Time: Friday-Sunday, April 13-15 2007.
Location: Cap’Découverte, Carmaux, France (not far from Toulouse).
Bands: Magma (fr), Present (fr), Faust (de), Guapo (uk), Zao (fr), Mats Morgan Band (sw), Nebelnest (fr), Salle Gaveau (jp), Peter Blegvad Trio (uk).
Summary: great festival, especially if you’re French.
Best Shows: 1) Guapo; 2) Magma; 3) Salle Gaveau.
Worst Shows: 1) Peter Blegvad Trio; 2) Faust; 3) Zao.
Production & Organization: 9/10 (the hall was bit too hot, at times)
1) Roger Trigaux of “Present” breaking an electric guitar on stage at the end of the show, and throwing the broken instrument on an innocent keyboard;
2) Christian Vander ending the festival with a small balade, sung by himself;
3) Mats Morgan band members jumping up & down on the stage, following an amazing gig;
4) Guapo blasting the hall with huge, fat sounds, wiping out everything in their path.
1) Peter Blegvad getting confused on which song he’s going to sing next;
2) Zao pianist Francois Cahen telling the audience that their lead female singer has been hospitalized;
3) Faust’s frontman Jean-Hervé Peron running with a handsaw through the terrified audience;
4) Magma show ends 😦
Performance one-liner descriptions: Magma filled the hall and proved it was the king of the French prog scene, even today. Present chose to perform two gigs, one acoustic with 2 pianos, one electric with a full band – both not their career peaks. Faust cared more about the opposition than the rock music itself. Guapo shocked the crowd with a powerful show, using high-volume and climax-building to great effect. Zao‘s lead singer couldn’t show up, so their gig was one of their all-time worst. Mats Morgan band displayed a great sense of humor, happy melodies and excellent group cohesion. Nebelnest were fierce (drummer taking off his shirt on the 2nd piece), but couldn’t go beyond their recorded output. Salle Gaveau came out of nowhere to suprise the French crowd with a very polished, elegant and lively ensemble playing. Peter Blegvad Trio were’nt RIO at all, and therefore should not have been invited to the festival.
See you next year? there’s no event planned for 2008, as Thomas Bernadou from the Rocktime organization said in an email about next year. According to Rocktime, “There will not be unfortunately a new edition of RIO before 2009”.
Suggestions for RIO-FEST 2009: 1) Eskaton; 2) Art Bears; 3) Thinking Plague; 4) Koenji Hyakkei; 5) Happy Family; 6) Universal Totem Orchestra; 7) Sleepytime Gorilla Museum; 8) Samla Mammas Manna; 9) Birdsongs of the Mesozoic; 10) Far Corner; 11) Univers Zero.
Compliments: The Rocktime Association for a great event; The festival staff for a professional workout; Asaf Carmeli & Erez Sayag for the wise comments; Pedro from Portugal and Sergio from USA for the international angle; Udi Koomran for the inside stories; Steve Feigenbaum from Cunieform Records for the passionate debate; Jennifer Edmondson for the taxi sharing; Didier Laloup for the fine hospitality in the park inn.
Photos: The official festival gallery by Francois Cadeau is cool enough for all.
I’ve enjoyed this festival so much, I even flew to the next one in 2009.