Here are two questions you never expected to hear:
How did progressive music benefit from Barry Manilow's misfortune?
And Wot on earth does this Gorilla with a stage pass have to do with progressive music?
It is 6:00pm on Sunday, Nov. 7 at the Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, and the organizers' nerves are tensed. To paraphrase that cliché from the Field Of Dreams – Pindral has built it, but will they come? Have months of tireless work on organizing tonight's event been a dismal waste of hope and time and energy? The organizers (PMI – or Pindral Music Inc.) had worked ceaselessly for months on Jama Sonique, a showcase event for four progressive Colorado bands.
But Barry Manilow was in town that night, and there was stiff concert competition.
The doors opened and Colorado Art Rock Society (CARS) members took advantage of the 25% discount on what was already an extremely attractive door price. The small venue started to fill and PMI reflected that Sunday is typically not the best night of the week for concert attendance. Would they come?
It started in June, when CARS held the Second Annual Progressive Music Fest, which featured 15 acts. Pindral was proud to invite four of the acts from that event to have another chance at keeping progressive music alive in the Rockies.
Mindsongs was up first. Brock Perviance, Jeff Smith and Ken Lark are a 3-man vocals/guitar/bass/drum act playing music that is progressive, cerebral, and danceable in 13/4. Look out for Mindsongs's soon-to-be-released CD, Stream of Consciousness
Then four guitarists took the stage and kept things flowing while Zed was setting up, and you would be excused for doing a double-take and asking yourself if the famous California Guitar Trio had gate crashed this Colorado party. Dave Cialone, Nathan Earixson, Joe Pfeffer and Kevin Wilmeth of the Guitar Circle Colorado, Local Guitar Craft Chapter, played original tunes, compositions by Guitar Craft, and yes, there were pieces by the California Guitar Trio.
Guitar Circle Colorado (GCCO)
Zed is how Canadians and Brits say the letter 'Z'. Zed is also a Colorado-based jazz-rock / fusion foursome. Scott Cleland, Phil Good, Ian Keldin, Alan Mallery are a guitar/bass/keyboard/sax outfit who play original material, and are working on their debut CD.
Known in some circles as 'Colorado Guitar Circle', The Guitar Circle Colorado again kept things flowing musically while Pindral set up.
Pindral's progressive rock set included both – original tunes, and covers of old and new progressive rock pieces that audience members identified with immediately. The cover tunes came from Porcupine Tree, Camel, Asia, Genesis, Tony Levin, and a King Crimson homage called "In the Court of the Crimson Schizoid Man". But it is in their original songs that you really appreciate the strength of the band. Pindral was Larry Hart, Wayne Martein, Jamie McGregor, Steve Navarre, and Dave Varing. Four of the band members contributed to vocals, and the band's instrumentals included keyboards, two guitarists, bass, drums and percussion. But at Jama Sonique they also had percussion and vocal help from Scott Pringle, who has since accepted an invitation to join Pindral full time. So you can imagine that a Pindral produces a big sound. Listen to the samples on the Pindral web site.
Event Hosts, Pindral
And to add a bit of Gabriel-esque showmanship to their set, Pindral's cover of Genesis's "Wot Gorilla" was introduced by a guy in a Gorilla suit, complete with a Pindral stage-pass and swim trunks, who danced hilariously throughout the entire tune.
It is now late on Sunday, Nov. 7 at the Cervantes, and the organizers' nerves are no longer tensed. Venue management was pleased with the attendance for a Sunday night, and Barry Manilow had bronchitis that night which eliminated 'concert competition'.
Truth be told, though, it's hard to imagine that Manilow attendees would have any impact on an Art Rock show, and PMI is now hoping that Jama Sonique will become an annual event. And it's a safe bet that Colorado prog fans are hoping so too!