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Progressive Rock Concert Reviews

Karmakanik

Live at RoSfest, April, 2006

Review by Josh Turner

Karmakanic were very good, but in my heart of hearts I expected more from them. After Krister Jonzon and Jonas Reingold blew away the crowd with The Tangent in the previous year, they returned to these hallowed grounds wrapped up in this different package. They were expected to be the best band of the event and turned out to be a close runner up. Don't get me wrong, their performance was solid gold and Göran Edman sang well, but without Andy Tillison (the main man behind The Tangent - ed), their shine lacked the some of the luster. I also felt the sound quality was not as good and contemplated whether sabotage was afoot, because they weren't the festival closer. Even with this drawback, they still found a way to excel. They began with "Spirit Remains the Same," which for some reason or another, didn't seem like the best choice for their introduction. Soon after, they got back on track with a great rendition of "Alex in Paradise." The highlight for me and my posse was "Where Earth Meets the Sky." I might be biased as that happens to be my favorite Karmakanic song. They also played "Is This The End" and for the first time, I realized the static in that song was intentional (or maybe they added this to the show in order to cover up an actual mistake in the production, you know, like "we meant to do it"). To be honest, I bought a second copy of the album, thinking there was a defective copy in the midst. In any case, it worked and went off without a hitch. I would have liked to hear the title track from Entering the Spectra as well, but beggars can't be choosers, and since I am one of their biggest fans, I'll take scraps over nothing. I would have liked to have introduced the band and had some comedic material lined up for the occasion. The chap they put out instead was so ecstatic he was practically speechless. It was a slight bummer I couldn't do it, but once the music began, like the aforementioned Alex, my head was in the pristine paradise one can only find in the clouds and in the heavens. There was also one funny occurrence. An amp blew out towards the tail end of the bass solo. Reingold turned towards the crowd and said, "I kill it." He quickly got this corrected. Aside from the trials and tribulations from the sound engineers, it seemed as if this band could do no wrong. We even got to hear two songs from their upcoming album whose working title is cleverly christened Who´s the Boss in the Factory? Along for the ride, Rob Palmen strapped on an acoustic guitar while Lale Larson took the helm at the piano. If these names aren't instantly recognizable, Larson has played with greats such as Virgil Donati, Randy Brecker, Gary Willis, and Sir Millard Mulch. Technically, this is Palmen's first band, but he wasn't just somebody they plucked off the streets. He's the booking agent for The Flower kings and he's also a great singer too. Both will appear on the upcoming CD (which I've been told will be ready soon) and have been hired on as official members. In addition, there is one important detail I could not forget, but haven't mentioned. Zoltan Csörz put on one of the most impressive drum solos I've ever witnessed. Not only was he busy as heck, but it was quite melodic. He went from fast to slow, even doing one-handed drum rolls between several snares and cymbals. There were times he had your heading swerving from side to side and then he would just halt, giving the next note a gentle pat. Everything considered, this was the most remarkable moment in the weekend.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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