The Prog Report: USA

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We are just a couple of months into 2015 and there have already been a handful of releases that can be counted on to be on many best of lists later this year.

As prog fans, we can enjoy a lot of music easier these days, but catching our favorites bands on tour in the US isn’t always guaranteed. One of the barriers for prog acts in the US is the ability to tour easily. Travel from venue to venue, especially when very few US markets have enough of an audience to support a prog show, make it difficult for many prog acts to tour, much less bring their show overseas and into America. However, there seems to be a shift at least this year.

Currently the Neal Morse Band is on the road supporting their latest album, The Grand Experiment. The Alive Again tour kicked off in Nashville and will finish in LA on March 2nd before heading over to Europe. The show focuses on the new album as well as a few older tracks from Morse’s solo career and time with Spock’s Beard.

14-string guitar virtuoso, Felix Martin, is on a 6 week trek across the US that began in late January and ends in March following 3 days at a major US festival known as SXSW in Austin, TX. While Haken are making their way to the US to support their EP, Restoration, as they continue work on their next album. The tour kicks on April 25th in Michigan and ends May 5th in VA. A stop at prog festival Rosfest in Pennsylvania is also included. Supporting Haken on their tour will be Next To None, the band featuring Max Portnoy on drums.

Promoting his highly anticipated new album, Steven Wilson brings his Hand.Cannot.Erase. tour to NY on May 21 to start his US outing and ends on Canada on June 27th. Hitting mostly major markets like NY, Chicago, and California, this will certainly be one of the best shows to see this year.

Of course there is also the 40th Anniversary tour that Rush has announced that will be the tour of the summer. The tour covers 34 cities in North America, kicking off in Tulsa, OK May 8th and ending August 1st in LA. Recently, on That Metal Show on VH1 Classic, Geddy Lee said this might be their last tour for a while, so this will be one to catch as they are expected to cover songs from every era of the band. There is also the rumored tour between Yes and Toto, which has yet to be confirmed. So it looks like it will be a very busy first half of the year

Roie Avin is the Editor of The Prog Report website.