Symphony X, December 9th, 2000
V Tour, 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands

By Joenkie Liem


I was really lucky that I was able to attend this concert in the first place; I study in the US and I come home (Holland) once a year. The concert was originally scheduled for November 22 but it was moved to December 9 due to logistical problems, and I would not have been able to go had they played on the original date.

I went by myself, since I only know one person who likes this kind of music -me. When I came to the 013, I was surprised that it was not that crowded. I had never been to this venue before, and it does not seem like a very big place. I immediately noticed the large amount of Dream Theater T-shirts walking around, and the similarities between the 2 bands have always been very apperent to me. I expected the band to play the new album V in it's entirely, since it is a concept album -I ended up being wrong later that night. When they started playing, I found that the classical influenced intro of Prelude sounded so much better live than on the album. I have listened to V the whole summer, so I was pretty much familiar with what would come. The performance was really good, I was a pleasantly surprised after I heard some MP3's of a previous concert a couple of years ago where they sounded good, but not great. The classical elements of the music were really more emphasised live than on the album, and Allen's voice sounded terrific. I think that Allen's voice is one the most valuable assets to the band, his wide vocal range makes him a good bridge between the classical influences and the raw parts of the music. The so-called 'segues' -the short instrumental parts that stitch the songs together on the album- were truly magnificent, just beautiful. I was standing next to someone who had not heard the album before, and we were both just completely in awe. The highlight of the concert came in the middle of The Death Of Balance / Lacrymosa. They took a 30 second break, and then started to play my favorite Symphony X song: Candlelight Fantasia. Again, I was amazed by Allen's voice, which sounded so clear, with no signs of fatigue (this was the last gig in the tour) or anything like that. At this point, I realized that I like Allen's vocals more than Dream Theater's Labrie, at least live; I still consider DT my all-time favorite band, and I have seen them twice in the last 6 months, but Labrie's voice, while excellent on the studio albums, sounded a bit off-tone at times. Of course, this may have to to with the fact that DT does much bigger tours but still...After Candlelight, they did not, as I expected, continue the rest of the album but they started to do some old stuff instead. This did not bother me a bit, as I enjoyed the rest of the concert a lot.

Symphony X is, in my opinion, one of the most under-rated progmetal bands out there. After seeing this concert, I regret it so much that they can only do so many concerts and they could be as successful as Dream Theater with the right marketing. I truly admire their technical ability, and how they make everything seem easy. Allen is a great frontman, dancing silly on stage and joking around with bandmembers and audience. Entrance was really inexpensive -NLG 17,50- and the only thin that sucked was that I could not buy a T-shirt as they had been sold out when I came. Overall, this was an awsome concert and I would travel great lengths to see them again.


By Martijn Semmelink


So here it is. A 'little' review of this wonderfull night!! If you have a chance to see them live, get it. You will be impressed!!!
At 8:45 we (me and 2 friends of mine) arrived at 013 in Tilburg and prepared ourselves for the comming gig with some nice tilburgian beer.
At 9:10 we founded ourselves a nice place before the stage.

At 21:15 the intro tape started. It was the intro of the new album V, but without any drums and guitars. Just orchestra, which was pretty cool. After that the band started with the Grand Design. The first thing we noticed, was that the sound was extremely BAD!!!!! Drums where way too hard and the sound-engineer was flipping with the volume-knots during the first 2 or 3 songs. So, that means that the first 15-20 minutes of the concert where not really pretty to listening to. But the sound was improving very well during the concert and at the end we had a very good sound though. Next song was Fallen from V. I thought, wow, there gonna play the whole thing!!!?? Sound was not good, but the band played it flawless. After this song they started Transcendce (segue) which leads into Communion and the Oracle. This song was one of my highlights of the evening, cause itís my favorite song in V. The sound quality was pretty much improved. So it was time for some flesh creeps. After this song they played The Bird Serpent/Catalysm, On the Breath of Poseidon (Romeo added a Solo in the beginning) and the song Egypt. Then it was time for another highlight: The Death Of Balance/Lacrymosa. I hoped they would play this instrumental!!!!! And they did!!!! This song was really for Jason, to prove his drum-skills!!! He played it flawless! Heís a god. The choir part in this song wasnít played though, but they started with Candlelight Fantasia. Again a highlight!!!!!!
They didnít play the whole thing, only 2 or 3 minutes. Toooooooooooo bad. Then I lost the order of the songs, but they played the following Ďold shití:
-Dressed to Kill (from Damnation Game)
-Smoke and Mirrors (from Twilight In Olympus)
-Church of the Machine (from Divine Wings Of Tragedy)
-Sea of Lies (from Divine Wings Of Tragedy)

Then it was time for a break. After 5 minutes Rusell got back on the stage with a somekind entertaining act, which was pretty funny though. He sad that there was a problem, because he couldnít find the other bandmember. He liked to play a few other songs, but without bandmember....no chance.
So he asked the crowd to scream for the bandmember. He introduced every bandmember on stage and it was time for a few other songs. The 3rd highlight was Through the Looking Glass!!!!! IMO the best song on 'Twilight' and they played it perfect!!!.
The last song (for what i remembered) was Of Sins And Shadows, the first song on 'Divine Wings Of Tragedy', with that Queen-ish vocal part. Uhm, yeah, the vocalpart......this was the only negative thing......the vocal part was from tape, but they did there best too playback it, so it seemed that they did it LIVE.....yeah, right.......anyway...

Russell Allen thanked the crowd for their support and after the wellknown drumsticks and pick throwing-act the band left the stage. I had high expectations of this night, and it was even better than what I expected!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hereís a review of every bandmember:

Micheal Romeo: Man, thing guy is fantastic!!!! He plays al his solos on a way that guitar-playing looks like nothing. He was definitely the man of the show, though he's not really a showguy!!

Rusell Allen: What a voice, and what a power!!!!!!!!!!!!! In the beginning he seemed too be a little curious about his reach. He was avoiding the higher notes a bit. But he was getting better during the show, which was fantastic!!!!!!!!!

Jason Rullo: If one man deserves to be in the spotlight, it is Jason. He played the whole show as tight as he could!!!!
I saw a few reviews of him, that he made a lot of mistakes during some shows etc. I haven't heard any!!!!!!!!!!!! He was like perfect!!!

Mike LePond: HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This guy is FUNNY. The way he jumps around with his UGLY bass guitar was really enjoyable!!!!!!!! Yeah his bass guitar was ugly.... A red metal-formed guitar, that those death-metal and Black-metal bands use a lot You know, those bands where the members are trying there best to look evil, with a special formed guitar!!!!!!!!!
HAHAHAHAHA he was evil...anyway
He proved that his skills where flawless and heís the man for SyX!!!!!! One tip: do get another hair-cut

Michael Pinella: Why does somebody throw a curtain over his keyboard-setup?????????? Is he not proud of his keyboards??? It was to me, I play keyboards myself, a little confusing. The only part where you could see the man playing was during the solos. He did that on a purple synth, a yamaha or something. But you couldnít see the other keyboards, because there was a huge black curtain hanging before it. I donít know why he did that, but it was not really pretty to see. Anyway, I like his playing because of his melody-lines. It always reminds me of Kevin Moore. He created awesome melody lines too, but was a master of solos too. Pinella not. His solos are just fast, skilled. But musical??? Not. So, he didnít impress me that much during this concert. Actually, you couldnít figure out his solos, because you couldnít hear them. This was ofcourse the sound-engineerings mistake.

Setlist:

Prelude
Evolution (The Grand Design)
Fallen
Transcendence (Segue)
Communion And The Oracle
The Bird-Serpent War / Cataclysm
On The Breath Of Poseidon (Segue)
Egypt
The Death Of Balance / Lacrymosa
Candlelight Fantasia
Dressed To Kill
Sea Of Lies
Smoke And Mirrors
Church Of The Machine

Through The Looking Glass
Of Sins And Shadows

 

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