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ConcertsNEARfest 2005: Knight Area

Posted on Friday, December 30 2005 @ 21:10:16 CST by Pete Pardo
Concert Reviews
After an eventful Saturday, including a full day of prog-rock headlined by IQ, and a late after-concert get together at the Comfort Suites hotel where many fans, bands, and vendors converged, Knight Area, from the Netherlands, had the opening slot Sunday morning for "breakfast at NEARfest". Filling in for another Lasers Edge band, Riverside, who unfortunately had to cancel, KnightArea readily agreed to take their spot and wake up the sleepy faithful on the 11:00 AM opening set.

The band's brand of hard rocking symphonic progressive rock is big on sweeping keyboards, crunchy guitar work, and big vocal harmonies, courtesy of lead singer Mark Smit. The band played a selection of songs from their The Sun Also Rises CD, and the audience for the most part seemed to be enjoying the masterful dual keyboard and guitar attack, which gave the band a very full sound. The band swayed from majestic & atmospheric numbers drenched in keyboards, to more aggressive pieces featuring some nimble guitar solos and crunchy riffs.

Perhaps it was the previous nights festivities, or the hard rock posturing and outfit changes of lead singer Smit, as the crowd seemed to drain a bit about mid-way through the bands set. Despite a strong voice, Smit seemed to many to be an odd choice of vocalist for this kind of band, and there was quite a discussion after their set that he might go over better in a hard rock or metal band rather than fronting a symphonic progressive rock group. Nonetheless, there was plenty of upbeat sounds coming from the stage during the set, and while Knight Area may not have been to the liking of some of the "old school" prog fans in attendance, those who appreciate the new blood certainly gave them a nice applause and enjoyed themselves.

Set List:
  • Beyond - The Gate of Eternity
  • Conspiracy
  • Exit L.U.M.C.
  • Conviction
  • A Different Man
  • Moods Inspiring Clouds
  • Forever Now
  • The Sun Also Rises
  • Mortal Brow

Peter Pardo

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