I’ve been so busy with life that I hadn’t been to a concert in months, so what better way to get back into the swing of things than a tour featuring four ProgPower USA alumni? Infinity Concerts put together one hell of a touring package for North America, featuring EVERGREY (Sweden), SEVEN KINGDOMS (USA), NEED (Greece), and ASCENDIA (Canada), and combined with the beautiful open-air venue at Gas Monkey Bar N’Grill in Dallas, it made for a perfect evening of music and fun.
ASCENDIA was up first, and while they just have one album out, they made the most of their time onstage. They played some great selections from their disc The Lion and the Jester, and threw in an amazing cover of DIO’s “Holy Diver” which Nick Sakal absolutely crushed with his beautifully deep vocals. They put on a great performance and obviously had a great time onstage, and I definitely hope to see them on more U.S. tours in the future.
During ASCENDIA’s set, Jon Voyager came up to the balcony where I was taking photographs so he could catch part of their set. He noticed my NEED – A Song for Atlanta shirt, and we chatted for a bit; he apologized in advance that there were no songs from the Orvam – A Song for Home album on the setlist. Nicest guy ever! The band took the stage shortly thereafter and played a great set, consisting mostly of tracks from their new album Hegaiamas: A Song for Freedom.
Besides sounding great, the band are incredible showmen, whether it’s Jon’s strutting and capering around the stage or Ravaya’s crazy expressions while he shreds your face off on guitar. They capped off their set with the twenty-minute long title track from the new album, and while I’m not much of a prog guy, the show was amazing. I’ve been fortunate enough to see NEED twice in the U.S. now, and hopefully it will not be the last.
SEVEN KINGDOMS was up next as direct support, and played an energetic set with a large chunk of the just-released Decennium, mixed with classics, including “Fragile Minds Collapse” and the recently re-recorded “The Bloody Meadow”. They always put on a great show and this night was no exception. I should mention that guitarist Camden Cruz was also functioning as the tour manager, and everything worked like clockwork. Quick set changeovers are a thing of beauty and his team had everything on rails.
Finally, EVERGREY hit the stage. It had been a couple of years since I’d seen Tom Englund and the guys play, so I was amped and ready – and the band did NOT disappoint! Mixing some of the best tracks from their latest album The Storm Within (“Passing Through”, “In Orbit”, “My Allied Ocean”) with some of my all-time favorite EVERGREY tracks including “Leave It Behind Us”, “King of Errors”, “A Touch of Blessing” and “Black Undertow” made for a perfect final performance for this fanboy.
Overall, this was a fantastic evening – the weather was perfect, the bands all sounded great, and everyone performing was extremely welcoming to all of the fans and spent much of their free time hanging out and talking with old and new friends. This was an unbeatable show and I would definitely recommend that if they’re playing a date nearby that you make the time to go support them and enjoy a great show!
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: FRANK ZABER/IMAGES FROM THE DARK