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Ayreon Universe at Poppodium 013, Tilberg - live review

Live Review

Venue: Poppodium 013, Tilberg, Netherlands

Explosive live performance from Arjen Lucassen's Ayreon project in the Netherlands

For a self-proclaimed recluse with a pathological fear of performing live, Arjen Lucassen is making a pretty good fist of looking for all the world like a dedicated rock star. As his band turn their hand to The Castle Hall from 1998’s Into The Electric Castle, the tall, lithe, black-clad figure takes to the stage to tumultuous cheers from the packed throng, and throws the prerequisite rock star shapes. Later he’ll sing the same album’s Amazing Flight In Space and address the crowd like a veteran stage performer.

Eight hours earlier he’d been adamant at how terrifying the prospect was for him. Yet half an hour after the gig, a buoyant, beaming Lucassen is asking Prog what we thought of the show, clearly buzzing from the experience. Of course, if you sell out three nights at Tilburg’s biggest venue, and could have probably sold it out ten times more, you’d be buzzing too.

It’s an interesting scenario to someone from another country, where Lucassen’s reluctance to perform live means we’re limited to just his music – largely Ayreon, but other side projects too. Admittedly, the scope of that music is far from limited, but devoid of the personal touch of live performance, sometimes things get lost in translation.


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