If you were active around Facebook a couple of years ago, chances are you noticed a few pages that were confident in asking certain bands the far from fetched request: Come play a show in Lebanon… One of these pages happens to be We want EPICA in Lebanon!
“For years we have been getting mails from fans from Lebanon “When is Epica going to be here?”, and now they are finally here” – Simone Simons, live in Byblos Festival.
The show was dead on time; opened by Blaakyum at exactly 8:30 PM. The band’s appearance greeted the attendees’ enthusiasm with “Cease Fire” As the title suggests, the song is a call for peace, that which our neighbors in the Arab world tremble without today.
“I want to take a minute of silence for the lives of the people in Gaza, and for the innocent people in the Arab world today”, announced Bassem Deaibess before the arena shared their empathy in silence!
Lord of the Night
Rip It Off
The Last Stand
The sound system may have accommodated for Blaakyum but it did not compliment their style in distinction. No hindrance, fans proved to be very interactive with the band most notably from the fact that they accepted a mosh-pit invitation and attempted to keep it going despite the interruptions (only a part of The Last Stand was played, and it served to conduct this exact mosh-pit).
Note how the distinct selection of tracks in this playlist (excluding Cease Fire) forms a tribute to our Metal and our land. It is indeed a dignified manner of greeting Epica into Byblos.
Afterwards was a 26 minute break of playback music. It was concluded with Originem, arousing fans to cheer: “EPICA, EPICA!”, and voilà: they appear!
The stage was surely certain to make it the experience one would never forget. With every drum bass beat, with every bass guitar pick, there was a power that held every seated person’s chair and every standing person’s ground vibrant. There was also power in Mark’s growls that made out every word clearly, and in Simone’s voice that could awaken the ancient sirens in the sea. Then came the guitar solo, that one solo sticks out and heightens the admiration of the whole song, that’s The Second Stone!
They proceeded to demonstrate Victims of Contingency from the new album, allowing everyone to explore The Quantum Enigma. If you ask me, I’d say the rumors are valid; It goes to depths heavier than their earlier albums and orchestrated heights as that which they’re infamous for. That did not excuse us from the earlier tracks that we love either.
The Second Stone
The Essence of Silence
Victims of Contingency
Storm the Sorrow
Kingdom of Heaven
The Obsessive Devotion
The Phantom Agony
What if, after long years of waiting Epica to come to Lebanon, they don’t play “Cry For The Moon”? Well fans didn’t settle for it either and that’s the beauty of encore!
Cry for the Moon
Cry For The Moon was not only played, but also extended and concluded with an inhumanly beast drum solo, one that won Ariën a lot of positive feedback during and after the show. It is a great thing that Epica proved to be very understanding of the audience’s thirst for Metal, twice!
Consign to Oblivion
And thus it was concluded sometime around 11:30. A gesture for peace, a tribute for Metal, an appraisal for Byblos, and a figure of unity!
Disclaimer: I do not mean to causally correlate the Facebook page “We want EPICA in Lebanon” with the arrival of the band. The organizers and respective authorities responsible take full credit for their deeds.