OMG!! It was amazing! So before I explain about the actual night let me go back a bit and explain how this started. In 2006 an album was released by one of my favourite musicians a progressive rock project Ayreon by Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen. The album that this show is based on is called The Human Equation and this album was release in 2006. The album follows the story of a man who, after falling into a coma following a car accident, is confronted with his past, his emotions, and his current situation as he lays trapped inside his own mind.
The circumstances surrounding the accident are mysterious, as the man ploughed into a tree on a deserted road in broad daylight. Following this, he slips into a twenty-day coma, with each day represented by a single song.
The plot builds from the mans early broken state to his eventual rebirth as a new and better man. His own dark past, in which he suffered beneath an abusive Father, was driven to become merciless by school bullies, and eventually betrayed his closest friend for his own benefit; is intertwined with the plot surrounding Wife and Best Friend, eventually revealing the cause of the accident: Me had witnessed the two sharing an intimate moment, and had swerved his car into a tree in his despair. The three eventually come clean and forgive each other, leading Me to conquer his negative emotions and escape his nightmarish prison.
In 2013 there was rumblings of a stage show based on this album and me and Jono were super excited about this. And when we saw that the project was going ahead and that there would be only 3 shows we just HAD to get tickets. So we got tickets and this was 18 months before the actual show would be happening. Time ticked on and we kinda for got about it until this September and then we started to countdown to the day.
So on week before the event and we got an email about the night and one thing stood out and I was kinda bummed about it but it would mean that I would concentrate on the show rather then taking photo’s. It also got me thinking that they would be recording this to release a DVD which would be fab.
Now the gig was in Rotterdam and we had booked a hotel that was literally over the road from the venue. The hotel was amazing but I will do a post about the hotel room because it was amazing.
We got the ferry over to Rotterdam from Hull over night and got there the next morning. We spent the first day in Rotterdam just doing some sightseeing and had lunch in the market there that had the most amazing looking ceiling with the worlds largest tif file. I also grabbed a freshly made macaroon! NOM!
Doesn’t that look nom. Here’s what it looked like after!
The food was really nice, really nice and then I had dessert, which Jon had to share.
Ahh! Lemon sorbet in a lemon! It was the best lemon sorbet I have ever had!
Empty lemon and then on to the show.
When we got into the lobby of the theatre and I had to get a t-shirt, it’s like my little ritual for any gig that we go to. We also got a drink while we waited for the doors to open up, we went out on to the balcony and we could see our hotel from there.
There was also this strange floating market on the river.
When the doors finally did open up I couldn’t wait to get in and get to my seat. The theatre itself was really nice the chair were super comfy and we weren’t that far back form the stage as I though we were.
There was some music playing or should I say some noises of hospital equipment and “the computer” that will make sense in a minute. So when the show started the curtains drew back to show this amazing stage and I was so surprised at the details that were on the stage from the car crash to the basement and he school memories and then his office. There was so much to take in. Pain was so creepy and Pride was perfect! Love was so sweet and perfect and then Rage was raw! Just so many different little bits through out he show
After the full album had played – yes the full album I was super excited that they actually did the whole album there was an epic ending. Now the ending to the album is a tricky one that the any fan would tell you is the best thing ever. The last track cuts of and then the voice of Forever of the Stars then speaks the final words of the album “Emotions…I remember…”, tying its events into the overall Ayreon plot that began with The Final Experiment.
Okay so I said that the ending was epic and the reason for this is that the final song paid the curtain drew and then the crowd went wild, understandably, because the show was amazing and there were fantastic bits to it. So the ending the curtains start to open again and there is a pod in certain stage and two of the Forever people taking card of it as its described in The Final Experiment. The pod slowly begins to open and then the person inside step out and it’s Arjen Lucassen!! And the theatre goes MENTAL! I have never heard or felt excitement in a room like that it was amazing to have him come out of the pod was amazing and could not have for seen a ending like that it was amazing!
It was an amazing evening and one that I will not forget especially now that they are going to release a DVD – which I’ll be getting – which means that we can sort of relive the evening. I had an amazing night and could not have been more ecstatic then I was at the end. I only wish I could see it again!
It was a once in a life time opportunity and would not have missed this for the world!
Have you ever done anything like this before? Let me know in the comments below.