Symphony X,
Circus Maximus, Dreamscape
Transbordeur, Lyon, France

I was waiting for a long time the opportunity to see Symphony X live. The time finally came, and as a bonus, Dreamscape and Circus Maximus were supporting them.

First of all I’d like to say some things about the venue and the way the event was organized. Everything ran on schedule. The doors opened on time, Dreamscape made their appearance at the announced time and there were no delays until the end of the show. It does not happen very often and I admit it was a very pleasant surprise. The venue also was no smoking, and everyone respected that rule. In addition to this, the very good temperature in the room made the conditions for watching the concert ideal. In the pluses of the venue was the fact that the bar remained open more than one hour after the end of the concert. The music was good and there was beer so I didn’t have to search for a place to relax after the show.

On the show itself, unfortunately, I managed to see only the last five minutes of Dreamscape’s performance, because the interview with Michael Romeo was scheduled late. I can’t really judge their performance from those five minutes, so there’s not much to add here.

Circus Maximus played a 35 minute set, emphasizing on their second release “Isolate”. They started with the first three songs from “Isolate”, with which the crowd seemed to be familiar, and continued with “Sin”, “Arrival of Love”, and “Alive” and ended with the “Ultimate Sacrifice”. A very nice performance, from a band that created great expectations with their first two releases. Technically proficient and nicely balanced between power and melody. I’d love to see them again soon.

The time for the prog metal (even if they like to be called just metal) masters Symphony X came. Under the sound of “Oculus Ex Inferni” the five band members made their appearance on stage. “Set the world on fire”, “Domination” and “The Serpent’s kiss” followed. They did justice to their songs, performing them very well. Michael Romeo and Michael Lepond remained pretty static with Romeo only moving to the front of the stage while soloing. Russell Allen proved to be a great front man as well as one of the best vocalists in the scene.

After playing the first songs of “Paradise Lost”, Symphony X went through their previous releases and played “Masquerade”, “Through the looking Glass”, “Inferno”, “Smoke and Mirrors” and “Sea of Lies”. As the time was passing by the fans and the band were warming up, Russell’s communication with the crowd was fantastic and he did some chatting in between the songs. The about 1000 fans of the band where enthusiastic and some of them even crowd-surfed during some the more aggressive songs. After that, they returned to the “Paradise Lost” album with “Revelation” and left the stage after playing the last part of “The Divine Wings of Tragedy”. As expected, Symphony X returned on stage for the two song encore, “Eve of Seduction” and “Of Sins and Shadows”.

I was surprised not to listen something from the “V” album, but I’m not going to complain since the song selection was still good. All in all, it was 90 minutes of good heavy metal. Add to this another two very nice bands and what you have is an evening to remember.

Karagiannis Fotis.