After 3 sold out Ayreon Universe shows at the 013 venue in The Netherlands in 2017 and headlining the Marquee stage of Graspop Metal Meeting 2018 in Belgium, Ayreon is poised to add another exciting chapter to its live history. The album ‘Into the Electric Castle’, originally released in 1998, has made a big impact in the progressive and symphonic rock/metal scene and is considered by many to be a classic album in the genre. To celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary it’s been completely re-mixed, re-mastered and re-released with exclusive limited edition packaging. The re-release of this classic album makes this the perfect moment to create a live show around Into the Electric Castle.
Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen and keyboardist Joost van den Broek have gathered nearly the entire original cast of Into the Electric Castle and several special guests to perform Ayreon’s ‘space opera’ in its entirety as a live show. Visitors can expect a massive, state-of-the-art live production with a unique decor, visuals and stage effects. While the 2017 ’Ayreon Universe’ show was a bombastic, full-tilt rock show, musically the ‘Into the Electric Castle’ show will be more dynamic, atmospheric and versatile, translating the original album in the most authentic way possible.Besides playing the entire album with original cast members, there will be much more to make this show a unique special occasion that Ayreon fans will not want to miss. Additional info and extra surprises will be announced in the upcoming weeks!
“The Ayreon Universe shows were such a fantastic experience for everyone involved, and I’ve had loads of requests for more live shows, so we have decided to perform the entire Electric Castle album live in 2019, again in the venue 013!” says Arjen. “Because it’s the 20th anniversary of the album and it’s just been re-mixed and re-released, we figured this is the perfect moment to do this.”
Alongside Arjen Lucassen himself, who will be singing his original album role of ‘the Hippie’, there will be 22 singers and instrumentalists sharing the stage:
Original cast: Fish (ex-Marillion), Anneke van Giersbergen (VUUR), Damian Wilson, Thijs van Leer (Focus), Ed Warby (Ayreon), Edward Reekers (ex-Kayak), Edwin Balogh, George Oosthoek (ex-Orphanage).
Special guests: Simone Simons (Epica), Mark Jansen (Mayan), John Jaycee Cuijpers (Praying Mantis), Marcela Bovio (Mayan), Dianne van Giersbergen (Ex Libris), Jan Willem Ketelaars…plus an extra special guest ‘to be announced’.
Instrumentalists: Johan van Stratum (VUUR), Joost van den Broek, Marcel Singor (Kayak), Ferry Duijsens (VUUR), Bob Wijtsma (Ex Libris), Ben Mathot.
“It’s a huge challenge, both with respect to the music and the production”, says lead producer Joost van den Broek, “but with the experience we’ve gathered by doing the Universe and festival shows and the amazing team we have, I’m sure we’re ready to take this next step in bringing ‘Into the Electric Castle’ to the stage. We are aiming for the most authentic and very detailed translation of the entire album, staying true to the original vibe, dynamics and sound, plus adding some extras here and there. It will be a big pleasure to share the stage with all these excellent musicians, playing this classic prog-rock opus live for Ayreon’s fans!”
Dates: Friday September 13, Saturday September 14, Sunday September 15 (2 shows)
Location: Poppodium 013 Tilburg, The Netherlands
The regular ticket sales for all shows start on Friday, October 26 at 10:00 CEST via the websites of Arjen Lucassen (www.ayreon.com/live), the venue 013, and Ticketmaster.
Fans who have preordered the ‘Into the Electric Castle’ re-release through Mascot Label Group’s webshop (www.mascotlabelgroup.com/ayreon) no later than 23 October will get an email with a special link and code to order their tickets on Wednesday, October 24, which is 48 hours in advance of the general ticket sales.
Subscribers to the Arjen Lucassen mailing list will get an email with a special link and code to order their tickets on Thursday, October 25, which is 24 hours in advance of the regular ticket sales.