So I went to my first NEARfest in seven years. Saw some good music and some mediocre music, but no bad music. Also no transcendently great music, although Magma at times got close (but they were compromised by an atrocious mix, at least from where I was sitting). I’ll post at length when I have time, but for now here is the box score:
- NeBeLNeST was the first band I saw (drove in Saturday morning), and they were good, but the mix seemed a little flat and that robbed them of some power.
- Bob Drake was hilarious.
- Magenta was surprising. As you probably know, I’m not exactly a certified neo-head, but I found myself really enjoying their performance.
- Hawkwind was ehhhhh (but then, I am totally unfamiliar with their material). I left after a few songs.
- Indukti was the first real highlight for me. They were great and their drummer is a beast!
- La Maschera di Cera, like Hawkwind, I didn’t know beforehand and the concert didn’t inspire me to learn more.
- Robert Rich and Pure Reason Revolution I skipped to run some errands, although from the reports I’m actually kind of bummed that I missed the latter.
- Magma was intense, exhausting, overwhelming. And the keyboardist was way too loud and drowned out all the vocals, damnit.
- The vendor rooms were dangerous. I kept myself mostly in check, though. And I picked up a copy of the rather OOP first Lard Free album from Dave Kerman.
- The people were both great and hilarious (in all sorts of ways), met a bunch of characters I hadn’t met before, and missed meeting many more.
- The drive home was uneventful, well except for the beginnings of a high-speed chase I witnessed outside of (where else?) Baltimore.