Mexprog 2000, June 24th and 25th 2000
Salon 21, Mexico City, Mexico
With: Le Orme, Il Balleto Di Bronzo, Cast, Nexus, Códice,
Kromlech, Cruz De Hierro, and Nirgal Vallis
By Mario Riva Palacio
The whole thing started on friday, when a party was organized at the
Progrestaurant called "La Corte Final". All the groups were there, as
well as a bunch of fans and the concert organizers. That was really fun.
Some of the musicians organized a jam with their instruments, and it was
amazing to see Le Orme´s drummer, playing with Il balletto di bronzo´s
keyboard player, Pure adrenaline!
The festival took place in a forum called "Salon 21". It is some sort of
ball room with tables where you can eat and drink. Curious, but
comfortable, with a capacity of maybe 2,000 people. They had vendors
with progressive stuff at convenient prices.
The concerts started with a band from Guadalajara, Mexico, called Cruz
de hierro. This is a Cast's drummer side project, which I have already
seen in Baja Prog 98. They´re a metal prog group, which will release
soon their fist production under the Musea label. Personally, I don´t
like too much the genre, though they had some good moments.
The next band was Nexus. They´re a band from Argentina with a production
called Detras del umbral, which sounds pretty much like ELP, but a
little bit heavier. The crowd was really excited and the band offered a
really good show. Their musicians are really skilled and they played a
number from their upcoming record.
Next, was the turn of Cast. They´re by far the best mexican prog rock
band, and they proved it once more. It was a very special presentation
for them, because it was the first time they played in Mexico City.
Neoprog at it´s best. It was a great show and the fans were really
The headliners were the mythical, Il Balletto Di Bronzo. Well, only one
member of the original line up remains, but this guy can surely play the
keyboards. The other musicians were really good too and it was a
incredible closing act for day one. They played in its entirety the
world acclaimed Ys and some other songs. The gigs ended quite late,
but people were very happy.
Sunday started with Códice, a Mexican band from Monterrey, which will
perform on the next Progfest. This guys sound like a combination between
King Crimson and ELP. They have released only a double CD called Alba y
Ocaso. The first one is so, so but the second one contains a suite
called Icons and it rocks!! It is really good, and they performed a
lot of songs from that suite. Their drummer and their keyboard players
are stunning and though the place wasn´t still full, the audience were
really pleased with their show.
After this, a group that was already disbanded, gathered for the
festival without much luck. They´re called Nirgal Vallis and though
they´re not bad, they´re not my cup of tea. It´s a sort of Mexican folk
music combined with violin, bassoon, and other instruments. They said
that they´re planning to come back, and they only played for 20 minutes.
The next group was Kromlech, and they give a hell of a show. They had
really good lightning and sound and they performed a selection of La
soledad de las sombras and two brand new song. This band is gaining a
lot of fans.
The final concert was given by the unbelievable Italian band Le Orme.
They performed in their entirety, two of their major compositions,
Felona e Sorona and Il fiume, and they blown the house away. Their
musicians are absolute masters and they performed with a lot of energy
and sentiment. It was REALLY good. The drummer was a master and nobody
believed what they were looking at. They also played a selections of
songs from their masterpieces Collage, Uomo di pezza and
In conclusion, I can tell you that the audience saw a hell of a