Lucassen's Star One, Arjen Anthony - Live On Earth

Year of Release: 2003
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: SPV 089-65722 / IOMCD 121
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

When I heard the Star One studio album for the very first time I knew there would be a live performance one day. The music on this disc, compared with the Ayreon material, was more suitable to be performed with a real live band. I guess the fact Arjen uses loads of different vocalists kind of mortgages the possibilities to go on the road. So when the word was out that Star One was doing a tour that encompassed seven days, of course I needed to see the band at least once. I got to see them in Antwerp, Belgium, yet as a souvenir of this short tour, a double live CD has been released, recorded during the last day of the tour in Rijsen, Holland. Arjen told me it was impossible to take this thing on the road anywhere else except Holland, Belgium and Germany, as was done this time around. The huge expenses made it impossible to take this experience to America, for instance, although of course everyone in this "occasional band" would jump at the chance to fly to the States for an extensive tour. Or to South America, or Japan or Australia for that matter. In order to do well for those fans who didn't get to see the shows, there's the live album, with the limited edition also containing a DVD with the entire show, some additional footage, and their superb rendition of the Deep Purple classic "Space Truckin'" and other extras.

Exactly one year after the release of the studio album comes the Star One live double set Live On Earth and you can hear on the album that all the individual members had great fun in doing this. For Arjen it must have been a dream come true, as it's not that obvious to get all of this on the road. When I saw the band in Antwerp the sound was way too loud so a lot of details were lost in the mix. Luckily here in Rijsen the mix is perfect, which is a great compliment to the people "behind the scenes." It's not an easy task to mix five vocalists (six if you include Arjen), the powerful drums of Ed Warby and the flashy metalic guitars of Lucassen, but they have done a great job. Although, of course, the material from Space Metal is ideal for a live performance, the band also tackled several Ayreon "classics" to great delight. Hear Sir Russell Allen sing "Dreamtime" from the acclaimed debut album The Final Experiment which was originally sung by Edward Reekers. Together with the Jansen sisters singing backing vocals, this is such a wonderful song! The great thing about using different singers is that you can choose who does which part so that it fits certain atmospheres best. The rocker "Songs Of The Ocean" is the ideal cup of tea for the raunchy voice of Robert Soeterboek who at times sounds a little like David Coverdale.

For sure the BIG surprise of the evening was the talent of keyboard player Joost Van Den Broek, member of Sun Caged. Apart from Ryo Okumoto I know very few keyboard players who are such party animals as Joost is, so you'd better check out the DVD if you want to see it for yourself! Next to being a real showman, he is also very, and I mean VERY, talented. Being the youngest in the band, his rack stood next to that of bass player Peter Vink who in turn was the oldest of the company, which once again illustrates that great music can be performed and digested by ALL ages! I really like the deep Hammond sounds Joost uses throughout the performance. I'm not sure however whether at all everything you hear on this album is truly what was recorded that night of October 5th, 2002, as for instance the voice that preceeds "The Dream Sequencer" sounds very crystal clear, as if it was pasted from the original mastertape. The song itself remains a fantastic pi?ce de r?sistance for Arjen's talent as a guitar player and a feast for guitar lovers the world over. The quality of our beloved backing vocalists is apparent during the magnum opus "Into The Black Hole," culminating in some heavy riffs to great delight of the enthusiastic crowd. Although obviously it's the pure rock songs that have the audience singing and moving along, there's also room for some softer material. Introducing Ewa Smarzynska on flute, especially "Valley Of The Queens" results in one of the nicest songs on the planet! Since leaving Quidam and Poland, Ewa now resides in Holland where she has become Ewa Albering. Her flute and the angelic voices of the Jansen sisters together with some harpsichord sounds out of Joost's archive deliver, to me, the highlight of the entire set.

Over to the second disc of the set which opens with the ending sequence of the first disc so you can actually turn this into one ongoing "saga," if you have two CD-players switched on at the same time that is. Again it's Ewa's flute playing which introduces a decent folk influence during "Isis And Osiris" with once again an outstanding Russell Allen vocal performance. Here Joost's organ playing gets close to the sound of Jon Lord. When Arjen sings part of "Amazing Flight In Space" I can't help but think about his tribute CD issued under the moniker of Strange Hobby, because the way he sings his part gets close to the authentic sixties feel. The highlight here, however, is the part where Arjen and Joost deliver a musical battle with Arjen on guitar and Joost on keytar. On DVD this should be pure magic and illustrates perfectly the show element tucked away deep inside Joost's body. The actual set closes with "The Eye Of Ra," which is a very daring experience knowing the song closes in pure a capella mode. The band gets back on stage for an encore that consists of "Starchild" and "The Two Gates." During the latter track, Russell introduces the full band whilst Soeterboeks' voice reminds me of the song "Old Blind Mole" on the Butterfly Ball (Roger Glover) album and Damian's voice sounds like a young Robert Plant. For a final time each individual member of the starship Star One gives his very best, so the set closes with the biggest exclamation mark in the history of rock music. With Live On Earth, Arjen Lucassen proves that you don't need to hop on a plane in the direction of Japan to deliver an outstanding live album. The "made in Japan" live albums days are truly over!

Released in North America by InsideOut Music

Disc One: Intro/Lift Off (1:34) / Set Your Controls (6:19) / High Moon (5:28) / Dreamtime (2:58) / Eyes Of Time (3:49) / Songs Of The Ocean (5:59) / Dawn Of A Million Souls (5:17) / The Dream Sequencer (6:03) / Into The Black Hole (11:27) / Actual Fantasy (1:28) / Valley Of The Queens (3:22)

Disc Two: Isis And Osiris (8:48) / Amazing Flight In Space (8:00) / Intergalactic Space Crusaders (5:15) / Castle Hall (4:57) / The Eye Of Ra (9:16) / Starchild (9:21) / The Two Gates (14:34)

DVD (Special Edition only): Intro/Lift Off / Set Your Controls / High Moon / Dreamtime / Eyes Of Time / Songs Of The Ocean / Dawn Of A Million Souls / The Dream Sequencer / Keyboard solo / Into The Black Hole / Actual Fantasy / Valley Of The Queens / Isis And Osiris / Amazing Flight In Space / Bass solo / Intergalactic Space Crusaders / Castle Hall / The Eye Of Ra / Starchild / The Two Gates

Arjen Anthony Lucassen - guitars, synth and vocals
Sir Russell Allen ? vocals
Floor Jansen ? vocals
Damian Wilson - vocals
Robert Soeterboek ? vocals
Irene Jansen - vocals
Ed Warby - drums Peter Vink - bass Ewa Albering ? flute

Ayreon - The Final Experiment (1995)
Ayreon - Actual Fantasy (1996)
Ayreon - Into The Electric Castle (1998)
Ayreon - The Univeral Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer (2000)
Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight Of The Migrator (2000)
Ayreon - Ayreonnauts Only
Ambeon - Fate Of A Dreamer (2001)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - Space Metal (2002)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - Live On Earth (2003)
Ayreon - The Human Equation (2004)
Ayreon - Actual Fantasy Revisited (2004)
Ayreon - The Final Experiment - Special Edition (2005)
Ayreon - 01011001 (2008)
Arjen Lucassen's Guilt Machine - Arjen Lucassen's Guilt Machine (2009)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - Victims Of The Modern Age (2010)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Lost In The New Real (2012)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin VA

Added: May 18th 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 846
Language: english


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