The  2005 Nearfest pre-show  headliner was the Italian Progressive maestros-  PFM.  They were fantastic!

Here's a brief  overview of the set:

PFM-  headlined Progressive Legends Showcase and simply blew away the audience. Though the sound mixing was  very heavy (they were one of the loudest bands of the festival),. Franz Di Cioccio was ultimate showman getting a usual stodgy  prog audience involved. (for the uninitiated, Nearfest audiences rarely pump their arms,  scream  and never  dance  in the aisles, they listen, enjoy and absorb the sounds).  His drumming was of the extremely high caliber and the  replacement for the ill Flavio Premoli was amazing.  Franco Mussida  was given a lot of highlight time on acoustic and electric guitar, providing beautiful passages and solid solo work.  The band began their killer set by playing two  songs- `River of Life' and the title track to their debut album- Photos of Ghosts in Italian- the first time  I have never heard them in their native language,   The band received numerous standing ovations and  you could tell tell that they gave their all and clearly were humbled to play at NF.  A powerful and  beautiful set finished off  by their classic song- Celebration.  During the song,  Electronic violinist Lucio Fabbri  was talking digital pictures of Franz on drums- they were having a great time (as was  the audience).

The band members  were  very nice people to talk to, they even liked the drawing. Not shown is  the  backup keyboardist  who signed it on the opposite page and drew a cartoony keyboard....  not very good, but he could really play!  Thanks for the memories, in my wildest dreams would I ever believe I would see  PFM  play.  By the way,  PFM  is the only Italian band to break the  American top  100 ever.  Today, with the American music/ crap that people like (and think is good (yeah- right- be ignorant)...  if PFM  was a new band-  they wouldn't have a chance... except in  a  underground prog movement.

The drawing was done from a small picture off the  internet,  I did it in school during my prep after I luckily got  tickets  (Nearfest usually sells out in 30 min. each year).  I did this before my accident and the tinnitus.
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Lee Gaskins Productions
Lee Gaskins Productions