And with the third day, the festival came and went. But what a wonderful day it was – the day of instrumentals, dynamic bass players (Special Providence, Steven Rothery, Pain of Salvation and Steve Hackett had those) and a crowd that didn’t care about a bit of rain in the afternoon.
When I arrived, Special Providence just finished their soundcheck and were ready to surprise us. An instrumental quartet from Hungary, who got the attention of the audience by combining riffs, great guitar tunes and (partly fretless) melodic bass playing. For lack of a vocalist, the bass player made sure he was all over the stage. I had heard of this band before, but seeing live conincved me that this band deserves a lot of attention. The fact that they sold out their CDs within an hour after the gig says it all. Next time, bring more, guys. I’ll probably go see them again when they support Neal Morse at the Boerderij in Zoetermeer.
Then IO Earth was on. Female fronted, close metal but with room for more – you have to if you bring a violin player and a flute player. The band put down a show with great music, and wonderful vocals. What surprised me though was that a large part of the set their singer was back stage while the band played instrumentals. It felt a little bit unbalanced, but given the reactions, the audience didn’t have a problem with it.
After these two relatively new bands, the stage was for four older acts, starting with Kaipa da Capo, headed by guitar mastermind Roine Stolt. He announced the band and started by saying ‘we’ll make some noises and that will develop into the first track’ – which they did. A nice show they put on, with music from the 70s that still doesn’t feel old.
Who also isn’t old yet, at least judging by his face, is Steven Rothery. Experienced as he is with audiences, he had no problem getting the audience’ attention. Even a short heavy rain pour just before the start couldn’t drive his fans away. Starting with some of his own instrumentals, half way through the set he brought on the singer of a Marillion tribute band (I have to look up the guys’s name soon) in order to play a few pieces of Misplaced Childhood, Slainte Mhath and one of my personal favourites Sugar Mice. I got my ‘childhood’ on the second evening, but this additional bit really came home.
Pain of Salvation is a band I discovered for real only about a year ago. I never really investigated them until then, which I regretted as soon as I started listening. Daniel Gildenlöw is of course the musical (and visual) center of this band, no matter how often the line up changes. He knows how to write his music, how to play it and (as he showed here) how to get an audience going. Due to a sound problem after 30 seconds, the band had to start over, which they did by ‘going backstage, we’ll come back and you pretend it’s the first time. This time we’ll come on really cool!’. Great musicianship, nice dialogs with the audience and a band that breathed energy on stage – what more can you want? Oh yes, my pic of the day of course, as shown above.
Closing act of the festival was Steve Hackett, playing Genesis Revisited for the last time, with Nick Beggs, Nat Sylvan and other great musicians. There I did the same as with Fish – take pictures half an hour and then go up the hill to just enjoy the music. All Genesis classics came by, in a slightly modernised jacket, but reliving the moments that I missed because I was only 4 years old when Genesis reached their (prog) peak. I vowed not to buy CDs at the festival – in case of Special Providence I wanted to break that vow but came too late, with Steve Hackett I did break it, and got the Royal Albert Hall CD of this tour. The highlight for me was Pain of Salvation, but what Steve Hackett gave us was the perfect closing act for the Night of the Prog 10th anniversary.
Thanks to all the bands, and to the organisers – I will be coming back to this festival and wonderful venue for sure.