Concert: ProgJect – The Ultimate Prog Rock Experience
Venue: The Token Lounge Westland, MI – 9/10/23
Images and Words: Logan Brannigan
The prog-rock super group, ProgJect, made their way to the famous Token Lounge in Westland, Michigan this past Sunday. Their setlist was filled with many classic prog songs ranging from the late 60’s through the 80’s. Unlike most cover band, ProgJect would throw their own spin to classic songs like “Long Distance Runaround” and “Firth of Fifth”. Unless you were really paying attention, you would think those arrangements were apart of the original song.
Before the concert started, a Christopher Walken voice-over came over the speakers telling the audience to be respectful with their phone usage which was both informal and comedic to the enthusiastic crowd. As soon as the psa concluded, the band graced the audience’s hears by playing “Dance On A Volcano”/“Los Endos”. Talk about starting a concert right! The band was answered with a standing ovation by the crowd. The band wasted no time in going into a King Crimson Medley (first of the night) which consisted of “Lark’s Tongues Part 1 & 2” along with “One More Red Nightmare”. The first two songs on the setlist really set the tone for the evening and where the concert would be headed.
Jonathan Mover stated during the concert that with there being so many songs to cover, the group decided to incorporate some medleys from groups like: Jethro Tull, UK, Pink Floyd, Rush, and Genesis. Medleys can be a divided subject with prog fans but it worked wonders for ProgJect. Each medley took the audience on a journey for that particular band. They even performed a medley that consisted of songs from American prog bands. Be sure to listen carefully to the songs because the band will give you a pop quiz afterwards. My favorite medley of the night goes to “Firth of Fifth”/”Cinema Show”. That medley in particular gave time for the great Ryo Okumoto to show off his keyboard chops. By the time Cinema Show had ended, the entire band left the entire audience in awe.
The band did perform songs like Peter Gabriel’s “D.I.Y”, Gentle Giant’s “Two Weeks in Spain”, Yes’ “Five Per Cent for Nothing” in their entirety. Each song was played very tight and all five musicians made it so seamless to play those classic songs. The set closed with the band playing one of ELP’s staple epics, “Karl Evil 9: 1st Impression”. The entire band was on fire for that particular song but Marc Bonilla’s belting of the lyric “See the show” was the cherry on top of the performance.
After a short break, the guys came back on stage for an encore to perform what would be the second King Crimson medley of the evening. This medley included “Pictures of a City” and the song that started it all, “21st Century Schizoid Man”. In between the medley, the band made room for solo spots between the five of them. One of them being a bass and drum solo spot from Ric Fierabracci and Jonathan Mover. What followed was a jaw dropping keytar/guitar dual by Ryo Okumoto, Mike Keneally, and Marc Bonilla. Once the band hit the closing notes of 21st Century Schizoid Man, everyone in the audience rose from their seats and gave the the band a well deserved standing ovation.
For those who have ever attended a show at The Token Lounge, you know that sound quality is quite special. The ProgJect’s show was a perfect example of that statement. The entire band sounded huge and no one was overshadowed. Between the great musicianship and vocals talents, Progject is the full package when it comes to a progressive rock band. They are currently halfway through their 2023 tour and have more dates on the way. If they are heading to a city near you, you do not want to miss out!
All information about the band and upcoming tour dates can be found at:
Upcoming Tour Dates
9/14 Derry NH
9/17 Sellersville, PA
9/22 Plymouth, MA
9/23 Horseheads, NY
9/24 Rutherford, NJ
9/28 Tampa, FL
9/29 Boca Raton, FL
9/30 Naples, FL
10/1 Savannah, GA
10/4 Tucson, AZ
10/6 Escondido, CA
10/7 Los Angeles, CA
10/8 SF/Lafayette, CA
10/9 Ventura, CA