My friend and I got to the Bottom Lounge around 4:30 right before the meet and greet people got in. Sadly that was $100 which I didn't have when ordering my ticket (and still don't now) but it was an hour before everyone else got in.
I rushed to use the bathroom fast and check out merch because I had planned to get up front and stay there the whole time. I got a Powerglove sticker and a Symphony X Iconoclast tour shirt. I didn't make it first row like I wanted to but behind one person wasn't bad either, I was there for pretty much the entire show.
A local band, Earthen Grave was added to the lineup and they were pretty good. They played traditional heavy/doom metal, reminded me a lot of Black Sabbath. The vocalist was really good and was interacting with the people in the front before they started playing.
Blackguard was up next. In all honesty, I don't like their music at all but they had some of the craziest stage presence I've seen. They had to cut their set short because the show had to end early (it got out around 9:35, Blackguard came on around 6:15 I believe) so they only played songs from their new album. I don't have a setlist for it but I know they opened with Firefight. I met the drummer after the show and talked to her for a bit, she was wasted as hell. She actually said "eh" when talking and I did whatever I could to not laugh. But she was really cool, as was the rest of the band.
Powerglove was next, and GOD DAMN they were awesome! They were throwing out free Starburst into the crowd and during Metal Kombat for the Mortal man they threw out balloon swords and a hammer, I actually got a sword (link to pic at the bottom)! They actually got everyone to chant "FUCK THAT BIRD!" during most of Storm Eagle as well. The costumes that they put on were really cool looking and their stage presence was phenomenal. I may have to go to Summer Slaughter just to see them again, they were that good.
Powerglove set list:
Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man
Omnishred (We're Gonna Need a Bigger Sword)
Gotta Catch 'Em All
And finally, what I've been waiting to see for 3 years now, Symphony X. Like everyone else who saw and reviewed them, they were perfect. Everything sounded awesome, even with Bottom Lounge's questionable sound. I was singing along literally the whole time. The band often interacted with people in the crowd, I could tell that they loved Chicago. The set list was the same as every other show, but I actually loved what they played. With that said, now that I've seen The Odyssey live, I'm one step closer to dying happy. Michael Romeo actually dropped his pick playing the beginning slow part of The Odyssey when Russel sings for the first time and I was trying to signal one of them to get it but a guy used the sword I got from Powerglove's set to get it on stage for himself which I didn't mind, I never would've thought of that! Michael Romeo was laughing when he saw that though
Another funny highlight from that song was Russel singing "I miss the rolling hills of... Chicago!" What hills?
Symphony X set list:
Of Sins and Shadows
The End of Innocence
Smoke and Mirrors
Eve of Seduction
Set the World on Fire (The Lie of Lies)
So overall, amazing show, Symphony X and Powerglove alone made it one of the best I've been too even though I was up front sandwiched between people the whole time. Symphony X says that they'll be back after the new album is released on June 21st so we'll see what happens!
Powerglove Sword: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net..._8355504_n.jpg