Concerts & Shows

Concerts & Shows

Epica live in Bibelot

By Clayton

So last Sunday I went to see my favorite band Epica perform again for the sixth time.
Sixth time… but with Epica each time is a charm.

The show was in a very small venue called Bibelot, which is located in Dordrecht.
I think about 100-150 people were inside.

The stage was very close to the public, so it felt very personal. I think after seeing them in Paradiso the first time in 2011, this was the second time I’ve seen them in such a small venue. But it was great.
A small venue obviously meant no pyros or H20 effects. It was just Epica, the music instruments and light effects, but that was it. Nonetheless, the energy was there. The band members put up and amazing show and all the gimmicks weren’t even missed.

I arrived in Dordrecht around 13.30hr and after a short walk to the venue and a quick fresh up in the toilet, I was in front of the doors to the main stage at 14.00hr. That was about 5 hours before the doors would open. Yes, you read that right. No more than 10 people (including myself) were just standing there and just engaging in some chit-chat. The hall was extremely hot and we often went outside for some fresh air. The hall didn’t really start filling up after 17.00hr and by 18.30hr there was a huge crowd in front of those 2 black doors. I think everyone was more than relieved when they opened and the gush of cold air from the air-conditioning inside filled the air. After scanning the tickets everyone rushed inside. I stood in the second row like I usually do.

The show started with a band called 3rd Machine.
I don’t know them, but their music was okay. However, I could barely hear a word the singer was singing. The sound of his mic was not good. But from what I could hear he sounded good and he also has a good stage presence. Although I think he struggled to get the crowd hyped. Then again, I highly doubt many knew the music of the band.
The band’s music (and the appearance of the singer) was very similar to that of the band Disturbed in my opinion.

Before Epica took the stage, there was this band called Evil Invaders.
Not my cup of tea at all. So to be honest I couldn’t wait for it to be over. But I guess if I was into that kind of music it would have been a good performance.

At exact 21.00hr the stage was clear and ready for Epica to enter.
The lights dimmed and the first notes of the intro song Eidola could be heard.
I imagined hearing that live since listening to the new album for the first time, but actually hearing it, seconds from seeing the band again, was pure magic.

As usual, the boys entered the stage and Simone made her way to the stage when the first song got played, Edge of the Blade. Simone looked gorgeous in her black and gold dress.
However, it didn’t even take 2 minutes since the band has started to play the first song that the fire alarm went off. The lights were all bright and all the music was cut. Simone kept singing but soon had to stop. All the band members went to the side of the stage and Ariën kept the crowd hyped with a drum solo until the smoke got cleared and the band could re-enter the stage.

And there it was, the second attempt and from there on there were no more interruptions.
The band kicked ass and had a very diverse set list. Obviously, I can’t remember which songs they played exactly, but I sang along to all. And jumping around and cheered them on.

My favorite track on The Holographic PrincipleAscension – Dream State Armageddon” was also performed and I was more than happy to finally hear that track live. They also played “Once Upon A Nightmare”, the only ballad on THP, which I hear they have never played live in Holland before (after the release show). It was a truly magical night and I obviously took many pictures and videos. You could tell that the band was also happy to play in their own homeland and I think they should do that more often. Coen and Isaac even got off the stage during the show to play right in the middle of the crowd. That was amazing.

Another favorite track of mine that they played was “Beyond The Matrix” and that had the entire crowd jumping along with the band. The energy was amazing. Nothing but positivity and I am sure that everyone for that one and a half hour forgot all their life problems. I certainly did.

After the show was over, Mark came to greet everyone, just like he always did and it was nice seeing him in person again. I could tell it was mutual.

Soon after I took my selfie with Mark I made my way downstairs. Got a ride from another fellow Epica fan and made my way from Dordrecht to Amsterdam. A trip that was not that easy. Had to take 2 trains and the NS bus and it took from 00.20 am in Dordrecht to 02.45 am until I opened the front door to the Amsterdam house. But for Epica all is worth and I hope to see them one day soon again.

For some great professional pictures of this show visit McSharq‘s Facebook page.

Concerts & Shows Music Travel & Adventure

Stream of Passion live in Duycker

By Clayton

Date: February 5, 2016

We started the next day off by grabbing lunch at this Turkish restaurant where I had a good “kapsalon” after a long time. There wasn’t much we did besides just wander around the city.

Later that evening I had to be in Hoofddorp for a Stream of Passion concert.

This was my second SOP concert, but also my last, because later that year it was announced that the band was about to disband. That was not known at the time, but it was a great show.

Not too crowded, which made it better for the band to engage with the crowd. I also saw a lot of my Dutch concert and Facebook friends at the show and it was also nice to meet the band after the show again. I have to of the members on my Facebook, so I think the recognized my face.

Farid and Ryan weren’t at the show, but they picked me up and dropped me off before and after the show.




Concerts & Shows Travel & Adventure

Epica live in TivoliVredenburg

By Clayton

IMG_20141207_151028YES!!! *pinches self* no, I’m not dreaming!!! Finally!! I did it again!! 😀
Saw EPICA live…. AGAIN!! For the fifth time already now… and once again it was one amazing, spectacular and EPIC show!!! Seriously!

I arrived in Utrecht quite a few hours before the doors would be open. The train station of Utrecht is quite big and confusing. It has a shopping center build in so it took me a while to actually find how to exit the building and head towards the venue.

The venue was literally about 5-10 minutes away from the train station. Another good thing was, that the venue had an entrance hall that we were allowed to wait in, because it was a rainy day and standing inside is quite a lot more comfortable. Also access to a bathroom and wall sockets was a nice added bonus.

IMG_20141207_173903Once again it was nice to see some familiar faces and have a chit chat until the (first) door opened, where we had to wait yet again before going up the stairs towards the hall where the show would take place. As we waited I could see Rob van der Loo walking around. The venue is a gigantic, beautiful building. Really one of the nicest venues I’ve been too so far.

After a while we were allowed to go up the stairs, get our tickets scanned and run towards another waiting point. After some more waiting and mild frustration arousing amongst the crowd we were “released” and of course the crowd stormed towards the hall to get a good standing spot.

As usual I stood dead center of the podium on the second row for a better view. It took a while for the opening act Dragonforce to begin playing. The night before I tried listening to Dragonforce’s music, but it was not my cup of tea. Not even when the band came on stage and started playing have I been able to get into the groove and enjoy one single song. I tried and tried, but just couldn’t so I eventually gave up and just stood there. After checking my Facebook newsfeed I found out that I clearly was not the only one whom shared this opinion about the opening act.

IMG_20141207_204535After a while it was over and it was time for EPICA. After the stage was rebuild with the band’s instruments and the “The Quantum Enigma” stage decorations, it wasn’t long before the lights were dimmed and the first notes of Originem started playing. Of course, the crowd went wild.

The band gave a spectacular true-Epica-show full of fire and explosions. The band was full of energy as always and Simone looked and sounded amazing. Mark Jansen even made sure that he recognized me in the crowd, which is always fun.

We were all surprised by the amazing varied set list from old to new tracks. The biggest surprise was Façade of Reality, which they haven’t played in years and even claimed a few weeks ago that they forgot how to even play it. Façade of Reality of is one of my all-time favorite Epica tracks and I was super excited to finally hear it live. Another surprise was also The Last Crusade, which also hasn’t been played in a while, and also the first time that I heard it live.

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You can see the entire set list here:
Epica Setlist at TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands

I also found a recording of the entire show here on YouTube.

IMG_20141208_031033After the show it was time for the usual back pain and sore throat, but surely worth it of course. But besides that it was also time to greet some more friends and of course Mark and Ariën were there to meet the fans. It was nice to chat as always.

I took the last train back to Amsterdam, where I oddly enough had an interesting chat with this guy that was piss drunk and returning from Germany. lol

Concerts & Shows Things of the day Video of the day

Short videos of Revamp and Kamelot

By Clayton

Here are 2 videos, which I forgot to share earlier of Revamp and Kamelot in Tilburg last month. Since my camera battery was low, I wasn’t able to film the entire songs. But there will be a Kamelot documentary from that night coming out eventually, so there is still a chance to see more.


Concerts & Shows Music

Kamelot + Revamp live in Tilburg

By Clayton

Kamelot live in Tilburg posterYesterday I attended one of the best live shows I’ve been to: Kamelot!! The best show AFTER the Epica ones I’ve attended of course (hihi) But seriously now! Kamelot is great; both on their albums and on stage. The entire band is full of energy and Tommy Karevik is one awesome singer and entertainer. I left the venue with a feeling of complete and utter satisfaction.

Let me start at the beginning.
I had ordered my ticket for the show in September via Patrick (as usual) and since there was a VIP package available I went for that. It’s not every day you get to see a band like Kamelot – at least I don’t – so I went for the ultimate experience. The VIP ticket held in that you get to enter the venue an hour earlier than the rest of the crowd, get a signing session with the band and got to take your picture taken with the entire band.

I arrived at in 013 an hour before the VIP ticket holders were about to be let inside. Luckily I got to skip the long line and didn’t have to wait very long outside. Once inside I bought the latest Kamelot record Silverthorn, which I didn’t own physically yet, and went to the signing session with the band. Got a signature from all band members on a poster and on the CD and after that my photo taken with them.

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After the VIP session we were let into the concert hall. The openings band Tellus Requiem was still busy with their sound check. About an hour later they took the stage. Tellus Requiem wasn’t really that special. I honestly don’t remember one song and the vocalist also didn’t stand out that much to me. There songs were a bit all over the place and weren’t catchy and lacked rhythm. This is just my personal opinion, but from the reactions I’ve heard, I wasn’t the only one that wasn’t really amused by this band.

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Luckily the band that most people were more excited about – besides Kamelot of course – soon took over the stage: REVAMP. The Dutch band from no one other than the amazing Floor Jansen. This was my first time seeing Floor live; first time was with Mayan in 2011, but I was very excited, because I’m a huge fan of Floor’s voice and her band’s music. Sadly, they weren’t the main act, so the set list wasn’t that long, but it was long enough to fully enjoy the powerful voice of Floor. The crowd seemed to be very excited just as I am, because everyone was cheering “Floortje, Floortje, Floortje!” very loud. Revamp rocked!
(See the set list they played here)

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revamp07 revamp08 revamp09

As soon as Revamp was finished playing the stage was cleared for Kamelot. There was a huge curtain set up and in about half an hour we could hear the intro music of Kamelot. It was showtime!!!

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Concerts & Shows

Delain in Patronaat – My Masquerade

By Clayton

Before the Retrospect movie premiere I had asked my photographer friend Sharik if I could stay at his place after the movie, because the next day I wanted to go to a Delain concert, which Sharik (whom I’m gonna be calling Mc Sharq after this; because that’s how he’s better know – check also had to be there. Mc Sharq had to take pictures for the metal webzine Dutch Distortion which he works for. I had stayed at Mc Sharq’s place in Reuver (Limburg, NL) before earlier this year, so I thought it would be a fun thing to do again.

The next day we had quite a road trip ahead. Reuver is quite the distance from Haarlem and that’s where the Delain show was. First we had to pick up 2 friends from Mc Sharq in Eindhoven, had a quick bite at the McDonalds drive-thru and on our way we were.

Once at De Pratronaat we had to stand in line, but luckily not too long. Very soon the doors were opened and inside we were. Since this was a masquerade show, we were offered masks at the door and lots of Delain fans were dressed in costumes. We found a spot at the back of the concert hall where the lighting engineer’s booth was. I didn’t need to stand at the front row, since I had already seen Delain live in Suriname, plus I also didn’t want to leave the group.

The show was opened by Serenity, whom I had also seen earlier this year before. This time they were the openings act, so their setlist wasn’t that long. They performed a few of their well-known songs and soon after it was time for Delain to enter the stage.

serenity-patronaat1 serenity-patronaat2 serenity-patronaat3
serenity-patronaat4-mc sharq serenity-patronaat5-mc sharq serenity-patronaat6-mc sharq
More photos from Serenity by Mc Sharq here.

I have seen Delain earlier this year before in Suriname, as I already mentioned, but I have to say that in their own home country they are a lot better. I do get it though. The stage is bigger and they were able to have all their stage props with them, which they can’t fly across the ocean.

delain-patronaat1 delain-patronaat2 delain-patronaat3

The band opened with a new track called My Masqurade, the same title as the name of this show. Soon after they performed a lot of their mayor hits and had lots of surprises and guest musicians on stage, including Georg Neuhauser (from Serenity) and Marcela Bovio (from Stream of Passion). I had a feeling that Marcela would be a guest on stage as soon as I spotted her husband Johan van Stratum in the crowd.


Concerts & Shows Movies & TV Music

Epica Retrospect movie premiere

By Clayton


I just came from the Dutch “Epica Retrospect” movie premiere, which will be officially out on Blu Ray and DVD as of today (November 8th, 2013). The movie premiere was in Bioscoop Zien in Eindhoven.

NOW let the record show: I did NOT especially fly over for this movie premiere. Now THAT would be absurd – even for me. Haha. Nah, I had already planned to fly over to this part of the world in October, but that was not possible, until November. The movie premiere was also in November, so that was a nice bonus to be at the premiere of a concert movie that I had also attended 7 months ago.

The movie of course does NOT compare to the real feeling of that magical night on March 23th, 2013, but it was still very nice to be there and see all the loyal Epicans (that were mostly also there) again. Also very cool that the entire band was there (besides Simone). Got my picture taken with all of them and bought my signed copy of the DVD!

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Concerts & Shows

Delain in Suriname – Unkies Open Air Rockfest 2013

By Clayton


April 20th – the day that many Surinamese rock and metal music lovers have waited so long for. The day that the 4th edition of Unkies Open Air Rockfest would take place. This wouldn’t be just any other Rockfest in this “small” tropical country; but this time we would have a special guest performance all the way from The Netherlands. None other than the symphonic metal band Delain would be live on stage… here… in Paramaribo.

At first we thought this was a hoax – I surely did – but this fact was very soon confirmed by the band themselves. I was very excited about this news. I have been listening to Delian for years now, but never seen them live before, but I they’ve certainly been on my bucket list. I was hoping to maybe catch them during one of their live shows when I was in Holland on one of my other Epica-adventures, but they never had a show while I was there myself.

I came THIS close to not attending the show last Saturday, due to some personal drama I had faced earlier that night. I’d rather not go into that. My life is just one drama pool. But about 1,5 hours before Delain was about to enter the stage I was finally able to go to the place where Unkies Open Air Rockfest 2013 was held. The place is a 7 minute drive from my house – and that includes a lot of speed bumps. I arrived around 23.00hr, bought my ticket and quickly found my way to the center of the crowd. Local rock band Apoplectic had just entered the stage and was giving quite a good show.

I was very impressed with the stage. It didn’t do under of the other international stages I’ve seen. Very well done. I was quite worried, because this was my first Open Air Rockfest in Suriname. I had been to rock parties in Suriname before, and also at the same place this event was held, but it always on the terrace. I didn’t know that there was a huge back yard. I was worried that they would make an international band like Delain perform on a small terrace and try to squeeze a bunch of people on it. Good thing that didn’t have to happen.

Delain was scheduled to play at 00.00hrs. The band entered the stage after a few technical issues – typical Suriname – about 15 minutes later. But they sure made up for this, by giving a kick ass performance and by playing a lot of their well-known songs. They played all (or most) of their singles and the heaviest tracks that Delain has to offer. A full 90 minute set list of songs from all of their three full length albums.

A bit of a pity that a lot of people didn’t know half of the songs performed. I think I was the only one that sang along loud to every single song and knew exactly when to clap or jump. Charlotte looked great and sang her heart out. I didn’t notice a single flaw. Just at the end of Not Enough, where she does her operatic vocalizing, she was over-powered by the crowd that enjoyed the song, but didn’t really know it. So they thought it was over, but she still had a 01.15 minute of angelic vocalizing to do. Oh well, at least I enjoyed it. 🙂

I did notice that the crowd responded very enthusiastic to the much heavier songs, which have grunts in it – which are only 2 songs to be exact. But also the non-grunts-yet-very-heavy-songs were very well received. Before you knew it a mosh pit was formed and people started stage diving. Honestly I have never seen this before in the shows in Europe. Then again, I’ve never been to a real festival before, just club shows. It was fun.

I don’t remember which songs they performed exactly, but I will try to find a set list online soon. At the top of my head, from what I can remember, in random order, they performed:
Sever, See me in shadows, The Gathering, April Rain, Stay Forever, Invidia, Control the storm, Virtue and Vice, Mother Machine (they opened with this track), Electricity, We Are The Others, Milk and Honey, Get the devil out of me and Never Enough.

After the performance of Delain I stayed another 2 hours to meet the band members and I did. I got to meet all of them and had my picture taken with them. Below you can find my own photos, but soon I will upload taken by a professional of myself with the band members.

But to sum all of the above: DELAIN was in one word, awesome! 🙂

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Concerts & Shows Music

Serenity and Visions of Atlantis live

By Clayton

As I mentioned before in the previous blog, the day after Epica’s show “Retrospect” I crashed at Sharik’s (Mc Sharq) place in Reuver, because the next day we were going to attend a show from Serenity and Visions of Atlantis in Roermond. I first was a bit reluctant to go to the show, because both Serenity and VoA have a new album out and I assumed that they would perform lots of songs from those albums and I hadn’t listened to them yet. And I hate going to a show and not knowing any (or at least most) of the songs. But on the other hand I thought, “I’m on vacation so what the hell”.

I slept on an air mattress in the living room. I never expected an air mattress to be that comfortable. I fell asleep within seconds and slept like a rock. That could also have been due to exhaustion.

In the afternoon Sharik, Simone V (who was also staying at Sharik’s place) and I drove to ECI Cultuurfabriek where the show of Serenity and Visions of Atlantis was. I clearly could see that this was NOT an Epica concert. There wasn’t a long line outside, the venue was small and you could basically count the number of fans. On the other hand it was great to be in a small crowd after such an exhausting (but bloody amazing) show the day before.

The show was opened by this rock band, which I had never heard of before, called Souldrinker, that didn’t amuse me very much. Let’s just say there music wasn’t really my cup of tea. So I didn’t mind when they announced their last song.

Visions of AtlantisNext on stage was: Visions of Atlantis.
I like VoA. I actually liked their second female singer best of all 4 they’ve had so far. But I knew that they would perform some of the older songs too, so I would enjoy anyways. The show was actually really good. They didn’t play too much of the new songs, so I still knew the majority of the songs. Despite my back killing me from the show before, I was able to enjoy myself.

SerenityAfter VoA it was time for Serenity.
This was also another great performance. They played both old and new songs. Half way during the show I did need to take a quick break to sit down, because my backache was almost unbearable. But great show and I was glad that I went along anyways.


When the show ended, I and the other 2 didn’t stay to meet the band or anything like that, but immediately left. We were all just too exhausted. We bought a kapsalon to eat at the house, watched a movie, fell asleep in front of the tv – at least I did – and later just went to bed. The next day Sharik brought me to the train station in Reuver and I made my way back to Rotterdam. A great weekend full of symphonic metal music. 🙂

Professional pictures can be found here:
Souldrinker | Visions of Atlantis | Serenity

I couldn’t find the set list of the show in Roermond, but did find one of another show from the same tour, so I guess it should be the same set list.
Visions of Atlantis | Serenity