It’s release week! The Dutch symphonic metal band Epica released last Friday (3), their third DVD, Omega Alive, in various formats. The show took place on June 12th this year, in Belgium, and it’s considered a masterpiece ever created in the band’s history.
The worldwide streaming event Omega Alive was – and I’m not saying this because I’m a fan – a monumental concert, filled with pyrotechnics and the setlist of my dreams. You can definitely compare this show to a performance made by Cirque du Soleil, one of the biggest circus companies ever created. Produced and directed by Jens de Vos (Panda Productions), Omega Alive brought us a new concept of streaming events. Divided in five acts, Epica tried to explore the most requested songs throughout their career, alongside songs of their newest album, Omega.
Epica: “You and I connected with pure divinity!”
In the first act, named Overtura, they choose to play for the first time two songs from Omega, Alpha + Abyss of Time – Countdown to Singularity and Skeleton Key – my favorite from the latest album -, with a beautiful children’s choir, ending with Simone’s favorite song to play live (according to the legend herself), Unchain Utopia. The addition of the children’s choir was something they have never done in their entire career.
Second act was a little bit more heavy. Named Magnituda, they went back to their third album with The Obsessive Devotion (a big shoutout to Simone’s deliberately falling down at the end of the song) and then took a leap to the greatest The Quantum Enigma, with In All Conscience – they don’t usually play this one at their shows, so for me, it was the cherry on top – and Victims of Contingency. I must say that the rain falling over them at the end of Victims was probably the hype of the entire concert for me. I can say for sure that Rob Van der Loo was phenomenal. He gave 100% the best of him at the time.
Act number three, Elysia, was the longest of the entire show. And I say that because they chose two songs that, combined, resulted in almost half an hour: Kingdom of Heaven – A New Age Dawns, a masterpiece from Design Your Universe and Kingdom of Heaven Part III – the Antediluvian Universe, from Omega. I must say that seeing Coen (pianist and mastermind behind the show’s concept) playing a burning piano was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. That combined with the fact the both songs complement each other, gave the show a theatrical atmosphere.
Moving on to Gravita, act number four, they brought the most beautiful song from Omega, Rivers, but played a Capella. Simone was absolutely stunning! She was singing with a baritone choir and female singers, which gave me goosebumps. I’m pretty sure that this part of the show remains the fan’s favorite. They ended this act with Once Upon a Nightmare, which Simone sang inside a circle of fire. Let’s not forget the amazing duo, Coen Janssen and Isaac Delahaye, giving us the best piano and guitar solo before Once Upon a Nightmare. What an astonishing view!
The last – but not least – act, Alpha & Omega, began with Freedom – The Wolves Within, making it’s live debut, went through their very first song ever released when they were called Sahara Dust back in 2002, Cry for the Moon, went back to The Holographic Principle, with the danceable Beyond the Matrix, and ended for the first time with a different song fans are used to listen, Omega – Sovereign of the Sun Spheres. Mark Jansen and Ariën Van Weesenbeek were absolutely magnificent! The concept behind playing their first song and ending with the last song from their latest album made me feel that the circle was complete. I’m not gonna lie, I remember thinking that this was the end of Epica. Gladly, it was not!
I have to say that they had fun. It was crystal clear to me – and probably to over a million fans from 100 countries that streamed live – that Epica had the time of their lives at this show. They gave it all. Pyro effects, rain, ballerinas and children’s choirs, including both Coen’s children, Cato and Pepijn. The only thing missing was, of course, their beloved Epicans. Even though there was no crowd, every song had something unique added, making the show even more special. It was interesting to see how they managed to bring their craziest dreams to life. It was breathtaking!
For those who want to buy this legendary concert, you can do so by clicking here.