Protomen at Magfest

by Joseph Baldovin

There are never small bands or big bands at Magfest, simply ones you heard more of or groups who have existed for a greater amount of time.  And while its equally wrong to say that a more famous band is "better", The Protomen are one such exception to that rule where their long-standing place in video game culture is quite easily tempered by their sucess in meeting expectations at a live performance.

The Protomen or what I've long since called them, "The Lords of the Power Ballad", whcih godd-natued homor aside, you'd not be remiss in mistaking them for some royal advisors to the throne of 80's rock.  What with alreadt 2 full-fledged rock opera albums, seemingly being influenced, (or influencing depending on who is asked) Reponman with the vocals of a more pissed off and less portly Meatloaf.  Their whole soundsdrives a fine line ever between rock and metal and the only strong fact that prevents me from calling them pure metal is their clear tone vocals, delivring an almost bluegrass melancholy hidden beneath rolling anthem and swings of orchestral chorus'.

When at last your able to see past the wall of robotics and light, you will notice yourself fuller, more complete as if a hole that had resided in your heart was filled.  You will find it filled by sweat, soul and the ending cascade of K.I.L.L.R.O.Y's showboating, Panther's lead vocal expertise and the sngular angelic choir known as Gambler Kirkdouglas.  The showmanship of a Protomen live show is less evil cardboard robots, (or depending on the setlist, more evil robots) and mostly raw rock swagger, throwing out each song from their throats raspy and unfiltered.  Despite having more people on stage than hypemen DJ's tend to have, the band as a synrochized unit comes off increbly pure and unobstructed from pyro or gimmicks or stageshows besdies some short pieces centeredunsurprisningly around Megaman.

A Protomen show is something akin to a minitature play centered of celebration of early game story.  Simplistic narratives than hardcore fans have since found the ability to wring large, emotional character arcs from within.  ANd their music is attempting to bring to life those stories, weaving large than life dramas about a moment in people's childhood.  

So far so good, I'd say.

You can find more about this Tenesse-based band at their website; where they've just released the debut of their first major music video.

Story by Earl Maldoun

Photography by PixelJournalism