Thanks to a friend of mine, I got the chance to see Epica live at Shepherds Bush Empire last week. This was the second time I can remember going to see a band without having heard the music much before hand. However even though I only knew one of their songs, I still had a great night. All three bands were entertaining: Epica, of course, and the two supporting bands: “Beyond The Black” and “Powerwolf“.
Beyond The Black
Despite the idiots that were stood behind us moaning about how crap the support would probably be, Beyond The Black were actually pretty good I thought. They seemed to be going for the same look and sound as the main act but that’s fine.
They sounded pretty tight and the lady had a great voice to boot. Although they were the first support, and pulling in a lesser amount of dedicated supporters than Powerwolf – judging by the cheers, I have to say that I actually preferred Beyond the Black out of the two.
Hailing from Germany, Powerwolf are probably one of the most animated bands I’ve seen live. The first thing that we saw of them was their back drops depicting a ruined cathedral. I whispered to Grant (the aforementioned friend) “I’m going to be really disappointed if they don’t come out in full robes and the like”… I was not disappointed.
They came out dressed in full priest garb and even face paint. I immediately expected much death metal growls and screams, however the lead singer came across more operatic than anything. There were still the odd growls but that was pretty much par for the course that evening.
Although the songs did sort of start merging into one another for me, Powerwolf were still entertaining to see and had a great rapport with the audience throughout. Also pretty much the whole room of people knew most of their songs – including the older woman sat next to me, who was absolutely going mental for them.
She was an inspiration.
The one song that I knew, “Edge of the Blade”, sounding great live. As did the rest of the set. Throughout the whole show the band were forever switching places, including the keyboardist up on a stage-surrounding ledge, which he had rigged to a track. It seemed that every three or four minutes he would be rolling around the ledge on his keyboard.
Even though I couldn’t name a single song of theirs, I still enjoyed the show. The band seemed to have a great chemistry on stage and this came through in the performances and their unending energy.
I was very grateful we had seated tickets too. After our full-day walkabout in London, I don’t think I would have survived the “Wall of Death” and following Mosh Pit that was in full swing by the end. At least that’s how it looked from the safety of our balcony seats. The band kept the energy and positivity up till the very end of the night. The crowd too were pumped up until the end, until the moment came to say goodbye and we were all ushered out into the cold London night.
Given the chance I would probably see them again.