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Live review: Epica in Moscow, Russia (October 12, 2019)

Almost a year ago Epica announced world tour dedicated to the 10th anniversary of “Design Your Universe”, their fifth studio album that is still one of the best known from their entire discography. 

For me, it was one of the most anticipated shows of the year and I couldn’t wait to see it. But before Epica came on stage there were two supporting bands; Off The Cross from Belgium and Alight from Italy. Both were quite good, energetic. Alight even came to the merch table to talk to the fans. 

Soon, the intro for Epica started playing. Musicians went on stage smiling and ready to play. Despite little troubles with Simone’s microphone, the sound was good in general. Mark Jansen’s growls were properly heard, which was a surprise for me – it’s not an easy task to make them sound this good live. 

Russian fanclub prepared a flash mob for the band. When the hit song “Unleashed” started playing, almost the whole front row pulled out white and golden balloons and started waving to the beat. The second row raised a balloon chain and formed the band name. Musicians seemed to be very touched, but the other side of the coin was the fact that this act prevented Coen Janssen, the keyboard player, from crowd surfing, as he mentioned later that night. All in all, the performance was really well planned. There was a right balance between slow, lyrical songs and faster, heavier ones, and the albums (but, of course, the tour is rather retrospective, so the majority of the songs were taken from “Design Your Universe”). “In All Conscience” became a surprise for everyone – as Simone Simons said, they never performed it live. Musicians complemented each other very well and all of them communicated with the audience cheerfully and actively. 

During “Sancta Terra”, Coen and Mark went in the photo pit to communicate with the fans: to give them a five, hold a hand, say “hello” etc. And right before playing this song, Simone went on stage waving two flags: the Russian flag and one with the logo of the band which was very nice in my opinion. Moscowian legion had a good jump during “Beyond the Matrix” and, traditionally, before “Consign to Oblivion” Epica asked the audience for a wall of death. 

As we were said later, the show was sold out which was totally expected since meet & greet package sold out in one or two days. Epica did an amazing job celebrating and commemorating this classic album full of epic pieces that haven’t been performed live for quite some time. 

Setlist:

Intro: Samadhi

  1. Resign to Surrender
  2. Unleashed
  3. Martyr of the Free Word
  4. Our Destiny
  5. Kingdom of Heaven
  6. Sensorium
  7. In All Conscience
  8. Burn to a Cinder
  9. Tides of Time
  10. Deconstruct / Semblance of Liberty
  11. Cry for the Moon
  12. Design Your Universe

Encore:

  1. Sancta Terra
  2. Beyond the Matrix
  3. Consign to Oblivion

Outro: White Waters

 

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