Sound: When Symphony X came on it was incredible. Russel Allen, the man is a testament to the sort of perfection that is achievable. His vocals were absolutely flawless, and he is undeniably one of the most lively frontman ever. Being in the mid centre, it was a little hard to hear the bass and keys, but when they did have little bass/keys interludes, it was undeniably awesome. Every moment could have sounded like the CD as my friend Who was up in the balcony close by said, but I couldn't tell much. I couldn't hear all the solos properly, but since I knew how they sounded, it was good enough anyways. I could tell they were skilfully played and smooth. I wish I could give the sound a 10 because it seemed like it was near perfection, and when I saw the performance on youtube 2 weeks later, it seemed quite nice, but I was close and in the middle so, it just didn't work for me that well. // 8
Perfomance: The sort of energy flying around the venue was intense. The sort of anxiety and anticipation by the time they got on to play was incredible, especially when the roadies were setting up. They started off with Oculus ex Inferni, which was an incredible build up and ended up playing 4 more songs from Paradise Lost (Set the World on Fire, Paradise Lost, Walls of Babylon, and Domination). Then they played Smoke and Mirrors, Sea of Lies (which had a little solo dual between LePond and Romeo), and Inferno of course. Everyone by the end of that was chanting "Odyssey". And eventually, they came back on and played the whole Odyssey, which was incredible. Flawless, note for note action. I couldn't have asked for a better performance from Symphony X. Only one word to describe their set, and especially the way they played the Odyssey: EPIC. Special moments? All of it. Being in the same room as Symphony X is a special moment. Having them play in the same room is much better. No specific moment like I said, other than The Odyssey. Playing a 24 minute song live is not one easy feat. I managed to get a bit of the clean part on my cell phone. Everything else sounded like arse that I recorded. // 10
Impression: This is was in downtown Toronto, at The Opera House on the 18th of July. First off, Echoes of Eternity started up, and I hadn't given them a listen before, but the female frontwoman gave it her all and you could feel it. As well they had loads of headbang-worthy riffs and the double bass could be heard very well over her vocals (which should have been turned up a little). They had a decent set with a mellow song in there so I was happy. But, it's nothing I'd listen to really. I came there for the Symphony. Then on came Sanctity Who I had already heard and was not impressed with. But, they gave it their all, and that's all that mattered at that point, not so much the music, although the ginger haired frontman was interesting to watch. The worst part about it was really knowing that Symphony X was coming up next and that Sanctity was just taking up time and adding a lot of anxiety not just for me. One guy even kept saying "we want Symphony X!!" in between Sanctity's set.
Now Symphony X. Being 2-3 metres in front of the man (Russel Allen) has made my year probably. Exactly a month later I knew I'd be seeing Dream Theater so I was very keen and excited for both bands as they are 2 of my favourites. So much talent radiating from both bands and it feels like they're mid-career and have a lot to give too. While Dream Theater did have a much more impressive set and sound, Symphony X are a novelty act and I felt great seeing them all perform. A truly magical experience for me as a fan of music and as a fan of Symphony X. I would definitely attend the next gig they have near Toronto, especially for only 30 dollars. Maybe better openers will be there next time though. Someday I would love to open for Symphony X. The only thing I didn't like that much was that people were moshing during Symphony X's set. I don't feel like it's proper ethical behaviour for this sort of music. For Testament, Exodus, Dimmu, Behemoth, whatever, that's completely fine. But I just really wanted to absorb the music here and sometimes people made it hard. // 10