Live on Earth
I found out about Ayreon and Star One based on Shadow Gallery's website which had said that Gary had collaborated with Arjen on the Star One Album. I found this CD at Brave New World in Oakland during that 8 month period that they were located on Bates. I bought this the same day as both the DVD and CD of Live at Budokan with birthday money. I listen to this way more than LAB.
Actually, Liftoff/Set Your Controls from this album was included on that Inside Out sampler CD that I got from the TOD/DTIFC. So Dream Theater has two connections to me buying this CD. But I digress.
This CD combines Arjen's work with Star One with pretty much any song he had written for Ayreon about space and makes for one pretty impressive set list. Although the production is somewhat limited with it being a live show, Arjen managed to amass some great musicians. Robert Soeterboek fills in for Dan Swanö, but Russel Allen and Damien Wilson appear on the album. Floor Jannsen lends her vocals, and is joined by her sister Irene which helps out, especially on the Electric Castle songs. Peter Vink is flawless on the bass and Ed Warby and Jost Van Den Brook round out the rhythm section while Arjen shines on lead.
Probably the best moments on this CD come from Into the Electic Castle... well that and the break down in Songs of the Ocean.. anyways, Floor pulls of a rendition of Valley of the Queens that is 500 times better than the studio version. Also, the breakdown during The Two Gates is amazing. I rank it right up there with Bruce's breakdown during Running Free on Live After Death. Russel manages to work the crowd, introduce the band, and break into Prince's Sexy Motherfucker. How can you lose?