Fates Warning + Omen,
Tuesday June 9th
live at Noorderligt, Tilburg, The Netherlands

By Carry Oomis

This was the first time ever I had the chance of seeing Fates Warning live. Previous shows were frequently cancelled beforehand, but this time it seemed that I would really see them at last. Since I had never seen them perform before, I had no idea what to expect.

Fates Warning were preceded by Omen: a really bad choice, since Omen plays "old-fashioned" metal in the vein of Manowar (but worse). This kind of music in no way resembles the complex progressive metal played by Fates Warning. My guess is that the real fans weren't too pleased with Omen. Some gave it a try, but after a few songs soon gave up. Omen's songs are not very interesting to begin with, but to make matters worse, they were played very badly (though with great enthusiasm) and much too loud. Added to this, Omen's sound was terrible. My husband and me fled to the foyer to have a drink and some peace and quiet for a moment (and really! We are used to loud music; we visited so many concerts over the years, but this was the limit!).

Luckily we didn't suffer for nothing. Fates Warning played a really fantastic set. They started off with the full version of their new CD A pleasant shade of gray, which sounded live even better than on the CD.
They had no trouble at all with the complex structures of these songs and their timing was excellent. Luckily their sound was also much better than that of Omen (not a hard thing to do).
With their music, which sounds so smoothly, but is in fact so very complex and melodic, they created an intense atmosphere. Kevin Moore is a great addition to the band: his keyboard parts go really well with the songs. The members of Fates Warning are all masters on their instruments, but their talents are even surpassed by Ray Alder's voice. He sings with an ease I have rarely seen in any other singer and has no problem at all going from the higher to the lower passages. It was his singing that dominated the concert. The atmosphere was just awesome. Long time since I have seen such a great and enthusiastic crowd and long time since music could give me shivers.

After A pleasant shade of gray the band members disappeared back stage in order to return a moment later and to play some old favourites. The crowd loved them and sang along happily. More the pity that this second part of the show turned out to be the encore. After 1 hours of playing Fates Warning left the stage and did not return, no matter how long (10 minutes) and how loud (I guess you could hear it outside) the audience yelled and screamed for more. It turned out to be all in vain. The crew began to clear the set and after a while everybody gave up and left, a bit disappointed. Yet this was the only setback in an otherwise unforgettable show.

Fates Warning are:

Ray Alder - vocals
Jim Matheos - guitars and guitar synth
Mark Zonder - drums
Joey Vera - bass
Kevin Moore - piano and keyboards (formerly Dream Theater)


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