POWERMAD 1998 - Baltimore, Md, August 21-22-23, 1998
Some commentary lifted from The Perpetual Motion prog-metal discussion board follows. Special thanks to Keith Menser for such an inspired idea and having the balls to bring it to life, and to all the great folks we met at the show.
mastermind followed and played heavily effected elp'ish sounding prog stuff. now these guys are not my cup of tea, but you want to talk about some talented musicians. they had a guest chick that evening. she was a petite and good looking blond women dressed in black. she came on stage with a tambourine and i was thinking, "ok, this is ploy to get some folks out on the floor". and it worked, cause guys started filling the floor and were perfectly happy to see her keep rhythm with the tambourine. soon she began to sing and guess what? she could. she had a good voice. not a real wimpy chick voice either. she was able to put something behind it. (http://www.mindcage.com/wwwboard/messages/10282.html)
>> I still say they were spectacular, and ELP-style prog rock is not my cup of tea either.
My favorite peformances each day were:
Friday - Mercury Rising,
Saturday - Mastermind,
Sunday - Ice Age.
-- Mastermind once again blew me away. I had seen them five times before, but the new vocalist not only make the music sound better, but she damn well makes the stage a lot better to look at. Rich Berends' drum solo was THE highlight of the show for me.
Their William Tell Overture kicked ass.
Powermad Awards... (http://www.mindcage.com/wwwboard/messages/10003.html)
Best Performance: Mastermind. There were a lot of really good shows - Aztec Jade, Reading Zero, Soundscape, and Ice Age, just to name a few - but Mastermind completely devastated the place. The new singer makes such a huge difference that I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it. For a prog band, they played with power-metal type fury - but were also capable of smooth mood changes, too.
My musical highlights: Mastermind (WOW! I had never heard them before- blew me away)
Mastermind was my favorite band on Saturday. I have their 3rd album and really like the music but didn't like Bill Berend's vocals. Their show started out average with great music, but Bill was singing the first song. Throughout the set Bill's guitar was just amazing. He plays a MIDI guitar synth something or other, and just wails. This older guy showed all the young kids how it's really done. Rich Berends is one of the best drummers in the business, and their new bassist kept up with this fast music with no problem. I always thought these guys were considered prog rock. Well not live, at least. They were very fast and very powerful prog metal. After the first song they brought out a gorgeous blond (sorry for the sexist remark, but hey what can I say it sure added to the show ) dressed in black leather and she started playing the tambourine. Cool, getting better. Then she picked up an acoustic guitar and played rhythm guitar. Pretty simplistic chords, but cool. Things were looking up. Then she started singing and I creamed my pants, one of many times that weekend. She has a beautiful soprano voice. After hearing The Gathering, female singers are the new thing I am into and this was just what I had been looking for. Mastermind's next album will be instrumental with Jens Johansen playing keyboards. After that, I think they will record an album with her singing. I will buy that disk the day it is released. None of their current released material has her singing.
Mastermind incredible too!!! DROOL!!!!!!
I had seen these guys open for Fish (of Marillion) in Columbus on his last tour. I was actually the only person in the building that night going to just see Mastermind. Fish fans were unable (or unwilling) to appreciate the greatness of this band. I sort of did a pre-show hype to the board members about these guys. They lived up to my hype. They are as heavy as hell and all incredible on their instruments. I was sort of surprised by the female vocalist and still haven't landed on one side of the fence or the other about her. She had a very Grace Slick-like aggressive/melodic soprano voice that is way smoother than Bill's. Rich Berends was the drumming god of Powermad, now if I can just get his name right when I yell Hi to him before the show, I'll be in good shape.
Again my favs... Mastermind, Heavy guitar oriented ELP on steriods amazing performance! Man we rocked out to these guys! Right Chris, Mike Hall, Wendel, Guy, Troy, who did I miss? Mind numbing drummer & guitarist. Great vox & the bass was kick'n as well! Awesome!!! Myself & a few others chatted with their guitarist after the show (man I'm doing well with names tonight huh?) and laughed our collective asses off! Funny funny guy! Told us about the project with Jens & what a charecter JJ is. Also told us the story with getting the blonde to sing, & she will be on the follow up disc after the one with Jens. Very cool nice guy.
>>This was the best performance all weekend, IMHO - I had listened quite a bit to their last two CDs, but their live performance was miles ahead of these, an incredible set.
Is there somebody out there who has made recordings
from the following bands at Powermad;
Mastermind / Volume I
Mastermind / Volume II "Brainstorm"
don't listen to Larry about this band's performance on Sat night, his nerves were just shot... Mastermind put on a superb show, maybe my favorite of the whole weekend. Unfortunantly their CDs aren't as good as they were live, but these complete my collection.
> The band that most blew me away was Mastermind. So far they are
> my favorite band I saw here. They now have an awesome female
> vocalist that joined the band. I have Mastermind III and love
> the music but didn't like Bill Berend's vocals. The new
> vocalist is outstanding and the music was 1000 times better
> live than on at least the one CD I have. Larry completely
> disagrees with my on Mastermind, but I loved them.
>> Larry's not into female singers....I'm suprised to
>> hear that about MM. Pretty cool.
Many thanks to all who took time to comment on the show!
Photos by LarEu