SEPTEMBER 24th 2014
Review By: Rita Tupper
Photos By: Char Tupper

Well the lineup tonight outside the Venue is a little longer than normal, so that’s a great sign, shows Vancouverites are supporting.

Got inside, found my usual safe spot, which turns out I really didn’t need to, I forgot that this wasn’t a metal show. That meant I could really enjoy without looking over my shoulders for a fist in the head, or being shoved from behind. Much more enjoyable.

First up tonight, XANDRIA ( ), and if you are a fan, you will have noticed that Steven Wussow was not amongst the band tonight due to private reasons beyond his control, but they did find a superb replacement in Fabio d'Amore (Serenity/Pathosray). This band originates out of Bielefeld, Germany, and I am actually a little embarrassed to say, I have never listened to them, but I will tell you this right now…THEY STOLE THE SHOW. Really, an all around amazing set of songs, interaction with the crowd, their music I would describe as elements of symphonic metal with light electronic elements, making it a really unique sound. Everything just flowed together so well, all the instruments creating something magical. The vocals just put the icing on the cake, there is nothing better than having a female fronted band when she can sing with such flourish. After the whole show, there were many that said this band was the highlight of the night.  I for one, could have listened to Xandria all night, guess that means I need to acquire some CD’s to enjoy more often. If you get the chance, this is the band you need to check out. UNGLAUBLICH (incredible) .  

Next up tonight is DELAIN (  ), they are a Dutch symphonic metal band, and they came a long way to win you over with their music.  Definitely symphonic, but you can also hear a small bit of rock,  all adding to their style. Looking around the room, the floor was filled, and no moshing, but wait, there was some crowd surfing going on, which surprised me. It’s really not the kind of music that you would do that to, it’s more of a stand, jump, hands high, just full out enjoying kind of music. They played an excellent set as well, with lots of energy.

Next is the headliner, and it’s their first full North American tour since 2010. We all know who it is … SONATA ARCTICA ( ). You want some power metal, that’s exactly what you got, with a touch of symphonic and a hint of progressive at times. I did see them back in 2010, but it was great to see them play live again. By the looks of the crowd, I would say many were appreciating what they were listening to. Their music is a feel good injection, its catchy, it rhythmic and what a way to end the night. You hear the Finnish in this band, yes, there is a Finnish style, and it’s really the one that you want to grab the person next to you and just have a blast. They played a variety of songs, and just when you thought they had finished, they came back for a couple more.  

I really enjoyed the fact that both Xandria and Delain, stayed out in the front where merch was and signed, took photos until everyone that was there, got what they came for. That in itself makes them a cut above, it’s not often that bands stick around anymore for the fans. When they do, it gives a fan that much more of a memory to take home with them. Yes, I even got a photo too.

This really was an amazing lineup , I enjoyed all three bands, some more than others, but still entertained by all three. It was also really nice to see Vancouverites out supporting the entire lineup of bands, a nice change from the normal.