… I could not even set the alarm, I have my eyes open, and there are still ten minutes to 4.00. And while a good part of Genoa still dreams, someone has already taken and is taking a Levante-Valpolcevera director picking up occasionally yawning one pilgrim.So, between streetlights twinkling of gnats and some stray light car, begins this fantastic journey. Two vehicles, a bus charter and a machine, are destined to meet in the vicinity of the exit of Bolzaneto and the second will give way to the first where seven galvanized individuals and their friend charioteer (the great Isaiah), loaded the luggage, settle the seats ready to kick off in music and humor to a thousand! Destination: Malpensa Airport.
The kilometers run and the sun peeks over the Lombardy Plain; we reach the Eastern ring road that begins to roar but still leaves us enough room for a constant speed route. A short stop for coffee and smoothly arrive at the terminal, a beautiful straightened spine, sgranchimenti different and the way to check-in, with two hours that separate us two take-offs, the physical (the aircraft) and the spiritual (our ) towards the enterprise of NEARfest. For some of us it is the first trip overseas, but the excitement is still all catalyzed by what awaits us there: simply the most prestigious event in the world of progressive rock, characters like names such as Magma, Hawkwind, Pure Reason Revolution …
Eight and a half hours flight flowing altogether bearable way, including soft drinks, movies, various readings, mp3 players, naps and lunch. The Boeing 767 there settles softly on the runway of Philadelphia International Airport; rapid border formalities and all out to breathe the US Air … basically exhausts of trucks, cars, cabs, shuttle buses, schoolbus and so they pass in front of the sidewalk where we are waiting for “our contact” (!). Some of us find that your cell phone can serve the most out of being impossible to receive alarm clock network, those who still works begin a question-and-answer dialogue-with Ray, the driver instructed to accompany us to the final destination: Bethlehem, PA. Among some misunderstandings and problems of the surrounding road network airport, pass an hour or so before we Ray individuals, but once you do it is sympathy at first sight. Ray is a strong type, such as strong will prove all the collaborators of the festival, available to the last need to make your stay as easy and comfortable as possible.
In a few hours, discrete code sucking road, we arrive at the hotel. Among those who will shoot the first shower made in the USA, who enjoys a zapping on TV in the room, those system their stuff and it makes a strimpellatina country style, it comes just at dinner time. At 7 pm (but yes, we use the way …) there would be the beginning of the evening prior to the Festival, the Fusion Friday, starring One Shot, Secret Oyster and Allan Holdsworth, but various delays have put us in front of a dry Alternatively: pub or theater? The festive noise that comes from the terrace of a coffee shop near the hotel, illuminated signs of beers and a very clear question someone ( “..Hey NEARfest guys … you too?” “Yeah, sure! ..”) Melt in a moment, if ever there were, the perplexities. And in a typical restaurant, including steaks, hamburgers, salads, jugs of beer and various types of music (yes, we indulged with digital jukebox .. Stevie Nicks, Metallica, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Gabriel and so on …) is It celebrates the culinary baptism in the United States.
Someone is too tired and indulges to sleep, others take the road towards the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University, home of the Festival. We know so Kevin (production manager), Paul (guitar / bass technician), Dennis (keyboard technician), Noreen (the lady at the backstage), and Chad (co-founder and coordinator of the event); like Ray all, happy to know us, we unsheathe the most joyful availability in case. So we turn the scenario of the upcoming battles, we enjoy the final part of Secrtet Oyster and the initial part of Allan Holdswort and, just not to laze between the one and the other, a few beers and we make friends with a certain Paul Whitehead (… yeah, that’s him!).