1.) SO WHAT IS "PROGSTOCK'S LAST CALL LIVE" ALL ABOUT? This is a production that is pre-planned with a set schedule, requiring participants to individually pre-rehearse at home for several weeks, or even months leading up to the ProgStock Festival. Last Call Live is a multi-faceted event put together by the ProgStock Production Team and a small group of volunteer musicians in order provide other ProgStock attendees (who are also musicians) the chance to give it their all in a special Late Night Presentation on Saturday October 12th after the ProgStock Featured Acts are done for the day. There will be surprises and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to perform onstage with some of the ProgStock Featured Artists as well.
2.) HOW DO I SIGN UP TO PLAY ?
Firstly, you do NOT need to send an audition audio or video sample if you have ever signed up and performed in a Grid Event for CTTE or POTR. Simply go right to “The Song Grid” tab on this website and choose the relevant link to propose new songs and/or join existing songs.
Newcomers must use the "NEW PLAYER SIGN-UP LINK" to submit a short video or audio clip of yourself singing or playing the instrument (or vocal) part you'd like to add to The Grid. This does not need to be a professional production. Maybe a cellphone video of you playing or singing along with a recording, or a YouTube clip of you in a band you play in (or once played in). Within a day or so, the Production Team will let you know if we need to see more, or if you are invited to proceed onto the Song Grid. BOTH of these things must happen before you can be added to The Grid:
You submitted an audition sample -AND- The Production Team has responded to your submission AND informed you that you can proceed with your song selections. In other words, you cannot submit songs as “placeholders” while your audition is screened. Our aim is to be as inclusive as possible. Please be aware that the other members on your songs will be counting on you to get the job done, so we need to know in advance that you are proficient on your instrument of choice.
What makes this event particularly impressive is that it is the equivalent of an “extreme sport”. For example, Feature Artists are at ProgStock to perform scheduled concerts throughout the day for festival attendees, featuring music that they wrote and recorded themselves. They rehearse their own material for weeks before touring or performing at festivals like ProgStock. So, it’s only natural to anticipate that they would pull off a flawless show. On the other hand, the vast majority of Grid performers (possibly you) would be practicing and learning established Prog songs from home on their own, without having the chance to ever rehearse in person with their fellow performers. They are then scheduled to meet and perform as a band for the first and only time on stage during Last Call Live. So for a musician, it doesn’t get more spontaneous than this… and that’s why it's not for everyone. In the past, many Professional Musicians who have witnessed (or participated) in one of our shows, have been blown away watching some very tough songs (including epics) get successfully pulled off by festival attendees. In fact, Tony Levin recently blogged why (for him) our shows were THE highlight of his CTTE 2018 experience.
3.) DO I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
ProgStock "Last Call Live" is for any talented musician who is up for learning some challenging songs and performing them in front of a large crowd of Progressive Rock fans and other musicians. We try to be very inclusive, and are always here to answer your questions and concerns, as well as coach you if needed. The level of musicianship is semi-pro to professional level, so be sure to bring your personal A-game! The best way to find out if you’re the right fit is to sign up and submit your audition link(s).
4.) WHAT DOES THE AUDITION PROCESS ENTAIL?
Your audition does not necessarily have to be a high budget production. Some auditions have been nothing more than footage of themselves playing along to a song while in front of a cellular phone or iPad, while others have provided full-on concert-quality footage. This is what the Production Committee will be evaluating: You should submit one or two links on the sign-up form, preferably a minute or two of video showcasing your singing or performing ability. You should be performing a song that would be considered PROGRESSIVE ROCK. If there is a song that you would particularly like to perform at ProgStock, by all means, submit a portion of that song. The Production Team must be able to gauge your credibility when it comes to performing with others that would rely on your understanding of things like syncopation, odd meters and various time changes. They should also feel comfortable with your ability to sing that well-known falsetto, or play that legendary guitar solo, bass run, keyboard interlude, or drum-fill that fans of that song/artist would come to expect. You do NOT need to be a virtuoso; however, you do need to have the basic skill and confidence to be able to competently perform the parts you commit to when you sign up, with the understanding that there are NO GROUP REHEARSALS.
5.) I HAPPEN TO KNOW A COUPLE OF THE FEATURED ARTISTS. HOW 'BOUT I ASK THEM TO PLAY A FEW SONGS WITH ME AT LATE NIGHT LIVE?
For the record, this is strictly forbidden and can get you banned from Last Call Live. If you happen to have a connection to a Featured Artist (either directly, or through a friend-of-a-friend), DO NOT reach out to them by any means, asking them to jump on any of your songs. These artists may have contractual obligations that prohibit such solicitations. Rest assured, there will be plenty of moments where artists will proactively jump on the GRID, and you will have the chance to join them. Featured Artists will be made aware of Last Call Live via the proper channels and make their own decisions to jump aboard. We must continue to ensure that we foster a great relationship with the promoters of ProgStock, and refrain from jeopardizing this featured event from continuing. Should you have any further enquiries about this matter, please reach out to Rob Rutz directly.
6.) WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING? Bring yourself – fully prepared to perform your songs. Bring your own Guitar or Bass (or make arrangements in advance to share). Keyboards will be provided, however you are welcome to bring your own keyboard. We suggest bringing a spare set of strings, and a possibly a battery for your active instrument as well. Amps, Drums, Keyboards, Monitors as well as full PA will be provided. Drummers should bring their own sticks. If you're bringing gear you'd like to share, let us know.
7.) WHAT'S ALL THIS ABOUT SONGS GOING GREEN?
"What guarantees that a song will Go Green?" A song is completed and "GOES GREEN" as soon as ALL players are in position. When a song goes GREEN, all players are locked in place and should start rehearsing their parts!
"What happens if the song I've chosen has not gone GREEN by the time the Grid closes?" While we can't guarantee every song will be completed, we have contingencies in place that will ensure enough songs get completed to fill The Grid time-slots. Your group is responsible for contacting each other (usually via a Facebook or Facebook Messenger) to discuss specifics of key, endings, performing a live version, etc. Groups that meet regularly on Facebook Messenger (or alternate platform) to coordinate their parts and discuss progress have a much better chance to pull off a flawless performance.
8.) HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT TIME I WILL BE PERFORMING?
A schedule will be posted around a week before ProgStock of the songs to be played, as well as the approximate times they are scheduled.
You are responsible to be in the showroom well before your song begins; especially in cases where the schedule is pushed ahead due to varying circumstances. Please be at the designated side-stage “Pit Area” with your gear, ready to plug in one song prior to going on. The schedule will flex in case we need to accommodate a Featured Artist who may be performing with us. Please don't count on all of your songs being chained together, although it is possible.
9.) IT'S A MONTH BEFORE PROGSTOCK, AND I REALIZED I CAN'T MAKE IT. WHAT DO I DO? Please let us know as soon as possible, so we can collectively determine how to fill your vacant spots. Otherwise, any songs you're on will have to be dropped at the last minute, and there will be some seriously upset people who are at risk of not being able to perform their songs.
10.) GUIDELINES AND EVERYTHING ELSE:
a.) Whether you are a Newcomer or Alumni, don’t choose the same player(s) to get onto all of your songs with. Part of the fun for the audience is watching different combinations of players on each song.
b.) Make sure you fully read and understand the entire “HOW IT WORKS” section and ask questions if you are unclear on anything. You can post your questions on the Last Call Live Facebook page.
c.) Do NOT participate if you are planning on learning your songs at the last minute!!! We’ve seen it all. People (who signed up for songs months prior), but only get around to start learning them at the last possible moment. You may have the technical ability of your favorite Prog Idols , but if you don't practice, take this thing seriously and prepare, YOU will be the reason that the song fails, and there will be about 5 different videos on YouTube afterwards to prove it. So if you don't think you are disciplined enough to actually learn these songs, then this is NOT for you.
d.) Remember, the other players are counting on you, so don't let your band mates down by coming in too early (or too late) , forgetting chord progression, playing a passage in the wrong key or at the wrong tempo, etc. Don’t get us wrong. Nerves and adrenaline can get the best of us, and mistakes can happen. That’s ok. However, it’s easy to tell if someone got just around to “learning” the song merely days before the event.
Welcome to ProgStock's Last Call Live!