AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen chose the best songs from the AYREON albums and Star One to create an exclusive live Ayreon show: Ayreon Universe, issues Bravewords.com. The show was performed over three nights at the 013 venue in Tilburg by the very best original Ayreon vocalists and instrumentalists including Floor Jansen and Marco Hietala from Nightwish, Praying Mantis’ John ‘Jaycee’ Cuijpers (who replaced Russell Allen), Damian Wilson (Threshold), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gentle Storm), and many other original Ayreon singers on stage, as well as an appearance by Arjen Lucassen himself.
Fan-filmed video from the show is available below.
The setlist was as follows:
“Abbey of Synn”
“River of Time”
“Prologue: The Blackboard”
“The Theory of Everything, Part 1”
“Dawn of a Million Souls”
“Valley of the Queens”
“Ride the Comet”
“Star of Sirrah”
“Day Sixteen: Loser”
“And the Druids Turn to Stone”
“The Two Gates”
“Into the Black Hole”
“Age of Shadows”
“Intergalactic Space Crusaders (Star One cover)
“The Castle Hall”
– Arjen’s Speech –
“Day Eleven: Love”
“The Eye of Ra” (Star One cover)
More information at https://www.facebook.com/ArjenLucassenOfficial
In contrast to The Theater Equation, Ayreon Universe was fully organized and arranged by Arjen Lucassen personally, assisted by Joost van den Broek.
“After the huge success of the four sold-out Ayreon theater shows in 2015, Joost and I decided to boldly go even bigger,” says Arjen. “This is a full-on ‘best of Ayreon’ rock show in a big venue with as many original Ayreon singers and musicians as possible. We’re calling it Ayreon Universe, and as you might guess, it’s a huge undertaking. We’ve had an entire team working on it for over a year already. Ayreon fans have high expectations, and we want to be sure to give them an once-in-a-lifetime experience that they’ll never forget.”
There were 16 original Ayreon singers: Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (Threshold), Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), Marco Hietala (Nightwish), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Mike Mills (Toehider), Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gentle Storm), Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion), Irene Jansen, Robert Soeterboek (Star One), Edward Reekers (Kayak), Jan van Feggelen, Magali Luyten (Nightmare) and Lisette Marije (Scarlet Stories). The hand-picked band of 8 of Arjen’s favorite Ayreon instrumentalists includes 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).