Brainticket - I was stunned to see this band on the bill. Their three early 70s albums were imports. Their psychedelic-progressive brand of krautrock was very interesting but didn't exactly make it to US radio. Joel Vandroogenbroeck is the only original member but does take the lead with keyboards, electronics, flute, and even a sitar outro to close the set. He his joined by younger guys on drums, bass, guitar and keyboards (Note--Kuschty Rye Ergot's John Stanton tells me these guys have backed Nik Turner's Hawkwind offshoot so they know the drill). They also employ a woman on vocals who is dressed a bit like Theda Bara with a Medusa headdress. The music was excellent and there were many of the dynamics from their records as they played driving progressive music with electric guitar cutting in nicely. Vocal moves were interesting and spacey. The crowd was small but quite responsive and the band delivered as if it was sold out. I would like to say I was waiting my whole life to see this, but I really never expected it. It was one nice chance to see some interesting music from the classic krautrock days and it all worked out very well.
Nektar - I felt kind of dumb at only owning one song by this band and not having heard anything else in 35 years of more. So I did a little web listening before the show and was surprised at how heavy Nektar were. I had mislabeled them in the lighter prog camp. And it did not take long on stage before they proved themselves even heavier still. Two original members on drums and guitar/vocals lead the way. The German keyboards and US bass player filled in nicely as well. Everyone was in great form and this band rocked hard with all the progressive complexity still present in the music. After 21 years off (recording-wise) they have four albums in the past decade or so. They played some of the recent material, but plenty of the old classic material as well. It all sounded strong and there was not a false note all night. They played for an hour and fifty minutes and maintained energy throughout--no drum solo breaks. The psychedelic light show was fun and I never lost interest once. This was epic and grand progressive music with a powerful rock foundation and killer guitar moves. I am happy for this tour as it was a great night and it has reminded me I need to shift my thinking on Nektar when I discuss great progressive bands from the early 1970s.
Quote of the Night: Huw Lloyd Langton... "This is a Hawkwind intro to a song on one of the albums I can't remember."