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Last updated on September 18, 2014 at 7:42 AM ET

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ProgPower USA XV: Day 1 (Friday)

There really was no better way of preparing for the official days of 2014’s ProgPower USA festival than to have gone “Full Circle” with Pagan’s Mind, DGM, and Draekon the night before, on September 11th in Atlanta, GA. For the 12th of September, if you weren’t waking up late and shmammered from the after-party the night before, you were soon to be treated to a variety of international bands: From Greece, the proggy show-stealing Need, performing their latest album, “Orvam: A Song For Home.” From Germany, the power chant-fest that is Orden Ogan. From Norway, young prog super-champs Leprous. From Sweden, the humble prog-titans of Seventh Wonder were to perform their “Mercy Falls” album. Finally (and again from the Scandinavian countries!) from Finland, the prestigious major-key-masters of Stratovarius were to perform their 1997 album, “Visions.”

With doors opening at 1:30 in the warm Atlanta afternoon, crowds and pizza courtesy of nearby restaurant DaVinci’s flowed in steadily to Center Stage, combining with drinks, merchandise, band members, and a few awesome wheelchair-bound metalheads with passion for the music for a very warm “Welcome to ProgPower!” feeling. Truly, ProgPower is a festival like none other in the US - full of friendly faces, excitement, and a sense of brotherhood. Further, the first band of the day (Need), personified this enthusiasm and attitude perfectly as they took the stage at 2PM. They would have the crowd in their pocket within three songs. More...

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