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Thread: Upcoming NEARfest Interview on Sea of Tranquility

  1. #26
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    I made it to all except 2000 and 2010 and had a blast at all 11 that I attended. This video was a fun watch. I still remember being at the War Memorial early one of those years buying tickets and Rob showing up with CDs - If I remember right, I grabbed a High Wheel disc from him that morning. So many great memories of those weekends - me and my buds always had a blast - whether it was the music, the vendor rooms!, hanging in the Zoellner parking garage in between some acts with that great view of the the area, the artist interaction, etc.

    I remember anxiously awaiting the cool logo and shirt designs unveiling each year. And there was this guy who often was outside playing the Stick, if I remember correctly. And then, even though I was there each year, it was still fun to come on PE and read the extensive reviews from one particular fan from the Princeton area - I think his name was Thomas (RIP) and he was in a wheelchair at the fests.

    I still don't remember how we found out about the first one, but glad we did.

  2. #27
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    I also came across a cool site of someone who apparently doesnt live too far from me. He has some cool memories and photos from each NEARfest since 2000 - some cool shots to jog some memories:

    https://judicialsupport.wordpress.co...es-and-photos/

  3. #28
    W.P.O.D. Dan Marsh's Avatar
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    Good to hear you.

    I think I went to 8.

    My memories:

    Trenton Year one you had to change my seats due to the Nektar light show
    Trenton year two I was part of your staff and I got to see the behind the scenes part of the show
    Apocalypse I could not do Patron due to work. A week before the show a Rob had a Patron seat for me.

    And

    Rob standing up before U.K. and telling the crowd to shut up. The lights had been down for awhile and we were getting antsy.

    Thanks guys for all of the memories.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Marsh View Post
    Rob standing up before U.K. and telling the crowd to shut up. The lights had been down for awhile and we were getting antsy.
    Yes! I remember that! I also remember during that long period while the lights were down for UK - it was quiet for a bit - someone walked on stage (a tech?) and a fan yelled "Who are you?" That still makes me laugh to this day.

  5. #30
    W.P.O.D. Dan Marsh's Avatar
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    A zoom call where we could interact would be great.

    One final NF memory: Remember how late Camel was due to the afternoon going long

    I saw Camel in 1978 at a room in UC Davis. This room had a huge thing in the middle. I mentioned this to Andy and all the laters he remembered the room.

    But I never got to participate in the Bethlehem home hotel.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    And there was this guy who often was outside playing the Stick, if I remember correctly. And then, even though I was there each year, it was still fun to come on PE and read the extensive reviews from one particular fan from the Princeton area - I think his name was Thomas (RIP) and he was in a wheelchair at the fests.

    I still don't remember how we found out about the first one, but glad we did.
    I believe the Stick player you are talking about was Rob Martino. Really nice guy. The person in the wheelchair was Thomas Arena who was also a member here.

  7. #32
    Greg Howard did a few outside Stick performances too

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by nearfest View Post
    Greg Howard did a few outside Stick performances too
    That name rings a bell. I believe that’s who I was thinking of.

  9. #34
    Great memories! I was fortunate enough to have made it to 1999-2002, 2006, 2009. In retrospect I would and should have gone to all but I had young kids at the time and it was hard to get away.

    99 has some uniqueness for sure due to the smaller venue. Remembering some of the Solaris hijinx and the B3 broken key incident makes me laugh as well.

    I agree that Trenton wasn't as magical though the Nektar reunion was memorable. On one of our east coast vacations a few years ago we drove through Bethlehem and stopped to eat at the Perkins (not sure if it's still there).

    Lots of great bands as well as the vendor rooms and hanging at the hotel afterwards.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    That name rings a bell. I believe that’s who I was thinking of.
    The more I think about Howard is probably who it was.

  11. #36
    I made it to ten of these. Good times!

    What Trenton lacked in magic it more than made up for in excitement. Were you going to make it back from dinner alive?

    Regards,
    Sean
    Infinite Ceiling on www.ckcufm.com every Thursday night at 8:30 with me or Mark Keill, archived shows: https://cod.ckcufm.com/programs/112/...tml?filter=all
    Electronic Meditation on www.ckcufm.com archived shows: https://cod.ckcufm.com/programs/462/...tml?filter=all

  12. #37
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    The comaraderie of those who hung out all night for tickets was priceless!!!

  13. #38
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    The more I think about Howard is probably who it was.
    Rob Martino was the guy who would play the Stick out on the steps.
    He did not know that the sword he'd hold, would turn his priceless empire into fool's gold...

    http://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

  14. #39
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I have to watch or listen to the interview, then finish reading the thread. But this interview is going to be fun to hear, so I need to wait till I can listen uninterrupted.

    BTW, I"m assuming the reason for the timing ot this is that next weekend is the traditional time for NEARfest. And thus again, next weekend is the traditional double-whammy that made it so hard for me to attend as many NFs as I'd have liked: Sunday the 21st is Father's Day AND my wife's and my 29th wedding anniversary!

    NEARfest was awesome!

  15. #40
    Thanks to Rob and Chad for the NEARFest, truly a great event

    I have attended all of them and just missed, or got late to, few early Sunday shows ... commuting back to NJ for 1 1/2 hour every night (especially on Saturday) took some toll after all. NEARFest allowed me to see so many great bands that I thought was never possible, IQ (twice) being one of them, Banco, PFM etc. Then getting exposure to others that otherwise I would have never experienced, like Miriodor mentioned by Rob in the interview. It is so hard to come up with what was the best performance there among the outstanding shows by the likes of Camel, Keith Emerson and so on, but the one that stood out for me was the Caravan at Trenton. Nevertheless, it was always Lehigh's Zoellner Center that felt like home. Oh, and then the vendors ... always coming back each night with a bag full of CDs, that would take next few months to digest. So many great memories, also of Bill, a friend I met at the 1st festival and everyone after it, who sadly passed away of cancer shortly after the festival ended. Miss the long talks we had at the waiting line (quite long one too) for tickets (and being saved by Greg's coffee while at it) at the venues and during the breaks between the concerts, and discussing our purchases which was always interesting as Bill had a quite different taste in music. God bless his soul, it was a privilege to get to know him. But then IMO the overall feeling of friendship at the festivals had been truly outstanding.

    But then, half jokingly and just to let Rob and Chad help decipher me, NREAFest really blew it not inviting to the festival the Polish band Ankh implored by me at the time. I understand there were so many choices but then someone's loss became a gain for others as Ankh blew the roof at Baja Prog festival and was invited as a headliner for its next edition. Just imagine a wild violinist, in an even wilder mask, raving around the scene to the folky, progressive and venturing into hard rock tunes. Some taste of it can be glimpsed from a CD, recorded at the Rio Art Festival - Cachaça: Live At Rio Artrock Festival 1999, but then with only the sound it is not a full picture.

    Oh well, this being in the past, I can only imagine how hard it was for Rob and Chad to choose between the bands to play there. Again kudos to Rob and Chad, all the stuff and volunteers there for this great festival.
    "Confusion Will Be My Epitaph"

  16. #41
    I remember liking Ankh's disc but one of the MAJOR issues with Polish bands was a rather convoluted, multi-step, and expensive crapshoot visa process that took us years to master successfully, and one for which we didn't have the budget in the earlier years. At the time it was 10x easier for a Polish band to play 5 miles over the border in Mexico, or in Canada, than in the USA. It took us two go-rounds to get Riverside's visas approved and they were far more well known. It was far, far easier to get bands from Visa Waiver countries in for NF.

  17. #42
    Member mnprogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    I also came across a cool site of someone who apparently doesnt live too far from me. He has some cool memories and photos from each NEARfest since 2000 - some cool shots to jog some memories:

    https://judicialsupport.wordpress.co...es-and-photos/
    I always appreciated the quote from my friend Creighton in 2000 Program

    ""Jam on it man!" a guy between songs during Scott McGill's Hand Farm's Set at NEARfest 1999""


  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by nearfest View Post
    I remember liking Ankh's disc but one of the MAJOR issues with Polish bands was a rather convoluted, multi-step, and expensive crapshoot visa process that took us years to master successfully, and one for which we didn't have the budget in the earlier years. At the time it was 10x easier for a Polish band to play 5 miles over the border in Mexico, or in Canada, than in the USA. It took us two go-rounds to get Riverside's visas approved and they were far more well known. It was far, far easier to get bands from Visa Waiver countries in for NF.
    Quite so, and I was not aware of the visa problems at that time. As I recall even Riverside had problems to get visas at the first go around. Btw, it would be much easier now as Poland is in the visa waiver program ... however, judging from what you said during the interview, I doubt that would convince you to have another edition?

    As for Ankh, soon after their 1st Baja Prog thing the violinist (Michal Jelonek) left (created his own band Jelonek" playing hard rockish instrumental versions of classical music and his own compositions) and this departure has changed totally the character of Ankh. The music on their new album "Expect Unexpected" became much more mellow, with hints of going in the direction of the likes of Porcupine Tree and losing its distinct sound. As such the follow up performance as headliner at the Baja Prog seems to have generated much less of the enthusiasm than before. Soon after the band kind of disappeared from the picture. In 2018 came out a "new" album released by the band but really being a compilation of the new and old tracks including the ones with their original violinist from the era. It seems they have a new violinist and still are somewhat active on the local scene. Who knows, maybe they will come back?
    "Confusion Will Be My Epitaph"

  19. #44
    I saw Ankh's performance at Baja Prog. Fabulous! I hadn't heard them before, but I ended buying 3 of their CDs.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by roylayer View Post
    I saw Ankh's performance at Baja Prog. Fabulous! I hadn't heard them before, but I ended buying 3 of their CDs.
    Wow, that had to be a blast ... wish I were there. Btw, it will never stop to amaze me how prolific and dedicated are the members of this group.
    "Confusion Will Be My Epitaph"

  21. #46
    Member Firth's Avatar
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    Very stimulating interview about a great run. Some thoughts:

    1. The interview did not mention the economy issue related to the cancellation of the 2011 show. Product issues were discussed, but based on my memories of of some posts by people who were hurt by the economy crash of 2009 which resulted in ramifications for 2010 and 2011.

    2. Talking about Trenton, that was my first NF and got my tickets late and ended up in the top of the balcony for that Hackett show. Well the Taurus pedal bass notes were focused in that area, the plaster came down from old structures above us which held chandeliers at one time. Wasn’t a huge disaster, but a first for me.

    3. Surprised about no mention of Kenso, a Japanese fusion band that appeared to bring tears to many of the audience during their performance of Billy Joel’s Allentown. After killing with one of the most innovative Prog-fusion shows I have ever seen, with 2 keyboardists and Japan’s top heavy metal drummer. The show was a perfect example of me attending NF with no idea of what was coming and not having done the research, and hearing something totally unexpected and getting blown away.

    4. Honorable mention must go to Bethlehem Brewery for the Apocalyptic Ale and many other great beers before that.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  22. #47
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    The interview did not mention the economy issue related to the cancellation of the 2011 show. Product issues were discussed, but based on my memories of of some posts by people who were hurt by the economy crash of 2009 which resulted in ramifications for 2010 and 2011.
    I don't recall that being much of an issue. The crash was in 2008 btw.
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  23. #48
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I don't recall that being much of an issue. The crash was in 2008 btw.
    Correct. It wasn't an issue. 2009, 2010 and 2012 were all complete and quick sellouts. I hold fast that if you don't produce a product that people want to buy, they won't buy it. NEARfest was a big investment for folks to travel, attend and buy merch. If the bands (the main draw) are not up to snuff (by NF standards at least), it's easy for folks to justify saving their hard-earned funds and waiting to see who it booked for the following year.
    Chad

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I don't recall that being much of an issue. The crash was in 2008 btw.
    The aftermath of the 2008 crisis saw plenty of hardship—millions of Americans lost their homes to mortgage foreclosures, and by the summer of 2010 the jobless rate had risen to almost ten per cent.

    Just personal experience, 2010-2011 saw huge layoffs where I worked and I don’t think that was unique.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  25. #50
    yes, so why was 2010 an instant sellout, but 2011 landed in the crapper, then 2012 another instant sellout. It's gotta be the band roster. :-)

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