Report: Blackbriar, Mayan and Epica – Metropool Open Air

Hertme – 29th of June 2019

Let me share a recipe with you. Take a small town on a beautiful day, a cool open air theater stage and a couple of symphonic metal bands. Toss this all together and what you get is an evening filled with something awesome.

According to the internet, Hertme has 525 citizens. Thanks to this “festival” is was doubled to say the least. I will give credit when it’s due and it must be said that everything around the fest was well organized. Cars were led to a parking spot, there was something to eat near the entrance and the stage looked great. It reminded me a bit of MetalFest Loreley, which is set at an amphitheater, yet much smaller.

Sadly, we could not make it in time to see Blackbriar, but for whoever missed them, you can see them again soon, also as an opener for Epica. Last time I saw MaYaN was at Leeuwarden, where they played a longer setlist than usual, also containing old songs from other bands the band members played in. This time, logically, it was only MaYaN songs. After only three songs we were in for a shock, as Laura announced that this would be the last song. Thankfully, she was only joking.

What I particularly liked, aside form the music which was well performed and tight, is how the band members interact with each other. There is nothing but fun, smiles and jokes on stage, mixed with interacting with the crowd. At one point, Marcella let Merel sing along which led to quite some amusement between the two of them. The crowd kept cheering the band on and it’s clear that the newer songs are a bit more complex than the older ones. Especially “Rebirth From Despair” and “The Flaming Rage of God” seemed to be crowd favorites.

Tonight meant a double shift for Mark and Ariën, who play in both MaYaN and Epica. So after a short break between bands, it was back to work for them. And what a show Epica gave. Right from the beginning, the setlist was filled with highlights, starting with the instrumental intro “Adyta”, followed by “Sensorium”. This beginning gave me goosebumps and the setlist didn’t disappoint after that.

For a change, the band didn’t bring a backdrop, yet this was definitely not missed with the beautiful stage where the band performed. With the setting sun, the beams of light were visible through the trees, which created a magical atmosphere. During the whole show, same as with MaYaN, the band interacted with each other. It was particularly fun to see Coen on his keyboard which could slide from side to side on the stage.

With songs both old and new, Epica knew how to entertain all types of fans. Songs like “Unleashed”, “Martyr of the Free World”, “Beyond the Matrix” and “Cry for the Moon”, they gave us a big variety in songs. And this was before the encore. The encore contained surprises like “Seif al Din” which I havent seen live in quite some time.

Epica made sure to give an exciting show. If it wasn’t warm enough, the pyros on stage made it even hotter, without distracting too much. Lighting on stage was really good, and so was the sound. As always, it’s always a party when Epica performs and the crowd also showed their appreciation with a big wall of death at the end of the show.

If you can’t get enough of Epica, they will be back on tour soon. This time to celebrate the tenth anniversary of “Design Your Universe” with some special shows. The shows in Paris and Utrecht have already been sold out.
Setlist Mayan
setlist Epica