Get On This:

Avantasia – Forum, London – 8th March 2016

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Tonight’s gig was the first full Avantasia gig in the UK.  It’s hard to believe it’s taken so long – the band have been going for 15 years and recently released their seventh album, but apart from a set at Bloodstock festival a couple of years ago they haven’t played the UK before, so it comes as no surprise that there’s a good turnout tonight with fans coming from all over the UK.  With no support act and a promised three hour set from Avantasia it’s fair to say expectations were high.

One benefit of having no support act was plain to see – they were able to build an impressive stage set complete with raised platforms and a staircase, with plenty of room for everyone.  While most bands have a single vocalist, or might stretch to two or at a pinch, three, with Avantasia, you get that many in the first song alone.  I’ll probably miss one from the list, but on this tour you have Tobias Sammet, Amanda Somerville, Bob Catley, Eric Martin, Michael Kiske, Jørn Lande, Herbie Langhans, Oliver Hartmann and Ronnie Atkins.  That’s an impressive lineup of vocalists, and means that as is the case with the albums, different singers can do lead vocals for different songs which really does make things just seem so impressive.  They’re singing alongside a great band too, and the result of the band, singers and stage set is an epic night.

The show kicks off with “Mystery of a blood red rose”, taken from the new album *Ghostlights).  It’s an epic song that has to be the best Meatloaf song that Meatloaf hasn’t done – it really would suit his voice perfectly, but Tobias Sammet does a superb job with it.  From then on the set is three hours of power metal heaven.  All the singers are stars in their own right, but when you have the likes of Michael Kiske duetting with Tobias Sammet amongst others then it really is quite amazing.  The time flew past with the end coming far too quickly – it really didn’t feel like almost three hours when they ended the set with “Dying for an angel”.  With “Lost in space” not having been played then it was an obvious choice for the encore, and indeed that’s what we got.  To end the night we had all the singers on stage for the last song.  A fantastic end to a truly superb night of music.

Setlist:

Mystery of a Blood Red Rose
Ghostlights
Invoke the Machine
Unchain the Light
A Restless Heart and Obsidian Skies
The Great Mystery
The Scarecrow
Lucifer
The Watchmakers’ Dream
What’s Left of Me
The Wicked Symphony
Draconian Love
Farewell
Stargazers
Shelter from the Rain
The Story Ain’t Over
Let the Storm Descend Upon You
Promised Land
Prelude
Reach Out for the Light
Avantasia
Twisted Mind
Dying for an Angel

Encore:
Lost in Space
Sign of the Cross / The Seven Angels

Ant May
I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.