Like many other fans of live music around the world, during the various lockdown periods, I tried to satisfy my craving for live music by watching various streamed performances by many artists that I like. Dutch symphonic Metallers Epica are one of my favourite live acts, and I wasn’t surprised when they revealed plans for an ambitious ticketed live broadcast.
Epica – Omega Alive (Nuclear Blast)
Release Date: 3 December 2021
Words: Ian Sutherland
I knew they’d come up with something special-the clue is in the name after all!
Taking the approach of filming live performances in a large studio with a succession of visual additions, making the show a series of individual songs with a physical stage show to enhance the viewing experience was a bold step, but I think it really works.
My impression of the actual stream can be found in my review from the time.
A few months later, watching the show again just reaffirmed all those strengths for me. The show is beautifully filmed, really high-quality images abound, and the stage show around the band fits the mood of the songs perfectly.
Despite the sterility of the no audience setting, the band members performance is not stiff in any way. All six musicians here are genuine performers, and you can tell that they were glad to get on a stage again and are unconcerned by any limitations.
Add in a mouth-watering setlist for long time fans of the band, and you have a perfect package. “What we wanted to do was the ultimate Epica show,” the band said, “where we could fulfil every dream we ever had, where there was room for all the ideas, effects and props that are just too big to be taken on tour.”
Now there are a huge variety of packages to choose from, from Blu-ray and DVD to vinyl and cd. I’d certainly recommend getting a version with a separate audio element, as this sounds absolutely mind-blowing, and I’m looking forward to playing these versions of the songs regularly outside of watching the full event.
I thought this was the best live show I watched online through the pandemic, and I still think it is now. I’m really pleased I can have it to watch for posterity.
I can’t wait for the tour, though.