But this edition has given to its wide audience a lot of good vibrations, as I'll try to say after in this post.
Also this year the bands were presented by the always smiling and sunny Octavia Brown, but maybe for the narrow times between the bands and the other duties in which she was involved, I had the feeling she couldn't express with her own spontaneity as in the past edition.
But don't worry... good job and nice presence, after all!
As in the past I noticed for FEM, once more I have to say that the band which opens such a Festival, always has more shivers than the others, for a great number of factors: they play at 18.30 with still the sunlight beating on the stage, the first day lots of people come late in the evening because of work, something always has to be tuned up, the excitement to find friends you don't see since last year takes advantage on the stage performance, and so on.
Here is an example of their music.
Special Providence (Hungary), as before mentioned, are something new in Veruno Festival, with their sound mixing fusion and metal, above all.
I first met SP at Casa di Alex and I was as impressed by their music (and their virtuoso drummer Adam Markò) that I bought all their albums.
They enchanted the audience with their complex rhythm patterns on which captivating melodies lay on, sometimes almost danceable, as the last performed at Veruno, 'Lazy Boy'.
Nemo was one of my proposals to Alberto Temporelli (fulfilled! Thank you Alberto!), and I enjoyed them so much, I already knew about Airbag's devotion to Pink Floyd music by listening some songs from the Youtube, and I was curious about Saga, never heard before to know them LIVE directly, but I felt not as impressed as I thought I could have been, apart the greatness of their frontman.
From what I listened in this video, they maybe wouldn't have been my cup of tea...
Funny the end of their performance, with the stage assistant thumbing up to say "ok", and JP answering with a thumb up saying "one more?" and started to play! Amusing to us but not for the musicians, who were disappointed to be forced to end up the song!
Encores are permitted in Veruno only for the headliners, since the stage shift between bands has to be very fast!
Airbag (Norway) are a carbon copy of Pink Floyd, with a little different and more powerful rhythm section (you don't need too much to be more powerful than Nick Mason...). It sounded me not interesting, too well known and sickly, so I decided to go to dinner...in this case successful!
Saga (USA) Once more I have to say that I intentionally didn't heard anything of this band before, to listen them LIVE.
No problem... the wide open place was almost full of happy people that enjoyed the music, danced and sung with Michael Sadler and this is what matters!
Maybe the best in terms of good vibrations, confirmations and surprises!
Syndone (Italy) They are acknowledged as one of the best prog bands in Italy.
Frequency Drift (Germany) I heard something on CD and found them quite good. The electronic Harp played by Nerissa Schwarz gives to their music a particular sound. Unfortunately they were forced to play without their singer Nadja Jaye, so the performance was a little poor and influenced by the forced guitar work by Michael Bauer, sometimes out of tune.
I have to notice that they were the only band which spent a word for the Amatrice earthquake victims, and this is a signal of their sensitivity.
Anekdoten (Sweden) One of the most awaited bands in this edition, which I know from their CD Vemod, From Within and the latest beautiful Until All the Ghosts are Gone.
Sadly to me they've been the deepest delusion: the singing was poor, even if it was from the guitar or the bass player and frequently off-tune, the guitar was sometimes off-timing and this, in my opinion, compromised the whole performance.
I never heard them LIVE before, but some people said their singing has always been their weakest point.
No problem. Now I know it's better to listen to their great music from studio CD than LIVE.
Soft Machine Legacy (England) They've been the best way to end this exciting festival edition.
I have to admit I wasn't sure they could catch me, so I said to my friend: "OK, we are going to listen a couple of songs and than we'll go home."
I was wrong... starting from the very first tune I realized we'd stayed until the end of the along acclaimed encore!
Their music is formed by incredible soft and magnetic melodies on a magic carpet of rich rhythm section. Theo Travis (sax) and John Etheridge (guitar) mixed together the Canterbury style with a special soft jazz (which is actually already present in Canterbury style), with great solos and interplays, ending up in a fascinating and captivating mood, greatly satisfying. Really GREAT and touching performance, really great and talented musicians!
El Tubo Elastico (Spain) and Eveline's Dust (Italy) proposed quite good music and have reached good satisfaction in merchandise.
But the most beautiful thing is that they both fraternised with those crazy boys of Cheeto's Magazine and at the ED's encore, a melange of prog songs by Wilson, PFM, and so on, the other two young bands danced and jumped down the stage in front of them, to join together at the end. GREAT!
Once more I have to say... If you are going to attend Veruno Prog for the first time, surely you're not prepared at what you will find: Enchanting location and surroundings, powerful equipments, friendship, freedom, wellness, astonishing, unexpected and crazy situations, owed to the exciting atmosphere you breathe. It's a fantastic, unique moment of life and everyone at the end says: "I'll be here next year!"
Already waiting for the 9th edition!