This has been a year of firsts for St. Louis. It is the first time in a LONG time we have had so many shows to choose from. The first time I can remember in a long time, that I went to a show on a Monday night and it was just as crowded as though it were a weekend night. But most importantly it was the first time Dutch Metal act Epica set foot on St. Louis soil. As we slowly get out of our post holiday slump, we here at Damnation are working our asses off to make sure you get your concert updates as soon as they are announced, which lately has been almost a 24/7 task in and of itself. I have decided that I am going to post my photos backwards so that I can feel like I am back on track, I already posted the Ne Obliviscaris photos from their show two weeks ago, within days of the show. . boy did that feel good!
You know this winter has been a weird one, especially for us here in St. Louis. We kicked off the new year flooded, of all things. Not a blizzard or ice storm, no mother nature felt like dropping all her tears right here and she cried so much, if you lived in the city you were almost land locked; unless of course you wanted to go to Pop’s on the east side or more importantly the two strip clubs on either side. It has been seasonably warm this year compared to everywhere else that has actually gotten a winter. Not that I am complaining though, I went out the past couple nights wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Regardless, weather set aside we have also been somewhat privileged this year for concerts. In years past we had to pick and choose but there were slim pickings. This year, it’s only mid February and we have been to more concerts now than we could have ever imagined before. Again, no complaints, it needs to be like this more often!
Epica, Moonspell and Starkill announced their tour back in October-ish and we jumped on any opportunity we could get as far as interviews and photo passes could go. Prior to the announcement I had only seen Moonspell live of the three so I was quite excited for this lineup. Upon the night of the show on January 29th we had all arrived seperately, my girlfriend and I had to eat which we found a really delicious place down in the Grove area by the Ready Room worth checking out called Taha’a Twisted Tiki. This was also a special night for us because, I had printed out a handful of business cards for each of the Damnation crew at work, before heading to the show. The guys were super excited to finally have something to hand out at shows! The first band of the night was Chicago’s Starkill, man what a fucking great band to see live. Damnation Steve caught them at the inaugural Full Terror Assault this past year and told us what a great band they were.
Next up, Portugal’s Moonspell! I was very excited to see them again as I had just seen them 6-7 months ago with SepticFlesh out in Kansas City and it was an even better performance here in St. Louis than it was in KC. Always excited to see a band have as much fun on stage as all the bands, but especially Moonspell. You could tell there were fans from all over to see them, singing along to their songs! Though it was roughly the same set from their KC show I didn’t care, the songs sounded better, louder and more brutal here. Could be because in comparison The Ready Room is far superior to the Riot Room in KC. It holds more people, the sound system is better and the lighting was much better, of course its going to be a better venue! I really hope this means we will see more of the shows that would pick the Riot Room here as well. Moonspell went through their set flawlessly and as soon as they broke out into one of my personal favorites “Alma Mater” the place was going nuts!
Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for, EPICA!! Matt performed an interview with them earlier in the night, which I am sure will get posted when he can get a little extra time. He was telling us how nice they were and that their keyboardist was even in full on writing mode, as in for the new album we’ve heard a little about! Either way I will let him go into further detail with that, Epica took stage and I was immediately blown away. The musicianship was strong with this one! They came out and within second the crowd was already going crazy for them. So much so, that I couldn’t get to any of my usual spots to photograph. That being said Epica got the first time in St. Louis that was deserved, we showed them that we know how to fucking party and throw down!! I wasn’t super familiar with their work before the show, I just knew that if I didn’t see it I would be kicking myself and while at the time I was thinking “This is the concert of the year,” it was a little premature because a week later Ne Obliviscaris came and took that title away. But I mean god DAMN what a fucking show it was. All members of the band were playing with smiles from ear to ear over the reception they were getting; or they are just that happy when they play?!?! Either way, it was great to see people who truly love what they do up on stage, or out playing the keytar by the bar, I may have a picture of that somewhere?? Regardless it was one of the most exciting shows I had been to in a while and I was happy to get to photograph it. So without further ado, please take a look at all my photos and feel free to comment on the ones you like!