This year’s Mood Indigo is doing away with pop-punk and bringing back prog rock.
IIT Mumbai’s Mood Indigo has always been a hub of activity not just as a college fest but as a legitimate destination for music fans. Over the years, Livewire, Mood Indigo’s music event, has come to be an integral part of gig goers’ annual gig calendars. Since 2008, the festival has booked an international headliner for Livewire and they have largely stuck to, like other IITs around the country, stuck to programming either prog rock acts or extreme metal acts (2008 – Ensiferum, 2009 – Porcupine Tree, 2010 – Katatonia, 2011 – Karnivool). However, last year’s headlining act, pop-punk band Simple Plan, was a surprising choice to say the least. This year, progressive rock fans should be pleased that regular service has been resumed with Mood Indigo’s announcement that the Neal Morse Band, featuring Mike Portnoy, will headline the festival.
Mike Portnoy’s name should jump out to pretty much any prog rock fan because he was a part of Dream Theater, the American band that would become virtually synonymous with the genre. Portnoy has been regularly cited among the best drummers in the world because of his immense technical ability, a feat that has been recognized by the drumming community’s magazine Modern Drummer magazine who have awarded Portnoy 26 awards for drumming and inducted him into their hall of fame in 2004. Portnoy will collaborate with friend and fellow prog rock figurehead Neal Morse. Morse is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who has been a part of numerous projects throughout his career. He started a prog rock band Spock’s Beard in 1992 with his brother Alan Morse but he also went on to join Portnoy, The Flower Kings‘ Roine Stolt and Marrillion‘s Pete Trewavas to form the supergroup Transatlantic. In 2002, he left Spock’s Beard to pursue his solo career. Morse even formed another supergroup called Flying Colours which includes Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse as well as Portnoy and he even got into Christian progressive rock with his album Songs From The Highway (2007). 2012 was the year Morse released his latest album Momentum and he continues to create new material or play on tour with his band which includes Randy George (bass guitar), Eric Gillete (multi-instrumentalist) and Bill Hubauer (synth, vocals).
The Neal Morse Band featuring Mike Portnoy are set to play Mood Indigo on December 20, 2013. More from Mood Indigo 2013 and Livewire 2013 soon. In the meantime, check out ‘Momentum’ from Neal Morse’s last album below, a song in which he refers to the “smell of Bombay”.