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Epica + Stream of Passion - Live in Paris
Written by Max Levites and John Thornburgh   
Thursday, 03 January 2013

Epica / Stream of Passion - Live in Paris
December 2012

As Max reaches the end of his semester in Paris, we thought that it would be fun to do one more joint review, this time for Epica and Stream of Passion live at the in Paris. We both thought this was probably the best concert we’ve seen in Paris, which is saying a lot!


Epica

Stream of Passion

John:  Stream of Passion, from the Netherlands and Mexico, got the evening off to a great start. Vocalist Marcela Bovio has a fantastic live voice -- beautiful and powerful -- and the band played with incredible passion (if I may use the word). As a result, their music really came to life. I enjoy Stream of Passion’s albums, but I like them live even more. I also really enjoyed watching Marcela play the violin on a couple of songs, something I’d seen her do on the band’s DVD, Live in the Real World.

The setlist did a great job getting the crowd pumped up and maintaining its excitement. Highlights for me included the dynamic single, “In the End,” and the excellent Radiohead cover, “Street Spirit.” The only song I really missed hearing was “When You Hurt Me the Most,” but perhaps this song was deemed too mellow for theoccasion.

Stream of Passion

I also really appreciated seeing a single band I know and like open for Epica. When Epica tours the US, they usually seem to get matched with label mates that are not well tailored to appeal to their fans. In the US, Epica also has too many opening bands, so they don’t start playing until very late. Having just one, good opening band was so much better!

Max:  I’ve been dying to see Stream of Passion for a long time, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance! Marcela is hands down my favorite vocalist ever and I really enjoy the progressive edge to the band’s music. And I wasn’t the only one, judging by the cheers of the crowd when the band entered the stage and Marcella started singing. The setlist included a good mix of songs from the band’s three albums, including personal favorites of mine, “Lost, ”“This Endless Night,” and their wonderful cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit.” Radiohead’s always a band I felt needed a little more oomph in their music, and SoP’s version added just what was missing. I had chills down my spine the whole time! I sincerely hope I get to see this band again in the near future, and needless to say, the crowd was warmed up and ready for Epica’s set.

Stream of Passion

Setlist:
Lost
Passion
Collide
The Scarlet Mark
My Leader
Out in the Real World
In the End
Street Spirit
This Endless Night

Epica

John:  Epica took the crowd energy generated by Stream of Passion to the next level. This was the fullest I’ve seen Le Bataclan (even the balconies were full), and the crowd was the most animated. It was a rush (if also a little uncomfortable!).

Of the three times I’ve seen Epica so far in Europe, I had the most fun this time. At the Summer Breeze festival, Epica had a gigantic stage and a crowd of 50,000, and at the Metal Female Voices Fest, they had a special show with fire and fog cannons and even more lights than usual, but at Le Bataclan I was right up front near the stage, just a few feet from the band, looking them in the eye, with no photo pit or security, and this was the best. The sound was also perfect -- clear, just the right volume, and with an awesome bass breeze blowing from subwoofers under the stage.

Epica

Simone’s voice also just gets better and better. Once again, she was a joy to hear live. All the band members were also full of energy and good humor, interacting with the audience and having a great time, which was infectious. It is clear Paris loves Epica, and vice versa. This was underscored by the fact that the band played here just six months ago, and everyone was ready for more.

In honor of Paris’ enthusiasm and also Epica’s 10th anniversary, the band played an extra-long setlist filled with both classics and the best of their new album (Requiem for the Indifferent). All the songs were great, but I especially enjoyed relative rarities such as “Internal Warfare” and “Fools of Damnation.” Other standouts included one of the best songs off the new album, “Serenade of Self-Destruction,” as well as classics “Quietus,” “Sancta Terra,” and my favorite, “Consign to Oblivion.” That song is just so epic; I understand why Epica always chooses it to close a concert. I also enjoyed the brief dance interlude the band inserted into “The Phantom Agony,” complete with flashing colored lights. It was strange, but fun. It really got the crowd jumping!

Before the show, I also enjoyed Epica’s “VIP experience,” something I’d done previously in Paris with Kamelot and Halestorm. The package included a signing session, a photo with the band, and early entry to the hall, to get a good spot. Well worth it, I thought. The girl standing next to me got the same spot (and pictures with the band), but she stood in line outside, in the winter cold, for over seven hours. That’s true dedication for her favorite band!

Epica

Max:  Epica is doubtless one of the best live bands I’ve seen, especially seeing them from right in the middle of an enthusiastic (and slightly crazy) crowd! This was my fourth Epica show, and by far the best one of them all, even though I wasn’t in the very front like at both the shows I went to in the US. And yes, I may have been nearly sucked into a mosh pit and got elbowed in the face at least once (not to mention a few jerks who pushed their way in front of me in between bands), but hey, that’s all part of the experience, right?

After the intro the band launched right into “Monopoly on Truth” and the crowd banged their heads to the music, cheering loudly as Simone came out onto the stage. And wow, did she sound great! Her voice has improved so much over the years, even in the few since I saw them live for the first time. There was a ton of energy in the venue from both the band in the crowd, and the two parties fed off each other making the performance truly epic (pun intended).

The setlist was pleasantly varied, bringing together songs from all five of Epica’s albums. In fact, I’d even call it a “best-of” selection of songs and exactly the ones I’d choose if someone told me to make an Epica compilation. They even played two of my favorites, “The Obsessive Devotion” and “Fools of Damnation,” and I’d say “Serenade of Self-Destruction” is now my new favorite live song. I also enjoyed the party-version of “The Phantom Agony,” which the band played in the honor of their ten years as a band. By end I was so tired from all the headbanging (and oh, did it hurt the next morning!) that I almost was happy to see it end. Almost.

Setlist:
Karma
Monopoly on Truth
Sensorium
Unleashed
Martyr of the Free Word
Internal Warfare
Serenade of Self-Destruction
Quietus
The Obsessive Devotion
Cry for the Moon
Sancta Terra
The Phantom Agony

Encore:
Fools of Damnation
Storm the Sorrow
Consign to Oblivion

Le Bataclan

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