ProgPower Scandinavia - Copenhagen, Denmark, 31st October & 1st November 2008

Event: ProgPower Scandinavia
Written by: Jeff
Published: 22.11.2008

Galleries:

ProgPower Scandinavia - Copenhagen, Denmark, 1st November 2008 by Jeff (36)
Wuthering Heights @ ProgPower Scandinavia 2008 by GT (13)
ProgPower Scandinavia - Copenhagen, Denmark, 31st October 2008 by Jeff (31)




The ProgPower is a famous "trade mark" which was created in The Netherlands eight years ago. Definitely, all the people who used to listen to this kind of music wish that they could attend one of these festivals one day. After the US and European editions, there is a 3rd declination of the festival which is located in Denmark since 2007. Once again the ProgPower Scandinavia was at The Rock, a really cool but really small club in Copenhagen. I had the chance this year to have the opportunity to go there and I can tell you that it was all but a mistake to take a plane to join the Scandinavian Metalheads for this big party. Copenhagen simply rocks, the people there were extremely cool and friendly and I enjoyed a really good musical (and touristic) weekend. Let me tell you now what happened to me during the Halloween weekend...





The Rock is a nice club in Copenhagen but it's a bit fun at first to see how it looks when you're not from there and believe that you're going to a big festival. No need to tell you that it was not Graspop or Wacken and that the venue cannot have more than 600 people between its walls. The stage was really small but it was not a big problem because it was simply extremely friendly and intimate. Was it not great for the metalheads to see their favorite bands at less than one meter from their eyes? Of course it was cool, and despite the lack of space it was at least really original and friendly to see those shows in such conditions.



Friday:

Nostradameus:
This is the Swedes of Nostradameus who began the first day of the festival and even if I missed the first part of the show I enjoyed their performance. Their aggressive Power Metal mixed with Progressive influences was enjoyable and their really charismatic singer Freddy Person did his best to give fun to the audience. He was really communicative and in the end, the metalheads gave a good answer to the band. Too bad that at this time, not a lot of people were already in the venue. It was a bit "empty" and sad unfortunately but the few songs that I saw of Nostradameus (even if it was not so Prog) was cool.





Secret Sphere:
Secret Sphere, from Italy, was the second band of the evening and like Nostradameus, our young dudes have done their best to entertain the few metalheads who were already present in the venue. One more time, the pure fans of Progressive Metal told me that it was too "Power" for them and they were not so wrong on a side. Though the Italian combo was really respectable in my opinion and their music was catchy. I cannot say that it was a great memorable moment but it was an honest one with a good Power blast and once again a convincing singer. Too bad that some musicians were a bit sleepy and not really "happy" to be there apparently...





Wuthering Heights:
The super combo of Eric Ravn played at home tonight. Essentially composed of members of Manticora with in addition the excellent Nils Patrik Johansson (the amazing singer of Astral Doors), Wuthering Heights was the first successful band of the weekend. The Danish people were finally present in the venue and obviously a lot of them came there to see this band. The performance of this "all star team" was really happy with their cool mix of Folk, Power and Prog. For the first and only time of the weekend we even had a big moving (I couldn't talk about mosh) pit. It was really cool for me to see this band which is becoming more and more famous nowadays. Sure they were not a real headliners but according to their successful gig, it was one of the most expected band of the ProgPower Scandinavia 2008 festival. From what I saw, I can already tell you that I will try to see them again soon.





Pagan's Mind:
A concert review cannot be objective and I'm only giving you my subjective opinion but for me Pagan's Mind was my favorite band of the weekend. The Norwegian dudes played a great concert with a lot of energy and without any break. I regretted that some songs like "Spirit Starcruiser" were missing but all in all I was impressed by the communicative attitude of the guys and by their really good presence on stage. Pagan's Mind are not newcomers and it was easy to see this fact. Nils K. Rue did an amazing show and the four other guys played their really good Prog Metal with a lot of class. It was a good moment full of energy and I didn't have any time out during the (too short) set list of Pagan's Mind. This is clearly a band which deserves a lot more of promotion and recognition. Don't miss them if they come to your city!





Vanden Plas:
Vanden Plas was a little deceptive for me, not because the band was bad but because it was probably simply too late. The band started to play at 00h30 (approximately) and a lot of people were already out of the venue, probably because it was just too late for them (or because they were only there to see Wuthering Heights). Of course Vanden Plas played a nice long show with hits like "Rainmaker"; songs from their last album Christ.O. I've already seen them in the past and they were better and a lot more powerful though. Was it too late? Was it not their best day? If it was an honest concert it was not the best show that Vanden Plas has ever done. But don't misunderstand me, Vanden Plas was really professional and it's hard to find any negative point to the performance of Andy and his mates. I just think that some of us we were too tired and maybe that the ProgPower Scandinavia will have to think about this problem in the future, if the headliner could play at 23 o'clock, it should be perfect.





The first day of the ProgPower Scandinavia was cool in the end. The atmosphere of Copenhagen, the little but cute club the nice people and the good bands were perfect ingredients to have a good day. Too bad that not a lot of people came there but the metalheads who have attended the show were more than satisfy in my opinion. After a last beer, we came back to our hotels late in the night to have a good sleep and to be prepared to visit the city and have a good second concert day the Saturday evening.



Saturday:

After a nice tour of Copenhagen, we were finally back at The Rock for the second and last day of the festival. This day was the most Progressive and I expected a lot of bands like Pain Of Salvation, Deadsoul Tribe or Mekong Delta. For sure, it was a really exciting line-up for a proghead and the metalheads who were present had a good time. Though one more time, we had to wait until the middle of the evening to see a full venue and it was a bit sad because the two first bands were actually really good...


Cloudscape:
Cloudscape was the first band of the evening and they were not bad at all! The Swedish dudes played a short set but it was really effective and it seemed that the metalheads, who were there already, enjoyed a lot this concert. Sure we were not so many at first but the band was really honest with us and their powerful Prog Metal worked really well even for people who didn't know the band. As I said, it was short but we all saw that it was not a mistake to hire this band for the ProgPower Scandinavia.





Lanfear:
Lanfear was also a really good choice by the organizers. They were not the most famous combo of the weekend but the Germans played well during their set. The only problem here (and I'm just reporting what I heard) is that the band was maybe too much into the Power Metal category. Their music is full of double bass drums so I understood why the pure progheads were a bit disappointed but personally I didn't find the band so bad! Sure it was not a revolution but it was good to see them and I'm quite sure that the band will be able to prove in the future that they're also a band of Prog Metal.





Mekong Delta:
I was expecting a lot of good things with Mekong Delta because this is a real legendary band and this is also one of the first bands that I listened to at the beginning of my Metal "history". It was really impressive musically speaking, with incredible technical parts but my main problem during the show was the new singer. Let me be clear, Martin Lemar is an amazing singer (and I really believe it) but he was too "prog" for Mekong Delta. I was expecting something violent and thrashy but it was just too nice to fit perfectly to the music of the combo and I really missed the violence that we were able to hear on the really old albums of the combo. Too bad that Mekong Delta was not so thrashy but of course it was great to see them live finally and I hope that they will find a way, with Martin (because I'm sure that he can do it) to add the naughty violence of the old Mekong Delta on the future albums and next live performances.





Deadsoul Tribe:
Deadsoul Tribe is a band that you'll have to see live one day. The charisma of Devon Graves (a really cool dude who was in the pit with the metalheads a lot of times during the weekend) was just amazing one more time. His beautiful deep voice was just stunning and I loved the show really much. The thing here is that the band was really special and was one of the few bands (with Pain Of Salvation and Wuthering Heights) which gave a really different atmosphere to the venue. Sure it was not the most powerful thing of the night but it was touching, intimate and really special. Some songs like "Spider And Lies" or "The Love Or Hate" gave me shivers and I hope that I will be able to see this band as a headliner one day. It was one of the great moments of the weekend. If "hate can create more hate", Deadsoule Tribe can only create more happiness...





Pain Of Salvation:
To finish this excellent festival we had the chance to see one of the most innovative Prog bands of the last ten years; Pain Of Salvation. It was really special for me because it was also the first time that I saw my mate Leo as a "headliner" and I can tell you that it was a strange but great feeling. Simon (who is officially not in the band anymore) was replaced by Per Schelander of Royal Hunt and since that the band didn't say anything about him before and during the show, it was a bit weird for the fans. Anyway one more time Pain Of Salvation was good but I regretted the numerous ballads that we listened to during the set. Sure, a song like "Ashes" was simply amazing but the too many slow songs during the set list, was bit too much for me (and some other metalheads who left the front of the stage before the end of the show). On the other hand, hits like "Used" were simply orgasmic one more time and I found Leo really good. Seriously and honestly, I found that he gave some power to the music and the band and it was great too, to see that he added his own personal touches to the songs without changing them of course. It was a classy show with surprises like a nice happy birthday to Leo from the other members of the band a cover of Scorpions and above everything else a new song "Mortar Grind". It was hard to enjoy the songs completely because it was totally new an unexpected for us but it was a cool hypnotic slow song (again...) which smelled good the 70's Prog Rock influences. At the end of the evening, the band played "Disco Queen" to finish the concert and evidently all the metalheads present in The Rock were joyful and jumped with the band on those cool Disco beats. It was not my best concert with Pain Of Salvation but it was not disappointing and, as a lot of people who attended this show, I'm already expecting to see them again next year when the new album will be out.





ProgPower Scandinavia was a great experience for me. I met great friendly people from France (yes!) like Denmark, Sweden or Norway and great organizers, especially Lars (of Manticora) who was the boss of the event. Too bad that it was not sold out but this festival deserves to survive in reason of the quality of its line-up and the really cool atmosphere of this club and Copenhagen. Time will tell if we will have other editions of this little but great festival but it was nice to be in attendance. Long live ProgPower Scandinavia, long live Prog Metal!


Many thx to Lars and Claus of Intromental for the accreditation and all the ProgPower Scandinavia team for their really good and friendly organisation. I hope to see you there again in the future!


 




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BloodTears - 23.11.2008 at 11:02  
Sounds like fun.

I would love to see Deadsoul Tribe live.
GT - 23.11.2008 at 21:56  
It was a great festival again this year and better than the 2007 edition. The sound was way better this year eventhought it wasn't quite good enough, especially during Wuthering Heights, but then again you can't expect that when the main sound guy is on the stage playing the bass now can you
About POS I can only agree with Jeff. Way to many ballads/slow songs. It really killed their show, which could have kicked way more arse than it did. I wasn't too fond of their music before tha festival, but there were quite a few killer songs, so I'll have to give them another chance.
Other than that it was a great night, and always fun to be able to chat with the musicians over a beer in the bar after their performances. Especially nice to chat with Erik Ravn again this year
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.11.2008 at 22:42  
Only 600 people possible in The Rock? I thought it would be bigger. That is like 1.5 times Baroeg (where Dutch Doom Days was held) and about the same size as Tivoli, De Helling in my hometown. I think it could be about the same size as the venue where the Dutch ProgPower is hosted every year.
But festivals are much more fun in such small places. More intimate, cosier, plus the artists are usually also in the crowd having a good time since usually there is almost no backstage at such venues.

A shame I missed Artillery in The Rock when I was in Copenhagen.
Raiden - 24.11.2008 at 01:07  
I don't see why the hardcore Progressive Metal fans should be whinging about any of the bands being "too Power Metal". The festival is called ProgPower after all!
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.11.2008 at 02:09  
Written by Raiden on 24.11.2008 at 01:07

... The festival is called ProgPower after all!


That is the name true, but it doesn't have an iota to do with Power Metal. René Jansen just chose it cause it sounds good and denotes powerFUL music.
Raiden - 24.11.2008 at 03:20  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 24.11.2008 at 02:09

Written by Raiden on 24.11.2008 at 01:07

... The festival is called ProgPower after all!

That is the name true, but it doesn't have an iota to do with Power Metal. René Jansen just chose it cause it sounds good and denotes powerFUL music.

Oh okay, I always just assumed it was a Power/Prog Metal festival
iaberis - 24.11.2008 at 23:28  
Very good photos! I wonder, since it was in a club, people don't smoke there? Because every time I get a photo in a club, the smoke looks bad with the flash...
Bad English - 26.11.2008 at 00:49  
Jeff - You saw GT?

Ok This be weird, but reading there is space for 600 people in venue, I was shocked, because I thought its about 2000 - 2500 , because I thoght its more poeple. If there was tread about thinks what youdiscovere in MS, this be in top 3 no doubt

To be honest Im not fan of non of those bands,e evn i had hear all in myspace , I can listen some songs, but its not my type of music, but I read it because I read all rewiews

BTW how many people can enter in Dinamo club
GT - 27.11.2008 at 09:32  
Written by iaberis on 24.11.2008 at 23:28

Very good photos! I wonder, since it was in a club, people don't smoke there? Because every time I get a photo in a club, the smoke looks bad with the flash...

Nope people don't smoke in clubs in Denmark, 'cause that's not allowed any more...and yes it improves the photos a lot
iaberis - 28.11.2008 at 04:07  
Written by GT on 27.11.2008 at 09:32

Written by iaberis on 24.11.2008 at 23:28

Very good photos! I wonder, since it was in a club, people don't smoke there? Because every time I get a photo in a club, the smoke looks bad with the flash...

Nope people don't smoke in clubs in Denmark, 'cause that's not allowed any more...and yes it improves the photos a lot

Damn! That's way cool! Here all bitches smoke in clubs. They say it will be forbidden from 2009 and on, but I doubt if they will. I really hate it after gigs when my hair and clothes have the bad smell of smoke...
Marcel Hubregtse - 28.11.2008 at 04:48  
Written by iaberis on 28.11.2008 at 04:07


Damn! That's way cool! Here all bitches smoke in clubs. They say it will be forbidden from 2009 and on, but I doubt if they will. I really hate it after gigs when my hair and clothes have the bad smell of smoke...


We have that smoke ban here in clubs, pubs etc. as well. And although it seems all nice and such at first sight it actually isn't isn't. In winter it's so bad here but in summer when it is hot and everyone is sweating lemme gaurantee you you'd rather smell the smell of cigarette smoke than thousands of different sorts of sweat and abominable perfume (the women wearing that that is )
Really, to me the smell of sweat is much more unbearable than that of cigarette smoke. Oh btw I am a non-smoker at gigs and always have been. It's just when at home I smoke the occasional CIGAR or PIPE, but certainly not cigarettes.
GT - 28.11.2008 at 16:44  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 28.11.2008 at 04:48

Written by iaberis on 28.11.2008 at 04:07


Damn! That's way cool! Here all bitches smoke in clubs. They say it will be forbidden from 2009 and on, but I doubt if they will. I really hate it after gigs when my hair and clothes have the bad smell of smoke...


We have that smoke ban here in clubs, pubs etc. as well. And although it seems all nice and such at first sight it actually isn't isn't. In winter it's so bad here but in summer when it is hot and everyone is sweating lemme gaurantee you you'd rather smell the smell of cigarette smoke than thousands of different sorts of sweat and abominable perfume (the women wearing that that is )
Really, to me the smell of sweat is much more unbearable than that of cigarette smoke. Oh btw I am a non-smoker at gigs and always have been. It's just when at home I smoke the occasional CIGAR or PIPE, but certainly not cigarettes.

Well I only get hangovers when I smoke myself or if I've been in a room with a lot of smoke so I "prefer" the sweat smell

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