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On stage: James LaBrie

- James LaBrie & Evergrey - April 2005 - Pratteln (CH) -

James LaBrie & Evergrey - April, 23rd 2005 - Pratteln, Z7

Unfortunately not that many fans found the way to Pratteln tonight. Even if Evergrey played here a couple of times - always a good live band - and James LaBrie visited Switzerland several times with Dream Theater, it seemed that fans weren't that much interested in seeing LaBrie solo... And the ticket prize might made Evergrey stay away, if they aren't interested in the Dream Theater frontman.
Anyway, the Swedish power progsters kicked off their set with Blinded. The men in black rocked the house with songs like End Of The Days, More Then Ever, She Speaks To The Devil, I'm Sorry, Recreation Day, A Touch Of Blessing and finally with The Masterplan. Singer / guitarist Tom S. Englund and his mates presented their songs with power and it was obvious that they enjoyed being on stage. A good way to promote the just released live album and the coming DVD A Night To Remember. The only negative point of tonights show was the short stage time, but that's supports destiny. I hope to see Evergrey headlining... And one day hopefully a few hundred fans will come to see the Swedish! One of the most underrated bands I know!
After a break it was time for Mr. LaBrie. No intro, the band just walked on stage and started off with Crucify the opening track of their current album Elements Of Persuation. Guitarist Marco Sfogli and the other musicians showed their talent, but who would expect LaBrie to bring others then exellent musicians?!? But like many progressive high-class bands the show was static, actually there was no show. After a good start with Crucify Mr. LaBrie made the mistake to tell the audience not to shout for Dream Theater songs, coz they won't play any! Also the setlist wasn't well chosen, too many slow parts beside the instrumental Memories. Also it would have been smart not to include too many solo parts which usually is killing the atmosphere of the show. A mistake many prog bands make. A short solo of every musician is one thing, but solo-like parts in every other song is too much. Later James LaBrie asked the fans rhethorically "why they are so quiet?"... Perhaps he should have played one or the other Dream Theater song... Fans waited for that and the atmosphere would have been much better. It was an excellent played show, but nothing you'll think of positively in a couple of years. The memory will blur... Evergrey really left an impression and so they been the winners in comparison with their headliner. Shows again that solo projects are no guarantee for success. If this was an average show, then I think many of the people who saw that show won't go to see Mr. LaBrie again doing solo concerts. Seems we all expected too much.... What a pity, coz James LaBrie is one of the best singers we have.

Martin Mayer (guest writer)


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