Epica @ Debaser Strand, Stockholm, Sweden 1/3-17

So! Off again. I had made sure everything was going to move smoothly – not a lot of deadtime, but also no stress, so my plane would be taking off from Vaanta at 14:50, leaving me an hour or so in the city after check out. I headed off to Cybershop to pick up some new shoelaces – I crave those shoelaces, and then I headed off to the airport to get checked in and having my breakfast or more like lunch there.

Of course, as it has it, the plane is delayed. Because why would it run smoothly for once? Gladly it for one, wasn’t a very long delay, and secondly, they always say it takes longer time to travel than it actually does, and a very smooth boarding helped. Once in Stockholm, only ten minute delayed in the end, I headed into the city only to learn the bus will ALSO be a bit delayed because of an incident on the road. Incredible isn’t it?

What a good thing I had a hotel pretty close to the center. Rushed off the hotel, got myself ready for the show and then met up with Robert to have some dinner and catch up time before going off to the venue. And gladly, despite everything, I made it just in time for Skálmöld.

Skálmöld

Skálmöld played a 45 minute set – a very energetic set! I was happy to see that they had a lot of fans in the audience, and I really enjoyed the show. I’ve listened a little bit to them previously, and they were even better live! Thank you!

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Epica

So, precisely 20.30 “Eidola” started echoing out of the speakers and the opened with “Edge of the Blade” with, if possible more energy than in Helsinki. Perhaps they got more sleep this time around? Debaser on the other hand is a very small venue – takes the price of the smallest venue I’ve seen Epica in – I dare to say it’s smaller than the venue in Auckland.

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“A Phantasmic Parade” was next on the list followed by “Sensorium”, much to the happiness of the crowd! I must admit, I wasn’t too impressed by the crowd – I know the Swedish metal scene can do so much better. Why is it, as soon as you go up here in the North, people get boring?

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Next song on the list was from the latest album, “Universal Death Squad” before launching right into “Martyr of the Free Word”, thus cutting out “The Essence of Silence” which is one of my own personal favorites. I don’t know why they did this, but I reckon they had a reason. But seriously, I’ve grown to love this song beyond. Seriously. The rhythms!

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“The Obsessive Devotion” was next, followed by “Ascension”. I’m so happy to hear Simone singing fully, singing her heart out as compared to London. It’s just.. I can’t even. The funky “Dancing in a Hurricane” followed, and seriously… I just love this song, and I love the vibe. It was really nice seeing them in such an intimate place – there were no fence, which seems to have become standard for me nowadays.

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My own personal favorite “Unchain Utopia” was next, and in Helsinki, they had been a little off beat, but this time, much better! And it was fun to see Isaac play around and adding some extra guitarparts to the otherwise pretty silent verses, brought new dimensions. I love it.

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They wrapped up the set with “Once Upon a Nightmare” before leaving the stage.

Coen came back on stage with his bent keyboard and started teasing “Sancta Terra”, soon joined by Arjen and Isaac, and kicked off the song. This time, Simone did NOT have a laugh attack, so we got to enjoy the song in full.

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The days work out routine followed (“Beyond the Matrix”), and you know… I have already said it before that this is one of my favorite songs, but I can’t even describe the feeling I get from this song. It’s beyond me.

They wrapped up the set with “Consign to Oblivion”, and I really had to facepalm. As per usual, they ask for a Wall of Death, and Rob and Isaac even goes out in the crowd to be a “part of it”. Despite counting down, and being split up, nothing happened on “GO”. After a while some people got it, and started moshing a bit. But seriously. That was just embarrasing. METAL SWEDEN?! COME ON! It was nice to have Rob and Isaac in the audience though, they remained there for most of the song.

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After this, the band thanked for themselves and walked off stage.

Thank you Epica, this gig, despite the lack of “Essence”, it was an amazing show – and I’m so glad I got to share this tour just a few more times with you guys. I love you endlessly. Until next time!

// Sara

 

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