Progressive pioneers Fates Warning made a stop at the Rams Head in Annapolis, MD and the rock gods answered my prayers from earlier in the year.
On tour for their new album Theories of Flight, who hasn’t come through this area in many years, played a set for the ages. Now, not your ordinary venue, Rams Head in Annapolis is a sit-down club serving dinner and drinks while the show is going on, so it was a little different seeing them in this type of setting.
“From The Rooftops,” off of the new album, started the night off with a bang. Guitarist Jim Matheos’ precision playing is quite possibly the best there is out there. Hhearing him play this song live was proof enough for me. “Life in Still Water” was next, and I was in awe watching him play, as well as lead singer Ray Alder hit all the notes that have made him a namesake in the progressive music world.
“One,” of off 2000’s Disconnected, was next up and it was a surprise for me. I had never heard anything by them played live off of that album. Three parts of the 1997 masterpiece, A Pleasant Shade of Grey, were played throughout the evening with “Part 3” up first. Again Matheos was pristine in his guitar playing. “Part 9” and “Part 11” were played later on.
More new songs brought the sit-down audience to attention. “Seven Stars” and the ten-minute “The Light and Shade of Things” were played to perfection. New guitarist Michael Abdow showcased his talents as the second guitarist there. Matheos is the glue that holds this band together and there aren’t enough words to describe his playing. You’ll just have to see a Fates Warning show to understand.
The last four songs of the evening were just mesmerizing to witness. “The Eleventh Hour” and “Point of View” off of their other masterpiece, 1991’s Parallels, were played back to back. Drummer Bobby Jarzombek and bassist Joey Vera never sounded better. The beginning notes from Matheos began for “Through Different Eyes,” and the crowd went nuts. Off of 1989’s Perfect Symmetry, Alder is simply magical singing this. The band left for a moment after this song and came back out for one more. It was the popular “Monument.” This ended the evening for Fates Warning.
I have seen many bands in my time. but to this day, Fates Warning still is one of the bands that sends chills through me when I see them perform live. They are still on tour for this new album. So, if you can get out and see them, do it. You will witness for yourself the power of this band.