Fates Warning & FeedForward

March 9, 2012, De Pul, Uden (NL)

In the late eighties and the nineties I bought each album Fates Warning (FW) recorded, but after their double live album Still Live (1998) other musical genres drifted me away from this still extraordinary American progressive metal band. So, when I got the opportunity to see my old time heroes live at venue De Pul in Uden, I was curious to know if they would play my all-time favourites.


Mario and Patrice
Before FW entered the stage, the Dutch progressive metal band FeedForward had the task of warming-up the audience. I wasn't really familiar with the music of this band since I missed their second album Upstream (see review), so I could listen unprejudiced to their music. After a short instrumental opening, female vocalist Patrice joined the band and started to sing As Time Goes By. She has a clear voice with a slightly dark edge that remained perfectly in tune during the concert, something many other bands would be envious of I think. The musicians are all very skilled and the band sounded coherent and tight. It's nice to watch Mario's funny faces while he's playing the guitar. The musical style of FeedForward tends more towards metal than to progressive rock. I think Job could have played the keyboards more often.

Unfortunately the sound was just horrible, especially in the beginning. I had the idea that one of the speakers was damaged and as a consequence a nasty rumble kept going on during the concert. Since musicians have hardly any influence on the sound mixing, quite a number of people looked rather annoyed in the direction of the sound engineer. Within the set I got the feeling that most of the songs sounded quite similar. You may call it their own sound, but I would like songs to be more varied. Whenever I thought this might become a nice guitar duel with the bass or the keyboard, I just got a short solo. It would be great if they extend these solos a bit. For me FeedForward was okay, but the band have to make some progress on their next album or else I'm afraid the final song Fade Away might become a reality. I hope they don't because there's a lot of potential in this band. It only has to come out.

Fates Warning

FW haven't released an album for the past seven or eight years and therefore must rely on old material. However, the band is recording a new album that should be out somewhere this year according to vocalist Ray Alder. To be honest, I was rather surprised that FW was on tour this year, because of Sympathetic Resonance, the fantastic album of Arch/Matheos, a duo consisting of
Jim Matheos
guitarist Jim Matheos and the previous FW-vocalist John Arch. This album hasn't been reviewed yet on this website, but it reached my top ten of 2011. Coincidentally Ray Alder's other band Redemption released This Mortal Coil (see review) that made it also to my top ten! I would have thought that these releases would take both musicians on separate tours. But anyway, I was very pleased to see this renowned progressive metal band on stage.
The numbers on the set list were nicely spread over the period 1988-2004 with a slight accent on the albums I appreciate the most: Parallels (1991) and Inside Out (1994). Songs like Life In Still Water, Eye To Eye, Outside Looking In and Monument were a treat to my ears. Also Part III and XI of A Pleasant Shade Of Gray (1997) sounded really good. You could see the power of Ray's voice in his characteristic posture: bending over to press the maximum out of his lungs. After the return of old guitarist Frank Aresti, FW returned to become a double lead guitar band. We now could enjoy this with several dual guitar lines and solos. With the return of Aresti the keyboards disappeared from stage, but I didn't miss them for one single moment. On stage both bass player Joey Vera and Frank Aresti had some fun together, but I was slightly disappointed with Jim Matheos, who showed no emotions at all. He made the impression of just playing the songs and then leaving for the next concert.

After a concert I'm used to stay in the venue for a while to have a drink and often I get the chance to talk to some band members, but unfortunately our friends of Fates Warning disappeared after the encore. Only drummer Bobby Jarzombek came back to talk to some fans. When I visit a concert, I have most of the time a fantastic evening with great music and nice musicians. This evening was just okay with good music recalling some fine memories. No more, no less...

Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist FeedForward:

As Time Goes By
Thin Ice
Stop To Think 
For Now
Fade Away

Pictures FeedForward by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up FeedForward:


Setlist Fates Warning:

Life In Still Water
Outside Looking In
Down To The Wire
Heal Me
Still Remains
Another Perfect Day
11th Hour
Point Of View
Through Different Eyes
Eye To Eye

Pictures Fates Warning by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Fates Warning:

Ray Alder:
Jim Matheos:
Frank Aresti:
Joey Vera:
Bobby Jarzombek:

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