Live In Athens - DVD

Fates Warning

I've had the pleasure of seeing this wonderful band three times on stage so far. […]
By Michael Dalakos
December 14, 2005
Fates Warning - Live In Athens album cover

I've had the pleasure of seeing this wonderful band three times on stage so far. That happened in three very different time periods of the band's career. I could talk about these periods for a long time but this is not the point. The release of the critically acclaimed X was marked with a very serious turning point in the band's career, the departure of their colossal drummer Mark Zonder. For me this was just another strike of fate after the departure of long time guitarist Frank Aresti. So what the future keeps in store for Fates Warning is quite uncertain and hazy. Then again the band's career the last decade has been buried deep under a veil of mystery.
Again this is not the matter to discuss in this review. What all the world must learn about is the event that took place the night of February 20th at the Gagarin 205 club, in Athens. I went to the show earlier in order to do an interview with Ray Alder. Sadly I was only given a five minutes (!!!) window to do an interview standing in a small room of Gagarin 205. Still Ray was happy to answer all my questions in a quite fast pace and dropped the bomb on me: that night's show was going to be filmed for a live DVD! My initial surprise was replaced by the shock realizing that this was the first live DVD ever recorded in Greece. Yeah, I know that for those who like playing around with figures this was a smart thing to do (keep in mind that X's biggest sales occurred here in Greece), still that didn't make this honor less important.
The club was indeed packed that night. One of Greece's favorite acts had returned to the scene of the crime. And though all of us knew the previous decade's dogma about the three leaders of Progressive Metal (Dream Theater, Queensryche, Fates Warning) none of us really expected to witness such a performance by Fates Warning.
Taking a look at the setlist the band performed that night one can spot that some classics were missing, but also several surprises were included. Yes, indeed, classic songs like We Only Say Goodbye and Through Different Eyes or Pale Fire were striking absences but when exactly was the last time this act performed Quietuson stage? In general I think that the band played a very good set of songs that satisfied all their fans from the mid and last period (you didn't expected to listen to something from the first albums, right?).
Regarding that night's lineup, well, I was eager to see the band after a long time with two guitars on stage and what better guitarist than Frank Aresti could they have recruited? On the other hand Nick D' Virgilio is an exceptional drummer but he isn't Mark Zonder (once you've seen him live, you will know the difference). And the appearance of Kevin Moore (sorry to say this but no mater what some people think, his works after Dream Theater has been totally meaningless to me) was another bonus of that evening. A final comment: Ray stop smoking; this stuff is killing your voice.
That was a magic night. Some of this magic has been caught on film. Though I expected more stuff included in this DVD, I can say that it is worthy of your money just to see what a huge band can do when the mood is right. I only wish to see more bands follow Fates Warning's decision and see more Live In Athens releases in the future.

8 / 10


"Live In Athens - DVD" Track-listing:

A Pleasant Shade Of Gray Part III
Life In Still Water
Simple Human
Heal Me
Pieces Of Me
Face The Fear
Another Perfect Day
A Pleasant Shade Of Gray Part XI
The Eleventh Hour
Point Of View
Still Remains
Nothing Left To Say

DVD Extras:
Behind The Scenes
Excerpts From Bulgarian TV
Athens Rehearsal
Athens Soundcheck
Holland Headway Festival (Ft. Mike Portnoy)

Fates Warning Lineup:

Ray Alder - Vocals
Him Matheos - Guitar
Frank Aresti - Guitar
Joey Vera - Bass
Nick D' Virgilio - Drums

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