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ConcertsNEARfest 2005: Present

Posted on Friday, December 30 2005 @ 21:08:46 CST by Yves Dubé
Concert Reviews The Nearfest organizers aim to please a wide range of progressive rock fans. Instead of booking a dozen identical bands, they try to put together a diverse a line-up in order to please as many musical pallets as possible. This, of course, leaves the door wide open to criticism over band selection since the organizers rarely go halfway in any genre. To please melodic progressive fans, they invite bands such as Knight Area. To please the avant-garde contingent, they invited what could amount to a very controversial band: Present.

Those who sat through at least a part of this show did not leave the amphitheater indifferently. The band's post-rock chamber music, sounding like something straight out of Dante or Lovecraft, had many patrons leaving in drones after the first few numbers. Whether churning out chords on his guitar, smashing it on the floor, or abandoning it altogether to conduct his infernal orchestra, Roger Trigaux (ex-Univers Zero) managed to wring every ounce of energy and power from his band.

Dave Kerman (drums) played like a man possessed. In a weekend filled with superlative drummers, his seemingly reckless skins-pounding was at the top of the heap. Whether using Barbie dolls or playing a paper plate, Mr Kerman 'tore the audience a new one' with his masterful skills. Whereas many of the bands became predictable, nay repetitive, after a handful of songs; Present gave a clinic in the effective use of tension/release. Instead of feeding the audience stale, cliché-riddled music, they challenged the audience. This may have pushed certain patrons well outside their comfort zones, leaving the venue only 2/3 full by the end. The band even added some conceptual art on the final track as a man wearing a tattooed skin suit came on stage to play a metal fence pole (yes, a fence pole!).

The band took a curtain call but played no encore. Those who loved their performance LOVED IT! Those who hated it HATED IT! No one was left on the fence however.

Set List:
  1. Jack The Ripper
  2. The Limping Little Girl
  3. A Last Drop
  4. Ceux D'En Bas
  5. Vertige
  6. Promenade

Yves Dubé

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