On 15, 16, 17 September 2017, Ayreon played live for the first time ever, bringing together 16 guest singers and 11 Musicians, playing 28 songs with performances by Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Damian Wilson (Headspace), Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), Anneke Van Giersbergen (Vuur), Marco Hietala (Nightwish), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Edward Reekers (Kayak) and many more.
Arjen Lucassen is thrilled to reveal the first taste of the show from the spectacular performance of‘Everybody Dies’ featuring a staggering cast of Ed Warby (Drums), Johan van Stratum (Bass), Marcel Coenen (Lead guitar), Ferry Duijsens (Guitar) and Joost van den Broek (Keyboards) . Plus singers,Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), Mike Mills(Toehider), Marcela Bovio (MaYan), Irene Jansen (The Human Equation), Maggy Luyten (Nightmare) and Lisette van den Berg (Scarlet Stories).
Talking about the song he says. “I’m extremely proud to present you the first full live video track of the upcoming Ayreon Universe DVD/BD. I picked ‘Everybody Dies’, which is not only a personal favourite, it also features many of the amazing singers and a lot of mayhem and commotion on stage! This is a total bitch of a track to play, but I must say the band totally nailed it! Hope you like it.”
‘Ayreon Universe – The Best of Ayreon Live’ will be available on 3LP + MP3, 3LP + MP3 (Limited Colored Vinyl), 2CD, 5 disc Earbook, plus 2DVD and Blu-ray with 90 minutes of exclusive behind the scenes footage and interviews with the whole cast.
It takes a special kind of talent to bring together 16 of the finest singers from the world of progressive and power metal whilst staking your own reputation on a show that will highlight the best of a 23-year career as one of the leading lights of the progressive music world. And on top of all that, you know you will also have to overcome your own crippling stage fright. But Arjen Lucassen is a special kind of talent.
The daunting task of coordinating 16 singers — all with their own bands and busy schedules — is just the beginning. There’s also Lucassen’s live band; the core line-up of Ed Warby (drums), Johan van Stratum(bass), Marcel Coenen and Ferry Duijsens (guitars) and Joost van den Broek (keyboards) augmented by a violinist, flautist and cellist. To top it off there’s a stage set up that boasts one of the world’s biggest HD screens spanning the entire width of the 013 stage. It’s a spectacular backdrop for a set that comprises of 28 songs over two hours, filmed by 30 cameras in front of 9000 fans who have flocked in from all over the world. Little wonder the three shows in Tilburg, Netherlands sold out within a day.
“I get absolutely crippling stage fright,” he explains. “Up to the night before the Tilburg shows I was having dreadful panic attacks. I honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it on stage.”
“We worked on Ayreon Universe for two years,” he says of the event. “There were literally hundreds of things that had to fall into place to make the shows a success.”
And, as you will see from ‘Ayreon Universe: The Best Of Ayreon Live’, it turned out pretty special indeed. A crowning achievement, to date, for Lucassen’s remarkable career.
3. Abbey Of Synn
4. River Of Time
5. The Blackboard
6. The Theory Of Everything
7. Merlins Will
8. Waking Dreams
9. Dawn Of A Million Souls
10. Valley Of The Queens
11. Ride The Comet
12. Star Of Sirrah
14. Day Sixteen Loser
15. And The Druids Turned To Stone
16. The Two Gates
17. Into The Black Hole
18. Actual Fantasy
19. Computer Eyes
21. Age Of Shadows
22. Intergalactic Space Crusaders
24. Everybody Dies
25. The Castle Hall
26. Amazing Flight In Space
27. Day Eleven Love
28. The Eye Of Ra