Progressive Rockpile

Half Past Four

Written by Joe Taylor

June 11, 2024

When you think of the Rockpile out in Etobicoke, normally you think Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Well you can now think Progressive Rock. Neurotic Entertainment brought out some new sounds for this heavy Rock Crowd. The good news is these bands brought a lot of heaviness to the stage but just with a lot more notes. They were fast and furious and could bend time signatures with their musical chomps.

Byrdy flew up first and spread its wings over the new crowd and won them over quickly with their style of heavy theatrical sounds. If you are familiar with the band Evanessence or Nightwish, this is our Toronto version. Heavy Rock with operatic overtones spread quickly over an attentive crowd that wanted to soak in everything they were doing. Personally I love it when they get to their cover version of Kate Bush’s “Running up that hill”. You can see the crowd snap out of it and really appreciate what this band is trying to convey.

Here are some images of Byrdy:

If you are a Toronto Prog fan, you should know the name, Half Past Four. This is a band that knows how to rewrite some of the Progressive rock rules. You see Progressive Rock is normally known for quirky time signatures like early Rush or King Crimson, and over the years this practice has homogenized itself to be very predictable.  Half Past Four epitomizes the time signature so well you can feel as if you are inside a pinball game.  Mood elevator is a fun party amongst a host of temperamental states of minds as you go up and down inside your personal shaft. It was the last song “Rabbit” that solidified their wonderful strangeness as the lead singer Kyree displayed her theatrical dance moves. The rabbit had no chance of escape.

Here are some images of Half Past Four:

Timequarium opened their show with a dramatic soundtrack opening and slipped into a heavy muddy groove that felt very swampy but with heavy metal overtones. When the singer showed up on the second song she began slowly opening up to what would be a Rock and Roll diva by the end of their set. She did have to follow two powerful female performers, and if that was me I would a bit nervous. Just a side thought from me.

I found out this is a pretty young band that has been together for two years and being in a competitive market it is difficult to find the right gigs. The Rockpile seemed to be a great fit, because they came together to play hard and show us what they were made of. I couldn’t help but watch the keyboard player who seemed to be the leader of the band. This guy played like his life depended on this show. I like that in a musician. A person who puts everything out there to entertain the crowd will find his audience with that attitude.  I hope I get this right, but their last song of the night was called, “Intentions” and it really woke everyone up. It was filled with all the great drama of a solid prog rock song. I believe if they adopt this method of playing they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Here are some images of Timequarium:

Last up for the evening was a Band called Derev. They came out pounding like a wild animal. Their opener was a solid pounder of rock and blood. They switched gears quickly on the second song, because now they sounded like a mid 80’s Progressive Pop Band.  The 3rd song proved that these guys have chops. They threw in a little psychedelia with their sound.  I could definitely hear a little Dream Theater in this one.

I just wanted to let you know that I was very impressed with the drummer, Michael Karakach, not only because he a very talented at what he does but he also played with Timequarium and then jumped over and played with Derev. This is a marathon drummer and he is worth checking out.  Speaking of Marathon, they took us on a 10 minute epic journey with their song, “Ghost of Guilt”, which had all the great element of a progressive rock song. This is another band that Toronto should adopt in their musical community as they plant the seed of a new progressive rock garden that has been barren in this city for a long time. Remember we are the city that spawned Rush! Let’s show the world that we can continue to produce world class rock music like this endlessly. I just witnessed four of them in one night.

Here are some images of Derev:

Here are the links to their music


Half Past Four-

Timequarium- Facebook


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