Take a trip back in time with ProgFest III

ProgFest poster
ProgFest poster

Experience 1970s progressive rock at Douglas College

By Cheryl Minns, Arts Editor

ProgFest III, the latest concert fundraiser presented by the Community Music School (CMS) at Douglas College, will celebrate the songs of 1970s progressive rock music with tribute bands Earthbound and the Undoing on June 27.

ProgFest debuted in 2009 as a concert by Earthbound, a progressive rock band featuring CMS coordinator Bob Caldwell. The band, which formed in the 1970s, decided to get the group back together and add some new members for their ProgFest performance.

“The first ProgFest was quite successful. We had one last year, and then we’re doing our third one this year,” Caldwell said to the Other Press. “There are a lot of fans in the Lower Mainland that like this music. People from all over of various ages, everything from students here to older audience members.”

Progressive rock began in the United Kingdom and became known for its lengthy, symphonic songs full of time changes, tempo changes, and heavy themes. The music is demanding on both the performer and the listener, who has to follow along with the complex piece, but ultimately offers a very rewarding musical experience.

ProgFest III will feature Earthbound and the Undoing, a Genesis tribute band that began in 2012 performing the band’s progressive rock hits.

“Genesis considered themselves storytellers through music. Each song would have a story involved,” Caldwell said, explaining the group’s style. “They were very British, of course, so a lot of the themes were British-oriented.”

Earthbound will be playing the hits of King Crimson, including their 1969 track “21st Century Schizoid Man.”

“It was about life in the 21st century. It was ahead of its time. But it’s kind of relevant today and the lyrics of the day kind of relate to where society is these days.”

The event will also feature a silent auction and raffle prizes, with all proceeds going to the CMS.

The ProgFest fundraiser concert could become an annual event, according to Caldwell, and include more bands and performances.

“This year, it’s Earthbound and the Undoing. In a few years, it’d be great to have it over a weekend and have six bands play,” Caldwell said.

ProgFest III will take place at 8 p.m. on June 27 in the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre on the fourth floor of the Douglas College New Westminster campus.

Tickets are $20 for adults or $15 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at the door or by phone through the Community Music School at 604-527-5469.