After a long time, I’m here to write a review, or better, share my emotions with my dear readers. By now, everybody knows that I’ve relocated in The Netherlands more than 2 years ago and although this nation looks small, it is full of opportunities in terms of free time and entertainment. Thanks to the extensive and comprehensive network of poppodia (yeah, it’s the Dutch word for concert venues) across The Netherlands, the country managed to offer a competitive and wide choice of musical events without displeasing anybody. And this is the case. On March 9, I was able to attend to one of the best Kamelot shows that I have ever been to in the last period (if we exclude the special gig in Tilburg for the DVD recording in September). The symphonic metal veterans did not disappoint at all. But first things first, during this European second leg in support of their last masterpiece “Shadow Empire”, they were accompanied by some special guest stars: the Austrian symphonic power metal band Visions of Atlantis and Swedish progressive metal master Evergrey. According the official poster, this gig in Amsterdam at the Melkweg was the second one in the Netherlands and the whole crew came straight away from a successful gig in Nijmegen at the Doornroosje. Personally speaking, I was quite curious to experience Visions of Atlantis because my appreciation for the band during the years has literally increased. The recent lineup changes only confirmed my positive suspicions – the new singer Michele Guaitoli (former Overtures and now singing in both Italy’s Temperance and Kaledon) helped revive and reinvigorate the band’s spirit in their performances. There is a palpable connection between the entire band and him, especially when he interacts on stage with Clementine Delauney. It looked like that the band itself was need of a radical change for reborn from the ashes. Naturally, their short set was entirely centered on their latest release “The Deep & The Dark” with the exception of “New Dawn”, that was released on their previous album “Delta”. A quick mention has to be dedicated to their newest live album CD “The Deep & The Dark Live @ Symphonic Metal Nights” which simply states the grandeur of this band. Despite their curtailed set, which concluded with the band’s classic “Return to Lemuria”, the band promised to be back soon and on support of what I have mentioned before, Visions of Atlantis will be back in Haarlem and Arnhem in May as opener for MaYan’s exclusive classic shows (sorry people, no spoilers, if you attended Eindhoven, you know what I’m referring to) dus tot ziens naar Haarlem! Provided that, the strategy that Swedish progressive metallers Evergrey adopted is to propose a more variegated setlist, which, yes, maintained their focal point of their latest mind-blowing release “The Atlantic” out via AFM Records but indeed, it proposed something much older too like “A Touch of Blessing” taken out 2004’s “The Inner Circle”. I have to sincerely admit that it is not my first live experience with this great band and during this occasion, I’ve completely re-evaluated my opinion about their music. Maturity brings always an authentic turn upside down in your order of idea however, right now, you will not believe me but I had the goosebumps the whole time. The atmosphere that they can create it is something crepuscular and at the same time so obscure that it made me feel emotional. Of course, it is due to with the music and nothing else. Bravo! Aside from this exceptional and great openers, everybody is waiting for Kamelot.
By now, I’m really entitled to be part of the Kam Nation: this is my fourth concert and my second one in The Netherlands in a really short time span, if I take into account September 2018 in Tilburg for their DVD recording. I’m still positively abashed by the fans reception’ here. They are treated as superstars (not in the strict meaning of this word) and their fan base is growing day by day. I cannot rely on a clear and substantial information (which it will be my duty to verify this) about the Amsterdam’s gig but I would like to advance the hypothesis of sold-out show which is not a recent news (fortunately for us Dutch fans). As disclosed before this Kamelot tour is extensively concentrating on their 2018’s epic full-length “The Shadow
Theory”. As Kamelot’s tradition, in every European and continental tour, due to the nature of their comprehensive shows and set lists, they are helped out by a female guest singer. In this case, Once Human singer Lauren Hart provided her vocals and graced us with her intense and magnetic stage persona during “Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)”, “ Amnesiac” and “Liar Liar“. Also, it is worth mentioning her valid contribution for “March of Mephisto” and “Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)” which in addition saw the participation of VoA’s singer Clementine Delauney. I still remember the audience’s reaction when Thomas Youngblood began to play the first note of “When the Lights Are Down” and even myself, I wasn’t able to contain and subsequently, I joined the fans in a choir that most of the time dominated over Tommy Karevik’s vocals. I can recall nevertheless at a certain point Tommy saying that we are really loud and getting a bit emotional for all the love and affection we showed. Unfortunally, all the nice journey and dreams must always come down to an end and an oldie like “Forever” reminds us that the concert is reaching at its natural conclusion. As stated before, this was my fourth concert and if I might say the truth, I cannot get enough for their music and their energy on stage. I’m so looking forward the next album, tour and gig!