Around 18h a considerably big group of people was outside the Grosse Freiheit. This concert and been sold out for more than a month, so there was a certain expectation about it. Outside there were people trying to sell a few tickets and others a bit more desperately trying to get an entrance opportunity.
The doors open punctually but then something that I was not expecting happened: Angelzoom started playing around 18h15, when I (and probably so many others) thought it would only start at 19h. This issue made me lose at least two or three songs of their performance. Claudia Uhle, ex-"X-perience", presents herself through this new project, chanting calm and dreamlike melodies with her angel-like voice. She was accompanied on stage by a piano player, a violin and a cello, all of them showing great skills. She interpreted "Crawling" (Linkin Parks cover), "Into My Arms" and then "Fairyland", her first single, all from the debut album. Uhle demonstrated how many years of experience can help bringing an immaculate vocal performance, with no voice recordings on the back. During the songs the crowd seem to have no reaction, but they ended up applauding and showing that the concert had pleased them. By 18h45, after an instrumental highlight, they were leaving the stage.
The stage was cleared up and then the audience had to wait a bit, for the lights only went out again at 19h30 for Apocalyptica. After an intro, the opening song was "Path", followed up by the classic "Master of Puppets" and then "Somewhere Around Nothing". The drummer, Mikko Siren, was already showing some of his talent. During a small pause Eicca Toppinen greets the vibrating audience and states that Perttu Kivilaakso was sick (the reason why he couldnt be present), but that still he didnt want to cancel the show. I think everyone was thankful for his decision. The show went on with "Fight Fire With Fire", the beautiful "Faraway", "Quutamo", "Heat" and "Distraction", mixing covers with material from both new and older albums. The elements had such a great chemistry on stage!
After this, it was time for one of the definitive highlights with the song "Betrayal/Forgiveness". This song was originally recorded with Dave Lombardo and it has a really good and complex drumming performance. Eicca as a good entertainer questioned the audience if Mikko would be able to fulfil and manage such an exquisite deed. And, of course, he was, giving an extraordinary moment and demonstration of talent. Mikko left the stage for one song (probably to take a breath) and the cello players went on with "Unforgiven", "Life Burns!", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Prologue (Apprehension)" and "Fisheye". Then it was the moment for the first single "Bittersweet" of their self-titled work. Eicca, one more time with his good humour, present this song as (quoting) "the duet with the two gay boys" – another highlight. To end the first part of the concert they interpreted "Seek & Destroy" (one of the many Metallica covers they performed) and "Inquisition Symphony". They left the stage at 20h50 and Mikko was in charge of the last notes.
The crowd started calling for an encore and the band didnt take long to come back. Also the first to come back, Mikko strikes the drums and introduces the major hit (for both Metallica and Apocalyptica) "Enter Sandman". Eicca comes on stage with a blue cello and the guys were now standing and calling for the audience even more effusively. To end this great set, the melody played was "Hall of the Moutain King" originally composed by Norwegian Edward Grieg. These finish guys really know how to do their job, whether is it a classic or a heavy metal piece. After another huge highlight with great communication and symbiosis between the artists and the spectators, they leave the stage around 21h, not before formally saying goodbye and bowing. The song "Epilogue" could be heard behind during these last moments.
A great night of concerts that ended a bit earlier than normal.