On Apocalyptica

In the spirit of catching up, also way back at the end of April, Brandon and I went to a concert … and, once again, a metal show. This time, however, it was a metal show of my choosing.

I discovered Apocalyptica back in college and knew them as the band that covered Metallica with cellos. I then discovered the song “Hope,” which I can still safely say is my favorite song, despite the fact that it’s instrumental. It’s just that amazing.

I saw them live ten years ago, back in September 2005. That show was at the Bluebird. It was small, intimate, sparsely attended … and beautifully powerful. Just four guys with cellos on chairs and simply amazing. I’ve talked about that show to Brandon probably since I’ve known him.

So, when I found out they were back in Denver almost by fluke – thanks Facebook for telling me which friends like the Ogden Theatre and that Apocalyptica is coming to the Ogden! – I told Brandon we had to find a way to go. The day of the show ended up being a super long day – I worked that morning, we got in a workout, we headed down to the Springs to witness a close friend’s civil ceremony (and went out to dinner with them after) … and then drove back up to Denver to the Ogden without even bothering to change.

Apocalyptica’s style has changed slightly over the years. They’ve gone from four cellos down to three and have added some drums and a lot of guest vocalists, but the music is still amazing.

It was a much more crowded show than the first time I saw them, and the nature of the music made it probably one of the most subdued metal shows I’ve been to, but the guys put on a great show (I would argue they’re better showmen now than they were ten years ago) and neither of us regretted the long day.

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Marquee.

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Backdrop with drums.

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Nightwish Concert

I was all set to write a post on a different subject and then realized I totally forgot I hadn’t blogged about this concert yet … probably because it got lost in the house shuffle.

Anyway, way back on April 21 (so two months ago), I went to yet another metal show – Nightwish, with Delain and Sabaton. I’ve known of Nightwish since college – my roommate Amy was a big fan (same deal with Within Temptation) – but that was two (or three?) lead singers ago.

The show was at the Ogden Theatre, the only one of the Colfax venues I haven’t been to. Now that I’ve been to all three, I have to say I prefer the Bluebird over all. We also didn’t have the greatest spot at this show so maybe that led to part of my dislike of the Ogden, but eh.

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Marquee.

Delain I believe was already playing when we finally got inside. I remember them being better than Brandon led me to believe, but that could have been an Insomnium thing where they’re better live than in studio.

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Next act was Sabaton, a Swedish metal band who plays songs based off historical events. Obviously I thought they were awesome. Even if I didn’t like their music however (although I did), I would have been a fan thanks to the lead singer. He noticed a young girl up on the balcony – probably about 12-years-old or so – and started talking with her. He learned that it was her first concert (I think; at least first metal show) and for a memory, tossed her his sunglasses.

I believe metal gets a bad rap a lot of the time thanks to the stigma that all metal bands are devil worshippers and whatnot (okay, I get the Ozzy Osborne thing, but if you actually look at some of Black Sabbath’s lyrics … they were anti-war and politically motivated. Go on. Research “War Pigs/Luke’s Wall” and get back to me.), but I have friends who are wonderful people and also huge metal heads (my friend Jeremy, for one) and have met some of the nicest people at metal shows. As a result, I’m super happy for the lead singer for making the gesture toward a young fan, because it proves that stereotypes aren’t always real.

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As for the Nightwish show, it wasn’t nearly as good as Epica or Within Temptation were. It wasn’t bad, per se, but I got hooked on Nightwish during the Tarja days, and Floor, while awesome, just isn’t Tarja. It’s a different sound (which both Brandon and Jeremy like, by the way), but it doesn’t quite do it for me.

Me being so tired I was half-falling asleep during the show probably didn’t help, either …

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Would I see them again? I don’t think I can answer that question. Sabaton was fantastic and writing this post reminds me I need to look and see if their studio stuff is as good as their live stuff. Nightwish … maybe. If it’s not at the Ogden.

Within Temptation Concert

While I’m a fan of a lot of different types of music, it seems I’m mainly going to metal shows these days. I think I should blame the husband on this one …

Anyway, Within Temptation came to town on September 27 and since they’re one of Brandon’s current favorite bands, he bought us tickets. I’ve known about them since my college days, as my roommate Amy was a fan.

It was a small-ish show – just WT and Amaranthe, which was happy for me as it meant I could get to bed before midnight (lord I’m old). Our friend Jeremy likes Amaranthe a lot, but this was the first I heard them – they’re pretty good.

However, the Within Temptation set blew me away. The few Shinedown shows I’ve seen recently have been amazing, but Sharon and the crew legit brought me to tears a few times during the show. It has been a long, long time since music has moved me that much. If they come back to the states on their next tour, I will 100% go again.

And now, the photos, because really, this wouldn’t be complete without them.

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Marquee at the Gothic. This was the first show I’ve ever been to at the Gothic – wasn’t bad, but I think I prefer the Bluebird.

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Amaranthe.

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Husband in between sets.

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Lead singer Sharon den Adel, before she ditched the jacket.

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Sharon.

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The band. Thought it a tad strange the drummer was behind plexiglass …? Maybe he just gets that sweaty …

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Sharon with these super cool fringed arm sleeves.

Images of Epica

In my quest to get caught up to the (relative) present day, I present to you pictures I took from the last concert I went to … way back in early November (the 7th, I believe?). One of Brandon’s favorite bands, Epica, came to town and he wanted to go. Our friend Mike is also a big Epica fan, so he flew out for it. The three of us (along with our friend Jeremy and his friend Scott, the “heavy metal police”) therefore met up for the show.

The show took place at the Bluebird Theater on Colfax, the Colfax venue I’ve been to the most. Opening acts were System Divide (meh), Insomnium (awesome; their recorded stuff was very disappointing. Much better live) and Alestorm, a pirate metal band that was, for the most part, very fun. We were supposed to also get Destiny Potato for the first act, but either a.) we missed them or b.) they got cut out of this show since it was System Divide’s last on the tour.

In any case, fun times and I got to goth it out a little, which I haven’t been able to do since, geez, early college. Enjoy the pictures!
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Marquee.

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Jeremy, Brandon and I.

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Gothed out.

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Mike.

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Alestorm.

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Mike and Brandon with band founder, Mark Janssen.