The Theater Equation Live Review
I can still feel chills when listening to any song from “The Human Equation” or when describing to someone how it was. The truth is, I never realized how big this was, until after its end.
It all started almost 2 years ago when “The Theater Equation” was announced for the first time. A year later I got tickets for the extra show they decided to do (yes! I was part of the people that didn’t decide to go at first, but when given a second shot changed their mind).
So here I am! Rotterdam, 18th of September. A nice cloudy day in modern Rotterdam. After visiting some museums in the morning, I was pretty hyped for the show. Entering the Nieuwe Luxor Theater, I was surprised from how packed it was. You could see all kinds of people of all ages waiting for the show to begin.
And so it began! The curtains opened only to reveal a huge stage with a real crashed car in the middle of it, surrounded by some scenes from Me’s (James LaBrie) memories.On top of the three floor stage, lays a hospital bed to remind the audience the reality, and behind that there is the band and the choir’s place (which was empty at the beginning).
Marcella Bovio (Wife) and Jermain van der Bogt (Best Friend) start to sing the first song. From the first moment of the show till the last one, it was amazing how on point everything sounded. The guitars had theperfect tone, the keyboards had the ideal sounds, and having a violin, a cello and all those woodwinds on stage, made it even more amazing. “Isolation” begins and everyone is excited, Me gets out of the car, every character is singing their part flawlessly (James LaBrie was absolutely great that day) the choir rushes on stage and reveals its true potential. Most of the audience, including myself, since I almost cried, were shocked by the power and the energy!
The first act is characteristic of the greatness that “The Human Equation”presents through its songs, but now we could all see it, not only listen to it! Every Me’s memory takes place in a different place on the stage with great interaction between Me and all his emotions. Anneke van Giersbergen replaced Mikael Akerfeldt as Fear and Mike Mills replaced Devin Townsend as Rage and both of them did an awesome performance! Apart from those two all the others were the original line up from the album. “Day Eleven: Love” starts, and we can see a huge party on the stage perfectly ending the first act.
After the short intermission, the second act begins, with a darker mood this time, giving more details on the plot (some of those details, I hadn’t caught while listening to the album). It’s building up till the end with a lot of suspense. Mike Mills, plays perfectly the role of the father in “Loser”. Everything ends with the lights facing and blinding the audience meaning Me’s coming back to life.
The curtains close and then open again just to see the Dream Sequencer on stage with two hooded figures on each side. After hearing the samples from the end of the album, a voice says “…The Human Equation… I remember!” and at this point from the Dream Sequencer emerges Arjen Anthony Lucassen himself, the mastermind who wrote “The Human Equation” and many more albums. Needless to say, everyone stood up for the applause. I was crying and it was a truly beautiful moment!
It was really pleasant that, between some of the songs there were some reprises of small parts or themes from other songs in order to give the audience a better image of what was going on in the story. At this point, I would normally choose the highlights of the show, but in this case, I can’t do that because THE WHOLE THING WAS A HIGHLIGHT!
Now moving to the other factors of the show, the musicians and the choir were excellently prepared. Especially the musicians, who played everything exactly as it is on the album while adding small details to the solos making it even more unique.
Concluding, this was a lifetime experience for me. It really feels like I was a part of music history.
P.S. 1 – I really would like to thank my good friend Theodore (Selh) who joined me for this ride and dealt with my tourism personality!
P.S. 2 - JustIn Case Prog Radio's ambassadors seduced Arjen below! Don't you think?!!!