The latest news on concert information, new music and events in the prog community

NEW: Marillion Weekend in July 2022 • Symphony X and Haken at the Corona Theatre

October 26, 2021
The Musical Box presents
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
New show added!

A new date has been added for Montreal's legendary Genesis Tribute band The Musical Box, who will present their show "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of the Place des Arts, on Friday, April 8, 2022 and now also on Saturday, April 9, 2022.

It is Here! It Is Now! Don't miss the original 1974-75 show, recreated in every detail, licenced by Genesis and Peter Gabriel.

Doors at 7:15 PM, show at 8:00 PM. Tickets for the new Saturday, April 9, 2022 show will be put on sale this Friday at 10:00 AM through evenko.


October 25, 2021
Steve Hackett plays Seconds Out
Steve Hackett will be back in Montreal to present Genesis Revisited Seconds Out and More, on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier of the Place des Arts. The show will feature the 1977 Genesis live album Seconds Out in full, plus More!

Seconds Out was the hugely successful double album recorded on Genesis' 1977 concert tour together with The Cinema Show, from their 1976 tour, and featured Steve Hackett on guitar alongside Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Phil Collins who had taken on the role of vocalist following the departure of Peter Gabriel. The tour included music from each of the six studio albums from Steve's time in Genesis and marked his final recordings with the band as he left to pursue his solo career upon its completion.

There will also be additional material, including solo favourties and tracks from Steve's new album "Surrender Of Silence".

Steve Hackett says: "I'm thrilled to bring Seconds Out back to life, featuring Genesis material at its most exciting and virtuosic, this time with all numbers played in full plus additional surprises."

Tickets on sale soon!



October 25, 2021
An Evening With Peter Hook & The Light
Joy Division : A Celebration

Composer/multi-instrumentalist and bassist of the legendary band Joy Division Peter Hook, will present a An Evening With Peter Hook & The Light - Joy Division : A Celebration. Peter and his band will perform the 'Unknown Pleasures' & 'Closer' albums by Joy Division, with an opening set of New Order material, on Saturday, August 13, 2022 at the Club Soda (1225 St-Laurent Blvd, Montreal).

General admission tickets are $42.75, available at the Club Soda boxoffice.


October 17, 2021
Ice Nine Kills at Théâtre Corona!
American metal band Ice Nine Kills will be at the Corona Theatre (2490 Notre-Dame Street West, Montreal, Montreal) on Friday, December 3, 2021, as part of the Hip To Be Scared Severed Leg 2 tour, accompanied by Bad Omens, Currents and Fame on Fire.

Ice Nine Kills is an American heavy metal band from Boston, MA, best known for its horror-inspired lyrics, Ice Nine Kills formed in its earliest incarnation in 2000 by high school friends Spencer Charnas and Jeremy Schwartz. Charnas is currently the only remaining founding member.

To date, Ice Nine Kills has released three EPs along with six full-length studio albums: Last Chance to Make Amends, Safe Is Just a Shadow, The Predator Becomes the Prey, their most successful albums to date; Every Trick in the Book, which peaked at number 122 on the US Billboard 200; The Silver Scream, which peaked at number 29 and their latest, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood. Their band name is derived from the fictional substance ice-nine from the novel Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.

Check-out their very energetic video Funeral Derangement on YouTube.

Doors at 6:00 PM, show begins at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available through evenko. Vaccinal passport required.


October 17, 2021
Tears for Fears return for first album in 17 years
Seventeen years after Tears for Fears last released an album of new music, the beloved band behind Head Over Heels, Shout and Everybody Wants to Rule the World will return in 2022 with
The Tipping Point.

Ahead of the LP’s arrival on February 25th via Concord Records, Tears for Fears founding members Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith also shared the first single and title track The Tipping Point, which — like the album — was inspired by a series of professional and personal “tipping points” in the years following their last album, 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending.

For Orzabal, that point was influenced by the death of his wife Caroline in 2017. “It came at a time when my (late) wife was very ill. I was watching her become a ghost of her former self. So the song’s narrator is in a hospital ward looking at people about to cross the threshold that we call death,” Orzabal told Rolling Stone.

“The line in the song says, ‘Will you ever know when it’s the Tipping Point?’ meaning, will you ever know when a person has crossed that threshold from life to death when you cannot even perceive that ‘vague and distant void’ as it’s described in the lyric. I have to admit that even in March 2016 when I was read the riot act by doctors about Caroline possibly not making it through the weekend, I was still in denial. I think that when you’ve been close to someone for decades, they are living within you as well as without. And consciously I did not believe she would die, though subconsciously I was, without doubt, preparing for the inevitable, arming myself against the future shock.”

The song itself was built out of a “haunting backing track idea” created by the band’s co-producer and longtime touring member Charlton Pettus. “He blended a couple of trademark themes, twisted the time signature and left me to sort out the rest,” Orzabal says.

Tears for Fears hadn’t intended to take such a long break between albums; “I would say life and geography got in the way,” Smith tells Rolling Stone, adding that while the band still toured frequently, they didn’t want to be “helicopter parents” to their then-young children. When it finally came time to make a new album a few years ago, as the duo notes, they were encouraged by previous management to work with an army of “today’s hitmakers,” each of whom tried to”recreate a Tears for Fears classic.” The sessions were an epic disaster, the band admits, and another tipping point.

“We went along with the process and amassed a lot of up-tempo attempts at hit singles. I like a lot of them but when configured into an album, they were tiring to listen to. There was no artistry, no dynamics, no personality to the album,” Orzabal says.

Instead, Smith and Orzabel did something they hadn’t done since there were teens: They sat in a room, acoustic guitars in hand, and started making music. The result, opening track No Small Thing, is what the band cites as the catalyst that sparked The Tipping Point.

However, some songs from the failed collaborative sessions found second life on The Tipping Point: My Demons, written with Sacha Skarbek and Flo Reutter (“I must admit I am very proud of the lyric, kinda ‘Boy in the Bubble’ on crystal meth,” Orzabal says) as well as Please Be Happy, “an agonizing plea to the person you love as they struggle with depression. But that song lay dormant for a long time. It’s a slow, heartfelt ballad which I try not to listen to too often,” Orzabel says.

The Tipping Point also features Stay, which was one of the two new songs the band recorded for the 2017 best-of compilation Rule the World.

“It has been remixed to be more in line with the recording and flow of the album, the flow of the album being the reason it was chosen,” Smith says of the inclusion of Stay. “We do have an old school approach to albums in the sense that it needs to tell a story, as well as have a side one and side two. We felt Stay had a similar effect as Listen on Songs From The Big Chair, it was a long calm breath at the end of the album, the palate cleanser. Also the final lyrics being ‘Stay, don’t stay. Go, don’t go’ made it all the more poignant.”

Tears for Fears also plan to tour extensively in support of The Tipping Point, which is available for preorder now. - Source: Rolling Stone

The Tipping Point Track List:

1. No Small Thing
2. The Tipping Point
3. Long, Long, Long Time
4. Break The Man
5. My Demons
6. Rivers Of Mercy
7. Please Be Happy
8. Master Plan
9. End Of Night
10. Stay

Deluxe CD Edition:
11. Let It All Evolve
12. Secret Location
13. Shame (Cry Heaven)


October 17, 2021
Symphony X and Haken at Théâtre Corona!
Prog metal bands Symphony X and Haken will be at the Corona Theatre (2490 Notre-Dame Street West, Montreal, Montreal) on
Saturday, May 14, 2022, accompanied by Trope.

Symphony X will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on this tour. Haken will be presenting the music of thir latest album entitled Virus!

Doors at 6:30 PM, show begins at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $58 (taxes included) available through evenko. Vaccinal passport required.


September 28, 2021
Megadeth & Lamb Of God at Place Bell - postponed
UPDATE: Here we go again... the show featuring heavy Metal giants Megadeth and Lamb Of God which was supposed to take place at the Place Bell in Laval on
Friday, October 1st, 2021, with special guests Trivium and Hatebreed has been postponed yet again! The show originally scheduled for October 28th, 2020 at Place Bell, and then rescheduled for July 30th, 2021, was supposed to take place on October 1st, 2021. Concert-goers are being asked to hold onto their original tickets, as they will be honored for the rescheduled date yet to be announced.


September 28, 2021
Dream Theater in Laval - postponed
UPDATE: Another one bites the dust! The Dream Theater show, as part of their Top of the World Tour on
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at the Place Bell in Laval, with opening band Arch Echo, has been postponed.

Dream Theater will release their latest album entitled A View from the Top of the World on October 22, 2021. The band, comprised of James LaBrie, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, John Myung and Mike Mangini ‚was in the middle of a sold-out world tour in support of their last release Distance Over Time and the 20th anniversary of Scenes From A Memory when the Global COVID19 Pandemic brought the world to a stop. The musicians found themselves at home with LaBrie in Canada and the rest of the group in the States. As fate would have it, they had just finished construction on a combination live recording studio, rehearsal space, control room, equipment storage, and creative hive. With LaBrie in Canada, he initially wrote with the band via ZOOM on a monitor. In March 2021, he flew down to New York, quarantined, and recorded his vocals face-to-face with Petrucci. The album ultimately threaded together lean and uncompromising hooks with tried-and-true technical proficiency.


September 19, 2021
Tramp Of The Century
presents the Breakfast in America tour
In 1979,
Breakfast in America was one of the most popular albums on the planet, with over 20 million copies sold. Sales in Canada were equally strong with over a million copies sold, including more than 400,000 in Quebec. The same year, Supertramp organized a huge tour in Europe and North America. It was during this tour that the album "Live in Paris" was recorded. It was the same year that Montreal welcomed the British group to Parc Jarry for two grandiose shows, featuring Jean-Luc Ponty as the opening act, which still mark the imaginations of fans today who were fortunate enough to attend.

The Supertramp tribute group Tramp of the Century wants to allow its fans to relive this period when, both on record and on stage, the members of Supertramp were at their peak. With great attention to detail in interpreting this magnificent music with authenticity and energy, Tramp of the Century invites you to a brand new show paying homage to those wonderful nights under the stars, The Breakfast In America tour of 1979.

Tramp of the Century will be performing:

Bar Chez Maurice, in Saint-Lazare
Saturday, November 6, 2021

Café Bistro Allegro, in Mascouche
Saturday, November 13, 2021

at Casino Lac Leamy in Gatineau
Friday, November 26, 2021

Styx & Supertramp show at the Zénith, in Saint-Eustache
Saturday, December 4, 2021

at Club Dix-30 in Brossard
Friday, December 10, 2021

at Club Dix-30 in Brossard
Saturday, December 11, 2021

at Club Dix-30 in Brossard
Saturday, March 26, 2022


September 19, 2021
Orbit - Human Voltage - album review
A great discovery, multi-instrumentalist and studio guru Marc Girard presents his brand new project, Orbit, with the album entitled Human Voltage. High quality electronic music, with a dozen short and catchy compositions, featuring a great variety of styles and themes.

All of the tracks on this album have appealing melodies and harmonies that are sometimes reminiscent of the ambient new-age sound of Jean-Michel Jarre, or the experimental themes of Mike Oldfield. The subtle and ethereal arrangements are magnificent.

Among the pieces that stand out, Connexion and Voyager III are definitely influenced by the classic sound of Jean-Michel Jarre. Black Hole and Adventure, with their spirited rhythm, remind us of the dynamic sound of Ozric Tentacles at times. Interlude reminds us a bit of the graceful reverberations of Vangelis. Dawn has some early Tangerine Dream vibes, there is a nice inspired guitar solo at the end, courtesy of the excellent Bruno Coulombe! The beauty of this album is that it is linear and relaxing, harmonious and well-arranged from the first to the last note.

Orbit is definitely a delicious new project that will appeal to lovers of this eclectic musical style, I highly recommend it : 4.5/5


September 6, 2021
Martin Levac: A brand new show!
Martin Levac will be at the Théâtre Desjardins of CEGEP André-Laurendeau (1111, rue Lapierre, LaSalle) on
Saturday January 15, 2022 to present his brand new show entitled Martin Levac, Phil Collins & Genesis.

What are the great songs that have accompanied the most precious moments of your life?
After 20 years as Phil Collins, Martin Levac drops the personification in a brand new, more personal show.

From the intimate to the universal, he takes us into the soundtrack of his life, which is also ours ... It's a real journey through time, from the beginnings of Genesis to the great popular hits of Phil Collins.

Surrounded by his loyal Dance Into The Light musicians, he shows us how this music has marked and transformed his life and career.

Show at 8:00 PM. Tickets are available through the Desjardins theater box office and cost $47. Vaccination passport required
.


August 24, 2021
Pineapple Thief in Montreal!
British prog rock band The Pineapple Thief featuring Gavin Harrison, will be at L'Astral (305 Ste-Cathrrine West, Montreal) on
Sunday, May 8, 2022, to present the music of their 2020 album Versions of the Truth, with opening artist Alex Henri Foster.

Check-out the Versions of the Truth video clip from the album of the same name.

Doors at 7:00 PM, show begins at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available through evenko. The Pineapple Thief will also be on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City and Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at the Bronson Center in Ottawa.


August 18, 2021
Frost* - Day And Age
The excellent folks from Frost* have released a new opus this past May, entitled
Day and Age, following the release of Falling Satellites in 2016. Jem Godfrey, John Mitchell, and Nathan King reunited to record the album over the course of 2019 and 2020 in the middle of the pandemic lockdown, along with guest drummers Kaz Rodriguez, Darby Todd and Pat Mastelotto.

Frost* is renowned for its quality edgy progressive pop, with their mix of short, punchy songs and lengthy, bombastic epics, and I must say that Day and Age fits perfectly this description! Beautiful melodies, energetic rhythms throughout the entire album, but with darker lyrics that contrast a bit with the jovial melodies and dynamic tempos. Many of the songs on this new album have a driving energy that is perfect for road music at full volume!

The album is composed of 8 tracks on the first CD, with a second CD composed of their instrumental counterparts and edited tracks. it is also available in digital format and in a double vinyl LP set + CD. The title track, Day and Age, is a wonderful start to the album with a catchy jingle and energetic rhythm. Terrestrial has a hypnotic, spacey rhythm and so does the highly rhythmic track The Boy Who Stood Still, which has a spoken word portion done by Jason Isaacs (he played the devious Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter). Island Life harkens back to the style of the 1st Frost* album, with John Mitchell's highlighted vocals. Skywards and Waiting for the Lie provide a pause with more atmospheric melodies. Repeat to Fade has a bit of a heavier tone with equally ponderous lyrics. The epic of the album is the excellent Kill The Orchestra, which begins as a ballad, only to gradually gain momentum and turn into a vigorous number with a catchy melody!

Some of the songs, like Day and Age, Island Life and Terrestrial, have captivating accompanying videos. A brilliant 4th album from Jem and the guys!


August 9, 2021
Transatlantic back in Montreal
TRANSATLANTIC - The Prog Supergroup of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas, are pleased to announce tour dates for North America and UK/Europe to take place in 2022. The group will visit Quebec on
Monday, April 18, 2022 in Quebec City at the Palais Montcalm and on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 in Montreal at the M Telus Metropolis. The tour will be in support of the group's epic release The Absolute Universe which was released earlier this year in multiple versions. The North America dates kick off April 15 th in Glenside, PA and concludes with performances at Morsefest 2022 and Cruise to the Edge.

Mike Portnoy had this to say about the upcoming tour:

"Between releasing our latest album in the middle of a worldwide pandemic & shutdown, and the already difficult task of trying to align our different schedules even in the most normal of circumstances, it was uncertain if Transatlantic would ever get to play any shows in support of The Absolute Universe.

But now with the world slowly re-opening and the band already committing to a few one-off appearances in 2022 (Cruise To The Edge, Morsefest and a Festival in Romania), we're excited to announce we were able to wrangle up some headlining shows surrounding these one-offs!

These are the ONLY shows we will be doing in support of The Absolute Universe so if we can't make it to your area, it may be worth traveling to come see us and share these special shows with us. While we wish we could do a full proper tour, getting to play ANY shows for this album is an unexpected treat that we weren't sure would ever happen... so better late than never!" - Mike Portnoy

Monday, April 18, 2022 in Quebec City at the Palais Montcalm
https://palaismontcalm.tuxedobillet.com/main/transatlantic

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 in Montreal at the M Telus Metropolis
https://www.ticketmaster.ca/event/31005B03CBCC1934


August 6, 2021
Liquid Tension Experiment - A review
Here's a quick review of Liquid Tension Experiment 3:
Fans of Liquid Tension Experiment have always hoped for a reunion after the band's two stellar releases in 1998 and 1999, but as the decades passed, It seemed more and more unlikely.

But late last year, to the surprise of all, Mike Portnoy announced that the group had gathered again – in the Dream Theater studios no less – to record the third opus of the mighty LTE. They had confined themselves in order to work together in the studio. LTE3 was released in mid-April this year.

This third new album captures the spontaneity, energy and originality of their first one, and I must admit, is far better than their second one. The quartet as always, puts the accent on impressive instrumentation and blistering virtuosity throughout the album, which is composed of a solid selection of fiery, energetic numbers, ballads and improvisations. Some of the compositions have riffs directly lifted from Petrucci's Dream Theater library of melodies! It was no surprise that their famed interpretation of "Rhapsody In Blue" by Gershwin was featured on this album, as they had introduced it during their US tour in 2008 much to their fan's delight!

The group also released promo videos for the songs The Passage of Time, Beating the Odds and Hypersonic. The regular edition of LTE3 contains eight tracks; the special edition with bonus disc comes with almost one hour of improvisations. It was released in digital, CD, LP and Blu-ray formats, including a limited 2CD+Blu-ray artbook edition and a limited deluxe box set.


August 5, 2021
PAKT - A review
Here's a new energetic jazz fusion band with a super cool lineup! PAKT !
PAKT is made up of fretless bass guitar icon
Percy Jones (Brian Eno, Brand X), guitarists Alex Skolnick (Savatage, TSO) and Tim Motzer, and drummer Kenny Grohowski.

Elaborate instrumental proggy jazz fusion, with a superb level of virtuosity, the PAKT project is fluid and improvised yet highly organized. This album was released in July 2021, from a recording made of a live stream at the height of the pandemic lockdown, on August 15, 2020 in Brooklyn, NY. The intimate setting/live atmosphere of the ShapeShifter Lab Studios made for a splendid collaboration and instant chemistry between the musicians, something that would probably not have been possible if this project had been made in a home studio with the musicians sending their individual music tracks through email.

Alex Skolnick says: "When we play together it is non-categorizable, although one could probably apply terms like jazz-rock, ambient, experimental etc. It is entirely in the moment. The closest thing I've done to this was a project called Attention Deficit (with Michael Manring), although that was pure studio, never live. Fans of Attention Deficit will love PAKT, which can be seen live, and in fact, is all live, all the time."

Mixed and mastered by Benjamin Schäfer and Markus Reuter and produced by PAKT and Leonardo Pavkovic, this album is now available in CD format (2CD) on the Moonjune Records label, as well as on Bandcamp.


July 31, 2021
Marillion Weekend News: Ticket info
The Marillion folks have reignited the engines and are full steam ahead for the upcoming Marillion Weekend in Montreal in
July 2022.

Here is some detailed ticket info:
L'Olympia, 1004 Ste-Catherine Street East, Montreal, Canada -
1st - 3rd July 2022
Standing $195 CAD - Balcony (Allocated seating) $205 CAD

Ticket cost excludes taxes and booking fee and is for admission to all 3 nights.
Tickets / wristbands for the balcony will not allow you access to the standing area downstairs.
Tickets / wristbands for the downstairs standing area will not allow you access to the balcony upstairs.

PLEASE NOTE - A wristband will be issued on production of a valid ticket/order confirmation which then gives admittance all weekend.

Tickets on sale soon.

Here's the band's statement:

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are enjoying the Summer so far.

The new album is coming along very well. All the songs are written and arranged and we’ll be away this week at Real World utilising the amazing acoustic spaces and first-rate equipment. We know it's been a long time coming, but we haven’t compromised the quality of the new work, and we’re hoping you’ll agree when you hear it that it’s quite something...

Many of you have been contacting us as you want to know the dates of the Marillion Weekends for next year. We are pleased to announce them as follows:

Lodz, Poland - 8th - 10th April 2022
Stockholm, Sweden - 20th - 22nd May 2022
Leicester, UK - 27th - 29th May 2022
Lisbon, Portugal - 10th - 12th June 2022
Montreal, Canada -
1st - 3rd July 2022

We hope that this will help with your holiday plans for next year! Hopefully the plague will be a distant memory by then and we can all enjoy our traditional flagship family-weekend of music once again.

Love and hugs,

H, Ian, Mark, Pete and Steve


October 2, 2021
Judas Priest at Place Bell in Laval - postponed
The Judas Priest that ewas supposed to take at Place Bell in Laval on
Thursday, November 4, 2021, with Swedish metal band Sabaton opening, has been postponed. A new date will be announced soon.

One of heavy metal’s all-time greats, Judas Priest, will finally get the opportunity to celebrate their 50th anniversary this year with the launch of a North American tour this fall. The 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour will also feature Sabaton as openers and is being fueled by the highest charting album of Priest’s career,
Firepower, which peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200.

Produced by Live Nation, the North American tour, which will run throughout September (kicking off on September 8th in Reading, PA) and November (with a stop at Place Bell in Laval on Nov. 4), will feature a variety of special effects, which will undoubtedly enhance the might of Priest’s metal.

Few rock or metal acts remain as much of a must-see live attraction as Judas Priest. Having been forced off the road for over a year, Priest will soon make a most-welcomed return to metalheads, with the 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour.


June 14, 2021
Apocalyptica with Lacuna Coil
Finnish band Apocalyptica will be at the Mtelus Metropolis (59, rue Catherine est, Montreal) on Wednesday May 4, 2022, as part of their "Cell-O" tour with the Italian group Lacuna Coil as the opening act.

The show initially scheduled for May 23, 2020 at Mtelus, then postponed to September 7, 2021 at Mtelus, will be postponed again to May 4, 2022 and tickets already issued will be accepted for the new date.

Tickets available through evenko/Ticketmaster.


May 15, 2021
Genesis at the Bell Center - Show added
Finally the return of live music to Montreal! To relaunch indoor shows in town, what better than a big name! Dare we dream that this event will take place? Let's hope so!

The legendary pop prog group Genesis will be back on the road after a long 14-year hiatus in late fall 2021 and, will stop at the Bell Center in Montreal on Monday, November 22, 2021, and now with another show added on Tuesday, November 23, 2021. Doors at 7:00 pm, shows beginning at 8:00 pm.

The lineup will include Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Phil Collins, despite his precarious health, complemented by Phil's son, Nic Collins on drums, and the excellent Daryl Stuermer on guitar.

Tickets now on sale through evenko.


April 30, 2021
Pete Townshend and The Iron Man
The Iron Man: The Musical by Pete Townshend, was released in 1989, almost 20 years before Robert Downey Jr. took on the role of Tony Stark. It's a musical adaptation of the original novel by Ted Hughes (1968). An album quite out of the ordinary where we find Roger Daltrey, John Lee Hooker, and Nina Simone on vocals!

Here is the original album on the Atlantic label with the 16 page program! It includes a cover of the song Fire by Arthur Brown, as well as the song Dig, both performed by the 3 remaining members of Who! In 1993 a stage version of the album was mounted in London. In 1999, Warner Bros. released the movie "The Iron Giant", loosely based on Townshend's adaptation.


April 25, 2021
Miles Davis - Amandla
Here's a brief review of Miles Davis "Amandla".

An album from 1989 by jazz legend Miles Davis,
Amandla is one of his last relevant albums before he passed in 1991. Produced by Marcus Miller, who also worked on Tutu and Music from Siesta, it was deep deep in his funk/fusion era, with a sound incorporating African themes, Antillean dance, jazz fusion and energetic funk. A short release at 43 minutes, with a total of 8 tracks.

It has quite a variety of beats and rhythms, a bit all over the place as they say, while still retaining a very consistent "Miles sound" throughout. Of course, at this stage in his life, he was surrounded by an impressive lineup of eager top musicians, almost 20 of them, which made for a variety of melodies and harmonies, but also made for a lack of audacity and fearless exploration compared to his Columbia era period from the mid 50s to the mid 70s, and even some of his early 80's albums.

But still, even an ordinary Miles Davis album is a pretty good jazz album by any standards. Miles dedicated this recording to his long-time partner in crime, Gil Evans, who passed just a year before.


March 13, 2021
The Future Bites
from Steven Wilson
This is my review of Steven Wilson's latest album, The Future Bites.

Steven Wilson is one of those brilliant artists that truly reinvents himself from one album to another, his musical imagination seems to be boundless.
The Future Bites was released in early February, the COVID pandemic complicating the production side of the album, which had been scheduled to be released back in the summer of 2020. Quite a departure from the general musical styles and arrangements from his earlier albums Raven, Grace for Drowning and Insurgentes, but still very much in Steven's trademark sound and song structure.

The theme of the album is familiar to Steven Wilson fans, dealing with identity, technology and mass consumerism, offering at times a dark, dystopian view of our world. Those themes were explored in some way on Porcupine Tree's
Fear of a Blank Planet and are recurrent in some of his later work. Steven's press release described it as "The Future Bites picks apart our 21st century utopia, while also allowing for moments of personal growth and optimism".

The album begins with Unself, a short, eerie intro, and then on to one of the singles of the album, Self, which has a bit of a techno vibe, a catchy tune. King Ghost is a ethereal soundscape, reminiscent of "Index" at times, one caveat though, the tinny synth drums can be grating at times. 12 things I forgot is a great, catchy pop ballad with lovely melodies and harmonies, very much radio-ready, a genre that Steven explored on
To the Bone with "Permanating". Eminent Sleaze is a groovy, rhythmic track, where the usage of female back vocals is a bit reminiscent of Roger Waters and Pink Floyd, some great Chapman stick riffs from Sir Nick Beggs. Man of the People is a quiet, spacy interlude, which sounds like the material from the Grace For Drowning era, one of my favorites tracks. Then on to the "epic", and primary single of the album, Personal Shopper, clocking at almost 10 minutes, an energetic, highly rhythmic, slightly sinister techno rave track, and although I am not really a fan of this style, the track is quite catchy and is definitely good road music! Then on to Follower, an energetic track with a driving rhythm and a bit of distorted guitar work, the earworm "Ooh oh Follow me follow me" will stay stuck in your head! Count of Unease is a soft, melodic, fading conclusion to the album with a structure reminiscent of "Happy Returns" from Hand Cannot Erase.

A short main album at 42 minutes, I was tempted by the deluxe box set which features nearly 90 minutes of bonus material but for the casual fan, the regular edition is quite satisfactory.

A few music videos were released for the songs Eminent Sleaze, Personal Shopper and Self, all highly original, at times bizarre, with slick production and top notch effects.

I must salute Steven for this highly audacious and out-of-the-box album, definitely far from his comfort zone, which features good melodies, catchy pop themes and thoughtful lyrics. Some of Wilson's more rabid fans have often voiced their discontent at his current pop phase, and are not happy with his new musical direction. And it is indeed jarring at times, but give it a chance, give it a spin, it'll grow on you.

I will admit that even though I definitely enjoy this one a lot,
The Future Bites is not my favorite from his discography. I give it 3.9 out of 5 stars!



February 6, 2021
A Sky Full of Ghosts
from Sonus Umbra
Today, I'll be reviewing A Sky Full of Ghosts, the latest album from Sonus Umbra, a prog rock band based in Chicago, but originating from Mexico. Sonus Umbra have produced 6 studio albums over the last quarter century, and their brilliant mix of electric and acoustic material is what I affectionately label the "Chicago sound" that is common with brilliant artists of that area like Phideaux Xavier and Matthew Parmenter.

The production quality and mastering on this album is splendid, one of their most elaborate and mature productions, Sonus Umbra in its current incarnation is composed of highly talented multi-instrumentalists:

Luis Nasser / bass
Roey Ben-Yoseph / lead & backing vocals, percussion
Rich Poston / electric guitar, keyboards, vocals
Steve Royce / flute, keyboards, vocals, holophonics
Tim McCaskey / guitar, vocals
Andy Tillotson / drums, guitar, vocals
Bill Harrison / drums, percussion

A Sky Full of Ghosts features 9 compositions, clocking at 64 minutes, and begins with Antidentity, a great instrumental with a few elegant Jethro Tull-inspired passages, thanks to the masterful work of Steve Royce on the flute, a stylish and energetic rhythm section, and some pretty dazzling and ornate guitar work.

Bleary-Eyed People features a catchy guitar and flute intro with a beautiful melody, followed by a more hefty rhythm and complex time signatures, great vocals from Roey Ben-Yoseph, elegantly accompanied by a cello background and the ever present whimsical flute work from Steve Royce.

Desolation Dreams is an elegant interlude where the cello and the flute discourse with enthusiasm.

Any prog album worthy of its name must have its mighty epic masterpiece and Hidden in the Light fits that definition! This 20-minute composition has everything to please, with joyfully disconcerting temporal changes and a few tasty solos, eerie special effects and solemn, melancholic piano intervals, building up to a majestic crescendo of layered vocals, cello, acoustic guitar and piano, a wonderful track!

After this magnum opus, the piece Losing My Insanity is a tasteful, melancholic break with a bit of the old Hammond organ thrown in for good measure!

The Last Menagerie features an energetic mid-section with juicy counterpoints, where Luis Nasser's bass work shines brightly.

Time Is Running Out has a bit of a sweet, spirited Beatles vibe with a beautiful, catchy melody and vocal harmonies.

The Waves Will Devour the Sea is a playful instrumental track with a bit of an avant-garde vibe, with an intro reminiscent of Miriodor, it truly highlights the talent of these splendid musicians.

Apogee is a delicate and melancholic conclusion to this album, ending with ethereal, narrated vocals reminiscent of Anathema.

So there you have it, a splendid variety of sounds and styles, but very consistent and coherent as a whole. The depth and quality of these compositions is highly satisfying, an album best appreciated in its entirety.

Check this band out on their Bandcamp page at:
https://gotsonus.bandcamp.com/album/a-sky-full-of-ghosts


Sonus Umbra - A Sky Full of Ghosts • Released on December 22, 2020 • UPC code: 700261484990


February 3, 2021
While we wait for live music to come back...
Well, the World Health Organization was right, this thing may last for 18 to 24 months... The COVID-19 pandemic robbed us of many of the things we have taken for granted, from an evening at the pub with friends, to a outing with the family at your favorite restaurant, but the entertainment industry and live music have taken a particularly hard hit, effectively being completely shut down since March 2020.

So for ProgMontreal, a site dedicated to live music and upcoming concerts, the pandemic rendered it pretty much obsolete and useless. But I haven't thrown in the towel just yet. While we wait for the live music industry to slowly come back as the pandemic nears its end, permit me use this site to talk about life, the universe, and everything...
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So for now, ProgMontreal will mirror the contents of my personal blog on Facebook! Check it out below!



February 3, 2021
Vinyl Finds: Tears Roll Down
A hard-to-find 45 single from Tears For Fears from 1989. Side A is "Sowing the Seeds of Love" and side B is the original version of "Tears Roll Down" that's different from the one on their greatest hits album from 1992 "Tears Roll Down - Greatest Hits 82–92". That song was not originally included on the 1989 album "Seeds of Love".

The single below is the Canadian version, the US version had a inverted black label with white text and a big codebar on the right.

There was an even more elusive single version on 12" 45 vinyl with the complete version of "Sowing the Seeds of Love" with the outtro, "Tears Roll Down" and a remixed version of "Shout".


February 3, 2021
Return to Forever - Return to the 7th Galaxy
Here is a review of a splendid "greatest hits" of one of the finest fusion bands of the 70's.

Return to the 7th Galaxy (1996) highlights the music of 4 albums of Return To Forever, during their most creative era between 1972 and 1975. Various incarnations of the band during that period featured spectacular musicians like Lenny White, Bill Connors, Al Di Meola and Joe Farrell, but all of these 4 albums had in common Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke as the core team.

The first disk concentrates on the latino jazz formation in 1972-73. The second disk delves into the later jazz rock fusion era of the band, with probably their most classic lineup lineup of Corea, Clarke, Di Meola and White. Four of the songs on this compilation are live recordings that capture the pure energy of this band onstage, even though these recordings are a bit harsh at times, but include a blistering 14 minute version of Spain, it's worth getting that compilation just for that track.

Essential tracks are part of this anthology, including Celebration Suite, Majestic Dance, Cosmic Rain, Hymn of the 7th Galaxy, No Mystery, Vulcan Worlds and 500 miles high, rounded off by a well-balanced selection of other renowned tracks. It's a very good musical portrait of Return to Forever if you're looking to explore the music of this legendary band.


February 3, 2021
Apple & programmed obsolescence...
Today i'll be talking about Apple products and their longevity. In the early days, Apple had a business model where their products were very well engineered, well built, easily upgradable and their operating system was superior in many ways to their PC world counterparts (but that is a debate for another time!). Their crowning achievement was the longevity of their gear, many computers, devices and equipments far outlasted other brands, before failing or becoming truly obsolete. But there was a cost to that: Apple gear was damn expensive.

So for Apple, they compensated having to manufacture a bit less gear by selling it at a price that made your eyes water...

But with the years, many companies caught up with Apple as far as ease of use, flexibility and upgradability. When Steven Jobs passed away, I noticed a subtle change in Apple products. I don't know, maybe a shift in accessibility and flexibility, a compromise in quality, that did not benefit the consumers, and made their gear very hard to repair or update. This prompted a movement called the Electronics right to repair (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronics_right_to_repair). In essence, it's a "bill of rights" of sorts stating that no company can forbid users from tinkering with their own gear and prevent them from repairing or upgrading it, especially if it is out of warranty.

In particular, Apple in the mid 2010s had started making phones, tablets and computers much more difficult to repair or upgrade, or simply disassemble without potentially destroying them, they went as far as to introduce code in their OS that purposely slowed down older devices, in an effort to make consumers throw away what doesn't work anymore and replacing it with brand new gear... Sneaky buggers!!!

In 2005, replacing a Lithium Ion Battery on a PowerBook involved purchasing from Apple a new battery module, and pop off the old battery by turning a penny on a slot in the back... Nowadays, you have to bring it to an Apple authorized dealer because they have made the battery so inaccessible that you run the risk of breaking your computer if you attempt to replace the battery yourself, unless you are an expert at microsurgery.

And I have also noticed that the quality of their gear has suffered too. phones and computers do not seem to last nearly as long as their earlier components. For the sake of extreme miniaturization and high efficiency, they sometimes cut corners and make poor engineering decisions. Remember the G5 era and the bad caps? Between 2002 and 2007, Apple manufactured many G5 computers that had faulty capacitors that performed flawlessly for 2 or 3 years, then failed because the faulty capacitors started overheating or exploding, releasing stinky magic smoke before giving up the ghost, of course all of these machines had just ended their extended warranty (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague). Also the unfortunate iPhone 6 that would literally bend out of shape and crack if you left it in your back pocket while sitting. More recently, a friend of mine bought a high end PowerBook a few years back (2017 model if I recall), and its screen broke down and was replaced twice, before Apple decided to replace the whole mac with a new unit the third time... the replacement unit had its motherboard crapping out a year later. Unlucky? Maybe, but it goes to show that Apple had "eras" where their stuff was not as reliable. More often than not, they will declare the original device dead, and if it's out of warranty, well, you're out of luck and you'll need to buy another one. Some would say it was an attempt by Apple to make some of their products affordable for the average joe, but still their gear was pretty expensive and now failed much faster than in previous years.

The best example of good and bad eras would be the years 2010 and 2011. Seems this was an excellent era for Apple products. My laptop dates back from 2010. My iMac 27" also. And even my iPhone 4S dates back from that era. I have never had the slightest problem with any of those and I use them daily. And all of them are relatively easy to access for repairs or updates.

Let me describe a recent event that illustrate this:
My iPhone 4S, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, was starting to show signs of wear, the battery could no longer hold a charge and was pretty much dead after one or two calls. Hey, 10 years on the original battery ain't bad. So I decided to look up on the 'net for a new battery. At local electronics stores, it was a bit expensive, and I'm not even talking about an authentic Apple replacement battery, which was a hefty $50, so I ordered a new battery kit on AliExpress for around $10, and it even includes a special little "pentalobe" screwdriver for the custom screws used on the iPhones outer shell.


The kit includes the battery, screwdrivers, and spudgers


Using the pentalobe screwdriver, you remove the two screws on each side of the power/data connector


You can then slide off the cover upwards a bit and it will come right off


The opened iPhone, two little philipps screws hold the 4-pin connector in place. After removing them, the connector can be pryed off (do not force it, just rock it up and down gently) and the last thing to do is to carefully pry-off the battery, held in place by strong adhesive

So I proceeded to open the iPhone, two little screws on each side of the power connector hold the back cover to the phone. Once unscrewed, you simply slide down the back cover about 3 mm and it just pops off, as seen in the images accompanying this article. From that point on, you simply remove the two screws holding the connector, then pry off the battery (stuck in place with a pretty strong adhesive) and swap the battery.

That new battery kit, which includes the two tiny screwdrivers, cost about $10, and brought back the phone to life for another few years. It still takes great pictures, holds plenty of music, I can text and talk... I need nothing more from it! This repair job was done 3 days ago and prompted me to write this article.

Attempting a repair job like this on more recent iPhones would have been awfully hard, but oddly, for their most recent iPhone 12, they brought back the easy-to-open back cover held by two screws! I must admit that if I am going to plunk down nearly $2000 on a phone, I sure as hell want the option of changing the damn battery myself in a few years and I expect to get a solid 10 years out of it at least!

Another example of pure throwaway consumerism is the Apple AirPods... they are rather expensive ($175 to $250) and most consumers will use them for about 12 to 18 months before they can't hold a charge anymore and become useless. No way to replace the internal batteries, the units are completely sealed in epoxy! I would be pissed to throw away headphones a year after I bought them because they don't work anymore. I have a set of wired Apple earbuds that I have been using regularly for nearly 10 years and they work like new and they sound awesome! What can I say, wires don't bother me! That's why I have an Apple Smartmouse WIFI that I have never used and probably never will (Apple has never in their entire existence, made a good mouse, they're just bad at it).

I love technology but there's a firm line in the sand that I will not cross. Wifi everything isn't my thing. Call me the Analog Kid or the techno-caveman, it's alright!

Apple has always been notorious for their unilateral decisions to abandon technologies by purposely rendering them obsolete and leaving consumers and manufacturers shaking their heads in disbelief. Remember Firewire? A lot of musicians and video engineers have invested in insanely expensive gear that they can't use anymore on newer macs because they abandoned this technology for the proprietary Thunderbolt technology, now superceded by USB3 and USB4/TB4, it's hard to follow especially when some of those aren't even backwards compatible. Then there was their unbelievable arrogant decision to do away with audio jacks on their more recent phones and computers... but you can buy a USB to audio adapter for ten bucks. Some even accuse them of abandoning mass market in general to concentrate on high end, luxury products that the average consumer no longer can afford.

But it's not all doom and gloom, they have been pioneers in audio-visual technology and graphic arts, their iMacs and PowerBooks are extremely popular among artists of all kinds despite their high prices. The macbook air was the thinnest computer available when it was released. Apple TV is a cool little piece of technology and many companies include equivalents in their smart TVs, the latest Apple TV 4K is almost unequaled by any other technology nowadays. The Apple watch, although a bit bulky, is the closest thing to the futuristic Dick Tracy watch of the 1940's! And the iPhone is a highly reliable phone and people still stand in line to get the latest version when it hits the stores, it introduced technologies like the multitouch screens, high-resolution cameras, Siri, and the sturdy gorilla glass. And mac OS, despite all its flaws and multiple updates, is still a reference of stabiliy and security among operating systems.

Many may agree or disagree with all of the above but as I said, it's just a platform for discussions and suggestions, most of my gear is mac-based and am more comfortable with mac computers than PCs but I still use both regularly. I refuse Apple's obsolescence! As long as I can tinker with my Apple gear, I will support it, otherwise, I am out!


February 3, 2021
Marillion's final album featuring Fish:
Clutching at Straws

Today, I want to talk about Marillion's Clutching at Straws.
Released in 1987,
Clutching at Straws is the fourth and final Marillion studio album featuring lead singer Fish. It featured some of the most memorable tracks of Marillion, including Warm Wet Circles, Incommunicado and Sugar Mice. One of Marillion's most underrated albums.

Personally, I feel it is one of the strongest Marillion albums musically, and it was sort of an introduction to the melodies and harmonies of the Hogarth era. The best of both worlds for me.
Clutching at Straws is that bridge between the two lead singers of the band.

Like many moderately popular bands on big labels, Capitol Records put enormous pressure on the band to be highly successful or be dropped by the label. Fish quit the band not long after that even though they had recorded some material for an upcoming fifth album. It would take two years before Marillion released
Season's End featuring Steve Hogarth, Marillion's lead singer for the past 32 years.

Clutching at Straws was Fish's most inspired and passionate work with Marillion, seconded only by Misplaced Childhood. Steve Rothery shined like never before on that disk. A stunningly beautiful end to the first chapter of Marillion's 38 year history.


February 3, 2021
Fringe, the TV series


I've always been a big science fiction fan, ever since my youth when I was watching Star Trek, Lost in Space, U.F.O. and Captain Scarlett on the black and white TV (yes, I'm that old ) while doing my homework. With the years, my love for SF only grew, and I was spoiled by the quantity of great shows to choose from, Stargate SG-1, Babylon 5, Heroes, Farscape, Quantum Leap, Firefly, the revival of Doctor Who, Gotham, Red Dwarf, Battlestar Galactica and of course all of the numerous Star Trek series, from TNG to DS9 to Enterprise.

But one series stood out among all of these for me... Fringe.

Fringe was a TV series created by J. J. Abrams on the Fox Network, between 2008 and 2013. The whole story revolves around the Fringe division of the FBI, a task force led by FBI agent Olivia Dunham that investigates strange and unexplained cases that cannot be resolved by conventional science, and for a particularly disturbing case, they call upon Walter Bishop, a LSD driven mad scientist and gentle soul, and his estranged son, Peter Bishop.

Many have described Fringe a some sort of X-Files meets Twilight Zone on steroids! It features stories about strange creatures and people with superpowers (but not in the DC comics genre), scary parallel universes, time travel and mysterious observers from the future, and a dystopic world where the very fabric of the universe is threatened. Of the five seasons, the first two feature a variety of events (apparently unrelated) the 3rd concentrates on the numerous incursions of parallel universe characters (think of the mirror universe episodes in Star Trek). Season 4 begins in an alternate timeline where Peter Bishop has never existed and that precipitates catastrophic events in both universes until the link to these to universes is finally severed, it also links all the events that ever happened in the fist two seasons back to Peter's very existence. The final and fifth season is quite jarring, taking place in 2036 in a dystopic (and rather horrific) universe where travelers from the future have wiped out most of humanity, ruined the planet and are subjecting survivors to their control, I must admit that it has nothing in common with the 4 previous seasons, and is much darker and sinister.

The series features as the main protagonists australian actress Anna Torv (recently seen in the excellent Netflix series Mindhunter), in the role of FBI agent Olivia Dunham, Canadian actor Joshua Jackson (who played in Dawson's Creek) as the FBI consultant Peter Bishop, and the most excellent John Noble (who is best known in the role of Denethor II, Stewart of Gondor in Lord of The Rings Return of the King), who plays the humourous, slightly deranged Walter Bishop, a brilliant scientist who unfortunately has precipitated the potential end of the world with his parallel universe experiments.

Among the stars that have participated in this series (cameos or recurring roles), you have Christopher Lloyd, Joan Chen, Lance Reddick, Chadwick Boseman, Brad Dourif, Peter Weller, Bill Sadler, Eve Harlow, Kirk Acevedo, even the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, and Leonard Nimoy, who played in several episodes as William Bell, founder of the mysterious Massive Dynamics company and Walter's old science partner.

It was truly one of those series where I anticipated each episode with much enthusiasm, a good brew and some popcorn! It is truly great to revisit this series on DVD, where you connect with the characters once again and understand some of the interactions and character plots that you might have not understood initially. Fringe is available on iTunes and Amazon Prime Video, and of course, on Blu-Ray and on DVD. It used to be on Netflix but they yanked it a few years ago.


February 2, 2021
Loreena McKennitt - Nights from The Alhambra...
This morning I am revisiting a Loreena McKennitt live album from 2007, Nights from The Alhambra.

Recorded in September 2006 in the courtyard of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, this great box set is composed of 2 CDs and one DVD. This recording captures a splendid outdoors performance from her Ancient Muse tour. Impeccable production quality, and a beautifully recorded, mystical, ethereal performance by Loreena and the 11 musicians that accompany her. The sound is in glorious 5.1 digital and 2.0 PCM!

Fans of LM and of her live concerts will seek this album, as it is a perfect portrait of this wonderful Canadian composer. With 10 studio albums and 6 live albums, she is a prolific artist, her latest album
Live At The Royal Albert Hall, was released in 2019.

Here's an excerpt from the Alhambra concert, her "anthem" song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz3lqVv0vCEe


February 2, 2021
Spotify...
Is it good or bad?

Streaming services are utterly convenient for many people and have taken off in a big way with our current level of computer technology and connectivity, but the concept at the very source, is mortally flawed for the creators of its content. If your music is on Spotify, you're paid mere peanut shells for your work. Not even a whole peanut. There are other services like Pandora, Tidal, Apple Music, that have similar business models and revenue brackets but Spotify, at 0.4 ¢ per stream is pretty much the most popular and least generous of them all.

You could say "all musicians should unite and boycott Spotify" but it's not that easy, the genie is out of the bottle, and the tens if not hundreds of millions of users are not gonna vanish in a puff of smoke any time soon. They are used to the simple access, anywhere, anytime on any device, of whatever playlist they create on the fly.

I am an adept of physical media myself, but nowadays, with our easy digital technology, physical media sales have decreased dramatically, and I can only imagine that the pandemic will have exacerbated this decrease. Even vinyl LP sales have overtaken actual CD sales in recent months.

As in politics, there will be two camps with vastly different ideologies. On one side, you have the Spotify generation that might never even have bought a CD in their lives, and consider music the same way they consider TV, something that's there to entertain, or background noise. You can't just ask them to support the artists, buy their music instead of getting it for free, it's an essential consumable commodity to them, like air or water.

On the other side, you have the older generation, who know what's involved to make music, make an album, they have CD collections, they go to shows, they buy their music, either on disk, in download format, or even on good ol' vinyl LPs. They support the artists actively. Again with the pandemic, their numbers are on a steady decline, since there have been no live shows for nearly a year now, some are losing interest in music, loin des yeux, loin du coeur as they say in French.

Yes I agree that there are older people who have gone full digital, and there are young folks who are avid collectors of CDs, LPs and audio cassettes. They are not a majority however, but whatever their age, the two ideologies are far apart and can be summed up this way; they either support musicians and their work, or they don't. And yes also, i know that there are people who actively buy music and support musicians, but have their whole collection on Spotify. I commend them and praise their support, but this article IS NOT about them.

Two different ideologies, but unfortunately, one of them is getting new followers daily, and the other is shrinking rapidly. This is a losing battle for the music industry, and only the big corporate names on major labels can still make a living of their art.

Thankfully, there's Bandcamp, a digital content provider whose business model actually benefits musicians, that will be discussed in another blog at a later time

Here's the perspective from Benn Jordan, a musician who's been actually fortunate enough to barely scrape a living out of streaming services, he discusses about the positive side of Spotify, but mostly the numerous negative points about that service and its impact on the music world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXudOLStaXA


February 2, 2021
Memories of the days of Arena Rock:
Journey's Greatest Hits on DVD

Last month, I decided to finally check out this DVD that I bought at a thrift store years ago and never watched: Journey - Greatest Hits DVD - 1978 - 1997

Some observations:
1) The DVD was manufactured in 2003 so I didn't expect much. For starters, it's in 4:3 screen ratio, back in the days when CRT TVs were still king. And from what it appears, some of the clips were literally in VHS quality.

2) It's a hosh-posh collection of videos, and live clips of varied quality. Later live material from the 1986 Raised On Radio era looks good and sounds good, but some of the 1979-1981 material sounds and looks truly awful.

3) Many of the music videos on that compilation are truly cringeworthy... And I mean bad, bad, baaad! Hard to imagine when a band with such a unlimited budget could make such terrible music videos, when other artists of that era (Peter Gabriel, A-Ha, Billy Idol, Tom Petty, Duran Duran to name a few) were making legendary videos that are still brilliant and relevant 40 years later... There are one or two that weren't too bad but still, ugh .

4) Criminally bad overdubbing of studio tracks over live performances, even the tracking and lipsyncing is off. And they pass this for a "music video" ... Really? Dreadful.

5) I remember the little yellow leopard print tank top Steve Perry was wearing when I saw Journey at the Montreal Forum, and the Afghan puppy haircut he had, quite a trademark look!

6) Journey in the 80's was a sublime, tight band and their live shows were worth every penny. The energy of that band is best captured on this compilation with the 1986 Raised On Radio tour clips.

7) Damn that Steve Perry had a unbelievable, unique voice! It became a bit more gravely and deeper over the years, but it was just magical and unique!

8) Even though this was a pretty lame compilation, it was still enjoyable to see.


February 1st, 2021
John Jowitt & Andy Edwards (IQ)
present their new band: Rain

Singularity by the newly created band Rain features Andy Edwards on drums, Rob Groucutt on vocals keys and guitars, Mirron Webb on vocals and guitars, and John Jowitt on bass.

Pure, highly refined progressive rock with catchy, captivating, refreshing melodies and harmonies, a badass rhythm section that just sounds enormous, two seasoned musicians contributing at times a sound or a style they are renowned for (IQ, Frost, Arena etc) accompanied by two immensely talented newcomers. Elegant guitar work, precise, delicate, layered, rich harmonies and in the words of JJ himself, "nothing but epics!"... Thoroughly enjoyable! The band is currently working on their second release and hopes that they can book a few live dates in 2021.

Listen to this wonderful interview by fellow progger Pete Pardo with Andy Edwards and John Jowitt:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MIrC4vyUPI

You can find
Singularity on bandcamp at: https://rainprogband.bandcamp.com/album/singularity


March 23, 2020
COVID-19 Show cancellations: update
As the COVID-19 pandemic gets more and more serious throughout the world, it is safe to predict that all shows in March, April, May and even June, are officially cancelled. Hopefully many will eventually be rescheduled when things get back somewhat to normal, but for now, please consider that all shows and tickets contests on this list are postponed/cancelled until further notice.

First confirmed cancellation is the Flower Kings show at the Plaza on
Saturday, April 4, from the Royal Gardener himself, Roine Stolt. Many more shows will be cancelled or postponed, but promoters are waiting for tentative rescheduling dates and venue availability to make announcements.

Stay tuned, we will update the info on this site as soon as we get confirmations.



March 14, 2020
The Flower Kings at Théâtre Plaza: Cancelled
The Flower Kings that was to be held at Théâtre Plaza (6505 Saint-Hubert Street, Montreal) on Saturday, April 4, 2020 has been cancelled. The promoters will try to reschedule the show and will announce details imminently. Stay tuned for more details.



August 7, 2016
Down memory lane: the FMPM archive page
From 2006 to 2014, a bunch of friends comprised of Stephen Takacsy, Sean McFee, Luc Maltais, Pascal Globensky, Michel St-Père, Glen Bourgeois, Nadine Benny, Gerald Laurion, Kim Zimmer and I had the pleasure of organizing wonderful musical events featuring some of the greatest prog artists of our times. Countless others made this decade-long adventure possible! You'll find on the FMPM archive page a chronological summary of all the events.


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