Various Artists -
The Best Of 2Days Prog

(DVD 2011, 77min/50 min, VER1 Musica SKU 33-Ver1 1)

The tracks:
DVD 1 - September 10:
  1- Proteo- Echoes Mankind(8:56)
  2- Moongarden- Aesthetic Surgery(10:02)
  3- Moongarden- MDMA(7:18)
  4- Gazpacho- Desert Flight(10:02)
  5- Gazpacho- Dream Of Stone(17:25)
  6- Pendragon- Comatose(9:10)
  7- Pendragon- Not Of This World(16:39)
DVD 2 - September 11:
  1- Il Castello Di Atlante -
         - La ForestaDietro Il Mulino Di Johan(9:18)
  2- La Leggenda New Trolls -
         - ImprovvisazioneNellaSelaVuota(18:00)
  3- La Leggenda New Trolls -
         - Concerto Grosso n.1 (Allegro-Adagio)(9:11)
  4- Delirium- La Favola O Storia Del Lago Di Kriss(6:49)
  5- Delirium- Gioia, Disordine, Risentimento(6:03)


I think people who own the CD/DVD-box Prog Exhibition - 40 Anni Di Musica Immaginifica (see review) will agree that this release is a must have for people who love progressive rock in general and Italian progressive rock in particular. Lately I received another DVD from Italy that, to some extent, can be compared with this box. However, this time it contains only two DVDs and unfortunately no CDs have been included. The Best Of 2Days Prog contains footage of the 2Days ProgVeruno, a progressive rock festival held in Italy. It took place on September 10th and 11th 2010 in the city of Veruno. Apparently this festival has become an annual event, because in 2011 three days of progressive rock music were held at the same venue.

This DVD provides two hours of professionally shot and edited footage from the 2010-edition. Originally this double-DVD was a private release made to reward the people who were members of a collective that made it possible to organize this festival. On the Prog Exhibition release I could only enjoy Italian bands except for some members of foreign bands like the Dutch band Focus and the British bands JethroTull and Van Der Graaf Generator who participated as guest musicians. This time the organization also invited foreign progressive rock acts to perform on this festival beside a couple of Italian acts. Unfortunately only parts of these performances have been included on this release.

The first disc starts with the Italian band Proteo with only nine minutes of music. As a result only Echoes Mankind taken from their debut album Under A Red Polar Light (2009) can be enjoyed. Next are two tracks from Moongarden. They got seventeen minutes for this DVD performing two tracks from their album A Vulgar Display Of Prog (2009). What struck me most while watching them perform Aesthetic Surgery and MDMA, was Gigi Cavalli Cocchi (MangalaVallis) playing the drums with Moongarden. However, it's not that strange because Cristiano Roversi, Moongarden's keyboard player, is currently a member of Mangala Vallis. The performance of Moongarden is excellent, but I would have preferred some older material. Never mind, you can't always get what you want, can you? The Norwegian band Gazpacho is next. Either you love this band or you hate them. There seems to be nothing in between. Gazpacho are exposed for almost half an hour. Although they sometimes create excellent music, in general I find their compositions really boring. This time I managed to stay awake to notice that they included some fine Mellotron-parts, an excellent violin solo and an interesting climax in the final song. The last band on the first disc are Pendragon who also got almost half an hour for two epic pieces. What can I say about them? They always succeed in getting my attention and this time it wasn't different.

The second disc starts with a track of the Italian band Il Castello Di Atlante. This song performed on the acoustic piano and accompanied by a violin contains a fine synthesizer solo that made me think about the solo Keith Emerson played on Lucky Man. La Leggenda New Trolls, also known as The New Trolls, are represented with two songs lasting for about half an hour. The first piece contains a nice organ intro followed by some outstanding playing on the flute. From time to time their music reminded me of bands like The Nice, JethroTull and Focus. This piece also contains a strong guitar and drum solo. The second piece could be described as 'Vivaldi meets Jethro Tull'. Delirium is the third and last band on the second disc. They also perform two songs and again JethroTull crossed my mind due to the flute playing.

Watching both discs gave me some pleasure, because I had the chance to see a number of progressive rock bands play live that you normally won't see on a DVD that much. However, the quality of this release was less good than Prog Exhibition, but I still think that it was a good choice to release this footage. 

*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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