CalProg 2009 Fan Reviews

The Power of 2 could only be described as incredible. Beyond expectation. The dinner Friday was wonderful. Shared our table with Touchstone. What a truly nice group of individuals. Rob, Kim, Al, Adam, and Moo, were great to talk with. And to be able to talk with Roine, Jonas Nad, Lale, and Nick, was a dream come true. These are some of the greatest musicians in the world, and all were very approachable, humble, and exquisite human beings. They all made me feel like a friend, not just a fan. These groups need to be on the worlds biggest stage, but yet it was in such an intimate setting that could make one be truly thankful for such an opportunity as this was. Thank you doesn't seem like enough, but it's all one has. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I took my wife and our two kids to the show Saturday and, of course, we totally enjoyed the performances. My kids are 20 and 17 years old. I estimate that in attendance there were no more than 10 people their age or less out of 350 plus. So when I ask my kids why Calprog doesn't attract more people their age, the response I get is, "Musically, our generation sucks". A sad testimonial. So in response, they are going to school this week with burned cd's in hand and a great enthusiasm for prog to convert as many of their friends as possible. Now there's a worthwhile mission.

It was my first time at Calprog, i must say, it's one of the best settings i've experienced in SoCal in a long time, i recently found Karma and Agents, they are really two different animals, what's funny is i thought Nick did much better with Agents... Karma is a monster killer, they played the three best tracks from the new album, totally granted my wish, ten fold. Wouldve loved to have seen them with their drummer. On Nick's behalf, there was a section in track two where he really blew the doors off, and of course, redeemed fully with Afterglow. The big surprise for me was It Bites, they started off slow but by mid set they just launched, very tight arrangements, what a timing machine. The Holdsworth gig is going to be awesome, i wont be missing any of the shows you guys have to offer, it was great to have a little break between stes too, made some monster sandwiches and had a cold beer out in my van, just a great experience all around, even ran into a bass player i havent seen in almost 20 years, we are gonna jam next week......GREAT time had by all.

Back from SoCal to the rain, and time to thank everyone for a great show.  As always, thanks to Papa J and the crew for their efforts and, dare I say, excellent taste in prog.  Thanks also to Greg, Shawn and David and Warren for coming out, keeping me entertained between sets, taking my money with grace and adding to my "to buy" list geometrically compared to the music that I bought.  And finally, thanks to the bands and Tom Brislin who each gave a great show.  

Having enjoyed playing in the (big band) jazz band through college - bass trombone was my instrument -  I learned to love a drummer who can kick his or her band with inventive fills (something more than just the snare and ride cymbal) and keep the beat strong whether with sticks or brushes.  Nick certainly fulfilled that role to my ears and I thoroughly enjoyed his playing and both of the sets

That was my 2nd Calprog (I got to attend the inaugural).

I was reminded of what a great scene Calprog is. Staying at the Radisson, getting to have breakfast, of all things with such amazing performers, getting to see their magic on stage then breakfast the next morning, getting to share in their afterglow. It's so cool to meet up with old friends as well as making new friends.

Touchstone was a great surprise. Karmakanic's "Send a message from the heart" was one of the GREATEST live songs I've ever seen. What an amazingly talented band Jonas has assembled. Lalle Larrson blew my mind and I told him so on Sunday morning. And big thanks for NDV for filling in so handily on such short notice.

I can't wait to see what you have in store for us next year.

Great job as always to our favorite Godfather of Prog, PapaJ and his terrific crew.

Thanks again, PapaJ, for another great weekend! I feel the music this time around was very "high quality". All the bands presented the best of themselves, both musically and personally, and they handled the technical glitches with class and good humor. I was not disappointed or bored with any of the acts, although I did miss half of Brislin's set for my "granny nap". ;-)

It was good to chat with old friends and make new ones... a very important part of CalProg for a lot of us, I think. It's not just about the music, but the fellowship, too. The bands were also very friendly to us fans, which is always appreciated.

I will be writing a thorough review of the weekend and editing photos. I already know that my Touchstone photos did not turn out at all... they were all fuzzy. :-( I look forward to what the professional photographers have captured.

Hugs, and see you all again next year!

Thanks Jim and staff...
For once again throwing a great party. Spent a lot of money and probably drank too much and stayed up too late but had a fantastic time. One Stacy and I both desperately needed. (Not to complain in this note but as most of you know 2009 has been less than stellar for our family) The music was good to stellar and the people as always gracious and kind. You guys are the best. Look forward to the upcoming one off shows and Calprog 2010.

I think they were the highlight of the show. Lalle Larsson is an amazing keyboardist. I think he beats out Jordan Rudess for the most notes played in a minute plus he can play jazz!

I don't have the time to write a full review but I did want to mention to you that I thought Karmakanik and It Bites were the two best bands on stage.  Touchstone was good too. Maybe I was a bit subdued with the 11am start time, but I can't take anything bad away from their performance, it was all good!
The one band that really made an impression on me was It Bites.  It really meant a lot to me to see them perform live, especially after speaking in length with John Mitchell and Lee Pomeroy on Friday night (thanks for setting that pre-meet up by the way, that was fantastic).
It took a couple of days for the fog to clear and for me to reflect back on the whole concert, but It Bites left me with an incredibly strong impression and all the pieces seemed to fall in place and now I really appreciate what a great musician John Mitchell is, not only with It Bites but with *Frost too.
A very nice guy, super intelligent, and over the top talented.  Their showed ROCKED THE HOUSE and I have not been that impressed by a band in a long time (the whole package, not just the music)

Well,...that was grand! It was my first CalProg but certainly not the last. I loved spending the afternoon with Roine and the boys, Touchstone and It Bites were also kickin', but not too sure how IB made "headliner" though; a livelier set for sure, but in my own estimation AOM and Karma fit more in the "prog mold".....but that's just me talkin'.....

Thanks a million for putting these shows together, seeing Neal last year and Lamb this summer has been dynamite, as well as CP09! Please keep it coming, you're doing a bang-up job. That said, as I told you last Saturday I'm dying to get good seats for the Holdsworth/Mastellato/Levin/Bozzio show in January and hope you'll pull back the velvet rope and let me in line early again...please!
Lastly, I don't know what type of help you need on these events but I'd surely be glad to help you stuff envelopes, post bills in the post-no-bills zone...whatever you need, please let me know, it's a bonafide offer!
Thanks again, I look forward to seeing you again sooner than later!