Porto, April 22nd, Sunday… Not the best day for a metal show, but if you are a true fan, the day of the week doesn’t really matter.
With a tolerable weather and after dining the traditional Francesinha (a must-eat in Porto), it was time to run off to the new Hard Club and enjoy an enchanting night of 3 concerts by quality female-fronted bands… For a change, the shows didn’t start late in the evening, which was very good, especially for people traveling from distant cities, so some time after 8PM, the first band entered the stage.
Coming from Bielefeld in Germany, fronted by the lovely and always smiling Manuela Kraller (ex-Haggard), XANDRIA started their performance with “Valentine”, the first single from the new album “Neverworld’s End”, followed by “Blood On My Hands”. Having good stage sound, Manuela didn’t find any difficulties on getting the attention of the audience, very communicative, and always encouraging their fans to sing along and have fun. Focusing 80% of the show on the new album, they quickly jumped to the songs “Euphoria” and “Forevermore” also from their latest studio release, the first one featuring Manuela, who possesses a vocal style that can remind us of Tarja Turunen, but always with her own mark above all. Coming close to the end, it was time for “The Lost Elysion”, with the whole band showing good musical cohesion within. Before saying goodbye, a few tendering words from Manuela made everyone feel like they should return soon, with more time to play, and not as an opening act. The band finished their performance with the title song of their second album “Ravenheart”. Overall, a good show, energetic with no major flaws.
A few minutes later, it was time for the first Dutch band of the bill: STREAM OF PASSION, who were no strangers to the crowd. Well received by the fans, the first chords of “Lost” could be heard while Marcela was greeting the audience. Moving on to “Passion” followed by “Collide”, another song from their latest studio effort “Darker Days”. Just like Manuela from Xandria, Marcela was also very communicative, introducing the next song “Darker Days”, with “Haunted” coming right afterwards. All the band members seemed comfortable onstage, putting up a good show, having only one problem. During one track, one of guitars simply died, and there wasn’t much that Eric Hazebroek could do to get it to work, so the band had to finish their performance with only one guitar, but Marcela’s violin playing and Martijn’s drum work could easily draw our attention away from the fact that one of the guitars was missing. The band also played “In The End”, the single from the band’s second album “The Flame Within”. Coming to the end, the band performed “Street Spirit” a Radiohead cover and “This Endless Night” to finish a good concert.
After Xandria and Stream Of Passion, the audience was already on fire, waiting for EPICA. One by one, each band member entered the stage, receiving a round of applause and screaming. The show started just like their latest album “Requiem For The Indifferent”… with the intro “Karma” followed by “Monopoly on Truth”, where Simone finally shows up and makes the crowd scream as loud as they could. With her charming ways and incredible vocal skills, Simone draws a lot of attention. Going back in time for the song “Sensorium” and then returning to the new album for the tracks “Deter The Tyrant” and “Serenade of Self-Destruction”. Simone announces it is time to go back to “The Divine Conspiracy” album for the song “Sancta Terra”, and then “Blank Infinity” from “Consign to Oblivion”. Epica was the most intense band on that night in every way, Mark and Simone talked a lot with the fans during the show. While “Unleashed” pays a visit to the “Design Your Universe” record, quickly it was time to say goodbye.
In the end, a terrific night with three competent bands, which performed well and let the fans satisfied.
Thanks to Prime Artists.