when something just connects and hearing and seeing Jordan share his mastery of the piano by interpreting the handful of classic songs was certainly one of those moments.
From pushing gear around backstage to watching Jim and Jeff skulk into the elevator after the late night Del Taco run...the weekend was fantastic.  I look forward to sharing future musical experiences with all of you.

Yesterday was a fantastic experience. Thanks Jim to you and your team for all of the hard work. I had a blast. I am sorry I missed Frogg Cafe (but I have their CD's). I had to respond to a family need. However, I made it back for the Morgenstein/ Rudess act with my 8 year old Son. WOW.

I have seen the Dregs before with Morse, LaRue, Mogenstein etc. One of the most rocking shows ever. I have to say that I have never, ever seen Rod pound the skins the way he did last night ever. What a treat. Rudess was amazing as well.

Let's all stay in touch. Keep me in tune on any good prog bands coming up in the southland please!



I would like to say thank you so much for making my first time to the Cal Prog event so much fun.  I enjoyed all the acts and it was great getting to meet them after the show as well.  Jim, thanks for taking the time to stop by and talk to me about the History of this great event.  To the Sound crew you guys were amazing. The sound was really on the mark. Also a very special Thanks goes out to Dwight, Stephanie Sollow, and I am so sorry to say I forgot the name of the very sweet lady who work's behind the stage I believe she works for the school as well. Thanks for taking me under your wings, you guys are a friend for life.
I am looking forward to 2008 Cal Prog
Tanya Rivers

Heck- almost half of Frogg Cafe's set was covers. In addition to the aforementioned "Red" and the two killer Zappa songs, they also did a MONSTER version of Cars Trucks Buses by Phish. I was actually quite surprised how strong a jam-band vibe the band had during much of their set- I could definitely see these guys going over equally well with the patchouli-soaked hippie crowd as they did with us. Refreshing indeed.
Real quick- I gotta say just what a pleasure it was working Calprog again this year. Britt and I had such a good time spending the weekend with like-minded music fans. Thanks again, Jim, for making such a memorable time possible.

Thanks again, Papa J, for putting on another kick-ass fest. I enjoyed every minute of it! (well, except for driving through the desert with no A/C... but CalProg was worth the sweat... LOL!) Like Shawn, I can't wait for next year!!! (Hopefully, I'll have a car with A/C by then!)

I enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones, fans and bands alike. I have put up some photos over at Progressive Ears, but the quality isn't too good, unfortunately.

Thank you, Craig, for posting your gratitude here. You guys were
fantastic, so you deserved that standing ovation!

Can't wait to see everyone again next year! Hopefully, by then, we
will have the "party" situation figured out.

Hugs to you all!

- Melissa (Hunnibee)

I'm still worn out so this will be brief. This was an incredible event! I really feel bad for those that missed it, especially if they did so because of the line-up. Every band was at the top of their game and represented a different genre of the prog family. Bands were accessible and cordial above and beyond, and the audience was attentive, courteous and spellbound as usual. The biggest surprise for me was the top flight performance of Rudess and Morgenstein. I would never have imagined that they could have kept me transfixed for 2 hours with never a dull moment, Rod's sheer joy playing the drums was truly infectious, not to mention his world class percussion skills that held me spellbound.
Anyways, I've already put up some pictures on the CalProg website, and you can expect more in the coming days. There's also a surprise in there somewhere!?? !@!
Thanks to all!

What a show!!!! I agree with you PJ, if people didn't come because of the named lineup. I can only say that they were the ones that missed out!! I can admit that my enthusiasm wasn't as great as in past years, but walking away from this show, I feel so strongly that this show was absolutely the strongest from each and every band. The whole day was beautiful. The schedule never slipped, the weather was perfect, all in all, what a success. Rudess-Morgenstein put on such an incredible show, and I saw them only a couple of months ago but felt this show just kicked!!! I also thought Spiraling's energy was above that of their last set at Calprog. Frogg Cafe gave us a more 'jazzier' fun filled show, a great mix. And Puppet Show was surely the 'Prog' band of the day. The sound and lights were top notch all day, not a glitch at all.

I also put up photos of the day... quite a few, so sit back and enjoy the sights again.
Thanks Jim!!!! Cant wait to do it again!

I began my annual trek from Utah to CalProg in 2005, the year the The Flower Kings performed. Back in 2000 or so when I discovered TFK until Jim announced them as the headliners for 2005, I had thought that I might never have the chance to see them live. I have been a supporter of CalProg ever since.

I have to say that this year was perhaps the most satisfying from beginning to end. I thought that the sound was superb. I purchased some expensive earplugs and never had to use them. The volume was just right, at least for me. Clarity and separation were remarkable.

I was a little nervous about this year's headliners. I am not a big DT fan, though I really like Jordan's work in Liquid Tension Experiment. I have also liked the Dregs over the years but my focus has been on Steve Morse. I just was not sure about a keyboard and drum combo. Nevertheless, I was totally blown away. I was amazed at Jordan's virtuosity and Morgenstein was absolutely magnificent. I was just so impressed with Rod's warmth and personality. Their performance has to be in my top three from the three events I have been to.

I brought my daughter along this time, my brother for the second time and he brought his wife. I have yet to convert them to Prog, but they each enjoyed portions of the event. My daughter especially digs Spiraling.

Thanks to everyone who was involved in this event. The venue could not be better. CalProg continues to be the highlight of my year.