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Symphony X - Sayerville, NJ 2/3/2012

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JJLehto View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 04 2012 at 02:23
Symphony X returns to their home state for this stop of their "Iconoclast" tour, and needless to say it was a brilliant performance. I've seen the band before, but that was in a larger venue in NYC and I was standing on the second level. This time I made sure to be right on the front rail and it was such a difference in experiences! More on that later.

The show opened up LA thrash metal band Warbringer. They are your run of the mill, straightforward thrash metal band. No frills, just pure thrash. I am a fan of thrash so it wasn't bad at all but the lack of variation did wear on me a bit. It was only a 30 minute set yet by the end I was really bored. Some variation would have been nice. The band itself though is quite musically talented and the drumming was intense.

Next was Iced Earth, a band I've known of for years but never listened to before. I thought they were a power metal band, and was surprised to hear they are largely a speed metal band, with some progressive-ness thrown in. It was a great show, and the band is obviously very talented topped with great vocals.  He ranged from borderline death growls to soaring falsetto. They did it all: thrash, groove, melodic and mellow, some awesome riffing, intense drumming and decent variation in their songwriting. I plan to look into some of their stuff now thanks to the show. It was an hour and a half set (they were technically co headlining with Symphony X) and it didn't drag on at all, always a good sign.

Finally, the stars of the night: Symphony X. They came right out and played the first 4 songs off "Iconoclast" not giving you a chance to breath until it was over. The 11 minute title track was a truly epic way to start the show.

Once the run was over they mixed things up with the ballad "When All is Lost" before finishing the "Iconoclast" portion with "Electric Messiah" and "Children of a Faceless God" which have 2 of my favorite choruses on the album. Superb live. The finished up with their two biggest songs, "Inferno" and right into "Of Sins and Shadows"

They encored with three songs from their previous album "Paradise Lost". "Eve of Seduction" the uber groovy "Serpents Kiss" and topped it off with the epic thrasher "Set the World on Fire"

The band was of course awesome and they put on one hell of a show. They really know how to fire the place up. While it's great to experience live, being right up front was a whole different beast. Getting to see Michael Romeo play up close is something else (and will put to shame any dreams you have of being a guitarist) and is just so much more intense. The band has a great stage presence, Russell Allen likes to interact with the audience both during and in between songs.

You can tell they really enjoy what they do and care about the fans. During the encore vocalist Allen jumped down from stage and sang while making his away across the front row. I was lucky enough to have stop directly in front of me to sing, I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel like a teen girl standing in front of her idol. Earlier in the show he grabbed someones iphone with a video going and proceeded to sing while recording the crowd! Great to see a band that genuinely enjoys performing, playing with each other and most importantly enjoys the crowd.

Needless to say their musical performance is spot on and Allen's vocals are perfect. Sounds just like the album and is just as powerful live. A great show and utterly spectacular performance by Symphony X.
"It's fine, luckily we're all English so no one will ask any questions. Thank you centuries of emotional repression."
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Pekka View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pekka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2012 at 03:48
I saw Iced Earth a while back, having given them only a cursory listen before. Since then I've obtained over half of their discography, it was that good. (Though I got it very cheap, check out the Slave of the Dark box set)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2012 at 12:36
I didn't even know this show was going on. Was this at Starland Ballroom? I live 10 minutes away from there.

I saw Iced Earth there back in 2004 (Trivium opened for them, and they were booed most of their set, mostly because the lead singer/guitarist was a dick). They put on a good show. If you like Symphony X, you'd probably like Iced Earth, they're the closest to prog metal you can get without actually being that IMO.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2012 at 17:46
Yeah Pekka and Darkshade, Iced Earth was awesome. I didn't dislike em, just never listened before. I was wrong in my assumption they were a lame power metal band, was very good!

It was at Starland, which I've never actually been to beforeShocked it's about 10 mins from me as well. My brother lucked out and bought some guys meet and greet ticket for $20. Met em, has a pic with the band, free t shirt and autographed poster. I was so jealous.
And ya know Symphony X is one of my top 5 bandsLOL and it was just a mind blowing show!
"It's fine, luckily we're all English so no one will ask any questions. Thank you centuries of emotional repression."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PabstRibbon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2012 at 19:33
I saw them in Quebec this weekend and I almost totally agree with you. In Quebec the sound was extremely loud, that was insane. My ears still hurt and trust me I've seen a lot of concert and it never happened. SX playing was amazing as always, they are one of my favourite band. But the letdown, IMO, was the setlist. They played the songs I find the less interesting except for Inferno, Iconoclast and When all is Lost. I was kind of disappointed 'cause I feel they are going in a direction that is less interessting than their 'before Paradise Lost period'. Anyway it's always a pleasure to see those guys enjoying the stage. They are still my favourite Progmetal band and I think they will always be.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2012 at 03:02
It WAS loud, I had a ringing for the next full day after (though it doesn't compare to Agalloch which lasted 3 full days after and that night left me practically deaf) though I was right in front near a speaker. The last time I saw em I was farther back and the volume was better.

Even with the loudness, the sound was still good... I could hear everything well.

I loved the setlist but I really like Iconoclast and I love Paradise Lost! If it's just not quite your thing I understand.
"It's fine, luckily we're all English so no one will ask any questions. Thank you centuries of emotional repression."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PabstRibbon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2012 at 14:13
Haha you're right I saw Agalloch once and it was quite loud too. Yeah I'm more an old school SX fan, when they were very progressive but I can enjoy Paradise Lost and Iconoclast and I choose them anytime against a DT album haha
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 16 2012 at 09:52
I would love to see them,  but I too would be pretty disappointed with the setlist. It seems like a real push to sell their new "brutal" image. Two songs from pre-Paradise Lost? Really? Disapprove
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 16 2012 at 20:17
Well...honestly you'd luck out if a band played an equal distribution from their discogLOL when I saw Opeth and even those avant garde metallers Agalloch it was largely their newest album/newer stuff. Agalloch played only one song from The Mantle!

Hey I like their pre PL stuff better, but a band has to change it up! I love the heavier, more "brutal" Symph X and it's still their sound anyway.
"It's fine, luckily we're all English so no one will ask any questions. Thank you centuries of emotional repression."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote broseidon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2012 at 03:10
I'm gonna yell ODYSSEY like I yelled Mindcrime at Queensryche LOL
Less can't mean more that doesn't make sense, more is more - Yngwie Malmsteen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jadawal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2012 at 11:58
Sounds awesome. I also thought similiar to what broseidon said above me, "be nuts if they played a portion of the odyssey". I live in Newfoundland so the shows here are lacking (although deep purple stopped by in febuary), to see symphony x would make me a very happy person. Congratulations.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2012 at 20:25
Well being from their home state they play here all the timeLOL

When I saw em in New York City they finale'd with the Odyssey. The whole 24 minutes. Was pretty much the closest I had to a religious experience!
"It's fine, luckily we're all English so no one will ask any questions. Thank you centuries of emotional repression."
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