Epic Metal Fest - Klokgebouw Eindhoven , 22th November 2015


Have you ever heard about „Epic Metal Fest“?


If not, you should definitely check it out very quickly. Since the first edition of Epica’s own festival a few days ago was successful, it will continue ever year from now on, much to the joy of everyone involved and their most loyal fans.

The Epic Metal fest took place last Sunday, the 22th of November in the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven, which is known as the venue where they played their big anniversary show “Retrospect”.

Because of the terrorist attacks in Paris one week before the event, Epica decided to intensify the security measures which was already noticeable at the entrance. The last people in the never-ending line came in after the first bands “Scar Symmetry” and “Dagoba” had finished their performances.

Another sad point is that people felt stuck in the venue. The security told us “If you are in, you can’t get out and come in again’’ - not even if you want to bring some merch you bought to your car which is parked in the basement next to the venue.

So finally, the first people who waited since 8 o’clock in the morning in front of the doors are in, like me.

It struck me right away that the merch wasn’t ready, only the Epica merch was completely available, the other bands were still working on theirs. Also on the stages, the people worked hard to finish the last steps but that wasn’t a big problem.

Well, the venues were disconnected by big doors and first, you couldn’t be sure which is the “Universe Stage” and which one is the “Storm Stage”.

Some minutes after you checked the stages, the stage equipment was added and you could decide what and who you want to see first. 

Personally I was a little bit sad about the fact that Delain wasn’t playing on the same stage as Epica did. Both bands are one of my favorites so I would have loved to see them together on the same stage but it wasn’t like that, so I decided to attend the Delain show nevertheless even if I feared that I couldn’t reach a nice place for the Epica show.
It was really cool that all bands started and ended up their shows without technical issues, everything went fine. 

Personally I was a little bit sad about the fact that Delain wasn’t playing on the same stage as Epica did. Both bands are one of my favorites so I would have loved to see them together on the same stage but it wasn’t like that, so I decided to attend the Delain show nevertheless even if I feared that I couldn’t reach a nice place for the Epica show.
It was really cool that all bands started and ended up their shows without technical issues, everything went fine. 

As Delain jumped on stage you really could feel how happy they were, full of energy like every time they play somewhere. For me, it wasn’t the first Delain show but I can truly say, it was one of the best sets they have ever played.
The singer of the Dutch band Charlotte Wessels entered the stage with her biggest smile and started with the first song called “Go away” from their second album “April Rain”, one of their 9 songs from the setlist. Right after, we heard the guitar solo by the new permanent band member Merel Bechthold, known from some other project for example “The Gentle Storm” and, what can I say, she did an awesome job.
Directly after the first song they continued with “Army of Dolls”. Now the small hall was filled up with many people who obviously loved to party hard with Delain. They sang along with Charlotte, they did headbanging like there was no tomorrow and of course they clapped enthusiastically. All this exaltation lasted till the end of “We are the others”, which sadly was he last song for the evening. 

Time for changing the halls, if you want to have a good place for Epica’s show. It wasn’t impossible to watch every band especially if you are as small as I am. While we watched “Fear Factory” and “Eluveitie” patiently, “Periphery“ and „“Moonspell“ played in the other hall and they had a special guest on stage, no one less than the beautiful and talented Anneke van Giersbergen. What a surprise!

If you looked around in the crowd, you could meet the one or other singer or band, for example Dianne van Giersbergen or Diablo Blvd. Also the bands, who were playing there, were in the crowd, so if you had a bit of luck you could speak to them or grab them for a picture. 

Along with good music on your ears, there were of course an own hall for food. You could find everything there, Pizza and Chinese food but also some vegetarian stuff, so you don’t die of hunger. But nevertheless, you needed Tokens which you couldn’t buy directly at the food stand. If you didn’t know it, you needed to leave the line and go to the stand were they sold the Tokens, which means you have to return to the line in the back. Same with the drinks. Whatever, the food was very tasty and not as expensive as I expected it to be. 

Having defeated the hunger, we went back to the “Storm Stage” where Epica should play around 20:30.
But before they started, you had to listen to one hour of Folk Metal of the Swiss band Eluveitie. Fans who joined Epica on their last “The Ultimate Enigma” tour in Europe should already know Eluveitie because they brought them as a Co-headliner with them.
An absolute highlight within their setlist was “Call of the Mountains” which was sung in their native language Swiss-German instead of English.
Like it’s usual for Eluveitie, there were many crowd surfers, who are damn annoying, you couldn’t enjoy the show because as a small girl you were busy taking care of yourself so you wouldn’t be hurt by them, it still sometimes happened nevertheless.
After 15 songs they finished their set with the song “Inis Mona” which most of the fans awaited since the beginning.
Different than in their club shows, they changed their setlist a little bit, so they left out one of their most famous songs “Slania” and added “Meet the Enemy” instead.

One-hour break for us at the main stage after that - but “Sepultura” was hearable from the small stage. I’m happy about this because I would have loved to see them, but it wasn’t possible. The big room was filled with all the people till the last corner because everybody knew in some minutes, Epica would start and you couldn’t save a good place at the “Epica Stage”, how we fans called the “Universe Stage” lovingly.
I was one of the lucky people who stood at the first row, like every time at an Epica show and I was sure nobody could force me to step back. We felt like fish in a box, but that doesn’t matter at the moment because we were so curious of the “Special Show” of Epica which they announced some weeks before.
At the entrance of the venue, there were some notes to warn us about Epica using pyrotechnics. That made it more interesting for us because it’s already known from Retrospect and their special Dutch show in Groningen earlier this year. 

Exactly 20:30, the venue went dark and the first melody of “Originem” sounded through the “Groote Zaal” of the Klokgebouw. While the Intro of their new record “The Quantum Enigma” was going on the whole band jumped on the stage, all with horns up, ready to rock with us. At last it was Simone who came out, with a wonderful black dress, dark-blue lipstick and amazing curls in her red hair.

Fortunately, also Coen was on stage again with Epica and as we realized after the show also his wife Linda was with them.

It went on with “The Second Stone” and “The Essence of Silence” both from the latest record and the Klokgebouw was in high spirits.

Because of many foreign fans, Simone explained in English that she dreamed about being a rockstar and traveling around the world but the Epic Metal Fest was much more than they ever imagined, it’s like a dream come true for every single one of the band and the crew.  As a retour, they got a big applause and they stepped on with “Sensorium”, the highlight for all the headbangers in the crowd.

After they finished “Storm the Sorrow”, they surprised us with another Intro “The Fifth Guardian – Interlude”.

To come back to reality and show us how important the freedom of speech is in the world, they added “Martyr of the free Word” again to their set in which the band involved the crowd for singing along with them, similar with “Cry for the moon” where we should sing ‘forever and ever’ in the Simone’s microphone.

Speaking of “Cry for the Moon”, this time we had a special guest on stage, nobody less than the violinist Shir Ran Yinon of Eluveitie. She gave us a nice violin solo while Simone was dancing and joking around with the boys.

They ended up the song with Arien’s drum solo before we had a short break to find our breath again from singing and headbanging. 

After the small break, Coen came out and spoke to us, he told us a little story and as Isaac joined him on stage, they joked around and Coen forced him to play the melody of “Sancta Terra” on his Keyboard.

He tried it, but it wasn’t perfect, nevertheless he got a big clap from the crowd because it was clearly noticeable which song it was supposed to be.

While we all together headbanged along with Simone, Coen came in the Photo-pit with his Keyboard-to-go and played in front of us. After he finished, he gave all fans in the front row a high-5.

It’s nothing new that Epica always manage to inspire their fans to jump with them, headbang during the whole show and sing along but this show beats everything. We celebrated their own festival until the last second and together with us, Epica did the same. 

Then, the last bang was produced by the firework. We all knew the last song “Consign to Oblivion” ended the performance of our favorite band. I noticed the sadness in the venue for a second because it was time to go home, leave our friends and of course wait a long time till the next tour of Epica in Europe will be announced. For 2015, it was the last Europe concert in support of The Quantum Enigma.
But I guess the band felt the same way as we did.

To conclude, I only can say the Epic Metal Fest was by far the best event I’ve ever attended in the past. Epica excelled themselves with the organization and nobody else could have made this possible like they did.
For the people who said ‘’Don’t we have enough metal festivals in Europe?” I promise you one thing, the Epic Metal Fest isn’t like every other festival, it’s passion and it brings fans and band together. To know all bands sit together backstage, drinking together and joking around because it’s a festival where Epica invite befriended bands gives it a completely different atmosphere than that you have at other festivals. 

To make a last wish for the upcoming year, I hope Epica will invite more great bands and hopefully also some bands with a lady at the microphone. It would also be great if they added them to the main stage, so we don’t have to change the stages for every band.

But the rest was perfect, so keep it like it was this year.

A HUGE THANK YOU TO EPICA AND THEIR AMAZING CREW!! 

Setlist of Epica
Setlist of Epica
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