Colorful knights, songs of battles and amazing voices

Van Canto – Biebop, Vosselaar; March 26th, 2016

The first time I had seen Van Canto was in 2014. Ever since I had kept an eye on their tour dates, wanting to see them again. Could not do it on the one day they played in the Netherlands while I was there, now will I be able to see them when they play in Oberhausen. Thus, I decided to take a quick trip to Belgium, while I was “in the area” anyway (*cough* near Leiden, NL *cough*) to see at least one concert of this tour. Wasn’t sure of what to expect from a Vocal Metal Musical,but very curious to hear it. In the end it was a regular concert, with two fun support acts, but what an amazing show it was. 90 minutes of powerful music, energy and fun. By the end of it I was sweaty, happy and my voice was a little bit hoarse – exactly what I had hoped for.

It took me a little over two hours to get to Antwerp where I was pleasantly surprised by having been upgraded to a private room at my hostel (yay!). Felt too tired to go out and see anything, so I just rested until it was time to catch a bus to Vosselaar. An hour later I was standing outside the Biebop, waiting. There were not many people around so I figured I’d get a front row spot. Luckily I had brought a book to read so time passed quickly. It was windy though and cold, quite a relief when we finally got in. Got a spot on the left and chatted a bit with the people around me, who were all from Germany as well. Further left was a family with two kids, the younger one maybe around 5 – he got a lot of attention that night. 🙂

First band up were End of the Dream, melodic metal from the Netherlands. I liked them, they were fun to watch and very listenable. The only got to play five songs though.

Setlist

Colder
Follow the Angels
Shadow’s Embrace
Collide
All I am

End of the Dream pictures

The Grailknights, a metal band from Germany were next. Their set was very theatrical. Dressed in superhero costumes they assembled their battle choir (the audience) to help the fight evil Doctor Skull for the holy grail. It was a fun show, including some superhero aerobics (Grailroebics) and display of muscles, a horse bringing beer, colorful costumes, call and response with the battle choir (“Grailknights battle choir?” “Yes Sire!”) and tons of fun. Their music wasn’t totally up my alley, but I enjoyed watching them. They were a lot of fun! The little kid on the left got a lot of looks, smiles and fist bumps from them and looked really happy throughout.

Setlist

Dead or Alive
Morning Dew
Nameless Grave
Crimson
Black Knight
Superhero Medley
Grailquest Gladiators

Grailknights pictures

Changing of the stage went rather quickly and at 09:30 pm it was time for the band I had been waiting for: Red lights, lots of smoke and a short spoken intro announced Van Canto. The music started, they walked out and with the first notes they took over my heart and the entire venue. The sound was beautiful and they looked happy to be on stage. I can’treally say what it is about their music that makes me feel so elated, but it’s there and I felt it immediately. The full power of their songs surged through me and made me sing along even where I didn’t know the words. A huge smile spread on my face and did not leave me until long after it was over.

Many of their songs draw you into a fantasy world with dragons, knights, queens and always bards. They often sing of battles and standing together against enemies. Their music is so powerful it makes me want to stand with them against said enemies. It is also just pure fun to be there, makes me jump and dance and sing along. Throughout the show I just felt happy and so very much alive. Watching them constantly move across stage kept me busy – seeing them interact with each other and their audience was amazing, seeing the looks and smile on people’s faces even more so.

Every time they asked us to sing along it worked perfectly well, and everyone was so into it they didn’t even get out their mobile phones to film. It was rather hot in the room with not much air condition, but that didn’t keep people from moving with the music. Every song was amazing, from the new ones off the ‘Voices of Fire’ CD to the older ones they played in between. Many of my favorites were amongst them so I was a happy camper. Van Canto alone played for 90 minutes, surprising me when even Basti stepped out behind the drums and sang with everyone. What a great night! I hope I can repeat this soon.

Setlist

Clashings On Armour Plates
Dragonwake
Time and Time Again
All My Life
Battleday’s Dawn
Firevows (Join the Journey)

Stora Rövardansen
Pathfinder
Speed of Light
Kings of Metal (Manowar cover)
To the Mountains
Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching) (Grave Digger cover)
To Sing a Metal Song
Wishmaster (Nightwish cover)
The Bard’s Song – In the Forest (Blind Guardian cover)

Encore
The Bardcall
The Mission / Battery
Fear of the Dark (Iron Maiden cover)
Outro (Take To The Sky (Orchestral Version))

Van Canto pictures

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