Concert Review Archive

 

ProgPower Europe 2011

September 30th, October 2nd & 3rd 2011
Sjiwa, Baarlo, The Netherlands

Seventh Wonder, Subsignal, Barstool Philosophers, Symphony X, Long Distance Calling, DGM, In Mourning, White Walls, Schizoid Lloyd, Redemption, Mekong Delta, Sole Remedy, Kingcrow, Memento Waltz, Sky Architect

Article By Dries Dokter
and photo by Menno von Brucken Fock
Introduction

Faithful DPRP readers will know: ProgPower Europe is one of our favourite festivals. Each year is at least as good as the last and through the years some pretty amazing performances have taken place on the stage of JC Sjiwa, Baarlo.

We were all so much looking forward to this year's festival. ProgPower is about meeting friends, having a drink, having fun and enjoying music. Above all it is about that: enjoying music.

So this review should be about how on Friday Barstool Philosophers started off the thirteenth ProgPower weekend, how Subsignal impressed and played some Sieges Even songs, how Seventh Wonder had a great and melodic set.

How on Saturday Schizoid Lloyd surprised everyone with a cheerful, happy and surprising set list. How White Walls won people over during their one-hour set and how In Mourning was energetic, dark and tight. How DGM delivered a great performance, and how Long Distance Calling musically became the band of the weekend.

How Symphony X, Saturday's headliner, had such a brilliant and charismatic performance that even people who did not like their studio albums, where totally entertained.

How on Sunday Sky Architect started off by laying their carpet of jazzy, quirky music. How Memento Walz played their intelligent and powerful TechMetal with enthusiasm and passion. How Kingcrow delivered a superb set of very strong melodic, progressive metal and how Mekong Delta impressed many with some old-skool Thrash.

How Redemption delivered a set that made true the anticipation that people had for this year's Sunday headliner.

But this review is not about how this was another absolutely marvellous ProgPower weekend of music, maybe even the best ever. It is not about how the perfect weather made it even more fun to have a chat and a drink with friends. This review is not about how everything during this weekend ran smoothly and was so well organised. It is not about how this was a ProgPower weekend without a minute of delay.

This is the story of Sole Remedy. A band from Finland.

During the After-Party in the early hours of Monday morning, in a tragic and absurd accident they lost their guitarist Mikko Laine. It left all in the ProgPower family devastated and in shock.

This is the review of their performance at ProgPower Europe 2011

Day Three

~ Sole Remedy ~

And then Sole Remedy was on the stage. Without too much pre-knowledge of the band, other than that they come from Finland, this was such a surprising performance.

First of all, these guys were having so much fun on stage. When this fun rubbed-off on the audience, a magical thing of chemistry and energy happened. The singer's engaged, angry, surprised and happy looks made it fun to watch the show. The fact that the singer made a reference to Devin Townsend, while indeed looking a bit like the man who was on the ProgPower stage years ago, certainly gained him sympathy.

Watching a band perform is all nice and fun of course but music is about listening. So when this performance was accompanied by music played with such devotion, and again fun, this added to the chemistry.

The music of Sole Remedy is a surprising mix of rough metal, atmospheric melodies, grunts and unexpected harmonies. Although these vocal harmonies were on the edge on most songs, every now and then they were over the edge, slightly out of tune.

I guess Sole Remedy opened with the song Ordeal to set a mood and to show the audience what they were capable of. It did leave us wondering if Sole Remedy could be the second instrumental band of the festival, but Present Remorse showed this was not at all true.

A song with an atmosphere that reminded me of Green Carnation, and it was already clear this would become an enjoyable hour. It showcased a band with an angry attitude to their music, combined with highly melodic guitar lines and an endearingly fun attitude on stage. The angry growls of Leave again were followed by a more melodical guitar sound, but especially these vocal harmonies, difficult as they are anyway, were on/over the edge.

Wolf In Me started off as a track full of energy and then became more mellow and melodic before returning to a song full of energy. Although the melodies were played with craftsmanship, it was the atmosphere in Solace, that left an impression. Deep End again had the growling voices combined with singing voices, this time with a more subdued and atmospheric guitar sound.

Before playing The Burden the singer explained that they were aware of an Opeth song by the same name. However he insited that Sole Remedy recorded theirs first, bringing laughter across the audience. Again this was a song on which the guitarist could show what he was capable of. Not only by showing-off technically, but by conveying a range of emotions. Unfortunately The Wounded Ones was already the last song of the set. However it had the people at the front of the stage head banging, and proved a very good choice to end with.

And then, Sole Remedy had played their full hour set. Judging by the interaction during their time on stage, and the enthusiasm and empathy towards the band, I think it is safe to say that Sole Remedy gained a number of fans and most certainly left a very good impression. Another musical surprise in this splendid ProgPower weekend.

Sole Remedy set List
Ordeal
Present Remorse
Leave
Wolf In Me
Solace
Deep End
The Burden
The Wounded Ones
Tragedy

Dries: A few hours after this splendid performance, Mikko was killed by a truck. This was of course a news item in the papers, on television and on the internet. In those stories often the facts of the accident itself got distorted. Nowhere did it mention how an absolutely marvellous weekend turned into such a tragedy for all who were at ProgPower Europe 2011.

Neither did anyone describe how five friends came to Baarlo and proved their musicality, but how only four friends returned home.

I hope that I have managed to at least convey the full story. I hope Mikko's friends and family find at least some comfort in the fact that in the hours before he passed away their loved one was enjoying himself and that he was admired for his music.

Mikko Laine; he will be in our thoughts for quite some time. Because he touched us with his music, he will be in the hearts of the ProgPower family forever. Rest In Peace


Links

To say a final goodbye to Mikko Laine, you are invited to Sjiwa, Baarlo on Saturday October 29.
For details, please visit the ProgPower website:

ProgPower Europe - Official Website

Sole Remedy - Official Website

 


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