Ayreon To Perform Live In 2017 (Already Sold Out!), Plus New Album Planned
Date: Saturday, November 26 @ 17:19:23 UTC
Topic: Band News (tours, comings/goings, etc)
While the tickets have all sold out in the short period of time between announcement and our posting of this news item, Ayreon will perform live for the first time ever as Ayreon Universe, performing the best of Ayreon (presumably new material as well, as there is a new album being recorded; more on that below).
The now sold-out dates are: September 15, 16 and 17, 2017 at the Poppodium 013 in Tilburg, NL.
This once-in-a-lifetime* experience will include no fewer than "16 original Ayreon singers, including backing vocals, as well as a hand-picked band of 8 of the best instrumentalists," states the webspace set up for this event. "The Ayreon Universe set list features selected songs from all Ayreon albums plus a selection of Star One songs." And, it is prominently noted, "Arjen will make a special appearance performing live on stage."
So, who are those 16? As it stands right now: Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (Threshold), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), Anneke Van Giersbergen (The Gentle Storm), Marco Hietala (Nightwish), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Mike Mills (Toehider), Marcela Bovio (Steam Of Passion), Irene Jansen (Ayreon), Robert Soeterboek (Star One), Edward Reekers (Kayak), Jan Van Feggelen (Ayreon), Magali Luyten (Nightmare) and Lisette Van Den Berg (Scarlet Stories). And the instrumentalists are (at present): Ed Warby (drums), Johan Van Stratum (bass), Marcel Coenen (lead guitar), Ferry Duijsens (guitar), Joost Van Den Broek (keyboards), Ben Mathot (violin), Jeroen Goossens (flutes, woodwinds), and Maaike Peterse (cello).
There is also a new Ayreon album scheduled for a 2017 release. While nothing of the story has been revealed, the artwork for the site certainly hints at a Sci-Fi theme, which is not surprising, there has always been a SF/fantastical element to the Ayreon universe (no pun intended). There is a hit of something grittier though, a la the "used universe" look of Alien or Babylon 5 (though that's only my references, there's nothing here to suggest any connection; although we know Lucassen is no stranger to SF, given his Star One project's oeuvre).
For this new Ayreon opus, bit by bit the players have been revealed, via fans' opportunities to guess who the guest is. So far revealed: Vocalists James LaBrie as "The Historian," Tommy Rogers as "The Chemist," Simone Simons as "The Counselor," Michael Mills as "TH-1," Floor Jansen as "The Biologist," Hansi Kürsch as "The Astronomer," Tobias Sammet as "The Captain," and Michael Eriksen as "The Diplomat." Four more vocalists are yet to be revealed. So far, two musicians have been revealed: Paul Gilbert (guest guitar solo) and Guthrie Govan (guest guitar solo).
*or thrice, if you bought tickets for all three shows
[Source: Ayreon/Arjen Lucassen website]