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NEARFest 2012 – Apocalypse Event Program

This post is in my series regarding the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest).  You can find all of my posts regarding NEARFest here and I started the series here.

At each NEARFest, the Festival organizers created a weekend event program.  I was lucky enough to have purchased one from all of the Festivals I attended, and I will post photographs of them all here.  These programs were expertly crafted with many beautiful photographs and well written descriptions and histories and such.  Of course, they also contain their fair share of ads, as one may expect.  I got most (maybe all) of the programs I purchased at NEARFest over the years autographed by the artist who drew its cover and, in this case, that was Yes and Asia cover artist Roger Dean.

I was able to purchase a program at NEARFest 2012, and I thought it would be fun to post it here for prog rock fans who may not have had the opportunity to go to the Festival and/or purchase the program.  Accordingly, I took photographs of each page of the program and posted them below.

I also posted a review of NEARFest 2012 which you can see here.  The review contains many photographs from the event.

Enjoy!

 

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NEARFest 2012 – Apocalypse: Photos and Memories

This post is in my series regarding the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest), more about which you can find here.  You can find all of my posts regarding NEARFest here and I started the series here.  You can also learn more about this particular Festival here and here.  The information below are just some highlights I remember and photographs I took from the Festival.

The lineup for NEARFest 2012 – Apocalypse was (including Friday night):

This NEARFest featured two stalwart prog rock artists (and NEARFest alumni), namely Mark Wilkinson and Roger Dean, each of whom designed a logo:

Roger Dean’s:

Mark Wilkinson’s:

https://i0.wp.com/nearfest.com/images/logo_nfApocalypse.png

This was the thirteenth NEARFest and my twelfth consecutive Festival.  This Festival was the tenth Festival, and eighth consecutive Festival, to take place at at the Zoellner Arts Center on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Sadly, this was the last NEARFest.  NEARFest attempted to modify its approach for its 2011 edition which resulted in its cancellation due to a lack of ticket sales for the first time since its inception.  The Festival organizers appeared to be growing weary of the annual responsibilities of putting on the Festival so, in light of the 2011 cancellation, their fatigue, and, no doubt, their increasing familial responsibilities (the marriages and children occurring since 1999), they decided to make the 2012 edition the final Festival, and to go out with a bang!

At the outset, as noted above, they invited both Dean and Wilkinson, and both designed a logo for the 2012 Festival.  Dean designed the logos for NEARFests 2001 – 2008 and Wilkinson designed the logos for NEARFests 2009 and 2010.  I, once again, got a chance to meet them both.

In addition to the artists, this Festival also saw the invitation of multiple Festival musician-alumni, specifically Eddie Jobson (i.e.: U.K.), Van Der Graaf Generator, Änglagård (see here), Mike Keneally Band, and Annie Haslam.  Technically, NEARFest 2012 featured Jobson’s Ultimate Zero Project (U.Z.P.) (see here), but, quite honestly, the musical selection U.K. offered was extremely similar except that U.K. was a four piece which featured its singer and bass player John Wetton, and did not include the additional musicians the U.Z.P. featured.  My impressions of U.K. were similar to that of the U.Z.P. (see here) except this had the added thrill of having the legendary U.K front man John Wetton in the band, making this band a much more authentic experience of U.K. than U.Z.P.  He was in great voice, and not only did he bring the U.K. songs to life, when they played his King Crimson material, it brought chills to my skin as that music is so incredible and I would never have thought to have the opportunity to hear it live with its original singer and bass player (Wetton) and contributor (Jobson).  A stalwart and classic prog rock band with legendary prog rock musicians was a fitting way for the Festival to go off into the eternal night.

My thoughts on Van Der Graaf Generator are the same as when I saw them at NEARFest 2009 so, instead of repeating it in this post, see here instead.  The same goes for the Mike Keneally Band, who I saw at NEARFest 2004, which can be seen here.  Let me just say here that I will forever be impressed by ambidexterity and Keneally playing guitar and keyboards at the same time blows me away.

The other “big name” at this Festival was Renaissance, which was, of course, fronted by the princess of prog rock, Annie Haslam.  Now, this was the first time Renaissance appeared at the Festival, and it was Haslam’s first time there as a performer, but she attended prior Festivals in order to promote her music and sell her artwork (see here for her 2004 Festival appearance and here for her 2007 Festival appearance).  I always thought it weird Renaissance never appeared before this Festival because Haslam lived (and may still live) in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (about an hour-and-a-half’s distance from the Festival), so it seems obvious the band would appear, and I was surprised it took them this long to do so.  Renaissance played their classics (though at this point their lineup had been reduced to just Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford from their classic era).  Dunford was a long time member of the band (he joined for their second lineup in 1970), and was one of their primary contributors in terms of composition and sound.  He died not long after this show and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to see them while he was still alive and playing well.  The band sounded tight and as beautiful as always.  They employed a second keyboardist, in addition to their classic piano approach to the music, in order to replicate their lush orchestral sound.

As always, this Festival had a stand out “unknown” band which quickly endeared itself to me.  For this Festival, that honor went to Aranis.  What a great band with an unusual sound for one placed in a “rock” genre.  They feature violins, accordion, upright bass, flute, piano, and, of course, guitar.  They play instrumental music which is acoustic in nature and presents a fusion of rock and jazz music in the style and approach of chamber music.  Wonderful.  They are sometimes placed in the RIO sub-genre, but I think that is a mistake and simply reflects the difficulty in pigeonholing them.  RIO generally features relentlessly dissonant and/or amelodic and/or arhythmic music, and Aranis features none of those things.  Aranis’ music is beautifully melodic and pleasant to the ears, and any dissonance or the like they may play merely serves as a momentary contrast and/or to build drama and emotion.  I highly recommend this band to my readers.

The 2012 Festival was fantastic and the Festival over the years presented amazing music and, quite honestly, represents some of my most favorite weekends in my life.  I was, and still am, sad to see it end, and rather forlorn that nothing has been able to really replace it in presenting quality prog rock in the Philadelphia area on the level the Festival was able to accomplish.  I am extremely happy I was blessed by the Festival over the years and able to see all but one of them (the first).

Thanks to NEARFest and thanks most of all to its founders and organizers for bringing so much phenomenal music to my life.  I will be forever grateful and will never forget it.

Photographs:

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NEARFest Tickets: 2000 through 2012

This post is in my series regarding the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest), more about which you can find here and here.  You can find all of my posts regarding NEARFest here and I started the series here.

The Festival was first held in 1999 and the final one was held in 2012.  I had the great opportunity to attend all of the Festivals except for the first one.  I also bought tickets to NEARFest 2011 which was eventually, and unfortunately, cancelled.

I thought it would be fun to catalog my NEARFest tickets here on this blog.  I am admittedly someone who is a pack rat and, because I have OCPD tendencies, I like to think I am a very good, orderly, neat, and complete pack rat!  As a result, I have kept all of my NEARFest tickets.  I took photographs of them and have posted them below.  I hope to post my tickets to other shows soon.

Enjoy!

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NEARFest 2000

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NEARFest 2001

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NEARFest 2002

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NEARFest 2003

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NEARFest 2004

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NEARFest 2005

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NEARFest 2006

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NEARFest 2007

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NEARFest 2008

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NEARFest 2009

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NEARFest 2010

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NEARFest 2011 (cancelled)

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NEARFest 2012

NEARFest Posts, Reviews, and Programs Roundup

This post is in my series regarding the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest), more about which you can find here.

I have written several posts regarding NEARFest over the years.  Those posts include reviews of eleven different Festivals with photographs from each.  In addition, those posts will also hopefully soon include twelve different Festival programs.

Given my large number of posts about the Festival, I thought it would be easier and convenient if I consolidated all the posts into a single post with links to each for people to click on and read; so, to that end, I have done that below.

Please take the time to peruse these links!  Enjoy!

NEARFest Reviews (photographs are included on each page linked below!):

NEARFest Programs:

Other:

NEARFest: The North East Art Rock Festival, Photos and Memories

You can find all of my posts regarding NEARFest here and I started the series here.

The North East Art Rock Festival, commonly called NEARFest, was an annual progressive rock music festival that held its first Festival in 1999 and its last in 2012 (though the 2011 Festival was cancelled).  The Festival was typically held at the Zoellner Arts Center on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania over a three day period (Friday night through Sunday night) at or around the last weekends of June.  Aside from Lehigh University, it was held twice at the Patriots Theater at the Trenton War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey (2002, 2003), and once at Foy Hall at the Moravian College (1999).

As my readers know, I am a big progressive rock fan and when I learned that there was a reputable progressive rock festival in more-or-less my backyard (I am in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), I had to check it out.  Unfortunately, I missed the first Festival in 1999 but I did go to the second one in 2000 and every one after that.  Not knowing what to expect, I did not bring a camera to the first one, nor did I stay overnight.  I quickly learned that even though Bethlehem and Philadelphia are reasonably close to one another, they are far enough away to make an overnight stay worth it if one intends to spend two consecutive long days there.  The Festival began as a Saturday/Sunday event (11am to about 11pm each day) but quickly expended to Friday evening as well.  At first the Friday evening portion was presented by a different entity than NEARFest (though controlled by roughly the same people), eventually NEARFest itself expanded to include Fridays as well.  The schedule for each year was similar though tweaked as the years passed. At first the event was five bands per day (with two or possibly three on the Friday night). After experiencing serious delays between bands due to set up and whatnot (especially obscenely long waits at the Trenton shows for the headline acts) the lineup went down to four bands and a solo feature on Saturdays and Sundays, but even that was problematic and the lineup was diminished ultimately to four bands per day, which progressed rather smoothly.

The music presented at the Festival was top notch. Even in the earliest years the headline bands were reasonably well known.  As the years passed, the Festival was able to book headline bands that were classic and very, at one time, popular.  Although I loved getting to see some classic prog rock bands, bands which I never thought I would be able to see because I am too young to have seen them in their hey day and/or they’ve been broken up for years, part of the great allure of the Festival for me, musically speaking, was the fact that a lot of new and/or modern prog rock bands would be featured each year; bands which I would not really ever have opportunity to hear or discover otherwise.  Very quickly it became a tradition for me to look for two or three CDs to purchase from new bands each year which I could go on to enjoy and watch for years into the future.

One of the great features of the Festival was that its organizers tried very hard to get a band or musician which represented most of the various sub-genres to prog rock so all of its fans could find music that is within his own brand of prog rock preferences.  So, each Festival included a spectrum of prog rock sub-genres like Canterbury scene, progressive metal, avant-garde progressive rock, symphonic rock, Wagnerian rock, neo-progressive rock, space rock, krautrock, zeuhl, Italian progressive rock, Art rock, hard rock, ambient, Berlin School, arena rock, Rock in Opposition, progressive house, avant-garde, experimental rock, jazz fusionPsychedelic rock, progressive pop, baroque pop, and progressive folk.

Although we did not stay overnight in 2000, the environment was so intimate and wonderful that it led me to want to stay overnight the next years regardless of the travel times.  Starting with the second Festival, I had the good fortune to attend every Festival thereafter (and got tickets for the one that was cancelled), usually getting pretty similar seats each year. As much as I loved the music at the Festivals, the people, the location, the environment, and the event itself became just as much of a draw for me as the music. My Uncle Jim went with me almost every year and, of course, I enjoyed the opportunity to spend a couple of days of quality time with him each year as well.  The locale around Lehigh University was quaint, quiet, safe, and walkable.  Not only did the Festival attendants explore the town, so did all of the merchants and musicians and other Festival workers as well.

The University is in a little town with a lot of local quaint eateries and grassy areas that makes it enjoyable simply to walk around and explore.  Against this backdrop was the relatively new and attractive Festival theater which seated a little more than 1000 spectators (I think it maxes at 1002 seats).  At about 1000 seats, there really was not a bad seat in the house, though I usually got the last two seats at the end of the third or fourth row each year.  After the first few Festivals, NEARFest offered a “patron program” which, for about three times a typical seat price, one could get an “advance” ticket and get seats selected by lottery, with the the cost above a typical seat being a tax deductible charitable donation (NEARFest was a non-profit organization).

Within the theater building were multiple rooms and common areas.  Some these rooms and areas were occupied by multiple merchants selling music and related items.  At least one room was always reserved for art.  In addition to the bands, NEARFest always featured at least one prog rock artist.  Roger Dean, notably the artist for Yes, Asia, and others, attended the vast majority of the festivals, but so did Paul Whitehead, and Mark Wilkinson.  Each designed the logo for the Festival for the years they attended.  In addition, Renaissance vocalist Annie Haslam sold her art work as well at a handful of festivals.  Aside from the merchant rooms, the common areas in the theater, and sometimes at a few locations immediately outside it, other merchants and musicians would peddle there wares as well.  I remember one year the musician known as Second Sufis played looping guitars outside the theater and another year a band member from Starcastle was promoting their reformation.

Of course, each band had a table in one of the rooms or areas to promote themselves and this, I think, is one of the best and most unique parts of the Festival.  People could meet, talk to, get autographs from, and purchase things from the bands directly.  The band members often strolled around the theater and the campus and sometimes at the various eateries nearby.  In fact, in 2001 I remember I had the opportunity to eat breakfast one table away from Tony Levin at the local Perkins; that was a real treat (for me, not so much for him, I’m sure)!  At some point, fairly early on I think, the Bethlehem Brew Works somehow got associated with the Festival and became a hang out for attendees, and they eventually started making a special craft beer dedicated to the festival each year.

A couple of blocks away from the theater was the Comfort Suites, which is where the bands and the Festival workers would stay.  This hotel had the advantage of having a bar and that bar would hold the after party each night, generally DJed by the prog rock program Gagliarchives.   Many of the musicians from the Festival would attend the after party and interact with their fans.  Of course, if one stayed in the hotel, the bar was an excellent feature as one could – shall I say – imbibe with abandon and not have to drive anywhere.  I was not always able to get a room there, but I did for at least half the Festivals or so, which was no easy task.  Once the people running the Festival realized that the rooms would be booked by fans rather quickly, it would reserve the entire place and only slowly would rooms become available when the Festival determined it did not need them.  A couple of times I was only lucky enough to squeak in a room at that point, which caused me to change my approach.  I would make a reservation for every weekend in June and July for the following year the day after the Festival (or as soon as the they took reservations that far in advance) in order to ensure I had a room the next year.

Of course, what really made the Festival fun were the other people.  As the years passed, the Festival developed “regulars” who, like me, where there year after year and we started getting to know each other and “catch up” like old friends at each Festival.  It was great arriving on Friday night and looking for those familiar faces and to try and find them in between sets or at the bar(s) to see how their lives had been over the previous year.  Even the guys who founded and ran the show were always out and about and accessible.  The camaraderie and fun I had with my Uncle and all the other people are perhaps what I miss most about the Festival.  There are few places in the world where you can find 1000+ hard core prog rock fans, but NEARFest was one of them.  About a year ago one of the NEARFest founders posted on Facebook that he allowed the NEARFest corporate documents to expire, which means NEARFest as a corporate entity is no more.  For him, I am sure it was more meaningful, but even for me that was a sad day.  It meant something that was a part of my life for 12 years was gone and I miss it, especially this time of year.  I do hope for an anniversary, say 5 or 10 years, after the last NEARFest someone can organize another one for old times’ sake.

So, in recognition of all of the great times I had at NEARFest, and in honor of it being clearly the greatest of all prog rock festivals, over the next several weeks (maybe months), I will be posting various photographs, memories, and other materials from each Festival I attended.  I hope my readers enjoy it and I hope they bring back great memories for those who have been a part of NEARFest.

My Life in Concerts: the Complete List

[Updated: August 16, 2019]

Over the course of the last 23 plus years, I have enjoyed the opportunity to go and see many bands in a live setting.  As my readers know, I have seen Yes by far the most, but, contrary to popular belief, Yes (and their openers) is/are not the only band(s) I have ever seen live.

After so many years and shows, I thought it would be fun to try and list and catalogue all the shows I have seen.  I think the list below is about as comprehensive as I can create, and it does not, obviously, include live bands in bars and community festivals and such.

I have also, over the course of this blog, put up numerous posts of tour programs, tickets, reviews, and other things I have collected over the years at concerts.  Here they are below:

Here is, what I think, is my complete list of concerts (232):

Yes (26):

Porcupine Tree (8):

  • 6/23/01: NEARFest 2001
  • 7/26/02: Theater of the Living Arts (with Tim Reynolds)
  • 11/8/02: Tower Theater (with Yes)
  • 7/20/03: Trocadero Theater (with Opeth)
  • 5/21/05: Trocadero Theater (with Tunnels)
  • 9/27/05: Keswick Theater (with Robert Fripp)
  • 10/7/06: Keswick Theater (with ProjeKCt Six)
  • 9/26/09: Electric Factory (with King’s X)

The Musical Box (7):

  • 2/26/04: Keswick Theater
  • 7/9/04: NEARFest 2004
  • 12/17/04: Keswick Theater
  • 12/10/05: Tower Theater
  • 10/20/06: Tower Theater
  • 12/15/07: Tower Theater
  • 8/3/13: Camden Tweeter Center (with Yestival)

Renaissance (3):

  • 10/11/09: Keswick Theater
  • 6/23/12: NEARFest 2012
  • 8/3/13: Camden Tweeter Center (with Yestival)

Philadelphia Orchestra (3):

  • 4/5/05: Verizon Hall
  • 9/24/05: Verizon Hall
  • Another date: Mann Music Center

Änglagård (2):

  • 6/29/03 NEARFest 2003
  • 6/23/12 NEARFest 2012

Asia (2):

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (2):

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (2):

  • 8/1/96: Keswick Theater
  • 8/5/08: Mann Music Center (with Return to Forever)

DFA (2):

  • 6/17/00: NEARFest 2001
  • 6/20/09: NEARFest 2009

Echolyn (2):

  • 6/29/02: NEARFest 2002
  • 6/22/08: NEARFest 2008

Steve Hackett (2):

King Crimson (2):

Magma (2):

Mike Keneally Band (2):

  • 7/10/04: NEARFest 2004
  • 6/24/12: NEARFest 2012

PFM (2):

Riverside (2):

Tunnels (2):

  •  6/28/03: NEARFest 2003
  • 5/21/05: Trocadero Theater (with Porcupine Tree)

Van Der Graaf Generator (2):

  • 6/19/09: NEARFest 2009
  • 6/22/12: NEARFest 2012

Carl Palmer ELP Legacy Band (2):

  • 8/3/13 Camden Tweeter Center (with Yestival)
  • 8/15/17: Hershey Theater – Yestival Tour

Other (155):

  • Acoustic Trio (Stanley Clarke, Bela Fleck, Jean Luc Ponty): 8/12/05 Mann Music Center
  • After Crying: 6/24/01 NEARFest 2001
  • Alamaailman Vasarat: 6/28/03 NEARFest 2003
  • Alan Parsons Project: 6/27/98 Camden Blockbuster Center (with Yes)
  • Anderson/Ponty: 10/27/15 Keswick Theater
  • Anekdoten: 6/17/00 NEARFest 2000
  • Ange: 6/25/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Aranis: 6/22/12 NEARFest 2012
  • Astra: 6/19/10 NEARFest 2010
  • Beardfish: 6/21/09 NEARFest 2009
  • Bird Songs of the Mesozoic: 6/23/01 NEARFest 2001
  • The Black Eyed Peas (with Rita Marley and Stephen Marley): 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Bon Jovi: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Cabezas de Cera: 6/20/09 NEARFest 2009
  • California Guitar Trio with Tony Levin: 6/24/01 NEARFest 2001
  • Camel: 6/29/03 NEARFest 2003
  • Canned Heat: 1/21/05 Keswick Theater (with Mountain and Vanilla Fudge)
  • Caravan: 6/30/02 NEARFest 2002
  • Dave Matthews Band: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Def Leppard: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Destiny’s Child: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Deus Ex Machina: 6/23/01 NEARFest 2001
  • Diplo: 8/15/19 Citizens Bank Park
  • Discipline: 6/21/08 NEARFest 2008
  • Dixie Dregs: 4/7/05 Theater of the Living Arts (with Steve Morse Band)
  • Djam Karet: 6/24/10: NEARFest 2001
  • DJ Green Lantern: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff (with Will Smith): 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Bob Drake: 6/23/07: NEARFest 2007
  • Dream Theater: 9/3/04 Allentown Fairgrounds (with Yes)
  • KBB: 6/24/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Keith Emerson: 6/25/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Enchant: 6/30/02 NEARFest 2002
  • The Enid: 6/20/10 NEARFest 2010
  • Fish: 6/20/08 NEARFest 2008
  • The Flower Kings: 6/28/03 NEARFest 2003
  • FM: 6/24/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Forgas Band Phenomena: 6/19/10 NEARFest 2010
  • Peter Frampton: 6/15/10 Tower Theater (with Yes)
  • Robert Fripp: 9/27/05 Keswick Theater (with Porcupine Tree)
  • Frogg Cafe: 7/9/05 NEARFest 2005
  • Gerard: 6/30/02 NEARFest 2002
  • Glass Hammer: 6/29/03 NEARFest 2003
  • Gong: 6/20/09 NEARFest 2009
  • Gosta Berlings Saga: 6/24/12 NEARFest 2012
  • Josh Groban (with Sarah McLachlan): 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Guapo: 6/25/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Peter Hammil: 6/21/08 NEARFest 2008
  • Happy the Man: 6/17/00 NEARFest 2000
  • Hatfield and the North: 6/23/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Hawkwind: 6/23/07: NEARFest 2007
  • Helmet of Gnats: 6/23/12 NEARFest 2012
  • Hidria Spacefolk: 7/11/04 NEARFest 2004
  • High Wheel: 6/28/03 NEARFest 2003
  • Steve Hillage: 6/19/09 NEARFest 2009
  • Allan Holdsworth: 6/22/07: NEARFest 2007
  • Iluvatar: 6/17/00 NEARFest 2000
  • Il Balletto di Bronzo: 6/18/00 NEARFest 2000
  • Il Tempio delle Clessidre: 6/24/12 NEARFest 2012
  • Indukti: 6/24/07: NEARFest 2007
  • Iona: 6/19/10 NEARFest 2010
  • IQ: 7/9/05 NEARFest 2005
  • IZZ: 6/23/07: NEARFest 2007
  • Isildur’s Bane: 6/29/02 NEARFest 2002
  • Jars of Clay: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Jay-Z (with Linkin Park): 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Jethro Tull: 8/9/03 MusikFest
  • Eddie Jobson / UKZ: 6/20/10: NEARFest 2010
  • Richard Leo Johnson: 6/24/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Kaiser Chiefs: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Kansas: 7/18/00 Camden Blockbuster Center (with Yes)
  • Toby Keith: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Kenso: 7/10/05 NEARFest 2005
  • Alicia Keys: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • King’s X: 9/26/09 Electric Factory (with Porcupine Tree)
  • Knight Area: 7/10/05 NEARFest 2005
  • Koenji Hyakkei: 6/21/08 NEARFest 2008
  • Kraan: 6/29/03 NEARFest 2003
  • La Maschera di Cera: 6/24/04: NEARFest 2007
  • La Torre dell’Alchimista: 6/29/02 NEARFest 2002
  • Le Orme: 7/10/05 NEARFest 2005
  • Linkin Park (with Jay-Z): 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Liquid Tension Experiment: 6/21/08 NEARFest 2008
  • Magenta: 6/23/07: NEARFest 2007
  • Sean Malone: 7/11/04 NEARFest 2004
  • Michael Manring: 6/25/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Rita Marley and Stephen Marley (with The Black Eyed Peas ): 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Maroon 5: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Sarah McLachlan  (with Josh Groban): 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Metamorfosi: 7/11/04 NEARFest 2004
  • Miriodor: 6/29/02 NEARFest 2002
  • Moraine: 6/20/10 NEARFest 2010
  • Morglbl: 6/22/08 NEARFest 2008
  • Mountain: 1/21/05 Keswick Theater (with Canned Heat and Vanilla Fudge)
  • The Muffins: 7/10/05 NEARFest 2005
  • NeBeLNeST: 6/23/07: NEARFest 2007
  • Nektar: 6/29/02 NEARFest 2002
  • Nexus: 6/18/00 NEARFest 2000
  • Niacin: 6/25/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Nicholas Payton Quintet: 10/19/97 Central PA Friends of Jazz
  • North Star: 6/18/00 NEARFest 2000
  • Oblivion Sun: 6/20/09 NEARFest 2009
  • One Shot: 6/22/07: NEARFest 2007
  • Opeth: 7/20/03: Trocadero Theater (with Porcupine Tree)
  • Ozric Tentacles: 6/24/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Pallas: 7/10/04 NEARFest 2004
  • Par Lindh Project: 6/18/00 NEARFest 2000
  • Matthew Parmenter: 7/10/05 NEARFest 2005
  • Peter Wolf: 5/30/19 Citizen’s Bank Park (with The Who)
  • The Pineapple Thief: 6/20/10 NEARFest 2010
  • Richard Pinhas: 7/10/04 NEARFest 2004
  • Planet X: 7/11/04 NEARFest 2004
  • Present: 7/9/05 NEARFest 2005
  • Procol Harum: 7/20/12 Tower Theater (with Yes)
  • ProjeKCt Six: 10/7/06 Keswick Theater (with Porcupine Tree)
  • Proto-Kaw: 7/8/05: NEARFest 2005
  • Pure Reason Revolution: 6/24/04: NEARFest 2007
  • Quantum Fantasy: 6/21/09 NEARFest 2009
  • Radio Massacre International: 6/22/08 NEARFest 2008
  • Return to Forever: 8/5/08 Mann Music Center (with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones)
  • Tim Reynolds: 7/26/02: Theater of the Living Arts (with Porcupine Tree)
  • Robert Rich: 6/24/04: NEARFest 2007
  • Steve Roach: 7/9/05 NEARFest 2005
  • Todd Rundgren: 8/15/17: Hershey Theater – Yestival Tour
  • Scale the Summit: 8/3/13 Camden Tweeter Center (with Yestival)
  • The School of Rock: 8/3/13 Camden Tweeter Center (with Yestival)
  • Second Sufis: NEARFest 2003
  • Secret Oyster: 6/22/07: NEARFest 2007
  • Sleepytime Gorilla Museum: 629/03 NEARFest 2003
  • Will Smith (with DJ Jazzy Jeff): 7/2/05 Live 8
  • Spaced Out: 6/30/02 NEARFest 2002
  • Steve Morse Band: 4/7/05 Theater of the Living Arts (with Dixie Dregs)
  • Strawbs: 7/11/04 NEARFest 2004
  • Styx: 7/4/11 Camden Tweeter Center (with Yes)
  • Syd Arthur: 7/19/14 Upper Darby Tower Theater (with Yes)
  • Synergy (Larry Fast): 6/20/08 NEARFest 2008
  • Thinking Plague: 6/18/00 NEARFest 2000
  • Three Friends: 6/19/10 NEARFest 2010
  • The Tony Levin Band: 6/23/06 NEARFest 2006
  • Toto: 8/9/15: Borgata, Atlantic City (with Yes)
  • Transatlantic: 6/18/00 NEARFest 2001
  • Trettioariga Kriget: 6/21/09 NEARFest
  • Twelfth Night: 6/23/12 NEARFest 2012
  • U.K.: 6/24/12 NEARFest 2012
  • The Underground Railroad: 6/24/01 NEARFest 2001
  • Under the Sun: 6/24/01 NEARFest 2001
  • Univers Zero: 7/10/04 NEARFest 2004
  • Vanilla Fudge: 1/21/05 Keswick Theater (with Mountain and Canned Heat)
  • Volto!: 8/3/13 Camden Tweeter Center (with Yestival)
  • Rick Wakeman: 10/29/03 Electric Factory
  • Kanye West: 7/2/05 Live 8
  • White Willow: 6/23/01 NEARFest 2001
  • The Who: 5/30/19 Citizen’s Bank Park (with Peter Wolf)
  • Wobbler: 7/9/05 NEARFest 2005
  • Yezda Urfa: 7/10/04 NEARFest

Random Concert Ticket Photos

As my readers know, I am a very avid concert goer.  Granted, since I have had children, I have had less time and less money to dedicate to seeing shows, but I still try to get two or three in every year.

For fun, I have already posted some tickets before, which you can find here:

I have also been to a variety of shows that really do not fit into any categories and I have posted a sort of grab bag of tickets below for various and miscellaneous shows.

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  • Asia (a program from this show can be found here and a review here)

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The Musical Box Tickets Through the Years

As my readers know, I am an enormous progressive rock fan.  Now, as all my readers also know, Yes is, by far, my favorite band (you can read more of my writing about Yes here), but my second favorite vacillates, depending on the day, between Genesis and King Crimson.

To that end, I have seen the absolutely amazing Genesis recreation band The Musical Box several times, and every time I am completely blown away as to how precise they are in transporting their fans back to the days of classic Genesis.  I have written extensively about their shows and what they do here and posted other tour books, photographs, and such, from their shows here.

As I have seen The Musical Box several times, and after posting my NEARFest tickets (see here) and my Yes tickets (see here) – and seeing the positive response it got – I thought it would be fun to post my The Musical Box tickets too, so here you go!

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My Yes Tickets Through the Years!

Here is another addition to my series of Yes music posts.  I started this series here and you can read the others here.

I have seen Yes every time I have had the opportunity since 1994.  I have posted my reviews and photographs of those shows here.  After posting my NEARFest tickets (see here) – and seeing the positive response it got – I thought it would be fun to post my Yes tickets too, so here you go!

After going through all these tickets I would have to say that the computer printouts were a terrible idea.  They are so impersonal and not particularly worthy of being a “keepsake.”  Their convenience pales in comparison to the significance of receiving and keeping an actual ticket.  So, needless to say, after doing it a couple of times, I am glad I abandoned the practice.  The tickets below include the ticket to the 1998 Yestival (see here and here and here), as well as both of Yes’s movie theater simulcasts from the mid-aughts.

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  • I cannot for the life of me remember which show this form accompanied the ticket.

 

Yes Concert Review: 7/20/12

Here is another addition to my series of Yes music posts.  I started this series here and you can read the others here.

I saw the progressive rock band Yes play at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania on July 20, 2012 during their Fly From Here Tour.  You can read more about this show here.  Procol Harum was the opening act.

The line-up Yes fielded at this show was:

The set Yes played was (the album from which the song comes in parenthesis):

Recollections:

This show was the second American leg of the Fly From Here Tour in support of their then most recent studio album Fly From Here.  The first American leg took place during the previous summer (2011) and a show from that tour was the show I saw previous to this one; I reviewed that show here.  As I said in my review of that last show, it was the worst Yes show I had ever seen.  I left that show thinking that Yes was likely going to slide into retirement as soon as the tour was over; it was that bad.  As I also noted in that aforesaid review, by the end of 2011, vocalist Benoit David‘s voice was unable to sustain the rigors of being Yes’ singer and was replaced by Jon Davison.

When David went down the band immediately went to seek out a new vocalist.  Chris Squire is friends with Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters and, when discussing Yes’ need for a new singer, Hawkins mentioned his childhood friend, Davison.  Evidently, Davison heard more than once over his music career that his voice was an excellent fit for Yes, and Squire was willing to give him a chance to test out that theory.

I was unfamiliar with Davison’s work prior to his joining Yes.  Davison was formerly in the progressive rock outfit Glass Hammer, which I saw live at NEARFest in 2003, but that was before Davison joined in 2010.  Prior to this show, several reviews and youtube videos appeared which sang Davison’s praises, but, while promising, the proof, for me, is to see him live myself.  So, I went to this show mildly optimistic.  Needless to say, my reservations were unfounded.  Davison was amazing.  His voice is perfect for Yes.  Moreover, his voice clearly had the strength and training to be a worthy replacement for Jon Anderson.  Not only was Davison’s voice a perfect fit for Anderson’s vocal parts, Davison’s on stage demeanor and personality was eerily similar to Anderson’s.  Although not an Anderson clone, Davison clearly fit the singing and on stage vibes established by Anderson.  This is in marked contrast to David whose on stage demeanor was goofy and sort of amateur that never seemed to fit Yes.  In addition to great singing and a stage presence that fits Yes, Davison is an excellent guitar player and could handle his on stage percussion duties.  So, based on how great a fit Davison was, Yes clearly treated him more as an equal than as the junior member David clearly was during his tenure.  It was clear that Davison was a complete and accomplished musician as opposed to a voice to fill in for Anderson like David was.

The rest of the band really responded to the quality of singing and musicianship Davison brought to the band.  The songs were once again played at their appropriate speeds and Downes was now fully integrated into the band.  The set list was a good one too.  After five straight shows of extremely similar set lists, it was a breath of fresh air to hear songs like “America” (the first time since 2002), “Wonderous Stories” (first time since 2004), “Awaken” (first time since 2004), and, most excitingly for me, the entire “Fly From Here” suite.  “Awaken” was intriguing to hear as I was very interested to see how Downes handled a very classic Rick Wakeman piece.  I have reviewed Downes’ performance of “Awaken” before and will not repeated here (see here), so suffice it to say here that I was extremely pleasantly surprised.  Indeed, the same can be said of “America,” which was only played by Tony Kaye in 1970 and Rick Wakeman (who recorded the official studio version) after that.  Downes fit into that song seamlessly as well.  Also, as noted in my review of the show immediately prior to this (see here), Downes initially set up on the far right of the stage (from the audience’s point of view), which is where Wakeman always played, however, evidently due to communication issues with the rest of the band during performances, Downes, beginning with this show, was positioned to the left of White and behind Howe on the left side of the stage.

The highlight for me was the new 23 minute suite “Fly From Here” which featured Squire playing a bass with an extended neck on a stand in an upright position during suite’s third movement.  That bass also was the only obvious glitch in the show as it was not audible at times, which led to a visibly angry Squire motioning off stage to his bass tech.  I really enjoy the Fly From Here album, with the suite obviously as the focal point of the album.  The band showed themselves in top form and still clearly able to learn, play, and present new, complex music, even this late into their careers.  As if to solidify Davison’s position as lead vocalist, they played the vocal-centric piece “Leaves of Green” and Davison nailed it.

So, to sum up, this show was Yes rising like a phoenix out of the ashes of its worst shows it had ever performed and into what became a renaissance for Yes in terms of the quality of their performances this late into their career with a brand new, vibrant, exciting, and confident line up.  This show was the first of a series of excellent shows and revealed Yes as good as ever!

Finally, and very briefly, Procol Harum was enjoyable and played all their standards.  There was nothing notable about their show except to say that if one enjoys their music, the show was very satisfying.

Photographs:

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