Friday the 13th: What can go wrong at a ReVamp/Epica concert?

This past Friday was Friday the 13th and the other half and I had tickets down in Heerlen to see ReVamp, which is Floor Jansen’s band, and Epica.  What could possibly go wrong?!

Well, the trip was 2.5 hours since it’s literally at the edge of the earth (or at least it felt like it).  Heerlen is a city in the Limburg area of the Netherlands and it’s literally the last city on the map before crossing into German territory.  It was dark so I didn’t get to see much of the landscape, which is beautiful, but we did drive through an impressively massive industrial park.  I’m happy to say nothing went wrong during the trip.  However, I can’t say that during the concert itself.

First up was ReVamp.  Several months ago, Floor went on sick leave due to burnout.  Unlike in America, burnout is recognized as a real illness in the Netherlands and people can rest and recoup when they’re diagnosed with this.  Unlike in the states where you either have to go on unpaid leave, use vacation time, or get fired.  Gotta love ‘at will’ work.  But anyways, Floor has been down and out so January12th was actually her first show back.

I saw Floor perform at the MaYaN record release show, and I’ve got to say, after seeing her with ReVamp, she has the total package for a female metal singer.  She’s tall, beautiful, has a great voice, and she can even do a little grunting.  Nothing like Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy though.  I did record a few songs from ReVamp’s set, but it got erased.

Why was it erased? Because about 3 minutes into Epica’s opening song I had security grabbing my wrist and hauling me out into the hallway.  I was told I had to erase the SD card and turn in my camera because Epica’s tour management requested that no recordings are to be taken during the concert.  I’ll take my blame, I didn’t read the fine print on the ticket to see if recording is allowed, but I did take it for granted since Epica is one of the bands that’s very pro-fans.  They like getting fan photos and videos and often feature them on their site or facebook page.  So I didn’t think anything of it.  Not to mention there were no signs and security didn’t say anything when we entered the concert hall.

After getting my camera taken away, I lost my spot so I had to watch the concert between heads.  That was a bummer.  The downside of being short in a tall person’s country.  Overlooking the camera incident (I’ll get back to that), the concert was ‘ok’.  I’d probably give it a B- compared to the dozens of Epica concerts I’ve been to over the past few years now.  It’s been what, almost a year since Epica last performed due to Mark Jansen going on tour with MaYaN so they were kind of rusty.  Mark, Arien, and Isaac were all working well together though, which isn’t such a surprise as they’ve been performing with each other in MaYaN.

There were three surprises in the Epica set.  The first was during Cry for the Moon.  I won’t tell you too much about it here as someone else managed to record it.

The second was a new song from the upcoming album called ‘Storm the Sorrow.’

The third was something I’d never seen performed before.  My other half said the look of horror and slight disgust on my face was fantastic.  A disco version of the Phantom Agony. o_O I was told that this was a creation of Coen Janssen who’s the band comedian.  I haven’t found a recording of it from Heerlen, but apparently they did the disco version at the MaYaN record release show at the Paradiso in Amsterdam.  I was at that show, and apparently I was so horrified I managed to forget about it.

After the show, we went to pick up my camera and asked some questions.  We were told that Epica’s tour management had requested the no recording.  We also found out I was the only one targeted that evening, my camera was the only one in the cabinet.  Plus, I played “spot the video recorder” and spotted at least 10 people with the cameras that look like smart phones, 2 folks with dSLRs recording and one person with a camera like mine.  To say I was miffed, was an understatement.

The next morning I wrote a letter to Epica’s tour management and CC’d Mark Jansen, just to let them know I thought it was an idiotic thing to do (I thought the no recording thing was going on because of the new song, it was the only thing I could think of).  As a marketing person, I know myself that if you’re not willing for it to show up on the internet, you can’t make it public.  There will be people with a video camera, it will show up on YouTube.  To my surprise, this morning I found an email from tour management apologizing for the incident.

A few hours later, I received an email from Mark Jansen himself apologizing on behalf of Epica.

I’ve got to say, I liked Epica before and always felt they were fan friendly.  Now I really have to respect that fact that they do care about their fans.

So thank you to Mark and Epica for setting things straight.  I look forward to the show at the 013 in Tilburg.

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