The last day was here and many were worn-out after prolonged hangouts at the hotel lobby for two consecutive nights (myself included). THE FIERCE AND THE DEAD were the openers, and boy, did they shake the house down. One of the best part of festivals of all musical styles is finding the band you never heard of and having them lobotomizing your skull. A true “Church of Prog, Wake-up Band”, these Brits combined post-rock picking with some brutally heavy riffing, flirting out with heavy-metal. Firm, vibrant passages alternated with ones with a looser, more open nature, occasional dipping into punk. Their all-instrumental sound could probably loosely be filed under the “Post-Rock/Math-Prog” category, yet it revolves around being non-conformative, sophisticated challenging, and intriguingly primitive sounding at times. I must say they were the perfect band to shake off the accumulated tiredness, establishing a great rapport with the audience. Tight musicians that know each other well, I was gladly impressed by Stuart Marshall’s relentless and at times maniacal way to pound his drumkit. My dear friend Octavia Brown who is behind the organizational team of the 2Days Prog + 1 Festival (a wonderful free-admission progressive rock celebration happening in Veruno, Italy every September) visited the US to enjoy her first dib at RoSfest and fell in love with these guys… even though they are Arsenal’s fans!
I know, I know, I said I would be brief, but hey, you read all the way to here! Is difficult to put such a large amount of happenings in black and white without writing a bit too much. A curated selection of sound coming from some of the best progressive bands in the planet, and running with Swiss clockwork punctuality, RoSfest continues to set standards in the way an event of such magnitude should materialize. Obviously it is impossible to please everyone, and I’ve heard opinions about the line-up lacking avant, zeuhl, krautrock, space, electronic, and fusion acts. While I respect everyone’s opinion, I can tell you that putting together an event of this significance is far from being your regular 9 to 5 job. There are so many variables and moving pieces, such a huge logistic to handle and so many details to nail like most of us have no idea; it could easily be the subject for your next never-ending nightmare. In my opinion the team led by George and his wonderful wife Beth continue to outdo themselves year after year, and they deserve the highest praise for their dedication and countless efforts to overcome any difficulty and keep offering their loyal attendees such an exciting and fulfilling and mind-blowing musical experience. Next year is their 15th anniversary, and I know George is “cooking” something special, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Below you can find the complete picture galleries for the third and last day.