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! 😉