March 23, 2013… a day I will never forget. By now you all have already read (countless times) the main reason for me flying off to The Netherlands in the middle of March: Epica of course 🙂
On the day of the 10th Anniversary show of Epica I was staying at Patrick’s place in Rotterdam, so I left with the train from Rotterdam Blaak to Dordrecht. In Dordrecht I took the train to Tilburg and in Tilburg I took the next train to Eindhoven Beukenlaan. This train station is just across Klokgebouw, so I didn’t have to walk very far. I was very excited, because I had read earlier that it was snowing in Eindhoven and I was very excited. I could already see the snow as I was in the train towards Eindhoven. When I arrived I took a moment to enjoy the falling snow.
I stood outside the venue for about 3 hours (or more), had to pee once and froze off my fingers. But it was all worth it as soon as I entered the venue. As a VIP ticket holder I got to enter the venue an hour earlier (with the rest of the VIP ticket holders), before the crowd with regular tickets. Since it was quite freezing outside, that was a good thing. On the other hand, standing outside wasn’t such a tragedy, because I got to chat with some friends like Pascal, Sharik, Vlien and Laszlo, whom I’ve seen again after 2 years. We met during my very first Epica show in Paradiso. As soon as the doors opened, the entire crow stormed inside. For once I didn’t bring my coats to the wardrobe and just put it between my legs. I found myself a perfect spot in the second row in the middle of the stage.
After waiting 2 more hours, watching the congratulations video that other musicians/bands that Epica has worked/toured with in the past 10 years played on the screen 3 times in a row, we finally could hear the orchestra play an introduction song. This was just overwhelming to hear. The intro video that we saw on the curtain was amazing. I was so enthralled and amazed by the whole scene that I had to pinch myself to know that I wasn’t dreaming and really was standing there, in a big venue somewhere in Eindhoven.
The entire show can be summed in one word: EPIC!!!
Everything was spectacular. Simone looked amazing, the music sounded great, the choir sounded strong and haunting, the orchestra powerful, the fire effects, fire work, smoke, the lights, camera’s everywhere. A real awesome experience that I will never forget.
One of the highlights of the show for me was the performance of the song “Twin Flames”. This song is one of my favorite Epica songs. It’s a bonus track on their last album and has never been played live before. It’s a ballad, but I love because of the lyrics. The song is about long distance relationships and dealing with living apart or far away from someone you love. And as you already know: been there, done that 🙂 so that song always makes me a bit emotional.
The second highlight was one that I had already predicted from the start:
The original Epica band members came on stage. The 3 band members that were there 10 years ago when the band was formed: Yves Huts, Jeroen Simons and Ad Sluijter.
I had a feeling that they would have done this, because what better way to celebrate an anniversary than with the original band members, right?
I won’t go on too much about the show, because there will be a DVD release. FINALLY!!!!
Finally a live Epica dvd. They couldn’t have picked a better show. I have downloaded the video from the live stream from that evening and it already looks good (minus the minor lagging moments) and best of all: I saw myself multiple times on the screen 😀 Seriously I can’t wait.
After the show I was finally able to get a quick drink, because my throat was completely dry and my back was killing me, but it was still worth it. I went to the merch stand to get my VIP gift package. But just as I went they ran out. Which is stupid, because how can it run out when they know how many VIP tickets were sold? I receive a business card from the guy at the merch stand and my package was sent. It’s currently in Holland, because it arrived last Friday. I still need to find a way to get it here in Suriname. I had contacted Mark Jansen about this and he said he knows about this. It appears that there were extra gift packages just in case, however people that were not supposed to get a gift package still got one. People that were on the guest list and maybe even press, but the gift packages were only for VIP ticket holders. No worries, I still got me a package sent and can’t wait to hold it in my hands.
Back to the day of the show 🙂
There was also an after party. I took the time to chat with some familiar faces.
Saw Marcela en Johan from Stream of Passion, Jack Driessen from Mayan… also Ad en Yves (former Epica members) and met Mark Jansen, Isaac Delahaye en Arien van Weesenbeek once again. Oh, I forgot to mention that I caught Isaac’s pillow when he threw it in the crowd after the show.
Was great to be in the crowd, because it turns out that I am quite know in the Epica world. For example Yves Huts knew me by name and I don’t remember having met him before. Which means he must have remembered me from 2 years ago in Paradiso when Mark put me in the spotlight – I will never forget that moment again. Also I had people from the official Epica board, Facebook page and Youtube walk towards me and talk to me. I gotta admit, felt freaking awesome.
The last, but not least great thing about that night was, my handwritten note from Mark Jansen on a posted with signatures from all Epica band members was brought to me to Holland by Laszlo. It’s from that time I couldn’t go to the show in Hungary. I showed it to Mark and he remembered.
After the show I stayed over at Sharik’s (Mc Sharq) place in Reuver – the place where Epica was formed – because the next day we would attend another show in Roermond. See the next blog post about this.