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ConcertsNEARfest 2004: Hidria Spacefolk

Posted on Wednesday, July 21 2004 @ 23:33:49 CDT by Yves Dubé
Concert Reviews Hidria Spacefolk (or The Show that Almost Wasn't)

Although I was extremely excited about attending my first NEARfest, I was not completely enthralled about the entire lineup. The most intriguing show of the weekend , for me, was going to be this space rock outfit from Finland called Hidria Spacefolk. I had never heard a single note of their music, yet they had generated a buzz amongst the festival attendees.

It was with growing trepidation that I heard a terrible rumor circulating on the lips of every friend I encountered on Saturday night. Allegedly, the band had arrived from Finland, but not their gear. They were slotted to open the following morning. Well, rumor turned out to be fact, but never underestimate the persuasive powers and the ingenuity of the NEARfest crew. British Airways were contacted repeatedly and the gear arrived at 9:30 AM on Sunday morning, just in time for the band's sound check. At 11:00 AM, a very nervous, excited, and tired ( the band admits to not having slept a wink) Hidria Spacefolk hit the stage with a vengeance and substantiated their inclusion into this prestigious progressive event.

The band delivered a very tight set of Ozric Tentacles-like space rock. Although many tracks sounded like nothing more than one-chord jams, giving the audience the impression of attending a rave, there were subtle nuances to the music, which kept it very interesting and hypnotic. Assisted by video footage of Mayan ruins or giving us the impression of speeding down a highway, the band flawlessly went through most of their repertoire to a very appreciative audience. The band was so well received that the audience gave them a standing ovation at the end of their set , thus forcing the promoters of the festival to allow them to return for an encore; a feat only accomplished once by an opening act since the festival's inception in 1999.

Needless to say, I briskly walked (who am I kidding, I RAN) to the vendor room where Mr. Greg Walker was laying out several copies of the band's debut disc, Symbiosis, which were scooped up rapidly by a conquered audience. Easily one of the top 3 shows of the festival.

Yves Dubé

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