Concert reviews 2010
Magic Pie was, like Pendragon, on another go 'round at RoSFest, this time as Sunday's headliners - this is their third appearance. As I said in my "tweet," Magic Pie was magical. Great sound, great harmonies in that sound. New vocalist/guitarist Eirikur Hauksson fits in quite well, giving the group a nice sound continuity. It's odd to think that a band's signature song comes from only their first album, yet that is what "Change" is. You realize this when, as soon as it starts, there's a heightened level of excitement. That was true this year, too. Not that there's a lack of enthusiasm for the material from their second CD, Circus Of Life, or some anticipation for the upcoming The Suffering Joy. Here's a testament to how clear their sound was; I could hear the lyrics to and related them to album cover image displayed on the backstage curtain. I don't recall which song from the new album it was now, probably "Slightly Mad," a track that can be heard at their MySpace site (as of this writing).
Itís hard to know where to start with RoSfest headliners Magic Pie, hailing from Norway. Having won over so many fans in the course of their two previous appearances, they could almost be the house band. Part of their appeal is that not only are they a great band of supremely talented musicians; they are a kind of the Ďbest kept secretí of the Rosfest attendees. Hereís a band that can play rings around just about any other group on the planet, and theyíre all ours!
I had mixed feelings about their headlining set this year. For me it didnít quite measure up to the surprising set that turned Sunday morning into the Church of Prog, or to the glorious homecoming of their 2007 appearance in which they stole the show from the headliners, but was a solid set nonetheless. Part of the issue for me is that the majority of the new material in their set was very dark and almost gloomy, in contrast to the uplifting, lively material of their previous shows. It seemed as though the band didnít really connect with the audience until material from their first two albums Motions of Desire and Circus of Life made its way into the set, and once the connection was made, the power was switched on!
Magic Pie is indeed a very special band. In spite of some member changes, they still have the ability to connect with an audience in a way that very few bands can. Although the element of surprise may have been absent, the stunning musicianship and stagecraft were not. Magic Pie has all the potential to be playing stadiums, but for now Iím happy theyíre still our little secret.
How do you sum up a weekend like the very first RoSfest in Gettysburg, PA? I started attending in 2006, and as I sat in the audience that weekend I couldnít help thinking that I had stumbled on to something really special happening down the road from my house (I lived a few miles from the Colonial Theater at the time). Since that time the festival has grown in both size and overall quality, but this yearís version was arguably a quantum advance over previous years. The Majestic Theater is a wonderful venue, technical glitches were nonexistent, and without exception the bands delivered inspiring performances. In addition, not only is RoSfest a top shelf musical event, anyone whoís ever attended can attest to the fact that itís one of the best parties of the year. Itís hard to imagine how the Rites of Spring Festival could possibly improve, but I definitely plan on finding out in 2011! Next year's festival dates have been announced as May 20 - 22, 2011. http://usaprogmusic.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=390&Itemid=34
After nine bands and feeling musically and emotionally drained, I
thought that there was no way we could finish this year?s edition
of ROSfest in a satisfying conclusion and was proven wrong once
again. Magic Pie closed the night with a Magic-al set that included
songs from all their albums including the unreleased ?The Suffering
Joy.? This is where the audience was introduced to new lead singer
Eirikur Hauksson, and he did not let us down. He reminded me a bit
of Glenn Hughes and Glenn is one of my favorite rock singers. The
entire band is incredible, but special attention must be made of
Kim Stenberg, lead guitar. He could not have been more ?on? this
night as the entire crowd was on their feet cheering his amazing
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on May 16th, 201