On a lovely Tuesday afternoon we drove 4 hours to London for a gig for the first time ever. This happened to be Avantasia’s only UK date and I was not one bit disappointed. The venue (the O2 Forum) was lovely, only a small place but plenty of space for those attending and been sat in the balcony, we had a great view.
From the moment the theatricals started before the curtain came up with a piece by Beethoven, they had the crowd in the palms of their hands! Chants, singing, applause and that was just the off, what I loved most about the whole thing is how theatrical the whole performance was. I love theatre and the combination of an almost pantomime approach to the audience combined with the music was just absolutely awesome!
Playing a mixture of old and new with all the guest stars getting their moment on the stage. They were joined by Bob Catley (Magnum) , Geoff Tate (Queensryche), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) , Eric Martin (Mr Big) & Jorn Lande (Masterplan).
I expected them to just playout the new album and throw in the classics, what we got was a mixture of both, with no idea of what they would play. The opening track was Ghost of the Moon which is a genius song and one of my favourites and they had me hooked into the enjoyment of the show straight away.
Surprisingly there was 4 tracks from the album ‘The Scarecrow’ which happened to be the only one I don’t have, however I found myself singing along to it in any event getting carried away with the rest of the audience. Others included the epic 13 minutes of ‘Let the Storm Descend Upon You’ played 2 hours into the show, the classic ‘Avantasia’, 'Reach Out for the Light' , 'Dying for an Angel' and many more with the new tracks mixed in mostly in the first hour. To finish the set was an outstanding encore featuring one of their most popular tracks ‘The Story Ain’t Over’ which had them all on stage together, each playing their own part, it is hard to put into words how great it was!
The element of surprise and the banter with the audience was just brilliant. At one point, Tobias was calling the standing crowd ‘the kids’ and the balcony ‘the parents’ - it was one of my favourite comedic moments and there were many of them throughout the set.
This is hands down the best gig I’ve ever been to, the atmosphere was electric, the band were nothing short of awesome and their wizard of a drummer was playing for 3 hours straight like a man possessed! Those three hours passed by so fast, great job Avantasia!