Last year, Ayreon’s 2004 concept album The Human Equation was given a genuinely melodramatic staging during four shows in Rotterdam. The result was The Theater Equation, a bold attempt to give a visual dimension to the sweeping storyline presented musically a decade earlier.
It was always going to be tough to ensure that what was left to the imagination on the original album could be brought to life. However, with a vast array of vocalists brought in to play the individual characters the result is very convincing.
The likes of James LaBrie, Heather Findlay and Anneke van Giersbergen do a magnificent job in their respective roles, not only as singers but in acting the plot through, and the musicianship is also of the highest calibre. Every part of the stage is used, and those involved get completely into their parts. Which makes this a self-contained experience that retains your attention.