New York, New York – A supernova is known to envelop all that it encounters, continuously expanding, overpowering all in its path. They are cosmic occurrences that leave those who witness them in awe of their raw power. On January 12th, 2020, Epica delivered a powerful performance of near supernova proportions to a packed Webster Hall in New York City, in what was the last stop of the three city U.S. leg of their Design Your Universe 10th Anniversary Tour. The stars were obviously aligned for greatness, as January 12th in NYC was blessed with springlike temperatures by day and an Epica performance for the ages by night.
The opening band, Starkill, was no stranger to Epica. The band, consisting of Parker Jameson (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Spencer Weidner (drums), Tony Keathley (guitar, vocals), Shaun Andruchuk (bass), and Sarah Lynn Collier (vocals), had supported Epica on a previous U.S. tour. The Chicago based melodic metal band played several of their marquee songs, opening with “Detonate”, from their most recent album, Gravity, and concluding their set with “Before Hope Fades” from their 2014 album, Virus of the Mind. It was somewhat ironic that a dying star develops into a nova, a cosmic display worthy of awe to all who see it. Starkill’s stellar instrumental and vocal barrage was the perfect lead-in to prepare the audience for the audio and visual phenomena of supernova proportion that was about to take the stage.
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Epica, made up of members, Simone Simons (the voice of an angel), Mark Jansen (guitar and vocals), Isaac Delahaye (guitar, vocals), Rob van der Loo (bass), Coen Janssen (keyboards) and Ariën van Weesenbeek (drums) took to the interstellar stage to the sound of “Samhadi”, transitioning into “Resign to Surrender“. Because this was the 10th anniversary tour of the release of their 4th studio album, Design Your Universe, many of the songs performed were from the 2009 album.
As a supernova absorbs all that it encounters, Epica has absorbed all that is metal and has created a very unique and powerful sound. Coined as symphonic metal, it is much more. Yes, there is an obvious symphonic element, highlighted by rumbling percussion, an orchestra of guitar and other strings, as well as heavy keys. Even though classified in the symphonic genre, their music includes death, Gothic, progressive, and thrash metal influences. The mezzo-soprano vocals of Simone Simons and growling vocals of founder Mark Janson round out the sound that has engulfed all metal in its path.
The show was not limited to the stage. During the performance of “Tides of Time“, out came the 21st century lighters (also known as cell phone flashlights) and swayed to the sound. During the show, several fans crowd surfed into the pit area in front of the stage and were quickly escorted out, however, the crowd surfing event of the night took place when Coen Jannsen took the parabolic keys and hit the audience waves.
To round out the night, a three song encore was performed with a little more audience involvement. As we found out from guitarist Isaac Delahaye, the word for the night was, ‘WOW’… and I think it is safe to say, wow was how we all felt when the music was done.
As quickly and powerfully as it had started, the show concluded. We left in awe of what we had seen and heard. Powerful and beautiful, absorbing all sounds metal. The stars had aligned for the day for a performance that will be remembered by all who had witnessed this Epica performance.
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Resign to Surrender
Martyr of the Free Word
In All Conscience
Burn to a Cinder
Tides of Time
The Obsessive Devotion
Cry for the Moon
Design Your Universe
Beyond the Matrix
Consign to Oblivion
Show Date: January 12th, 2020