(9/10) The old Roman amphitheater in Plovdiv, Bulgaria has been the scenery for various shows over the last years. Amongst others Paradise Lost and Devin Townsend performed gigs at this unique location and now it’s Sons Of Apollo that played there. Based on suggestion by their manager Andy Farrow things got shape and form over time with everybody lasering in on September 27th, showtime day.
The show, the first of Sons Of Apollo in Bulgaria, featured two sets. The band performed in the first part of this unique event many songs from the debut, like the great opener ‘God of the Sun and ‘Alive’. These milestone songs echoed very well in the half round amphitheater and it was an enthusiastic crowd that appreciated every song in part one. Next to the Sons Of Apollo composition also ‘The Prophet’s Sons / Save Me’ , originally by Queen, was performed and it’s a no-doubter that with ‘Just Let Me Breathe’ a Dream Theater anthem made it on the setlist of part 1 as well.
The second leg of the concert saw the band playing together with the Plovdiv Symphony Orchestra. It’s for sure not an easy endeavor to prepare for such a combined show. Limited rehearsal time is what everybody evolved had to deal with and the soundcheck took with three hours also slightly longer than usual. Due to everybody’s musical genius things turned out extremely well, resulting in a great show, built on many cover versions. A glimpse on the tracklist gives a good idea of what to expect. ‘Kashmir’ (Led Zeppelin), Rainbow’s ‘Gates of Babylon’ and Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Dairy of a Madman’ are timeless classics and all were shining in Plovdiv. These songs, selected by Mike Portnoy, added extra value to the show and it goes without saying that they all sound awesome.
The same goes for ‘Comfortably Numb’ (Pink Floyd) and Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On’, both, due to clearance issues, only available on CD and not on DVD.
Each of the five musical allstars also got enough space for jaw-dropping solo parts, done in a way that they became a part of the show and not a distraction or show off.
Paul Green directed the filming of this unique appearance. A multiple camera setup provides exciting views and perspective. The scenery of the unique location adds to the terrific visuals too with lighting and an enthusiastic crowd rounding off a superb event and its capturing. It feels like you’re standing in the front row in Plovdiv and that’s all you can ask for.
And if all this wouldn’t be enough there is the obligatory behind the scenes documentation on DVD too, a documentary on the Plovdiv show as well as on the making of the debut.
To sum up: ‘Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ is a nearly three-hour masterpiece done by a band that truly earns the title all-star band. Own songs and cover versions are going together extremely well and with the additional power of the orchestra in the bottom half of the show the joy of listening (and watching) couldn‘t be much bigger. Excellent musicians + awesome location + great sound = a ‚must-have album‘.
- God of the Sun (11:56)
- Signs of the Time (06:38)
- Divine Addiction (05:14)
- That Metal Show Theme (00:56)
- Just Let Me Breathe (05:53)
- Billy Sheehan Bass Solo (04:42)
- Lost in Oblivion (04:45)
- JSS Solo Spot: The Prophet’s Song/Save Me (09:33)
- Alive (05:12)
- The Pink Panther Theme (04:31)
- Opus Maximus (11:11)
- Kashmir (09:35)
- Gates of Babylon (07:48)
- Labyrinth (09:24)
- Dream On (04:53)
- Diary of a Madman (07:51)
- Comfortably Numb (09:16)
- The Show Must Go On (04:22)
- Hell’s Kitchen (04:31)
- Derek Sherinian Keyboard Solo (08:46)
- Lines in the Sand (12:40)
- Bumblefoot Solo Spot (02:38)
- And the Cradle Will Rock (05:58)
- Coming Home (09:32)
Label: InsideOut Music
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date EU: August 30th, 2019