Last year, I had the honor of attending the first ever ProgStock festival in Rahway, New Jersey. It was an incredible weekend of music and camaraderie, and immediately after I was ready for the next year’s event. As the year went by and the lineup was revealed, I realized that this was going to be another incredible year of progressive rock, with heavyweights such as Eddie Johnson, Michael Sadler, Enchant, IQ, and many others.
For a review, the ProgStock Festival is the brainchild of prog fanatic Thomas Palmieri, who we have interviewed several times here at the blog. To give you a profile of Thomas- he is a friendly, ambitious, funny, and intelligent guy who has a genuine love for progressive music. I first met Tom on Cruise to the Edge, and the rest is history.
Along with Tom, we have Rob Rutz, who I had the pleasure to meet at Cruise to the Edge. Rob is a cheerful guy who always seems to be helping out somewhere. One can’t forget to mention Marty Dorfman (also known as The Prog Doctor), who hosts a weekly radio show for progressive rock called The Waiting Room. Marty has helped numerous bands out by giving them a voice and a presence on his show, and ProgStock wouldn’t exist without his help and tireless promotion. There are many, many more people who are working tirelessly to make this event happen, and hopefully we will get to know them better as well as the weekend continues on.
ProgStock takes place in the beautiful Union County Performance Arts Center. Last year I was really impressed with the acoustics and the feel of the venue. It’s a gorgeous, historic theater in a pleasant community. There is a main stage, where all daytime events take place, and there is a separate space called The Fazioli Room, where the late night events and the Meet and Greets take place. Both are really comfortable and well suited for the madness.
I finally arrived at Rahway at about 9:00 pm, after a 10 hour drive from Cincinnati, Ohio. There was a pre-party at a place called The Waiting Room (great name, eh?). Sadly, I missed the opening act- the amazing Robert Richardson, who I had seen previously at last years ProgStock with his group Cell15. Hopefully Robert sticks around for the weekend!
I did get to catch most of 3RDegree’s set. 3RDegree is a tremendously talented and impressive live act. I loved seeing them perform, and particularly hearing their multi-part harmonies throughout their set.
As of now, I am here at the UCPAC, preparing myself emotionally and mentally (and probably physically too- still recovering from that damn drive) for a weekend of back to back music. I’ll keep all of you Proglodytes updated in the meantime.