Within the MAGFest lineup, “Protomen” are the odd men out. While pretty much everyone else is doing game music covers, instrumental or vocal, in a variety of styles, this rock-opera band has all-original music.
However, the story behind their music, captured eloquently in the lyrics and the album liner notes, is loosely based on the Mega Man universe. The first album tells the story of Mega Man and his brother Proto Man. The second album, a prequel, tells of the fallout between Dr. Thomas Light and Dr. Wily, and also introduces the characters Emily and Joe. The themes of their music are man vs machine, humanity as a species that needs or desires rule, and how that falls into conflict with the desire for independence.
Protomen first played at MAGFest 9 in 2011. They played two nights in a row, in fact, and they blew my mind. Their fanbase is almost cult-like; the level of zeal is incredible. This year, I too will join that fanbase, singing along to every single lyric, and probably begging for information on the final act, which will bring a close to the Protomen trilogy.
Two years ago I wrote a lengthy bio on the band, fed by about 2 hours’ worth of raw recorded interview time with different members of the band, juggling their time with me and a signing line in the late afternoon before their second show. Be sure to read if you want even more info on this great band!