Eluveitie and EPICA, Hugenottenhalle Neu-Isenburg, 28.10.2015

Today is a very special day – it’s the day I am writing my first concert report in three years. I’m a little out of practice and I already noticed that I should have prepared better, so please bear with me.

The show started at 7 P.M. and they must have been right on time, since we were about 45 min. late and missed the support Scar Symmetry. However, we arrived just in time for Eluveitie!

Since it was a double headliner show, both Eluveitie and EPICA played for over an hour, which was amazing. To some people this combination might seem weird, but to my way of thinking it is the perfect combination, because they are two of my favorite bands.

The Swiss Folk Metallers Eluveitie were up first. Their front man Chrigel explained that they had returned from South Africa just two days earlier and were happy to play on European soil once again.

He thanked the audience for enabling them to do what they love.

They played a set that consisted of three parts – first a metal part, then a folklore set and then a final metal part.

If I am not mistaken, they played songs from all of their published albums, truly a carreer-spanning show. During the first part they presented songs like ‘Thousandfold’ (one of my favorites), ‘Omnos’ and ‘Kingdom Come Undone’. Watch my video of their performance of ‘Slania’s Song’ from the first part of the show below:

Anna asked for the audience’s vocal support for the Swiss German version of ‘The Call of the Mountains’, called ‘De Ruef vo de Bärge’. She explained that Swiss German is basically “fucked-up German”, but not to be afraid, we did not have to learn it. Our only task was to sing “Heyo heyooo!”, simple enough. For me, this part was one of the highlights of the evening. Watch it in my video here:

Chrigel proposed: “Let’s make this a real metal show!” and the audience formed a circle pit during the band’s performance of ‘Neverland’.

Then it was time for the folklore set. It consisted of two songs, during which the band members were all seated on chairs. Chrigel explained that folklore is “the heart of Eluveitie”.

The second metal part luckily brought along more of my favorites, like ‘A Rose for Epona’, ‘Quoth the Raven’ (Annaaaaaaa!) and Alesia. The fulminant finale was of course the Eluveitie classic ‘Inis Mona’, which had previously been requested vociferously – and everybody sang along.

The Dutch symphonic metallers EPICA finished up the night. They call this part of the tour the ‘Ultimate Enigma Tour’, indicating that it is the final tour leg in support of their album ‘The Quantum Enigma’.

Sadly, their keyboardist Coen has to sit out the first half of the tour and will not join the band until their November 7 show in Grenoble, because his wife Linda has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. I hope she will be fine soon and I wish her a lot of strength!

Coen was replaced by Ruben Wijga of REVAMP, who did an amazing job.

I think this is the 6th time I’ve seen EPICA live and they never disappoint. Everybody always gives 100%. They pay a lot of attention to interacting with the audience and always seem to be in a good mood. Mark even left the stage for a short while to pay a visit to some children who were standing at the far edge of the front row.

Also, I think that seeing them live gives some of their songs a whole new aspect – almost a party vibe that does not come across when you listen to them at home. Maybe it’s the sheer fact of being in a room with many people, singing along, maybe it’s the disco-like lighting they use, or maybe it’s just my mood confusing me. I know that seeing live shows always puts me in a great mood that usually lasts for a couple of days.

In comparison to Eluveitie, EPICA were a little more focused on their current album. They opened with ‘The Second Stone’, followed by ‘The Essence of Silence’ (not so silent ;)), which you can watch right here:

They also played the amazing ‘Victims of Contingency’ and – my favorite from the current album – ‘Unchain Utopia’ as an encore. Of course, they did not ignore the EPICA classics, either. They performed ‘Sensorium’ and ‘The Last Crusade’, before Simone asked if we were ready to be ‘Unleashed’. We sure were.

The anthem ‘Cry for the Moon’ was obviously not only sung by Simone, but also by the entire audience, as you can see in this video:

I have to wonder of Mark and Isaac ever accidentally banged their heads together! 😀

Luckily, they are back to finishing the show with THE EPICA song ‘Consign to Oblivion’. No more madness! 😉

Kamelot & Xandria in Stuttgart 11/05/2012

I was lucky enough to catch the Stuttgart edition of Kamelot‘s ‘Silverthorn’ tour 2012 and I thought I’d share some impressions.

We arrived right on time for the first riffs of Xandria, a German band I’ve seen live twice before – once with their former singer Lisa Middelhauve and once with their current vocalist Manuela Kraller. Last Monday, I was really impressed with the development of the band.

Last year Manuela still seemed a little nervous about being on stage and even though she did a great job back then already, her performance was less memorable, because she was not very outgoing. Since then she has grown immensely as a frontwoman. She presented herself in a very self-confident and professional way and has taken up headbanging on stage as well. Her vocal performance was flawless.

 

 

 

The newest addition to the band is touring bassist Lance Christensen, who moved from the United States to Germany some time ago and stepped in when Xandria’s long-time bass player Nils Middelhauve, husband to former vocalist Lisa Middelhauve, left the band in July.

He seems to fit in well and does a great job interacting with the crowd.

 

 

The setlist relied “heavily” on the band’s latest effort ‘Neverworld’s End’. I put the “heavily” in quotation marks because it is a keyword here. Xandria signed with Napalm records last year and their new release on the metal label turned out considerably heavier than its precursors.

My overall impression is that Xandria are going strong at the moment – fresh energy, new coherence and in my eyes a new level for the band in terms of songwriting and live performance. Horns up!

Excuse the crappy picture, let me make up for it with a video:


 

 

 

 The headliner Kamelot presented a veritable ‘Best Of’ setlist interspersed with songs from the new album ‘Silverthorn’, so their new vocalist Tommy Karevik had a chance to prove that he masters the entire Kamelot spectrum. 

He also proved that he is able to charm the audience and even to control it with his invisible volume button. 

This is him singing the ‘Song For Jolee’ judging from the light effects…

 

 

After the opener ‘Rule the World’ and ‘When the Lights are Down’, Thomas Youngblood welcomed the audience with the words: “It’s Monday, but in Stuttgart it’s Saturday night!”. It was in fact Monday, which was probably the main reason why the show was not sold out. As it happens, we got a total of 4 hours of sleep that night before getting up for work, but we were just too curious about the new singer and the show was well worth the inconvenience.  

After one of my Kamelot favorites, ‘The Great Pandemonium’ the audience was asked to sing along to the chorus of ‘Veritas’, which had been previously announced on Facebook, so that everybody could practice. 😉

 

 

 

Elize Ryd, who once again contributed her vocals

and beauty to the band’s performance,

is now wearing the white cape that was originally used for the song ‘Abandoned’

during ‘Veritas’ and ‘Center of the Universe’.

 

 

 

 

When ‘The Human Stain’ and the ballad ‘Jolee’ had been performed as well, drummer Casey Grillo impressed the audience with an amazing drum solo, the final parts of which he played with his bare fists.

Then the rest of the band returned for ‘Ghost Opera’.

Singer Tommy Karevik had not only planned on charming the audience with his vocal abilities, but – remarcably – also with his German skills! So he quoted some lines that he remembered from his old German textbook: “Ich bin Strupsi, ich bin 4 Jahre alt. Ich bin Dieter, ich bin schon 5.” meaning “I’m Strupsi, I am 4 years old. I’m Dieter, I’m 5 years old already.” Apparently he didn’t get very far with his German studies, but it is always nice when a show gets a personal touch plus it was hilarious.

 

 

 

After the hits “Sacrimony” and “Season’s End” it was Oliver Palotai’s turn to impress us with his keyboard solo until the band performed the song “Forever”. Then Sean Tibbetts had fun with his bass solo, parts of which you can enjoy in this video:

Somebody asked why Thomas Youngblood is the only one who does not play a solo during the show, here’s my answer: He does perform several soli during the songs, actually Tommy Karevik is the only one who does not have a solo. 😉

The band also celebrated the birthday of one of their crew members on stage – he received a cake and everybody sang. I’m sorry I forgot his name.

The show ended after “Torn” and “Karma” with the “March of Mephisto”. The grunts, which are by Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir in the album version, were performed by the highly energetic Paul “Ablaze” Zinay of the support band Blackguard. Watch my video of this performance here:

To sum up, the show was absolutely amazing and Tommy Karevik is as far as I’m concerned an excellent choice of a new vocalist! You guys should all head out to see them! :)

Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum 2012 with Faun, Saltatio Mortis, Rapalje

The Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum (medieval fantasy spectacle) is a travelling medieval culture festival, that will make 24 stops all over Germany this year. Last weekend’s location was Speyer and we decided to drive there. They offer two days of medieval fun from morning till late at night. For me of course, the best part is the music!

They had over 20 bands confirmed for the various locations. Since we were there only on Saturday afternoon, we got to see Rapalje, Saltatio Mortis and Faun.

In Speyer, the Spectaculum takes place in the park behind the cathedral, which you can see on the far right in the picture above. Here’s Rapalje playing on stage II right behind the cathedral wall:

Rapalje

They are an Irish-Folk-Band from the Netherlands and I must say they are quite entertaining! They play traditional Irish, Scottish and Dutch folk songs as well as their own material, sung in English and Dutch. All the band members are multi-instrumentalists and according to Wikipedia they even invented their own instrument – the Gitouki! They wear kilts on stage and one band member actually designed his own tartan and is now the only member of his personal Clan McTreashcaighn! 😀 Rapalje are featured first in my video below.

The second show we caught was by the amazing Saltatio Mortis, who are a German medieval rock band, signed with Napalm Records and are considered giants of the genre. They alternately publish albums with purely medieval music or medieval rock. They played four shows a day in Speyer and during their last show they recorded a new live CD! The instruments they use are the bagpipe, the shalm, the jaw’s harp, the actual harp, the didgeridoo and so on and so on! If you get a chance to see them live I recommend you take it, because their shows are so much fun, awesome music and great entertainment! I managed to capture the entire song “in taverna” and a “commercial break” on video, which you can see below. If you don’t speak German, before the first songs they explain that “in taverna” is dedicated to their innkeeper. Apparently there’s a very special relationship between a man and his innkeeper, which women can not understand… 😉

Later at night we saw Faun, a Bavarian paganfolk band that you may know, too. They play their own compositions interspersed with historical songs from various ages and regions. Accordingly, the vocals are performed in a variety of languages, including German, Latin, Greek and Scandinavian languages. They play historic instruments as well, like the Celtic harp, the Swedish nyckelharpa and the hurdy gurdy, just to name a few. You may have heard that Eluveitie’s Anna Murphy was inspired to learn how to play the hurdy gurdy by Faun. In my video you can see and hear Faun performing ‘Rosmarin’ (rosemary), a part of “Die Drei Wanderer” (the three wayfarers) and an epic tambourine solo!



I made a second video about the Spectaculum, in which you can see the groups Ars Equitandi and Fictum in a knight’s tournament.Below the video I’m sharing some more impressions from MPS 2012:




The Old Gate of the city of Speyer


The Unicorn Pharmacy – in case your unicorn is sick!


A fair maiden


Two fair maidens, yes, this is what women look like in Europe.


Bread on a stick


Pigs on a stick


Ars Equitandi


Fictum

Graspop Metal Meeting 2012 Day III

The first show we attended on day 3 was by MaYaN, a band which features members of EPICA, After Forever and Sons of Seasons.

Grunter Mark Jansen, keyboardist Jack Driessen and guitarist Frank Schiphorst have gathered a couple of very talented musicians around them.

First and foremost I was once again impressed by the amazing talent of Sons of Season’s vocalist Henning Basse. The female vocal parts were taken over by the well-known and beloved Floor Jansen and the Italian opera singer Laura Macrì. The band is completed by Ariën van Weesenbeek, Isaac Delahaye and Rob van der Loo, all from EPICA.

After the show we went outside to see Sebastian Bach, but the rain was so heavy that only few people held out in front of the main stage. The unlucky singer said that he was afraid to walk up to the edge of the stage, because he feared he might be electrocuted.

So the next band we saw for real was the freshly reunited Ugly Kid Joe. They mostly played their old hits like ‘Cats in the Cradle’, ‘Neighbor’ and ‘Everything About You’, but also songs from their new EP, which sounded quite promising!

Singer Whitfield Crane’s voice has obviously gotten a bit deeper over the years, but the singing in itself was flaw- and apparently effortless. He was wearing a Motörhead shirt, which had me confused at first, but it turned out that Phil Campbell would make a guest appearance later on!

Crane tried to climb one of the tent’s pillars, as you can see above. Two security guards however were determined to prevent this and  held on to his legs so that he eventually had to give up. He was really mad, obviously, and flipped the security off about 200 times during the next song, which is partly captured in my video below. A while later he had calmed down and apologized to the security guys. He said they had “a little misunderstanding before” and shook hands with one of them.

Phil Campbell, who we later saw on the main stage with his band Motörhead!

Killswitch Engage and Machine Head were luckier than Sebastian Bach, as we could see them without getting soaked!

Killswitch Engage’s Adam Dutkiewicz wins the GMM sexy legs award, lol! What was he thinking?!

Behemoth put on an amazing stage show at Graspop! Singer/guitarist Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski was in extremely good shape considering that he has recently undergone a bone marrow transplant! As he sang, blood dripped from his mouth – which was hopefully artificial, or I’d have to withdraw my previous statement. His guitar carries the name “flying” V in full right, if you know what I mean.

Behemoth’s show included an insane amount of pyro and some burning inverted crossed, as you can see in my video.

But for me, the highlight of the day were Children of Bodom with the incredible talent of their frontman and guitarist Alexi Laiho, who partly played his solos standing on the hood of a car that was a stage prop!

The headliner of the day was Guns n’ Roses, who were scheduled to play for over two hours. They could have packed this entire time  with mega hits, but sadly what they did was play mostly songs from their new album and give every musician an eternity and a half for solos. This made it easy for us to leave at about halftime. We could hardly make it to the car as it was, because our feet hurt so much after three days of basically only standing and walking.

Graspop Metal Meeting 2012 Day II

Day II was the best day in my opinion – absolutely amazing!

We were going to sneak a peek at the Heidevolk show – a band which I don’t know, but I figured may be similar to my beloved Eluveitie. Sadly they had been placed in the metal dome, which was not big enough for all the people who wanted to see them. Many were standing outside and listening, I didn’t even see as much as a hair of Heidevolk.

At least this meant we were able to hit marquee 1 early for the Alestorm show. Those of you who have been following my ramblings for a while already know that I love these guys – and this show only reinforced my conviction that Alestorm is pure pirate awesomeness! The show was basically a bash of 50.000 – everybody was partying and singing along to Alestorm classics like Keelhauled, Rum and Nancy the Tavern Wench.

As it was Christoper Bowes’ birthday, everybody also sang “Happy Birthday”, followed by a triple “Hurra!”. The band put on party hats for the occasion – who said metal has to be evil all the time?

Afterwards of course we had to live up to the reputation, as Christopher told us in a distorted voice: “It’s time to get eeevil! Show me your hands and squish those invisible pineapples!” and everybody held up their hands like claws – it was hilarious! They played ‘Death Throes of the Terrorsquid’, which is indeed particularly evil for an Alestorm song, since it has a black metal component.

For ‘Captain Morgan’s Revenge’ they split the entire crowd to form a gigantic wall of death.

On the Saturday the weather was so good that we were actually able to lie in the sun while enjoying some Primal Fear and Thin Lizzy.

Finally it was time for Eluveitie, who never cease to amaze me with their skilled use of historic instruments and their musical diversity.

As the band gave their all as usual, the audience went nuts and in spite of the official ban there was lots of crowd surfing. Somebody kept waving a Swiss flag. Chrigel also designated someone, who was apparently wearing a really cool shirt, to lead the circle pit and promised that if he did well, Chrigel would have a beer with him outside after the show. I’m very much interested in whether this actually happened – does anyone know?

Singer Anna Murphy excelled herself, which was actually unnecessary, as she had enormous of support by the audience. Especially on the Eluveitie hymn Inis Mona, when Chrigel was silent to listen to the crowd sing the chorus all alone.

 

Fear Factory had a lot of technical issues. After the first song there was a power outage that lasted several minutes and the band left the stage. On their return singer Burton C Bell commented: “Looks like Fear Factory blew the power of this fucking tent!”, then they resumed playing. Sadly things still didn’t seem to be quite right, since the audio quality was horrible, especially on the vocals. This resulted in our early departure from marquee 2. Luckily all the other bands I was interested in were on the main stage or in marquee 1 anyways!  You can see a video of the incident below:


Twisted Sister had not been in Belgium for thirty years, which is a shame, because they are definitely worth seeing live!  I can not believe that their singer Dee Snider is 57! He was more energetic on stage than any of the relatively “young” frontmen/-women I’ve seen during this amazing weekend. He jumped and rolled around on stage like crazy and his vocal performance was flawless.

He informed us that GMM is at 90.000 visitors the biggest festival in Europe this year and thanked us for supporting metal in spite of the economy. Well, I can’t say that I personally have been affected by the crisis so far, but I know that especially during bad times people should party once in a while to take their mind off things! And a party was what Twisted Sister delivered. The festival ground was full during their slot on the main stage and everybody was singing along to their songs. During “We’re Not Gonna Take It” Dee said that we didn’t even need the band, because we are “loud motherfuckers”. During “I Wanna Rock”  (I love the song!) he played a little game with us. He made us yell “I Wanna Rock!” and then “I Wanna Fuck!” to see which would win. Not surprisingly, people were way louder yelling “I Wanna Fuck!”, lol.

After the great time we had with Twisted Sister, Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir asked us if we were “up for a night of godless black metal”. Was I? Hell, yes! Even though especially Alestorm, Eluveitie and Twisted Sister were perfect, I’d say that Dimmu Borgir was my favorite show of the day, if not of the entire festival. I had a blast seeing them perform and “singing” along to songs like “Dimmu Borgir” and “The Serpentine Offering”.

Shagrath, who had three outfit changes (!), jumped on the drum kit after the last song and tore it up!

You’re welcome!

After Dimmu Borgir, Limp Bizkit were scheduled on the main stage, but we decided to leave. First of all we don’t like that kind of stuff in the first place, second of all, Dimmu Borgir is not a great opener for Fred “Let’s Get This Party Started” Durst. I was really, really not in the mood … 😉

Watch my video recap of Day II here:

Graspop Metal Meeting 2012 Day I

As always we missed the first band (or rather person) we had planned on seeing, which was Slash, and we were right on time to hear the last song of the Paradise Lost set.

After this slightly depressing start we went on to catch Sabaton on the main stage. I am usually rather put off by the way they market themselves, but they were actually entertaining and their singer Joakim Brodén seemed like a nice guy. He admitted that he was extremely nervous before the show and very relieved to see so many people in front of the stage. He also made fun of the name Graspop. He said “Gras I get, but Pop?!” I guess he had a point there! There’s a snippet of their show in my “Day 1” video, which you can see below. If you are interested in the band, I suggest you start off with the song ‘Primo Victoria’ from their debut album. You can find it on Youtube.

After a quick glance at Florida death metal veterans Obituary, we were ready for what turned out to be my favorite show of the day – Amon Amarth! I need to get my hands on their albums ASAP! These guys are riding the Viking train hard, but it’s completely convincing! Their singer Johan Hegg actually had a drinking horn strapped to his hip. I was very impressed not only by their music, but also their pyro and light show, as you can see in my pictures:

Cannibal Corpse were next on the menu and George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher challenged us to keep up with his headbanging. He said “You can try, but you won’t succeed!” The man was right – and he has a gigantic neck!

Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe called Graspop his “favorite festival of the European mainland”. Their show featured a guest appearance by Obituary drummer Donald Tardy on the song ‘Redneck’, during which they also attempted the biggest circle pit of the night, comprising about one third of a 50.000 people tent! Here’s a video of it:


 

Randy also encouraged the audience to raise their middle fingers, which he said is “a friendly greeting at a lamb of god show”.

When I saw the guy on the right I thought: “Whoooaaa, they have Gandalf on stage!” :)

We finished off the Friday with Ozzy and friends, which luckily meant we got to see Slash after all, as well as Zakk Wylde. Ozzy was very enthusiastic, jumping up and down and clapping all the time. Part of his stage show was to hose down his audience several times, as well as himself accidentally. But he would have gotten wet anyways, because he emptied a huge bucket of water over his head – and don’t you think that it was a warm summer night, it was freaking cold! I’m really happy that I got a chance to see this legend live and I had the best time!

To wrap this up, here’s my video recap of Day I:

Graspop Metal Meeting 2012 Impressions

Hi guys! I’m starting off with some impressions from this year’s Graspop Metal Meeting, which took place in Dessel (BE) from June 22-24. We stayed all weekend and had a blast!!

This is my claw holding a couple of Graspop Tokens, which you need to buy food and drinks at the Festivalsite. It is forbidden to bring your own foodstuffs along, so your life sort of depends on these tokens. They are easily available through token stands and vending machines in exchange for cash or plastic.

If these babies weren’t so expensive, I’d have kept this as a souvenir.

Here’s a map of the festival ground. I’m going to walk you through.

As you can see, you enter through the Metal Plaza.

To your right is the Metal Dome, the white tent in this panoramic picture.

During the day it is the smallest venue for shows, at night is is the location of the after-show party.

They kicked off on Thursday with a THE BEST 100 METAL ALBUMS OF ALL TIMES bash, of which the guests got to determine the playlist in advance via online voting. You can see the top 100 list of 2011 here!

This is the metal dome during the Cannibal Corpse show.

“I’m Back, I’m Here, Give Me Some Fuckin’ Beer”… yeah, HAHA, can you imagine I was more interested in seeing George Corpsegrinder Fisher grind some corpses than in reading your funny sign?

Here he is, BTW.

So next to the Metal Dome there is the Joe Piler Saloon, where you can party and enjoy a cold Jupiler.

Lots of people also enjoy wearing the red stetsons they give away.

On Metal Plaza there were also bumper cars this year, as well as tons of food stands offering French fries, pasta, pizza, Mexican food, pita, waffles, ice cream, sandwiches, fruit etc. See the bumper car arena behind the solar phone charger (!).

We preferred eating in the restaurant tent, where you can sit down on ale-benches.

You can also sit under this roof outside the restaurant.

Note those dudes in boxers and raincoats, lol!

When you enter the actual Festivalsite, you have the Festival Fair and Metal Market to your left. Many big online stores sell their merchandise there. You can get anything from baby rompers to gas masks.

She’s a beauty!

We found Waldo!!!

On the left of the Festivalsite, there are further food stands, including the most important one – De Lachende Poffer!!! (I’d translate this to “The Smiling Mini Pancake” – I’d also try it if I were you!)

Poffertjes!

Making the Poffertjes!

Once again the large Coke area offered games and a soapy slide.

Further in the back there was the VIP, press and backstage area to be found.

In the middle of the Festivalsite you have the main stage obviously. Bars are conveniently located here as well.

Slayer

Twisted Sister

Some people may have hit the bar a little too hard…

The two marquees are on the right. They can comprise 50.000 people each!

What happens in the marquee stays in the marquee… 😉

This year they also had a building crane which lifted people up to have a view of the entire area. I was going to do that to get some awesome aerial images for the blog. Sadly on Sunday the weather was like this:

I hope you all like my designer garbage bag skirt!

G’night Graspop!

Interview with Mahafsoun

Mahafsoun is a 19 year-old Persian belly dancer with drops of Azerbaijani and Egyptian in her blood. This combination, aside many other reasons, makes her passionate about oriental dances, especially the spiritual, ancient and immortal art of belly dancing. She combines it in her own unique way with modern metal music and uploads videos of her dances to her Youtube channel. I came across this channel quite some time ago, because we have a very similar musical taste – Mahafsoun has danced to EPICA, Kamelot, Nightwish and many more. Mahafsoun, who is going to share the stage with EPICA in November, has agreed to give me a little interview. I am very happy to present it to you today:

 

How did you get into belly dancing and how long have you been practicing it?

I fell in love with the art of bellydance at the age of 15, through my interest in Egyptology. I’ve been practicing it ever since.

 

What are the benefits of belly dancing and what does it mean to you personally?

There are countless benefits in this art form. Not only are you getting a good exercise out of it (although this highly depends on how you are dancing, how fast, how long, etc), but as a woman, I find that it brings me a sense of understanding about myself. It is a positive tool for empowerment in women, in my opinion. I’ve seen women becoming more confident in themselves when they dance. The movements of this dance make the body look beautiful and sensual, therefore the person dancing feels beautiful and sensual.

Any tips for girls who want to take up belly dancing?

Just go for it! I sense a lot of hesitation in girls who come up to me and ask me wether I think that they should get into bellydancing or not. They fear a lot of things, like being discriminated against for how they look or how they dance. One thing I can say that, yes, any field with mainly women in it, will have some drama around. However, only through searching your way in that world will you find your comfortable place. There are good and bad people in any group. As long as you keep your head up, and continue dancing with your heart, you will find where you belong in this field.
Another thing that a lot of girls should know is that in the world of bellydance, there is no ideal “shape”, “size” or “look”. The women in this field come from all different backgrounds. They are daughters, mothers, and even grandmothers, and that is the real beauty of it. For every kind of beauty, there is a place, there is an admirer.

 

How did you come up with the unusual idea to combine this ancient art form with metal music?

Good question! I fell in love with metal music in the same time that I fell in love with bellydance. Because of that, every time I would hear a metal song that had rhythm, like Epica’s “Sancta Terra”, I would find myself moving with it. Slowly I started to add metal music to my dance routines, and found that it perfectly fits. Maybe because I love both things so much, I tried finding a way to make them fit together nicely.
Either way, I think that metal and bellydance are both beautiful things. Both are just as present in my life.

You are going to perform with EPICA on November 10 in Vancouver. How did this come about?

I will be performing with Epica on November 10th at club Fivesixty. I just approached the band and expressed the passion I have to some day dance with them, since Epica was also the very first band that got me into loving metal music. The very first band that I started listening to. Mark accepted the offer and everything went from there.

Which song(s) are you going to be in? Have you already worked out the choreography?

At this moment I am not sure of the song or songs that they want me to dance to. There is still time to decide the song, costume and all those details.


You have performed live with several other bands before. How were these experiences for you?

The only bands that I have performed with so far are Inside It Failed and Eye Of Odin.
The experiences were wonderful. It’s a different feeling to dance to live music, for a live audience. The energy of it is special and very empowering.

You are also a model who has done numerous photo shoots, appeared in magazines and recently graced the cover of a novel! In addition you are a talented photographer, makeup artist and composer – and you are only 19! How did you achieve all these things?

Thank you so much! I guess that almost all of the little things I do fall in the big picture. I have always enjoyed the art of photography and had concepts in mind for photos, so I had to model for them myself. Then I started working with other photographers, and because they were professional, I had to learn how to look the part, so I started to learn how to do decent makeup and edit photos. Through this, I got offered to model for the illustrations of a few books, and took the offer happily. I think that as a dancer who runs her work mainly online, you have to have professional photos, so this works nicely for me.

What is your musical education/background?

I don’t think that I have any, other than the little music classes that they force us to take in high school. I have never really been musically trained. I just love sitting behind my piano and hearing the beautiful sounds cerated by every touch. I love music.

 

What are your plans for the future?

I have so many! I could probably write a novel about the list.
The biggest future plan is my performance with Epica, which I’m lightly preparing myself for. It will be the biggest performance I have ever done, and most likely will ever do, so every time I dance, I dance just a little harder to push myself just a little more.
I just hope to continue working as hard as I have done so far. To continue keeping my head up, even though not all days are easy ones. And to go to sleep every night with my dreamer-heart switched on.
Thank you for this lovely interview, and for supporting me on your blog. It’s been a pleasure having this talk with you!

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Graspop Metal Meeting 2011 Day II

So, with a lot of delay, here’s my video of day 2 of the glorious Graspop Metal Meeting 2011!
I had a great time and I would definitely recommend Graspop to everybody!
Day 2 started for us with Lacuna Coil on the main stage… which meant in the rain.
But that was not really a big deal and they were totally worth it!

After that we were especially glad to see the amazing Blaas of Glory – you can watch a little piece of “Living on a Prayer” in the video! I loved them – and their leggings!

The next couple of hours were spent eating and drinking in the food-tent and right in time for Black Label Society (eye candy 😉 ) the rain stopped – so we could enjoy them outside on the main stage without getting soaked again!

After that we once again entered marquee 1 to see Moonspell, a band which I liked a lot when I was younger.
The show was great, but my neighbor was hit in the head by a hardplastic bottle and it caused a nice huge bump on his head. People kept throwing bottles and full beer glasses (what a waste!) into the crowd, so we left before the concert was over.
Of course I am ready to get a concussion any time, just not before seeing Arch Enemy, you know?
When we came back outside, we saw on the big screen that the headliner Ozzy Osbourne had cancelled his appearance because of a laryngitis. They must have known longer than that though, because they had brought in a Belgian band whose name I forgot as a replacement. Also Judas Priest had been bumped up to the headlining slot and they had announced they would play a 120 minute set!! They are fucking heroes! :)
Arch Enemy was way awesome as always, though I was a bit annoyed by Angela’s comment:”I want to see some broken bones!”
I must reply:”I want to see your face when someone gets hurt so bad during your show that he/she is left in a wheelchair for life like it happened during a Cradle show just two or three years ago!”
Well, what ever!
After Arch Enemy, we saw Whitesnake on the main stage and I must say they are not really my taste.
Cradle of Filth however are very much my taste and so we watched their show next – it was amazing. Apparently the girl in the front row who flashed Dani agrees with me! 😉

But the highlight of the night was definitely Judas Priest – they are so awesome it’s ridiculous!
It was as if they were saying to all the other bands: “Yeah, that was nice kids, but now let us show you how it’s done!” 😀
Hehe.