Well, it's a good thing the Muse bought my line about "No, really, seeing Epica is important research." That show was fucking incredible. I'll have pics up when I get 'em, but for now, let me just say: Simone Simons is the single most amazing woman in metal. If you ever wonder, listening to her vocals on the albums, if she's really that good - she is. Dear gods, she is.
There were brilliant moments in the show that reminded me why watching bands live is so much fun. Simone making a heart with her hands before one song. Getting the audience to sing. Synchronizing headbangs with the keyboardist. And she does this floaty thing with her hair that's indescribable, but it's spectacular.
I got to see that red hair up close and personal in the bathroom. Alas, I was just a second too late to catch her attention, but there she was. And there's a quality to a person like her that tells you immediately that this is not an ordinary woman walking through. Something just a little ethereal. She's really nice, mind you, it's not arrogance, but just that magic that comes from having spectacular talent.
Mark Jansen, the man who does the death grunts, is also muy excellente in person. Those of you who know your death grunts know that there's a difference between those who just growl and those who sing. He sings. And I swear, it sounds even better live. He's outstanding.
Fuck, they're all outstanding. Not one among them is a merely good talent. They're all absolute masters of their craft. And they put on a hell of an amazing show. They do things to the Darth Vader theme that would astound you. I hope I find a recording someday, because that metal rendition of that theme was just beyond awesome.
I do, I do want to take the entire band home with me. I'd happily spend the rest of my life with each and every one. They'd have to share the place with the Peacemakers, of course.
Blackguard opened. I hadn't been excited about them - wasn't in a death metal mood - but let me just say this: what Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers are to southwestern rock, Blackguard is to death metal. They have the same energy and excitement on stage, the same appreciation for their fans, the same joy in getting everybody together for a hell of a show. I fell in love with them, too. I'll be seeing them again one of these times they swing through.
That's about it for news from here, my darlings. The Muse once again kicked me out of bed bright and early, and when I asked if I could possibly have a look at The Washington Monthly at least, cracked the whip and screamed, "NEIN!" So I spent the four and a half hours before folks came over for the show writing my heart out. Ten pages, no less. Ten rather dialogue-heavy pages (which is why I got nearly as many written in four hours as I did in fifteen the other day), but ten nonetheless.
Home from the show, I fixed the CD drive on the computer, which had suddenly decided to go invisible, and got me new CD copied in. It's a project called Sons of Seasons, and it's got folks from Epica, Kamelot, and Metalium on it. That's something I shall be greatly enjoying tomorrow evening, once my hearing's back to nearly normal. Now, it's off to obey the Muse for another hour or so before bed. And tomorrow, aside from posting Epica pics if I get them, you probably won't hear from me, because she's threatening another fifteen hour day.
I promise I'll beat up some politicians for you by Wednesday.
In the meantime, if you get the chance to see Epica, don't miss it.