The Legend of Rhapsody of Fire Goes On

Venue: Boogaloo, Zagreb

Photo: Pavao Hodap

I felt blissfully happy because of the fact that the concert wasn’t cancelled as it was held one day before the first metal concert that was supposed to be held in Croatia was cancelled. Also, it was the last concert within this tour and it was really saddening seeing numerous other concerts in Croatia being cancelled the very next day:(

And I cannot think of a better way to spend the middle of the week and combat the grim atmosphere that has spread among working colleagues and general public which have been infected by the Corona hysteria. I must admit non of my metalhead friends haven’t been affected by it and all of them came to the concert with a cheerful spirit.

TALES OF EVENING, a Hungarian female fronted sympho metal band, opened this musical treat before us, but unfortunately the venue wasn’t fully packed as obviously domestic audience is used to later start of concerts or delays, or simply strangely prefers having few more drinks elsewhere. Never mind, that didn’t diminish their performance as bands with female lead vocals have always been favourites among Croatian fans. Tales Of Evening actually replaced the Italian progressive metal band Egosystem, that was previously considered for this gig.

Their performance was solid and interesting, but of course, you would have to be a fan of the genre to enjoy it and forget the everlasting fight about the fact can this genre be considered Metal or not. Unfortunately, majority of songs are in Hungarian and that the main obstacle in attracting numerous crowds outside Hungary as even the songs of highest quality lose some level of relatability due to the language barrier. Their songs “Miracle of Mine” and especially “Shelterless Soul” sound promising and as a conclusion: we wish them all the best in the future.

I must admit that SYMPHONITY was a very pleasant surprise and hardly a better band could be found to set the perfect atmosphere for the main stars of the evening. This Czech Power Metal had major changes within their line-up and introduced new players on the drums (Josef Cigánek) and bass (Tomáš Sklenář) and the lead vocal Mayo Petranin masterfully performed and proved himself as a great entertainer as he managed to engage the audience and had the whole venue jumping, singing, clapping and cheering, practically in no time.

The most fun moment of their performance was the performance of the Nena cover “Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime”: for me it was mixed with a strong WTF moment, as I wasn’t prepared for seeing a perverse mix of a Synth-pop keyboard sounds within their interpretation. If you are a fan of the genre and have missed their live performance, make sure you follow them in the future.

Finally, the long awaited moment came and RHAPSODY OF FIRE entered the stage! Legendary Italian power metal band was on a European tour that was supposed to cover many places where Rhapsody of Fire has long or never played, including Zagreb. Unfortunately, measures of caution because of the Corona virus made promotors to make a decision of cancelling all further shows.

Rhapsody of Fire has recorded a total of 12 albums so far, the latest being “The Eight Mountain”, released this year. They have numerous hits, sold out concerts and an army of fans including our area as well. The band is marking the 20th anniversary of the release of their cult album “Dawn of Victory” and they have prepared an excellent set list and a true power metal spectacle of the year. Many of the most famous and already legendary hits were played and I believe no one was left unsatisfied as I didn’t get a feeling of remorse because one of the favourites was left out. The concert lasted very long and it could be felt that the band has put all they’ve got to make this night a lasting experience.

But truthfully, majority of the older fans felt somewhat saddened by the fact that they didn’t had the chance to see the band live before, as in the good old days- there were times at which the band could fill up significantly larger halls with ease. Nevertheless, that didn’t diminish the glory and power of the bands performance.

The main highlights of the evening were performances of the songs “The Legend Goes On” and “Dawn of Victory”. It impossible to point out their best hit ever, but the magnificent “The Legend Goes On” is a timeless hit that could melt even the coldest of hearts and bring a smile even to the saddest faces.

The singer Giacomo Voli,  has the strength and charisma to instantly lift up and fully engage the audience and I can hardly remember a more fun evening, as the tonight’s performance was the one that could even cure clinical depression, one can’t simply stay indifferent in front of the power this Power Metal Band has! They certainly made me forget ALL problems I had and this night was a full success in a seemingly impossible mission: enjoy life, be honestly cheerful and don’t have a single worry on your mind! And that’s maybe the biggest success any band could wish for their fans.