A Summer of Progressive Rock.

It’s Progressive Rock Week on Echoes and we’ll be featuring interviews with NEARfest founders Chad Hutchinson and Rob LaDuca, Gentle Giant, Steve Hackett, The Muffins, Roger Dean, Gong and Iona as well as a live performance from Ozric Tentacles in the Echoes Living Room.  To see what’s ahead on Echoes Progressive Rock Week go here.i


EDM may be filling stadiums this summer, but there also seems to be a progressive rock orgy going on, at least to judge by the bands passing through the Philadelphia area in the next few months.  NEARFest Apocalypse, the final edition of the Northeast Art Rock Festival would’ve been enough with Van Der Graaf Generator, UK and Renaissance headlining. But there’s much more than that.

For those who couldn’t spring for the money or the time commitment for the sold-out NEARfest, you can still hear the principle headliner, Van Der Graaf Generator in the intimate venue of the Sellersville Theater in Bethlehem.  This band, fronted by the “Jesus of Angst”, Peter Hammill, tore the roof off of Nearfest a couple of years ago.  Expect the same when they bring that Hammond B-3 sound (albeit digital) into Sellersville Theater on Saturday, June 23. (ST94.com)

Van Der Graaf Generator circa 1970.

Van Der Graaf Generator Circa 2010

Next Week Sellersville maintains the trend with Iona, the British Prog band steeped in Christian imagery.  Led by brilliant guitarist David Bainbridge and the power vocals of Joanna Hogg, they create long, winding compositions that have all the dynamic hallmarks of the best progressive rock.

On Saturday, June 30, Sellersville strikes again with The California Guitar Trio, disciples of Robert Fripp and his League of Crafty Guitarists.  Their intricate guitar interplay is a wonder to hear whether playing original compositions, surf tunes, Bach or Pink Floyd.

The Prog continues with Tangerine Dream and their long-awaited return to the US.  Following a successful show at Moogfest 2011, they’re doing a small US tour and Philly is fortunate to get one of the dates at the Electric Factory.   It’s been a long time and I think I may have jumped off the TD spaceship a little early becasue I’ve been checking out more recent releases and they are merging that 70s drive with 80s melodicism in a way they hadn’t done in years.  They played a nice set at Moogfest 2011 and I have a commentary on that performance and a link to a live recording of it.  http://wp.me/pgATL-1qP

That would be enough of a Prog Orgy to last a year, but there’s more.

Roger Water’s will stage Pink Floyd’s The Wall Saturday 07/14  at Citizens Bank Park and then some children of Pink Floyd,  Iceland’s Sigur Ros, come into the Mann Music Center’s Skyline Stage for two nights, July 29 & 30, bringing and updated take on Pink Floyd

Looking way ahead, in October, FARFEST debuts with four days of progressive rock, mostly from the 1970s with Pulsar and Shylock headlining.  You can find out more about that in an earlier blog. All that plus, UK just wrapped their main US tour and Marillion are currently passing through.

Progressive rock music may be the most maligned genre of music ever, just behind Disco and New Age, but like them, it’s influence can be heard throughout contemporary music.  You don’t have Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Coldplay or Moby or Skrillex without it.  You certainly don’t have the music of Echoes without it.

So get your mind centered for some musical explorations this summer.

To see what’s ahead on Echoes Progressive Rock Week go here.

For Echoes On-Line Subscribers: Hear an Exclusive On-Line Prog Rock Stream with Änglagård, SFF, Spock’s Beard, King Crimson, and several artists from this years NEARfest Apocalypse. much more.  Echoes On-Line Subscribers can log in.  Others can try it out for a week for only $2.99.

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

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