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Amaranthe and Beyond the Black – 22.10.2022 – Stadthalle Offenbach

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At the end of October, on the 22nd, the doubleheader concert by Amaranthe and Beyond the Black, which had been postponed several times, could finally take place. Due to the various postponements and the resulting scheduling conflicts, the supporting bands were no longer the ones originally announced. Now it was Ad Infinitum, which I was particularly happy about. Even though I could also see them in the Nachtleben in Frankfurt earlier in the year. As second support the Butcher Babies were announced. A band where I actually only knew the two singers Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, but didn’t really know anything else about them. So as you can see, this was a night of strong front women and melodic metal.

Since four bands were playing, things started quite early and punctually at 6 p.m. with Ad Infinitum. Unfortunately only for half an hour, but the band around Melissa Bonny was able to convince again, showed their full skills and Melissa proved once again that she doesn’t have to hide from Alissa or Angela Gossow with her growls, but can easily keep up. Before the concert I was hoping they would play Afterlife, the duet between Melissa and Nils Molin from Amaranthe. It was a good idea and my wish was also fulfilled, they played the song as third and Nils came on stage to loud cheers and a fantastic performance was delivered. After the first three songs being from Chapter II – Legacy, two songs followed, which already showed a preview of the upcoming album. The only track on the setlist from Chapter I – Monarchy, I am the Storm, was replaced for the first time on the tour that night by another from Chapter I, Live Before You Die. A very moving song, which I like a lot, but I am the Storm has a special meaning for me, as it was the very first song that Melissa released and wrote when she presented the Ad Infinitum project at the end of 2018 and I was immediately captivated by it. But back to the performance, it ended with Animals, a hymn that serves very well as a concert conclusion. For me I can say that I am already looking forward to the next opportunity to see the band. A band that doesn’t shy away from being at the merch stand after the concert to be there for the fans, to be ready for photos and to let the pens heat up to write autographs. Which was also the case this time, except for Niklas, who, in addition to his drummer job that night, also had the job of guitar technician for Chris Hermsdörfer, as he already does on the tours of Serenity, Chris‘ other band.

Setlist Ad Infinitum:

  1. Intro + Unstoppable
  2. Into The Night
  3. Afterlife
  4. Upside Down
  5. Somewhere Better
  6. Live before you Die
  7. Animals

After about a quarter of an hour of conversion, the Butcher Babies came on stage at quarter to seven and delivered a firework of action and energy. Visibly in a good mood, there was hardly a quiet moment when Heidi or Carla stood around quietly, not even while singing. Carla in particular kept letting her very long hair fly through the air and kept doing jumps that questioned the gravitational pull of the earth. Both of them alternated again and again either with their clear vocals or their screams and thus formed a harmonious unit. I wasn’t hoping for much, but I was pleasantly surprised. If you like Groove Metal and haven’t seen the five live yet, you should definitely not miss this. You can do this in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin in mid-June 2023. Go, it’s worth it. With their 45 minutes of stage time, they shook the Stadthalle in Offenbach.

Setlist Butcher Babies:

  1. Korova
  2. Igniter
  3. Monsters Ball
  4. The Butcher
  5. Gravemaker
  6. Bottom of a Bottle
  7. Yorktown
  8. Sleeping With the Enemy
  9. Best Friend (Saweetie cover)
  10. Magnolia Blvd.

At 8 p.m., the lights went out again and the intro music for the Amaranthe performance played. Anyone who knows me will know that one of my absolute favorite bands has come onto the stage here. Plus the shouter from one of my other favorite bands, The Unguided, namely Richard Sjunnesson. What more could I have wished for in a concert. But enough raving. It started with Fearless, which is also the opening song from the last album Manifest, for which this should actually be the tour in 2020. Suitable with his speed to bring the hall to a boil, which they also managed to do here. It then went straight on with Viral, the first official single from Manifest, which then and now fits the situation in the world like a glove. Also another uptempo number, which is very suitable for singing along. The five are having fun on stage and Richard integrates as if he had always been there. The third track was one of my highlights as it’s my absolute favorite song by the band, Digital World. It was a bit difficult to sing along and resist the urge to bang your head and take photos at the same time. But worked quite well. Hunger then went even further back into Amaranthe‘s past, to the band’s first single and the song that started it all for me. To then jump into the most recent band history with Find Life. A song, I have to admit, which I didn’t like that much when I first heard it, but do more and more the more I hear it. Some songs you just have to listen to more than once to start to comprehend and love them. It then continued with songs from different periods of the band, mostly from Manifest, of course, but each album featured at least one song. After about an hour it was over for the time being, but the band then gave an encore and then ended the show after an hour and 15 minutes. Between That Song and Drop Dead Cynical, I bumped into Richard, I was able to say “hello” and show him The Unguided sweatshirt jacket that I wore especially for the evening, which made him happy.

Setlist Amaranthe:

  1. Intro + Fearless
  2. Viral
  3. Digital World
  4. Hunger
  5. Find Life
  6. Make it Better
  7. Strong
  8. Helix
  9. Maximize
  10. Crystalline
  11. Dynamite
  12. The Nexus
  13. Amaranthine
  14. Call Out My Name
  15. Archangel (Encore)
  16. That Song (Encore)
  17. Drop Dead Cynical (Encore)

The performance of Beyond the Black should also show that the evening was meticulously planned, the intro music played at quarter to ten sharp and it got dark. The band members came on stage one by one and started with Is There Anybody Out There. Jennifer then came on stage, obviously delighted, with the two long light-emitting diodes, which are reminiscent of the video for the song. And the spectacle began. Lots of light show, musicians having fun and the fans even more, and everyone could tell that they were happy that this show and tour could finally take place. The spark immediately jumped from the stage to the fans. With Lost in Forever and Songs of Love and Death, two classics from the somewhat older band history were brought out, which was very well received. Then it was over for us photographers and it was time to enjoy the concert. The next new song came with Reincarnation, to which Jennifer changed clothes and used her mask microphone, which looked very cool. The Hørizøns‘ first song was Human, followed directly by Dancing in the Dark, which had not yet been released at the time. For this purpose, the big drum known from the video was brought onto the stage, on which Jennifer then also played. Great song that was very well received. Followed by Heart of the Hurricane, came the next new song with Winter is Coming. Those who were looking forward to more songs by the Hørizøns were a bit disappointed because later, but not worse, material was played. But this did not detract from the mood. As an encore, there was Wounded Healer, where I was certainly not the only one hoping that Elize Ryd would take the stage again, but unfortunately this was not possible for Elize‘s health reasons. Hallelujah was the worthy conclusion of the evening. An evening that had (almost) everything to offer that makes the heart beat faster and which the visitors will certainly remember for a while. At least I will.

Setlist Beyond the Black:

  1. Intro
  2. Is there Anybody out there
  3. Lost in Forever
  4. Songs of Love and Death
  5. Reincarnation
  6. Human
  7. Dancing in the Dark
  8. Heart of the Hurricane
  9. Winter is Coming
  10. Heaven in Hell
  11. Scream for me
  12. When Angels fall
  13. Shine and Shade
  14. In the Shadows
  15. Wounded Healer (Encore)
  16. Hallelujah (Encore)

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