ProgPower: Damnation Angels, Myrath, and Xandria (Friday)
Damnation Angels drew an impressive crowd for the hour -- the theater looked more crowded for them than it had been for Rhapsody, the previous night's headliner. Centerstage, where the festival is held, is a small theater with stadium seating and a spacious floor area. The floor is often packed while there are still plenty of empty seats, as the people who want to be nearer to the band, or stand and bounce through the show (it's too packed for much in the way of dancing) will go down to the floor.
Damnation Angels sounded pretty good, but I do not remember any details beyond "liked it". I started writing this during the next band, Myrath, as my ability to focus on new music waned. We stayed through Xandria (estrogen! That band has a female lead singer, and was the first person not male to perform thus far) then took a break. I was wearing a fashion corset** for the corset picture that was taken after Xandria's set. (I think the purpose of this shoot is to show that there are, in fact, women at the show. The attendees are not quite as overwhelmingly white & male as the acts, but I'd estimate 80-90% men and 95-99% white.) Then we went with Elizabeth and Nikita to get food. We walk up a block -- none of us particularly wanted to go far -- and they got subs while I got a lasagna from the pizza/italian place next door. We chatted for a bit, then parted ways: they wanted to get back in time to catch Ashes of Ares. We'd already missed Wolverine.
** Meaning "has plastic boning that is totally not up to the task of supporting my chest so I need to wear it over a shirt & bra"
Alinsa and I headed back to the hotel for various errands. Now that the shoot was over, I wanted to take off the corset. Also, koogrr was going to be driving in from a job site in Savannah, Georgia, and I wanted the hotel to know to give him a key, in case he couldn't reach us when he arrived for some reason. In addition, we had some leftovers from dinner to drop off, and I wanted to adjust my earplugs. Alinsa had bought me fancy musician's earplugs. This doesn't just make the rock-concert music less loud, but actually gets rid of much of the distorted quality that the high-volume imparts. I'd noticed that the singers still had that too-loud-distorted quality, though, so I wanted to adjust the earplugs to give more dampening and see if that helped. It even did, so that was pretty neat.
Once in the room, the bed called to me, so I lay down for a couple of hours. I slept through Ashes of Ares, but got back to the theater in time to catch part of Soilwork, the second-to-last act of the day. They had the instruments cranked up to 11 and the singer was barely audible over it. Which sounded all right (I haven't been able to understand any singer the entire show so far anyway) but I did end up working on this some more during that, so flagging a bit.
After Soilwork, Glenn, the ProgPower USA organizer, spoke for a few minutes. "Before I get on to the previews for next year's ProgPower, I want to say that we just had the nicest mosh pit ever here. They were down here moshing, and one guy lost his glasses. The whole group stopped moshing, got out a flashlight, found the guy's glasses, got them back to him, and then went back to slamming the shit out of each other."
Next Year's ProgPower will have Jon Olivia's Pain as one of the headliners. Jon Olivia was the lead singer for Savatage before Zak Stevens, and his group will be playing all of "Streets" next year, which should make for a great show -- "Streets" is a story album, and I think those are particularly fun played live and in full.
During the break, we picked up a bottle of water and Diet Pepsi from the VIP bar. As we were walking back to our seats, I looked at my cup of Diet Pepsi. "I'm in Atlanta. How is it I can even get a Pepsi here, never mind have to?"