Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2023

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Epica joined forces with Apocalyptica for an Epic Apocalypse tour of Europe, and one dark January night, they stopped by Denmark to play for a nearly sold out Amager Bio.
Things were about to heat up this winter month…

“Copenhagen, we are so happy to be back here! It’s been a couple of years, so let’s have fun! Moshpit! Circle pit!”
- Simone Simons (vocals)

Epica was the first of the two to hit the stage, after their joint support band Wheel was finished, and they let an adventurous and symphonic intro lead into their show. The intro was of course Alpha - Anteludium from their latest full length album, and not surprisingly, it led straight into Abyss Of Time - Countdown To Singularity.
The stage decorations were sparse, but they had their signature mic stands out, and both the back wall and the step up to the podium was an LED screen which the band used to great effect during the show, putting on all sorts of imagery fitting to the music. To be honest, I thought Epica utilised this specific feature best of all this evening, and it lent the show a nice extra push in the visual department.

Musically, the band had it going as well. Admittedly, they’re not in a genre that’s high on my list, but they had a well constructed set which led them out in many varied directions, and kept the show interesting and brisk. Stand out tracks for me were the heavy The Skeleton Key, and the more oriental flavoured Code Of Life.
What is music without performance though, you might ask. To this I can only say that Epica was lit. The performance of all was on point, but I was especially impressed with guitarist Isaac Delahaye, who managed to be both super cool and have a great sense of humour, and keyboardist Coen Janssen, who apparently took a note of my previous review of the band, and not only had his big keyboard made mobile, but also occasionally changing it up with a smaller, arched keyboard that he could carry around, freeing him up to join the fun at the front of the stage. Great idea, more of this, please!

“Copenhagen, do you want to hear more?! (yeah!) Careful what you wish for…”
- Simons (vocals)

Epica was also great at engaging the crowd. Yes, judging from the apparel, they had a lot of fans here tonight, and it didn’t take much effort to get the people engaged. From the start there was singing, and people happily supported the music with rhythmic applause when called for to do so. The aforementioned mosh- and circle pit didn’t make an instant appearance, maybe not really the music for it, but they did come eventually, and the band even managed to start a wall of death towards the end of the gig.
An even bigger hit than this though, was the karaoke moment (their words) in Cry For The Moon, and they also managed a very beautiful image with all the mobile phone lights out for Rivers.
Speaking of mobile phones, one lucky frontrower had their mobile picked up by Janssen, and he spent some time filming himself and Delahaye goofing off while they were playing - that’s great fan service right there.

Still not a devotee of their musical output, I will have to hand it to Epica - this was the most enjoyable show of theirs I have ever attended. Everything was as it should be - setlist, performance, sound (which frankly have been horrible at every other show I’ve seen so far), and visuals. Great job.
The only thing I miss, and this is solely going on subsequent internet research, is that they didn’t have Apocalyptica guest Rivers, as they apparently have had at other shows. Missed opportunity there.


Alpha - Anteludium
Abyss Of Time - Countdown To Singularity
The Essence Of Silence
Victims Of Contingency
The Final Lullaby
Fools Of Damnation
The Skeleton Key
Code Of Life
Cry For The Moon
Beyond The Matrix
Consign To Oblivion

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