Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I hear Epica put on a good show

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So I must have pissed off the metal gods somehow this year because I can't seem to make a concert yet. Febuarary 17th was no exception as I had tickets for the show but thanks to the flu bug I couldn't make it. Well luckily for all of you my friend Draeden did make it and was kind enough to do a review on the show. With pictorial evidence of course.Enjoy.

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On February 17th I attended the Epica concert with Blackguard and Threat Signal as openers at Slim’s in San Francisco.

Through the course of the evening I got to partake in a lot of random events. Members of Epica came to and from the bus to the doors and stopped and signed and took pictures. The first was new guitarist Isaac Delahaye, then Arien Van Weesenbeck, Mark Janson, Yves Huts and finally Simone Simmons. Oliver Palotai, covering for Coen (who they had said was taking time to get married) also made the rounds. They were all really humble and thankful that so many people were hanging out front for HOURS before the show. They talked it up, thanked everyone, told us about the bus crash and it sounded like Simone even spent time in a Canadian jail, though I can’t be sure of what that was about, and I didn’t ask.

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I’ve been here at Slims before, I’ve seen quite a few shows here (Epica being one of them) but nothing is like being one of the first people in and making it to the front of the stage. Normally, people get squished together as people try to force their way to the front, but this crowd was really respectful of each other’s space, and no one was pushing too hard (for the majority of the show).

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First up was Blackguard, and I’ve been listening to their cd, Profugus Mortis, quite a bit for the month before the show actually arrived and I’ve been loving the Celtic sounds and beer guzzling romps pounding against my eardrums.. Their set was great, but WAY too short. I could see from the setlist taped to one of the speakers there would only be five songs, NOT long enough. Here they are:

1. The Sword
2. Scarlet to Snow
3. Farewell
4. Allegiance
5. This Round

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All I can say is that they’ve found a new fan. Their cd, which I’ve been cranking often lately is amazing, their show was full of energy and they definitely know how to rock and entertain the crowd. I can’t wait to see them when they come back in September in support of Kamelot.

Threat Signal was up next. I’ve never heard of them and I didn’t know anything about them. They took the stage, riding the wave of Blackguard’s energy, but they soon lost it. From what I could see, the lead singer didn’t have anywhere near the crowd-commanding chops that Paul Ablaze has. They performed a couple more songs than the opening act and did a decent job of trying to entertain the crowd, but I didn’t get as musically aroused as I did before. Here’s their set list:

1. Afterlife
2. Through My Eyes
3. A New Beginning
4. Beginning of the End
5. Counterbalance
6. Severed
7. Rational Eyes

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Finally, Epica is back in the Bay. I’ve seen them before with Amanda Sommerville performing lead vocals due to Simone being ill, and was anxious to see Epica with Simone more than anything. Coen Janssen was not there, covered by Kamelot’s Oliver Palotai, due to his planning his upcoming wedding. I was also anxious to see new guitarist Isaac Delahaye, who replaced Ad Sluijter.

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The stage was full of their power, and nothing looked like it was missing or out of place. They sounded amazing. The show was incredible and there were so many aspects of a great show involved. Lots of chatting with the crowd, throwing of picks, sweat raining all over the front of the stage.

The Set List was a mixture of songs from the Divine Conspiracy, sprinkled with a couple oldies and, of course, the new one; Design Your Universe. I think my favorite performance of the evening was Tides of Time; an incredibly beautiful song highlighting Oliver’s amazing ability to play ANYTHING along with his beautiful consort, Simone. It was a sweet moment between them on stage that we were all lucky enough to watch.

Here’s the setlist:

1. Samadhi
2. Resign to Surrender
3. Sensorium
4. Unleashed
5. Martyr
6. Fools of Damnation
7. Sancta Terra
8. Imperial March
9. Piano Solo
10. Tides of Time
11. Seif al Din
12. The Obsessive Devotion
13. Design Your Universe
14. Cry For the Moon (encore)
15. *** (encore)
16. Consign to Oblivion (encore)

Some interesting notes on their set list. My favorite, as I mentioned, was Tides of Time but by a close second was Star Wars’ “Imperial March”. That was so fucking bad-ass, words cannot describe how hyped up the crowd got when they heard that, because, for lack of a better term, Star Wars is universal. I really loved hearing Cry for the Moon too... There’s nothing like hearing Simone singing that song. I, unfortunately, can’t remember the second song from the encore, but I’ll look around for it.

Well, that’s it. It was one of my favourite shows with the only real downside being the addition of Threat Signal to the bill, and that Rob couldn’t make it as well. He would have enjoyed it.


So there you have it. A firsthand account of Epica's appearance in San Francisco. Some notables on this is that Threat Signal was not the originally intended band to be second bill. They were added last minute for the tour as Daath had to pull out. I'm not sure if Draeden would have enjoyed them anymore then Threat Signal but there you go.
Thanks to Draeden for being my man on the street and providing this for us.

2 comments:

Guillermo Rascon said...

nice review, and great pix

Draeden Wren said...

Before I forget.... The second to the last song in the Encore was Quietus.. I just found out from another site.... wanna edit that in?