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Progressive Rock Concert Reviews

Rocket Scientists

Live at CalProg, Whittier, CA, 2006

Review by Lorraine Kay

CalProg 2006 was a full day of great prog-rock from across the country and the UK. Held in the Whittier Community Center, in Whittier, CA, a small community in Los Angeles County, there is always a family-friendly atmosphere in the 400 seat facility. But once the music started there was nothing small-town about it.
At 1:15 p.m. Rocket Scientists, a last minute replacement for Presto Ballet, exploded on stage. Without a doubt it was the power set of the day, even with the very last minute drummer change adding Tony Pia, who did an excellent job. RS's new lead vocalist David McBee rocked the crowd like no other vocalist of the festival. His rock and roll stage presence and rugged good looks blended well with Erik Norlander's powerful compositions and keyboard playing. Together they totally rocked the festival. Originally formed in the 1980s, by Norlander and guitarist Mark McCrite, RS was at its best as the band introduced tracks from the new CD, Revolution Road, its upcoming fourth studio album. Throughout their set they also pulled out gems from some of their older albums with McCrite (also an excellent vocalist) out front on the vocals. The too short occasions when McCrite and McBee worked the vocals together in harmony the sound was very awesome - the best vocal blending of the show.


Dale Kay
 
Dale Kay
   
To round out the band's unique sound Don Schiff (who has been with the group since 1993) was back on the N.S. Stick. One of the few masters at playing that instrument and the Chapman stick, Schiff introduced a whole new element to the progressive rock happening at CalProg.

RS was definitely a hit with the audience, no matter what they played. Then, in CalProg tradition, they ended their set with a great cover of King Crimson's "Epitaph" to a standing ovation.


Dale Kay
 
Dale Kay
   
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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