Progressive Nation Tour 2009 – Glasgow SECC – 11/10/09

Despite the fact the SECC can hold 12500 people, i was informed that only 2000 tickets had been sold for the gig, obviously there wouldhave been some more sold at the box office, but still this is a rather poor attendance, I guess because of the shoddy sound in the SECC and scottish fans deciding not to bother going because the sound would be crap. Well they were half right, yeah the sound was kinda crap (Bass was too high, a common complaint about gigs at the SECC), but it was still a gig worth going to.

I don’t know what I was expecting from openers Unexpect, a septet hailing from Montreal in Canada.But i certainly wasn’t expecting what i got. A multitude of different styles and genres ranging from chuggy heavy metal to weird as hell circus music. But I’ve got to say, they were entertaining, if a bit strange, and I’m definitely converted.

Up next were Bigelf, a band ive heard so much about, but had never listned to, man i wish i had. The best way to explain their sound is basically, Sabbath but proggy. Before they hit the stage, the lights dimmed and the Imperial March from Star Wars played, prompting the fans to sing along…”duh duh duh, duh dada, duh dada”… you get what i mean, and the singer walked onstage and placed a small Yoda toy on top of one of his two (yes two) keyboards. the perfect way to start your set. The band performed brilliantly and had an excellent stage presence. Definitely a band to watch out for.

Then, was Opeth, the fantastic progressive death metal band from Sweden, take to the stage and perform windowpane a kind of slow semi acoustic track, but eventually get to business with the nice heavy tracks including Hex Omega and the rare live appearance of Harlequin Forest, the highlight of the set, and The Lotus Eater. Mikael Åkerfeldt is on top form tonight, cracking jokes between songs (instructing a fan to “Shhhhh-ut the fuck up. and telling us that in Sweden “all we do is fuck, and film it”) and interacting with the fans, making for an awesome and fun set.

A Nightmare to Remember is the opening track from the mighty prog metal legends Dream Theater, a blistering 17 minute epic from their latest album, Black Clouds & Silver Linings. This was follwed immediatly by current single, A Rite of Passage, another fantastic song, in fact Dream Theaters whole set was fantastic, playing some great songs such as Take the Time, Solitary Shell and Erotomania and Voices, the first two tracks in the A Mind Beside Itself suite, from the bands 1994 album Awake (released 15 years ago this month, thanks to Tom for that BTW). Dream Theaters excellent musicianship is showcased in their set and the fans absolutely loved it, plus the sometimes shaky James LaBrie’s voice was in perfect condition. The Encore, another epic from BC&SL, The Count of Tuscany, ended the show perfectly and left every fan in a fantastic mood.

I guess you could call it a Night(mare) to Remember.