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Thread: ROSfest Review Thread

  1. #1
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    ROSfest Review Thread

    Since no one else has started one A few thoughts about this year’s ROSfest. This was the first year in Sarasota and overall it was a great experience. There certainly seemed to be a drop off in attendance and I am sure George took a hit, but it was a great weekend that I really enjoyed. A few random observations:

    THE VENUE
    The Sarasota Opera house was very nice. I would guess it is roughly the same size as the theater in Gettysburg. The staff was very accommodating; the sight lines good and overall a great place. I thought the sound was a bit muddy in spots from where I was sitting, but it varied from band to band. The outdoor beer garden was very cool, and provided a nice place for people to hang out and socialize between acts. The weather was pretty much perfect, especially coming from Michigan. The production seemed to be scaled down a bit from Gettysburg, as the lighting did not seem quite as elaborate as past festivals, but it was still effective.

    THE TOWN
    Sarasota is simply a beautiful town. I had the chance to walk around quite a bit on Friday and it is very artsy with galleries and several theaters in the area. One thing that was much different from Gettysburg was the getting in and out of restaurants was no problem at all. Eating dinner in between band’s 3 and 4 each day was a much more relaxing experience as you could walk right in places, get seated, have a few drinks and get fed, with plenty of time to make the show. May is the start of the off season in Florida, and it was not particularly busy . Every place that I ate at was very good as well. Walking around was easy, safe and not freezing out!

    THE HOTEL

    I stayed at the host hotel The Aloft. It was an easy 5 minute walk to the venue. The hotel was very nice and they were cool enough to keep the bar open until 2:00AM after the show on Sunday night which was fun for everyone to hang out. The staff was very accomdating.

    AFTER PARTY VENUE

    The Mandeville Beer Garden was also a very cool outdoor place. I attended both Friday night and Saturday night. It was a laid back vibe within easy walk of the venue and the hotel. They had a nice selection of beers and cover bands playing both nights. Being outdoors (they had a covered area too) was a nice bonus with the weather being so nice.

    THE PERFORMANCES

    Cryptic Vison: Opened things up nicely on Friday night with hometown prog from Florida.

    Von Hertzen Brothers: I loved this show. I had never seen them before, but own several of their albums. They did not disappoint. Lots of 3 and 4 part vocal harmonies and great music.

    Intransient: This band is based out of Michigan. I have been hearing about them for a while up here, but this was my first time seeing them. I really enjoyed them and think with a bit more seasoning they have a lot of potential.

    Karmoi: There must be something in the water in Italy, as the country just keeps putting out great bands. I really enjoyed their set.

    Phideaux: Xavier brought a huge band with him for this one with multiple keyboard players, vocalists, guitarists, and he even snuck in Matt Kennedy from Discipline. They put on a nice show of material from the most recent album and older stuff.

    Martin Barre: I saw Martin a year ago or so in a club, but this was a much different show. As a celebration of 50 years of Jethro Tull with former Tull members this was more of a multi-media event covering Tull’s career from the beginning up through the mid-80’s. I really enjoyed it. Martin was running around the stage like a man half his age. It was cool to see him on a big stage instead of a cramped club stage.

    Edge Of Reality: These guys blew out the cobwebs in the prog church slot and I really enjoyed them.

    Traverser: I already owned one of their albums, so I figured I would like these guys which I did. They definitely leaned on the more metal side of prog and I dug it.

    Mile Marker Zero: I went into this band totally unfamiliar with them, and they definitely won me over. Of the undercard bands on the bill they appeared to be the most polished. I really enjoyed them and plan to check out more of their stuff.

    Riverside: As always, they were excellent. Everything about their show was pretty much perfect. “Wasteland” was a highlight and for me ranks right up with the best songs they have ever recorded. A tribute to their fallen band member Pitor was moving. If this tour is coming to your town you need to go see them.

    Overall it was a fantastic weekend. George and his staff knocked it out of the park and Sarasota is a terrific place to hold an event like this. Hopefully it can be built back up to what it was in Pennsylvania.
    Last edited by SteveSly; 05-08-2019 at 07:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Thank you for taking the time to write a review. The location and atmosphere sounded great. If the fest booked some groups that would draw me there, I’d definitely consider going.
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  3. #3
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    Thanks SS! Sounds like everything went well.

    I believe that Matt K. has been doing double duty for at least a few years with both Messrs. Parmenter & Xavier as a full member of both bands & Matt's on Phideaux's albums during that time. Educate me if I'm mistaken (anyone).

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that Dale called me from outside the theater and put Kennedy on the phone to say hi!
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  4. #4
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    ^^^^^

    Thou hast it correct!

    Matty K has been in Phideaux’s band for at least a decade; I saw him with them 10-12 years ago....
    Steve F.

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  5. #5
    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    Thanks SteveSly!.

    As you may know, I live in Costa Rica and I used to go to Baja Prog in Mexicali: definitely, ROSfest (Sarasota Fl.) works for me equal or better than Baja Prog and as Poisoned Youth mentioned, it'll depend on the groups that will be involved in the next editions.

    Regards!
    Last edited by TCC; 05-08-2019 at 09:01 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by progeezer View Post
    Thanks SS! Sounds like everything went well.

    I believe that Matt K. has been doing double duty for at least a few years with both Messrs. Parmenter & Xavier as a full member of both bands & Matt's on Phideaux's albums during that time. Educate me if I'm mistaken (anyone).

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that Dale called me from outside the theater and put Kennedy on the phone to say hi!
    Yes, I was not aware of that before the show, so was surprised to see him up there, but was told later that he had been playing with them for quite a while.

  7. #7
    Here's a link to a survey for those who attended the 2019 festival.

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LZNK2G8

  8. #8
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great review Steve.
    We live about an hour from Sarasota, but as Poisoned Youth commented, if they book bands that are in my own wheelhouse such as Glass Hammer, Pendragon, IQ, Dave Kerzner Band(who lives in Miami and it would seem to be a no brainer to book him, easy logistics and no passports to worry about..lol).
    Although Rosfest booking Big Big Train for next year sounds very promising.
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice

  9. #9
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Love reading your reviews, Steve. Sounds like a great time.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  10. #10
    Member gearHed289's Avatar
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    I really wanted to go to this to see Von Hertzen, but my family had other plans for me! Maybe next year. I DO get to see Riverside in about a week and a half though.

  11. #11
    Member Camelogue's Avatar
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    Headliners excellent.

    The rest of the bands did not do much for me.

    Venue excellent

    Town excellent

    Beer - excellent

    Food - excellent

    Weather - excellent

  12. #12
    Next year’s festival will be 8 to 10 May with Big Big Train headlining Sat May 9.

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