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Epica on tour again
Written by Ton Dekkers   
Thursday, 14 August 2014

CD Presetation @ 013, Tilburg – 30 April 2014
Parkpop @ The Hague – 29 June 2014





Epica

 

Sonic Cathedral had the opportunity to see Epica twice within a “short” timeframe. Or better three times.


The first gig was the sold-out release show in 013 (Tilburg, The Netherlands) on April 30th. And due to an accident, the public transport didn’t operate optimally but I was just in time for the big show. I was lucky to be accredited so there was the opportunity to do 3 songs in the photo pit. The rest of the show I saw from the side. With a sold out show it was impossible the find a decent spot. The front rows were taken by die-hard fans. Doors opened at 6PM, the first fans already gathered at 9AM. I heard it was not too bad in the queue as they were all there for the same reason and also important the weather was not too bad either.

 

Epica 

 

They had to wait even longer because the Epica show started 8:30PM. It was worth waiting for. They audience got an almost 2 hour show with a big light show and of course a lot of pyro.

Epica is Simone Simons (vocals), Mark Jansen (guitar), Isaac Delahaye (guitar), Rob van der Loo (bass), Coen Janssen (keys) and Ariën van Weesenbeek (drums).

The set list had 19 songs including all songs from the new album The Quantum Enigma (marked *). It was interesting to see how the audience would respond on the new songs. At that time only a trailer with excerpts and the single “Unchain Utopia” had been available online. The album would be released the next day except for people that ordered the CD in the package for the release show. The album was (signed) in that package. The new songs were played in the order of the album. The mid-section of the set had some old songs that allowed the audience to join with more familiar songs. The new album continued with the ‘Chinese’ instrumental “The Fifth Guardian”. The song was supported by three Lion Dancers with big Epica Lions.

 

Epica 

 

It was a very energetic show. The band all enjoyed being on stage again with Epica after a long break related to the pregnancy of Simone. Simone was not only looking great, also her voice was excellent in shape. The show was very professional. The stage clothing was designed by Ingeborg Steenhorst in sync with the album artwork and gave a perfect matching image of Epica. Add to that a great light show and fantastic pyro and with the visible aspect is more than just taken care of. The great (new) music and good sound engineering made it also an audio happening. The total experience was made immense by the fun on stage and the interaction with the enthusiastic audience.

 

Epica 

 

Set List:
Originem (*)
The Second Stone (*)
The Essence of Silence (*)
Victims of Contingency (*)
Sense Without Sanity - The Impervious Code (*)
Unchain Utopia (*)
The Obsessive Devotion
Blank Infinity
Unleashed
Storm the Sorrow
The Fifth Guardian - Interlude (*)
Chemical Insomnia (*)
Reverence - Living in the Heart (*)
Omen - The Ghoulish Malady (*)
Canvas of Life (*)
Natural Corruption (*)
Kingdom of Heaven
The Quantum Enigma (Kingdom Of Heaven, Part II) - With Daniel de Jongh (Textures) (*)
Encore:
Cry for the Moon

 

Epica 

 

More and larger photos

The second opportunity was the open air festival Parkpop in The Hague. The 34th edition of this free festival was not only lucky with the weather; only a few drops of rain and mostly sunny. Also the break for the soccer match at the World Championship Netherlands vs Mexico had a positive result according to the reaction of the crowd when the game was over. And what a reaction of the large amount of visitors who were watching the match at this festival. According to the organization there were 190,000 visitors on this edition. Due to the match less than the 250,000 from last year. Nevertheless the ones that were present could enjoy a great number of mostly local and Dutch artists in various genres. The festival had two main stages (Stadeon and Jupiler) and three small stages (including the 3voor12 tent). The International headliner was 10CC, a little bit of nostalgia for quite a number of people present when they played. Other International gigs were from Jonny Lang (US – Blues), Hanggai (Mongolia – Folk Rock) and Djaikovski (Macedonia – Dance). Dutch “headliners” were Kensington (Pop), Epica (Metal), Eefje de Visser (Singer-Songwriter with band) and one that I will not name. Interesting was the number of female fronted acts on the main stages: Dudettes, Eefje de Visser, TK Wonder (featuring at the Djaikovski gig) and of course Epica.

 

Epica 

 

Earlier in the afternoon Epica played (the third opportunity) an ‘acoustic’ set in the “3voor12” tent. I was one of the lucky ones that were present at this set. I was allowed to be there early so I was also present at the sound check. For this set almost all members were present only Mark was missing. The atmosphere was very relaxed and casual. The ‘stage’ was on equal level with the audience (about 30) and Simone sitting within 3 meters on a ‘bar stool’. This imitate session was of course less heavy but it also shows the quality of the compositions in a very scaled down setting. Initially they would play three song but they added a jazzy version of “Storm the Sorrow”. At the moment when you mention Epica you also mention pyro. Even in this small setting there was some ‘pyro’. After the set Epica had time for all the fans that were present. A little chat or a photo was no issue. And then it was time to start the preparation for the big set.

 

Epica 

 

Set List:
Dreamscape
Quietus
Natural Corruption
Storm the Sorrow

More and larger photos

Epica played on the Jupiler Stage just before the match. When the park opened in the morning the first Epica fans gathered before the entrance. You found them for hours at the front row of the stage. They had to wait until 4:30PM. Because the show was during daytime the usual lightshow was missing but the pyro was present. The show had mostly songs from the new album. In the meantime these songs are more familiar for the fans. That you could see in the response of the audience to the activities on stage. With so many visitors the stage was a bit far away. A big screen showing the recordings of the set helped to see a bit more detail. On the other hand because of the size there was sufficient space to make a dynamic show. The same fun as seen during the release show a couple of weeks earlier was still present. Epica enjoys being on stage.

 

Epica 

 

Outside the new songs the show had some older ones; “Storm the Sorrow”, the classic “Cry for the Moon” and the encore “Consign to Oblivion”. During the show next to references to the new album were also references to the upcoming match. Mark even changed before the encore to an orange jersey (Dutch soccer team) to warm up the audience for the match. After the show the first rows changed occupation, less black (metal heads) and more color (mostly orange) as the match would be displayed on the big screens aside the main stages. The ones that came for Epica had a great performance (for free) and a nice pyro show.

Set List:
The Second Stone "
The Essence of Silence
Victims of Contingency
Unleashed
Storm the Sorrow
Natural Corruption
Cry for the Moon
Unchain Utopia
Consign to Oblivion

More and larger photos

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