Dutch symphonic metal band Epica announced a four-date North American tour with two of them being exclusive USA shows. The tour was the 10th anniversary of their landmark fourth album, Design Your Universe. On this special tour Epica would be performing most songs from the album, some of which haven’t been played in years. The first stop on the tour was in New York which sold out so it was no surprise to see the Regent in Los Angeles was sold out too. Plenty of fans drove from out of state for this special show. The opening acts for the show were Valkyrium and Nekrogoblikon. By the time Epica was ready to take the stage, the venue was packed to max capacity.
The lights went out and the packed venue cheered in excitement as the intro track Samadhi played over the speakers. The band members came out one by one as they started with the first track from DYU, Resign to Surrender. Founding guitarist/singer Mark Jansen starts the song with his harsh growls before the beautiful Simone Simons jumped in with her angelic mezzo soprano/classical voice and the band was in full effect. Epica has a beautiful symphonic metal sound that is relaxing to listen to. The next song was the song Unleashed which easily one of their best songs and fun to sing along to. Two more songs from DYU were played which were Martyr of the Free Word and Our Destiny. It’s not unusual for Epica to play long songs and the next track Kingdom of Heaven is one of their best songs and a fan-favorite at thirteen and a half minutes long. While there was no moshing or shoving at the show, you don’t need it at an Epica show as their music does all the talking. One of the highlights of the night was when the track Tides of Time was played. It is no doubt one of Epica‘s most beautiful songs. Simons sings most of the song on her own and it’s one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever hear. It was a true gem in the setlist. Up next was another one of their classic songs, The Obsessive Devotion. It was one of their more heavier songs with horns being raised and lots of head banging from fans. Nearing the end of the show, it was time for Epica to bring out the big guns. Up next was another one of their best songs, Cry For the Moon. This song clocks in at almost seven minutes, but it’s a great seven minutes. Another great song to sing along to. To end the show, Epica played the title track Design Your Universe. This song clocks in at nine and a half minutes, but is also a regular song on their setlist as well as a fan favorite. Epica left the stage and all seemed quiet. Fans stayed, cheered, and chanted, “Epica! Epica! Epica!” After a brief break, guitarist Isaac Delahaye came back out to thank the audience then let the audience know that they had no more songs from DYU left to play because they were too lazy to learn more. Instead, they would treat the fans to other songs instead. The fans cheered as the rest of the band came back out. The first encore was Sancta Terra followed by Beyond the Matrix. Before playing the final song, Simons made note that two days after this show, they would be playing the 70,000 tons of metal cruise. For the show’s grand finale, Epica performed Consign to Oblivion. Simons announced that it was time for a wall of death and so the middle of the floor parted ways so there was a big gap. Jansen played the intro of the song and had the audience hold the wall until his countdown. On his count to three, fans crashed into each other for a classic wall of death and continued to perform a circle pit for the duration of the almost ten minute song. The whole performance was beautiful from start to finish and it’s highly encouraged to see Epica live even if you’re not a fan of symphonic metal. They never disappoint!