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 :)
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
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!
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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.