Epica @ Shepard’s Bush Empire, London, United Kingdom 3/2 – 17

So, finally finally, finally. The first concert of the year, and not to mention, the first concert in quite some time for me personally. Going without a show all of December and January has somewhat killed the spirit, but hey, that is what happens!

So, first we did in the morning really was to pack and prepare for our outbound journey come tomorrow, but once all was said and done we got on the train and headed off to London. First, we stopped by Kryolan’s bagsale to see if it was any interesting, and later on we met up with Robert and Madeline to have a nice pizza dinner.

After that, we did some halfhearted attempts to get to the venue, and later, gladly, we DID find it. And we made it just in time for Beyond The Black!

Beyond The Black

I had never heard Beyond the Black prior to the show, but I was really impressed! They delivered a good set, and I was happy to see how well the crowd was responding!

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And next; Powerwolf

Powerwolf

So, one by one they came on stage to the tunes of “Lupus Daemonis” and later started off with “Blessed and Possessed”, quickly followed by “Army of the Night”. The band was really on fire, and so was the crowd. It was so good to see how many Powerwolf fans there actually was, considering that it was Epica’s gig, if you know what I mean?

“Amen and Attack” was next on the list, followed by “Coleus Sanctus” and “In The Name of God (Deus Vult)”. They had a new set design since last I saw them – rather than the church setting, it was a abandoned cemetary, to put it simply. Something similar to the cover of the tour edition of “Blessed and Possessed”. I loved it – gave it more of a crusade feeling, preaching the heavy metal mass and so on, you know?

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“Sacred and Wild” followed by, and you could tell there was a lot of Powerwolf fans in the audience tonight, because as Attila was about to the do the little speech and moment for “Armata Strigoi”, the audience kept singing the entire thing already from the start. I love when you see bands get this kind of response.

“Dead Boys Don’t Cry” was next on the list before it was time for what is for me, the highlight of a Powerwolf show – “Let There Be Night”. Seriously, this song is pretty much pure perfection. The arrangements, the melodies, and not to mention – the dominating organ parts. That melodyline is to die for, and this song live is just another perfect setting. God.

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“Resurrection by Erection” was next on the list, followed by “Werewolves of Armenia”. The crowd was really into it, and it made me so fucking happy to see. I wasn’t sure what the audience would be like, but this was perfect.

“Sanctified with Dynamite” was next before they wrapped the set up with “We Drink Your Blood”. While the set felt, in my opinion too short, it was though an amazing set. For every time I see this band, I fall more and more in love with them. Some bands simply have that effect on you, you know?

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After the show, we went up to look at the merch, and relocated to the other side of the stage for some reason – probably space reasons, which turned out to be… both a good and a bad deal. Good deal because we had a lot better sight than previously, and the bad sides I’ll get to in a minute.

The holographic projectors were brought out, and “Eidola” started echoing in the room.

Epica

 

The kicked off the set with “Edge of the Blade” which serves quite a bit as a punch in the face, although I must admit I prefer “The Second Stone” as an opener, it was a good shot – and I loved the holographic projectors! They followed it up with “A Phantasmic Parade”, just as they have done on previous tour – following up with the second song of the album.

The audience… It was good. Like, at least toward the front. There were some moshing, and they were receiving them good, but not nearly as good as they had for Powerwolf. “Sensorium” was the next song, followed by the single “Universal Death Squad”, and then “Storm the Sorrow”. Much to my joy, “The Essence of Silence” was actually kept in the setlist, made me very very happy.

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“The Obsessive Devotion” followed up and the moshpit essentially exploded. It was good to see – last time I saw Epica on their own shows were in New Zealand and Australia, and I can’t really say there was a lot of moshing there. “Ascension” followed, which made me really happy actually – it’s nice to see the musicians “behind” Simone to claim the spotlight a bit.

“Dancing in a Hurricane” was next, and now I’m going to speak up about the bad sides. Because, we had a group of fans next to us who were die hard Powerwolf fans, that THROUGHOUT ALL OF FUCKING EPICA kept talking and talking and talking, and you’d think that in a concert venue, you wouldn’t be able to hear it so well, but they talked loudly to each other – throughout the show – leaving us not hearing what the people on stage had to say and sometimes, in slower songs, we couldn’t even hear them sing without having the annoying chippering in the background. And I guess we all kind of lost it when they started screaming for Powerwolf in between some song, not when Mark mentioned them, just randomly. It’s just so disgustingly disrespectful. I was so close to punch these people, but instead, I smacked them pretty hard with my hair. They did move, eventually.

My personal favorite, “Unchain Utopia” was next on the list before they wrapped it up with “Once upon a Nightmare” before they gave us their encores in the shape of “Sancta Terra”, my personal favorite off “The Holographic Principle” – “Beyond the Matrix” that were a real good crowdkiller. And seriously, this song. I loved it so much already on the album, but it’s ten times better live.

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They wrapped up the set with a proper wall of death and nice mosh and circle pits with “Consign to Oblivion” before they left the stage. It was a well good show, that is for sure! Although, the only minus is that Simone seemed to be a bit out of shape voice-vice, but she picked it up as the show went by which was good!

Thank you, to all three bands for making such a good night! Seriously, this was epic!

After the show, we headed straight out, meeting up with my dear Niki before hurrying home to get some rest before the big day tomorrow…

// Sara

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One Response to “Epica @ Shepard’s Bush Empire, London, United Kingdom 3/2 – 17”

  1. I’m sorry to hear you had a bad crowd experience! I myself have had terrible crowd experiences the last couple of gigs I’ve been to, so I got lucky with this one. The people I was surrounded by were utterly fantastic (I was close to the front on the right-hand side of the stage, lots of energy). I’m glad you hit those disrespectful people with your hair! I agree about Simone’s voice sounding distinctly off on this evening; perhaps she was tired? We heard it from the Powerwolf photographer that everyone had only had 3 hours sleep the night before, and it was the tail end of the tour. Hope you had a nice time! x

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