I hadn't heard any It Bites before. My daughter Kayleigh and I enjoyed their set, but agreed that we hadn't been impressed enough to want to investigate them any further, until their cds hit bargain basement prices anyway! Don't worry John, I'll still follow your career in Arena!
I do have all The Reasoning's cds, and have seen them in concert before, along with about 29 others, at Legends in Newcastle. I thoroughly enjoyed their set, and I disagree a) that it got better as it went on - didn't they do Dark Angel second? and b) that Rachel's voice wasn't clear - I thought she sang very nicely - not sure about her choice of clothing though! I do however agree that the tempo of their set was a little static - they do have a much greater variety on their albums.
Kayleigh hadn't heard The Reasoning before but she loved it - she commented afterwards how tight the band was and how well they performed.
Generally, I agree that this is a new style of Progressive Rock which is becoming more prevalent - I have just discovered a Spanish/Dutch band called Harvest, for example, who are a mixture of new Marillion and The Reasoning - but I like it. In what has traditionally been a very male dominated genre, I like to listen to female vocalists for a change (another good band with a female vocalist is Introitus - then there's Magenta, and so on....). These bands, perhaps because of the female singers, do tend to have a different sound - still progressive, but kind of "easy progressive" if you see what I mean.
Oh sorry, this was a thread about the support bands at the convention - whoops!