Symphony X - Sheffield, England, 24th March 2011

Event: Symphony X: UK Tour
Written by: Baz Anderson
Published: 25.03.2011


Symphony X - Sheffield, England, 24th March 2011 by Baz Anderson (20)
Sheffield's third show of world class metal in one week belonged to Symphony X. The headlining European tour with Nevermore might not have bothered with the UK, but Symphony X seized the opportunity to come back for the first time since 2007. Here on the last date of their mini-tour, the band were going to make their extra journey worth it for all those involved.

First band and main support came from British power metallers Power Quest, who have recently undergone a massive line-up change completely re-shaping the band. In front of a nicely-sized audience, the band offered a set of home-grown power metal that was both hit and miss. Some new songs from the forthcoming album sounded great, for example the cheesy keyboard "Better Days" and the long and winding "Crunching The Numbers".

Power Quest

For a band supposed to be making an impression with their grand comeback, the guitar and bass player on the right hand side of the stage didn't seem too bothered to be there, and the ex-Firewind singer Chitral Somapala seemed strangely uncomfortable singing live and talking to the audience. Mostly unimpressive vocals and the odd mistake from the whole band made this show a little harder to enjoy, but on the whole Power Quest put on an enjoyable set.

Power Quest

Setlist: Battle Stations / Rising Anew / Human Machine / Crunching The Numbers / Better Days / Survive / Another World / Wings Of Forever

No backdrop and no introduction clip, the band simply walked on the stage and started playing. This show was to be the band with their instruments, and the audience. No special effects or sampled interludes, this stripped-back performance gave the audience the perfect chance to appreciate Symphony X and their vast talents in a relatively intimate environment compared to the band's last visit to these parts.

They say that Russell Allen is one of metal's greatest singers, and he is. His vocal range and power are already well-known, but his ability to sing even the most vocally challenging songs live without any second thought is remarkable. Russell can't take all the credit however, as Michael R. and Michael L. on guitar and bass also blew away the audience with their individual skill, but also together with the whole band performing monsters of songs such as "Evolution (The Grand Design)". Other set highlights included the wonderful "Paradise Lost" and the closing song "Eve Of Seduction". A couple of new songs found their way into the setlist, and on first listen sounded highly promising, although Russell might have actually been possessed by the spirit of Dio during "Dehumanize" with his incredibly similar vocals and devil horns.

Symphony X

The audience might not have been as big as the past shows in the week, but seemed the most appreciative. However cries for "The Odyssey" weren't answered when the band went for their encore half an hour before the set was supposed to finish, and then finally closed the set ten minutes early. The band then, clearly tired after their stretch in Europe. Regardless though, the band still made the effort to put these shows on by themselves, and all in attendance left the venue having experienced one of the best progressive metal bands out there today.

Symphony X

Setlist: Of Sins And Shadows / Domination / Serpent's Kiss / End Of Innocence / Paradise Lost / Inferno (Unleash The Fire) / Smoke And Mirrors / Prometheus (I Am Alive) / Evolution (The Grand Design) / Set The World On Fire (The Lie Of Lies) / Encore: Dehumanized / Eve Of Seduction

For an interview with Russell Allen conducted before the show, visit this location.

Thanks to Markus and Jaap for the accreditation.
Written by Barry Anderson.
Photos by Barry Anderson.


Written on 25.03.2011 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More articles by Baz Anderson ››


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Graveshift - 25.03.2011 at 18:27  
Thoroughly enjoyable show for the entirety (slightly dissapointed by Power Quest though to be honest) Great review!
Kingface - 25.03.2011 at 21:20  
Great review, It was an amazing show!

Aside from the lack of volume on the Vocals, I was really impressed by Power Quest, although I do kinda bum them, and I got a Drum Stick and Setlist from them, so there you go! I thought the new stuff sounded great, especially Survive and Better Days.

Must admit I didn't notice the lack of interested-ness from Gav and Paul, in fact I saw Gav smiling a lot and I think Paul always looks very neutral but slightly smiling at the same time! Andy showed how amazing he was at Guitar again, very proud of that because he's originally from Chesterfield, just like me!

I was chatting with them for a while after the show as well (got my Blood Alliance album booklet signed all of them except Chity as well, well-chuffed!) and they certainly seemed very happy, had a fair few people going around congratulating them and such.

Symphony X were incredible in every way, enough said! Michael Lepond's performance is probably the best I've seen of any Bassist live, with the possible exception of Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse.
Valentin B - 16.12.2011 at 23:55  
Damn, they played the whole new album on their shows in mainland Europe and in the UK only two new ones? bah!

really, I like the new album a lot more than some of their old stuff, and Allen's soaring vocals are absolutely epic (and of course the superbly technical rest of the band).

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