ProgPowerUSA 2018 – Day One

Each day will be listed in the order that the bands performed.

 

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Ross the Boss

(Heavy Metal from the US)

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The festival kicked off loud, and I DO mean LOUD (There were a couple of times I checked to make sure I had my earplugs in. Yep!), and rocking with a Manowar set as well as a couple of Ross the Boss tracks too. I’ve never been much of a Manowar fan but this set was full on metal… and the crowd ate it up!
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Ross Friedman brought the guitar licks and accompanying him were Marc Lopes on vocals, his nephew Lance Barnewold on drums, and as an extra bonus here was Mike Lepond of Symphony X bringing the bass. This line up also released an album this year called By Blood Sworn.
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Set list:
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Gloryhammer

(Symphonic Power Metal from the World (multinational))

Here is a band that I’ve tried to get into but I just haven’t been able to, at least on the albums (excepting the 2nd disc of the last album of the all orchestral version). But man, do they put on a great live show. I had originally thought about going to get something to eat during this time but glad I didn’t.
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Their shtick, I think, is that they are Galactic Warriors who fight Chaos Wizards? Not entirely sure… lol! Help me out here guys and gals!
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Apparently the band was started by none other than Christopher Bowes of Alestorm. Not really surprised there as the dude likes to have fun.
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The band was decked out in full costume and played to the cheese with full power. They don’t take themselves seriously and that’s what makes it work. At one point, a goblin comes out on stage and a fight ensues between it and the lead singer with his hammer.
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Guess who wins?
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Also have to note that the guy at the soundboard was also dressed up in full costume with the band. That’s commitment! (Thought I got a pic of this but didn’t)
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Set list:
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Nocturnal Rites

(Power Metal from Sweden)

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When this band hit the stage, my excitement level jumped. Was that Per Nilsson of Scar Symmetry??? Why, yes it was! The band was on fire and Per added that extra something something to the proceedings. I had completely forgotten he joined with them last year. I really dig their last album, which he played on too (I’m an idiot), and they played some choice tracks from it as well as a tracks from the rest of their catalog.  Even throwing in a little super Mario theme for good measure. Great set!
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Set list:
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Voyager

(Progressive Metal Band from Australia)

Where do I begin with Voyager. The main band I was looking forward to this first day. And they absolutely killed it. Flawless.
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They had played my first year attending and had a 60 minute or so set. It was awesome. But being the headliner this day was so much more. Longer set and they were able to play some songs they don’t normally get to as well as debuting, it appears, two songs live from their latest album, Ghost Mile: Lifeline and The Fragile Serene… and of course some classics of theirs.
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When they hit their medley of older cover songs, they burst into Africa by Toto, and everyone cheered even louder. I honestly don’t know when or why this became a thing (all the memes and such) but I’m glad it did. Toto is a great band and Africa is a great song. Which showed up again on day 3 in an epic way. More on that later.
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And we were treated to a great keytar battle between Christopher Bowes of Alestorm and Danny. Hilarious watching them trade licks (keyboard that is).
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Another memorable moment of the set was when the band brought the ProgPower USA crew out on stage with them to rock out for a bit. Everyone had a blast, as you can see below.
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If you don’t know Voyager, you need to at least give them a shot. I personally recommend the album The Meaning of I.
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Set list:
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Day One in the record books.
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Being one of the locals attending the festival, I headed home fairly quickly after the show as I live a bit out of town. This year, driving back and forth each day took a toll on me so I’ll be getting a hotel next year. That will allow me to attend the after parties more than just on Saturday night. Lot’s of missed opportunities this year to connect with the awesome attendees and the bands in a festive setting.
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Coming Soon, Day Two.
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But first, a few extra fun shots from Day One (each image will open in a new window):
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(Clockwise from top left: Ross the Boss with Mike Lepond, Nocturnal Rites with Per Nilsson and Fredrik Mannberg, Daniel Estrin from Voyager, Voyager full, Daniel and Simone from Voyager, Thomas Winkler from Gloryhammer)
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