To be sitting in class until 5:30 prior to a gig seemed like a super bad idea. I wasn’t about to skip the class, although it was tempting, yet my mind kept sending me images of an ever growing queue and I sat there in the knowledge that I was not going to be anywhere near the front this time – a.k.a. at the back because I actively avoid the centre at gigs but that’s another story!
Thijs and I arrived about an hour before doors opened. There were some people lurking in the area but no real queue. When doors opened we had time to put our bags in the cloakroom and then stroll to the stage. Other than the V.I.P. ticket-holders we were at the front (in reality, this meant we were second row so that’s all good). Can I just point out how different this is from the majority of UK shows?
In fact, there were quite a lot of differences compared to the U.K., in the end, although it’ll take a few more gigs to work out how generalisable these are. I had my personal space for the entirety of the show except for one moment when a photographer accidentally tapped me with his camera… which suggests the calmness of the crowd is pretty normal because I would not dare take my proper camera to a rock/metal show for fear of, well, a dead camera. Interestingly, I got more squished, and my hair more tangled up, as we attempted to leave at the end.
Anyway, I digress from the show itself.
The warm up band was Australian rock band Tracer. I’d heard some of their stuff before but didn’t know them all that well, Thijs hadn’t heard them at all. It’s pretty fair to say that, by the end of their set we were completely sold. We also met the band briefly after the show and they’re delightful guys so an all round good mix. Apparently, they’re coming back in the New Year so Thijs and I agreed we should go catch them again and if he pulls out he’ll be in trouble 😉
And Apocalyptica, well, they were awesome but what do you expect? I was lucky enough to see them with Maria a few months back, before they started playing with their new vocalist, Franky Perez. I only say “lucky” because it allowed me to fully appreciate the new dynamic not because I felt that the vocalist detracted at all. Franky is blooming brilliant. He has a great voice, something we knew from Shadowmaker, and is a wonderful live performer. I mean, it’s clearly different to the full instrumental performances but it’s a good kind of different.
Other than that, I guess the highlight of this show, for me, had to be Eicca’s super, super quick string change. I mean, I know he had assistance but that string was on in a few seconds, under a minute, I’d say. I’m as impressed by that as by the music itself!!
I’m not going to spend too much longer writing about this show because, as always, I find it hard to put this kind of experience into words. However, I did book to go see them on the UK tour so I think that gives you some kind of idea as to how much I enjoyed it!
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