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Epic night with Epica

Probably every Finnish person (or at least a music fan) knows the name Nightwish – the symphonic metal band from the beautiful country of Finland. The vocalist of that band is a Dutch singer Floor Janssen. And before she joined Nightwish she was in a band called After Forever. Together with her in that band was a guy named Mark Jansen. At one point, Mark decided to part ways with the band. Which broke-up a couple of years later. Floor is now in Nightwish and Mark…  well, he decided to form his own band – a band that became the great Epica.

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Epica is a symphonic metal band formed in 2002 in Netherlands. Since then, they realeased 7 studio albums, which are: The Phantom Agony (2003), Consign to Oblivion (2005), The Divine Conspiracy (2007), Design Your Universe (2009), Requiem for the Indifferent (2012), The Quantum Enigma (2014) and The Holographic Principle (2016). They went through a couple of line–up changes. The current members are: Mark Jansen – rhythm guitar, lead growled vocals; Coen Janssen – keyboards, synthesizer, piano; Simone Simons – lead vocals; Ariën van Weesenbeek – drums, spoken vocals, backing growled vocals; Isaac Delahaye – lead guitar, backing clean and growled vocals; Rob van der Loo – bass.

Tavastia was full on the evening of 28 of February. People were impatiently waiting fo the band to appear. And then the lights went out and the intro ( a song called Eidola – the child singing part) was played. Then Ariën appeared, Coen just after him, and then Rob, Isaac and Mark. Simone was the last one to show up. And the concert begun. They started with the single from their newest album (The Holographic Principle) called Edge of the Blade. I have to admit, that I really like the concept of the ‘beauty and the beast’ (clean and growled vocals together) and Epica (to be more precise, Simone and Mark) seems to be able to combine those two ways of singing perfectly. There were some special moments during the show, like before the band played the song called Once Upon a Nightmare, Simone asked the light designer to turn all the lights off and then asked the audience to turn their phone lighters, saying ‘now you guys are the light’. Then all the band members left the stage. The intro to the Once Upon a Nightmare was playing in the background and Tavastia got filled with the little lights – it looked absolutely stunning. Then the band came back and played the full song. Another wonderful moment was, when Coen and Isaac went into the crowd and played their instruments while being touched and hold by the fans. Someone from the audience shouted ‘I love you Ariën!’ which was kinda cute. Coen made some jokes like ‘Do you want to hear a Pete Townshend song? Do you want to hear Epica song?!’ Well, obviously people preferred to hear the song of that second one. Unfortunately, there was also one quite unpleasant situation: during the encore, which started with a song Sancta Terra, Simone had problems with her voice, did not have water to sooth her throat and was actually unable to sing. Luckily everything was fine later, and she sang the rest of the tracks perfectly. Here are a few other numbers, that Epica presented that evening: Sensorium, Universal Death Squad, The Obsessive Devotion or Unchained Utopia.

Every single member was on fire: Simone sang beautifully, Mark roared like an angry lion, Isaack’s guitar was screaming and his solos were incredible, Ariën was playing his drums like a beast and Rob would draw out the awesome deep sounds of his bass. It also looked quite impressive, when they were all dangling their long hair (Simone’s ginger one would gain the most attention, I feel).

At the end of the show, Mark came down from the stage to greet some fans, especially those disabled ones. The rest of the group was already gone. A few minutes later, he came to hang out with people in the bar. Well, coming back to what was happening during the show and summing the whole thing up: as I’ve mentioned before the band was on fire and so was the audience – people were screaming, jumping, chanting the band’s name, singing songs along with Simone. Both the band and the crowd seemed to be happy and enjoyed their time. And so did I. It was the second time I’ve seen Epica and I guess, that they will never fail me. Awesome show.

Agata Podbielkowska