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Aku.  Soku.  Zan.Saito Hajime
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Friday, October 5 2007, 04:07PM

Symphony X/Dream Theater concert!

Yesterday I went to Antwerp (Belgium, just 'cross the border) to see Symphony X and Dream Theater!
I bought my ticket in the beginning of February, I think it was, and it has been a long wait since then! :P

I went there together with Michel, Ralph and a friend of Ralph called Mick.
We decided to head there early in the day so that we'd have perfect positions right up against the stage when they'd start playing at 8PM.
So we got together at about 9:15AM and set out at around 10AM with a lot of food and beverages.
At around 11AM we made a quick stop at a McDonald's to have a bite to eat and afterwards we drove straight to the venue at which they'd play; the Lotto Arena.

Arriving at the Lotto Arena we expected to see at least a few dedicated fans already waiting, instead we found there to be none! :o
Maybe I was a bit too optimistic in my thinking but that didn't matter much, we brought plenty of food and drinks and also brought along our Nintendo DS' (and a PSP) so we'd have something to do while waiting.

At around 4:30PM the first fan (besides us :P) arrived at the venue!
It was a guy named John who was also from The Netherlands, been tracking Dream Theater for a long time and been to many a concert.
Anyway, since his arrival it started getting more and more crowded until finally, at 6:30PM the doors finally opened!

Upon opening we immediately ran to the stage among around 70 other fans (rough estimate) and secured our well-earned place right at the stage where John Petrucci would be playing (he always plays on the audience's right side)! :D

The place was packing up and at 8PM sharp, the lights dimmed and Symphony X opened with the first track off their latest album Paradise Lost (which is a song that they can't really play live since there are a lot of classic instruments in the song itself so the stage was still empty for the two-minute-thirty-seconds lasting opening song) after which they came on the stage with a bang!
Their performance was mindblowingly awesome!!
They played a lot of songs from Paradise Lost and (among others) also also played Sea of Lies which was really fucking awesome to see live!
I really let myself go with their performance; singing along with the lyrics, jumping and head-banging enthusiastically to the music and really letting my presence be known to the band (both Michael LePond and Russell Allen acknowledged me on several occasions which was fucking awesome! :D).

It's too bad Symphony X only got to play for 45 minutes, I would have wanted them to play on a lot longer than that.
What also irked me was that the mixing was set-up pretty badly: the bass was overly present and both the guitar and keyboard(s) were way too soft; other than that the show was fantastic!

So after Symphony X, Dream Theater came up on stage opening with a song from their latest album Systematic Chaos (an album which I — contrary to my previous comments about it — don't really like that much).
They played a lot of songs from Systematic Chaos and also played a lot of songs from other albums spanning their career (most notably to me, the song called Misunderstood from the album Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, my most favourite album of all! :D:D:D).

I enjoyed both performances a lot and loved seeing two of my idols (namely John Petrucci and Michael Romeo) live!

After the concert, I bought two T-shirts of Symphony X depicting the album cover of their latest album: Paradise Lost.

In all, it was an amazing experience and I'm really looking forward to seeing them again next Tuesday right here in Rotterdam (Ahoy)! :D


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