Support Act: Stormborn
Review by Yiannis (John) Stefanis
Photos by Yiannis (John) Stefanis
Planning a gig in London during the Football World Cup in full swing is equivalent to commercial suicide for most bands but the fact that it’s been a good ten years since Angra last performed a show on UK soil was always going to guarantee a decent turn out of fans for the Progressive/Power Metal combo.
The venue set for the celebration of the band’s 30th anniversary was the dark Underworld in Camden – much smaller and less glamorous in comparison to the now defunct Astoria where the Brazilians last performed their craft in front of their loyal English fans. Still, it was many fans that decided to make their way towards the north London venue instead of positioning themselves in front of their TV sets – a fact that was not lost on the band.
London is a fairly unbearable place to be on a hot day so my decision to skip the performance of Stormborn, the opening act of the day, was not based on conviction but rather necessity. With Angra’s performance set for 21:00 sharp, I came in only ten or so prior to the band storming its miniscule stage – enough to help me get a good position in the photo pit and prepare my camera for action.
Following the departure of Eduardo Falaschi, it was Rhapsody/Rhapsody Of Fire (note: you choose!) front man Fabio Lione who decided to take over vocal duties for the band – a decision that raised a few eyebrows, mine included.
Don’t get me wrong: I really like Fabio’s voice – it’s just that I was not quite convinced that he would be the right man for Angra. Well, all doubts I had about the logic behind this musical alliance were dashed the moment the Pisa-born singer started performing the first few notes of “Angels Cry” – one of the band’s may classics to be performed that night.
While the engineer on duty was still providing us with a sound that was way below par for this occasion, the band performed a killer rendition of “Nothing To Say” with the guitar duet of Rafael Bittencourt/Kiko Loureiro showing off their great skills in the follow-up “Waiting Silence”. “Time” met a war-like reaction by the crowd, but it was my personal favorite “Lisbon” that got many people, myself included, singing along to its beautiful vocal lines.
One of the most inspiring moments of the main set, however was when Rafael Bittencourt decided to take over vocal duties for “The Voice Commanding You”, providing us with a pretty enjoyable performance in the process.
The band’s departure from the stage lasted only a couple of minutes as a strict 10:20 curfew had to be observed and “Spread Your Fire” was the first song featured in their short but pretty enjoyable encore.
Thanking us once again for our warm welcome, Fabio introduced in “Rebirth” what he described as the ‘best Angra song ever’ while an inspiring medley of “Carry On” and “Nova Era” provided a fitting ending to this short but fairly enjoyable show.
When it comes to celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of a band as popular and influential as Angra, I can think of many London venues that would be more appropriate than the Underworld – still, nothing seemed to be able to stop the Brazilian quintet from providing us a quality show on the night.
Now that the communication lines between the band and its UK fans have been re-established, one can only hope that it will not be long before Angra return to London and perform a longer show.
Happy birthday Angra – long may you continue to reign!
Angra Set List:
Intro/Angels Cry/Nothing To Say/ Waiting Silence/ Time/ Lisbon/ (people sing along) Millennium Sun/Winds Of Destination/ Gentle Change/ The Voice Commanding You/
Encore: Intro/Spread Your Fire/Rebirth/ (singer: the best Angra Song)Intro /Carry On/Nova Era/ (crowd goes mad)
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