Ayreon / 01011001, An Incredible Weekend In Tilburg Captured Forever

Prog doesn’t come more epic than when legendary Dutch muso Arjen Lucassen packs out the O13 venue in Tilburg for a weekend of shows based around his Ayreon project. 01011001 Live Beneath The Waves allows you to indulge yourself with memories of an epic time.


01011001 Live Beneath The Waves

Release Date: 17 May 2024 

Words: Ian Sutherland

A stage set that puts London’s West End to shame, pyro, lasers, a surround sound system and a cast of nearly thirty superb musicians and singers, a double concept album to play in full and an audience drawn from over sixty countries around the globe, there are no half measures here.

Ayreon 01011001 Live Beneath The Waves
Ayreon – 01011001 Live Beneath The Waves – …puts London’s West End to shame.

I was lucky enough to attend three of the weekend’s six shows, and my review of one of those can be read here. There’s no need to rehash all that now, so what I can tell you about is the actual release.

There are, of course, a multiplicity of formats to keep the Ayreon collectors happy, so you can get a multi-disc artbook, vinyl, CD plus DVD and, of course, a Blu-ray version.

Dealing with the audio from the show first, it sounds absolutely magnificent. The mixing and overall production here is unbelievable. It’s such a complex production with a multiplicity of instruments. 

From flutes and cellos to searing guitars and a massive cast of singers weaving in and out of the show, I find it amazing how crystal clear everything sounds. You don’t miss a note anywhere and even the backing vocals from the trio of singers on their Tower Of Power is perfectly balanced so you hear how much of an effective part of the overall sound they are.

Ayreon 01011001 Live Beneath The Waves - An Incredible Weekend In Tilburg Captured Forever
Ayreon 01011001 Live Beneath The Waves – An Incredible Weekend In Tilburg Captured Forever

Then there are the visuals to enjoy on the DVD and Blu-ray releases. This is another very challenging scenario. There are so many changes of singer, the performers coming on and off the stage endlessly, plus there are the musicians, lights, and pyro to contend with. 

On top of that, the cameras have limited options as to where they can be placed to film on the stage itself.

Even with these caveats, I have to admit to being a little disappointed with the direction and editing of the show. The cuts between shots are often frustratingly quick so you struggle to focus on anything in particular. 

There are also a plethora of slow-motion shots inserted seemingly at random, and I don’t really get that artistic choice. They interrupt the flow of what you’re watching and don’t seem to add anything to it. I think a simpler approach would have been more fruitful.

Ayreon 01011001 Live Beneath The Waves - An Incredible Weekend In Tilburg Captured Forever
Ayreon 01011001 Live Beneath The Waves – An Incredible Weekend In Tilburg Captured Forever

They have done an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere in the hall, though, and it’s hard to seriously mar the sheer quality of what’s on that stage; so many incredible performances that I’m happy to relive again and again.

There’s great interview footage and scenes from the weekend in the bonus section too, something which I think most Ayreon fans will enjoy watching.

So, it’s not a perfect package overall, but it’s still an essential purchase in my view. It’s a fantastic souvenir of an incredible weekend. 

You really should just crank up the volume and listen to it on repeat for a while, whatever version you decide to get.

AYREON – 01011001 Live Beneath The Waves will be released via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group on 17 May 2024. Pre-orders are available from here.

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