Avantasia Plays Their First US Show In Anaheim, CA

April 11, 2016
House of Blues- Anaheim, CA

      Avantasia is a power metal supergroup from Germany. It is a rock opera project created by Tobias Sammet, vocalist of German power metal band Edguy. The band consists of singer Tobias Sammet and members of other bands as well as guest vocalists both live and on all of the band’s albums. On January 29, the band released their seventh album titled Ghostlights. Avantasia embarked on a huge world tour and for the first time ever as a whole, they would be making two stops in the USA; one in Anaheim, California and the other in New York. Fans from all over country gathered for the Anaheim show as for many of them, California was the nearest stop. This show in Anaheim would be extra special for fans because there was no opening act and Avantasia would perform their signature set of not one, not two, but three hours of power metal and rock opera. The show started at 8pm and the venue was packed to where it was hard to move. Fans were ready to finally get their chance to see this band in person for the first time ever.

The lights went out as the intro track started and the band members made their way to the stage to a positive response from the audience before Sammet himself came to the stage as the final member. To start the show, Avantasia played Mystery of a Blood Red Rose, the first track and first single from the new album. In classic power metal style, lots of guitar melodies could be heard as Sammet sang using his signature clean vocals and high-pitch singing. Backup singers Amanda Somerville and Herbie Langhans would stay in the back for part of the show singing their vocals when needing to. Fans happily sang along to the chorus and were thrilled to be seeing Avantasia live. The second song played is one of the best songs on the new album and it features Michael Kiske formerly of German power metal band Helloween. On this tour, Kiske was one of the touring vocalists for Avantasia so naturally when the song was played, Kiske came out to a huge welcome from the American crowd. Kiske’s powerful vocals proved to be in top shape as he pulled off his legendary high-pitch vocals that made him who he is. Next played was Invoke the Machine and this song featured Ronnie Atkins as a guest vocalist. Most songs played had a guest vocalist or two. Unchain the Light from the new album was next and was one of the songs where Atkins, Kiske, and Sammet all joined forces with vocals and took turns singing their parts. Seeing three vocalists on stage was quite the sight. Sammet mixed up the setlist to include both new and old material. When The Scarecrow was played, Jorn Lande came out as a guest and had the crowd clap along to the beginning of the song as this was one of the band’s best songs. Lande continued performing on the new ballad-like track, Lucifer. avansc-21The Wicked Symphony was one of the few times when Sammet would leave the stage completely to let his guest vocalists Lande, Langhans, Eric Martin, Somerville, and Oliver Hartmann perform a beautiful rock opera song that fans would sing along to. There were so many people on stage that it was difficult to know where to focus your eyes on.

Draconian Love is another song from the new album and features Sammet on lead vocals and Langhans as a guest vocalist which fits perfectly with his deep-ish voice at times. Stargazers was one of the more power metal songs played that night and with it’s power and speed, caused a mosh pit which was nice to see from the audience. Kiske was clearly one of the stars of the show as not only were there multiple fans wearing Helloween shirts, but during Kiske’s speech, fans were chanting his name which put a smile on his face. Kiske told fans that the last time he played live in the US was 1989 and asked for a show of hands how many people in the audience were alive at that time. He was then joined onstage by Somerville and they proceeded to perform a duet during the song Shelter from the Rain. Being that Avantasia is a power metal band, the genre is known for having some pretty long songs. Avantasia is no exception as with a three hour show, they made sure to play a few of their long songs like The Great Mystery lasting ten minutes and Let the Storm Descend Upon You clocking in at twelve minutes.

Avantasia kept the energy of their show strong as they played hits from their seven album like the band’s self-titled song Avantasia, Twisted Mind, Dying For An Angel, and The Story Ain’t Over. The stage went silent as if the show had ended. Fans stuck around long enough to where Sammet came back out and talked about how it’s a Monday morning and everyone has to go home and sleep to get up for work for next day while the band flies away to their next stop in Canada. The fans booed at the thought of being forced to leave to go home to sleep for work/school. Since they didn’t want to leave just yet, Sammet rewarded the crowd by playing some encores. Sammet mentioned that they would play the song that put them in the spotlight back in 2008. That song would be Lost In Space from The Scarecrow album. It’s one of the band’s most beautiful songs and is so much fun to sing along to as fans did. For the final songs of the night, Avantasia played part of Sign of the Cross, then jumped into The Seven Angels. As a special performance, Sammet brought out all the guest vocalists and everyone did their part singing whether it was individual singing or they sang together for one big beautiful rock opera. The band finished their performance and they all got together for one big bow to the fans as they watched with a look of satisfaction as fans cheered and applauded the band’s performance. Sammet mentioned to the audience that they will be back soon. Hopefully next time around, more US dates will be added to allow fans all over the US to experience this rock opera show.

Review by: Misael Ruiz