Ayreon Universe set for live release in March

Arjen Lucassen
Arjen Lucassen

In September last year, Ayreon played three shows at Tilburg’s 013 venue under the Ayreon Universe banner.

The musical extravaganza featured 18 singers along with 11 musicians, including Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen, Nightwish’s Floor Jansen and Marco Hietala, Headspace’s Damian Wilson, Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kursch, Kamelot’s Tommy Karevik, Vuur’s Anneke van Giersbergen, Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse and Kayak’s Edward Reekers.

The performances were filmed and recorded – and it’s now been confirmed that it’ll be released on DVD, 3LP, 2CD, 2Blu-ray and limited coloured vinyl on March 30 via Music Theories titled Ayreon Universe: The Best Of Ayreon Live.

Lucassen says: “I get absolutely crippling stage fright. Up to the night before the Tilburg shows, I was having dreadful panic attacks. I honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it on stage.

“We worked on Ayreon Universe for two years. We basically started planning right after The Theater Equation was done. There were literally hundreds of things that had to fall into place to make the shows a success.”

Lucassen adds: “I just love recording my various projects in the studio. To me, it’s another way of performing. But I’m not a live performer. I’m the guy who comes up with the ideas, sees the big picture, and puts it all together. So I’m glad that so many incredible musicians helped me bring my music to the stage.”

Along with the live music, the DVD will also feature 90-minutes of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, along with interviews with the full cast.

Find the cover art below, along with the final tracklist.

Ayreon Universe: The Best of Ayreon Live tracklist

  1. Prologue
  2. Dreamtime
  3. Abbey Of Synn
  4. River Of Time
  5. The Blackboard
  6. The Theory Of Everything
  7. Merlins Will
  8. Waking Dreams
  9. Dawn Of A Million Souls
  10. Valley Of The Queens
  11. Ride The Comet
  12. Star Of Sirrah
  13. Comatose
  14. Day Sixteen Loser
  15. And The Druids Turned To Stone
  16. The Two Gates
  17. Into The Black Hole
  18. Actual Fantasy
  19. Computer Eyes
  20. Magnetism
  21. Age Of Shadows
  22. Intergalactic Space Crusaders
  23. Collision
  24. Everybody Dies
  25. The Castle Hall
  26. Amazing Flight In Space
  27. Day Eleven Love
  28. The Eye Of Ra

Ayreon Universe at Poppodium 013, Tilberg - live review

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.