Symphony X in Puerto Rico

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Friday, June 1, 2007 @ 7:35 AM

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Reviewed by Ghostrider2003

I know what a few of you might be thinking, “Puerto Rico infected music with reggaeton, and therefore their music scene sucks.” Let me tell you people, not everyone here likes this “genre” of “music”. It’s like saying, “Everyone in U.S.A likes Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.” Some of you don’t know that Puerto Rico is a United States territory; we share the same currency, the same federal laws and democracy. One thing we don’t share is the language, although many people here speak English. There are many metal fans here that respect as well as support all musicians that arrive to perform on our shores. Just in recent years we have been blessed with many great shows, for example: Stryper, Testament, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Dream Theater, Dio and Twisted Sister among others which I won’t mention.

One band in particular I was very eager to see was Symphony X, which is part of a progressive movement that has graced metal with a band of great musicians, awesome compositional skills and fantastic live performances. With an already finished but still unreleased album Paradise Lost, which will be available on June 26, 2007, Symphony X arrived in Puerto Rico for the delight of many of its fans. The concert was held at the Tito Puente Amphitheater, which is an open air venue with great capacity. I arrived approximately at 5:45p.m. and was surprised to see a line of approximately 100 people. In the distance I could hear sound checks of the opening bands. The show was scheduled to start at 8:00p.m and by that time security was letting everybody in. The climate was very humid and everyone was sweating like crazy. I secured my space close to the stage almost in front, but closest to Michael Romeo, which is one of my favorite guitar players. I won’t mention much about the two opening bands because frankly I can’t remember their names. It can be said though that both bands hail from Puerto Rico and delivered fantastically, we should all be very proud of them.

After a half hour delay Symphony X hit the stage. Fortunately one of the roadies gave me a treasured setlist so I can share it with all of you interested in seeing this great band. Overall, the music focused on recent releases omitting their first and second one (Damnation Game). They even included three completely new songs which sounded great, those were: “My Domination”, the catchy “Set The World On Fire (The Lie Of Lies)” and “The Serpents Kiss”. Believe me the new album will be a classic judging by those three songs. To sum it all up we were all treated to an awesome live act. None of the musicians skipped a beat and they’re scarily good at their instruments.

Russell Allen has got to be one of the best singers out today, that guy has got fire, soul, finesse, anger and power to carry any tune, he is also very humble and entertaining on stage. Michael Romeo has great chops and a very fluid style that I admire incredibly. Michael Pinellas’s instrumentation and orchestration brings the band to another dimension. Michael Lepond has a very distinct style and complements with bass lines that are both intricate as well as melodic, something that has to be admired. Finally Jason Rullo gave everyone a lesson in drumming, if I could ever have the chance to choose a drummer I would choose him.

I highly recommend this band to everyone who admires virtuosic musicianship and great songwriting. Finally I would like to encourage all real metal fans to support Symphony X attending their live shows and buying their original releases.

Here is the setlist:

  • Of Sins And Shadows
  • My Domination
  • Inferno (Unleash The Fire)
  • Evolution (The Grand Design)
  • Communion And The Oracle
  • Smoke And Mirrors
  • Set The World On Fire (The Lie Of Lies)
  • Serpents Kiss
  • King Of Terrors
  • Sea Of Lies
  • The Oddyssey

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