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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

concert review

Solaris+Cast - Mexico City - March - 2001

Attending a concert is always a special occasion for people to discover (or re-discover) a band’s talent and savoir-faire. It is the best way of feeling closer to both music and musicians. An opportunity to tremble and live each second of the musical experience, through every single note and chord. A chance to communicate with your excitement and to respond with happiness and pleasure.

San Rafael is a theatre in Mexico City that has always been part of the most notorious and famous histrionic circuit in town. Was it be possible to see rock music there? Prog music instead of Lope de Vega or Mollière? It was certainly a good question, but the answer was affirmative: two of the world’s most famous progressive rock bands were taking possession of the stage, Solaris from Hungary and Cast from Mexico, on March 9th.

Cast was performing for the second time ever in their country’s major city and the band was prepared as it had to be, for the occasion: with passion and care. Their set began at about 8:00 p.m. in front of an enthusiastic audience that had almost filled the theatre. However, after a few songs something strange took place: a blackout prevented the band from playing for some minutes. Maybe it could have been considered a minor problem, but it started again after one song and this time there was no electricity for 40 minutes. A shame for the theatre! Those who organised the concert had been promised full electricity support and were now facing an important technical failure right in the middle of it. Cast could then go on stage once more, but they understood the whole situation and acted in a very professional way: their set was shortened as they played for about 20 minutes more, introducing every musician before ending their show. Remarkable musicians? Indeed, Vidales’ delicacy at the keyboards, Hernandez’s energy at the guitar and Bringas’ refinement at the drums were the highlights of this performance.

A break took the audience to the hall, where records from Peripheric, Musea, Cast, Smogless and other important labels were sold. The concert promoters had organised a whole record fair in the theatre, that also included their own ones from La Corte Final, a restaurant that works a little like a progressive rock club in Mexico City where prog heads gather every week.

It was more or less 9:45 p.m. when Solaris appeared on stage. Their presence was imposing from the very first moment and the music took the audience directly to the "Book of Profecies" and the "Martian Chronicles". Amazing, parts of the “Book of prophecies suite” and “The Duel” were performed for the first time ever in Mexico City in front of an excited audience. Could it be better? Certainly not, the Magyar musical tradition that once saw Liszt or Bartok was now being represented in a different continent by Attila Kollar or Csaba Bogdan. The set went higher with every second and the “Musical Witchcraft suite” from Kollar’s solo album was one of the most impressive moments, though I think it was not played in its entire version.

A pause with some jokes by keyboard player Robert Erdesz gave time to Attila Kollar to come back on stage dressed as an orchestra director. He took this role indeed, and started to conduct the band as if it were a chamber orchestra, or I’d better say, a chamber progressive rock band. The audience could not have been more thrilled! And the show was just far from being over, Kollar carried out a flute solo as a true maestro.

The band returned on stage to tell the “Martian Chronicles” and “Apocalypse” was certainly the moment of truth. Cheered, encouraged and applauded at the end of every theme, the Viking was also back from 1990 to conquer the theatre through the notes. The musicians were introduced to the audience and classicism and elegance showed with each of them in the solos. An encore and the band finished their performance in front of an audience that still wanted more and more music.

Cast and Solaris went back together on stage along with concert organiser Carlos Malvido just to thank the people and be cheered for the last time together that night. Those who expected a good concert attended a fantastic one, those who didn’t know what to expect went out delighted, and those who expected everything could be proud of having anticipated things. A great night that will be remembered for years.

Enrique Gómez - March 2001


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