Apocalyptica and Epica with support The Epic Apocalypse European Tour 2023 Amager Bio Copenhagen, Denmark

Spread the metal:

Apocalyptica & Epica – headliners
Wheel – support act

The Epic Apocalypse European Tour 2023

Amager Bio
Copenhagen, Denmark
25/1 – 2023

Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall


This, ahem, ‘epic’ joint headline tour between Apocalyptica and Epica is yet another one that was postponed because of COVID. The first stop on the Scandinavian leg of the tour was Oslo, Norway, after which they made their way to Stockholm Sweden and finally Copenhagen Denmark.

Amager Bio is an old cinema theater that has been made into a concert hall and has a capacity to host about 1,500 people, and it was nearly sold out for this show. The opening act, Wheel, was set to go on stage at 7.20pm, followed by Epica at 8pm, and last but not least the all instrumental act Apocalyptica.

In 2021 Epica released OMEGA which was followed by a live stream that ended up  being released as OMEGA ALIVE. Early last year  (2022) the album THE ALCHEMY PROJECT landed in stores. Before the show Epica hosted a meet and greet for the “humble” price of 70 Euros, which included meeting the band, taking a photo, an exclusive t-shirt, and a poster.

When it comes to releasing albums, Apocalyptica hasn’t been quite as active as their tour mates. Their latest album, CELL-O, and was released back in 2020.

As always, I was outside the venue in good time, joining the line of fans already there. When the doors opened, I could see a huge video screen with a drum podium beneath it. Before I knew it, it was time for Wheel to open the night.


The first song out for Wheel was “Blood Drinker”, followed by “Movement”. In my opinion, the band plays progressive metal influenced by nu-metal vibes. It felt like the songs were really long, maybe that depended on the fact that I thought the material was really boring. They also aren’t the most visual band as the members stood still throughout the show. The band consists of:

James Lascelles – lead vocals, guitar
Santeri Saksala – drums
Aki “Conan” Virta – bass
Jussi Turunen – guitar

“Hyperion” followed, after which Lascelles thanked the fans for the support saying, “We are Wheel and we’re from Finland. It’s nice to be here tonight, are you ready for Epica and Apocalyptica?” “Vultures” continued and I noticed that most of the crowd stood and watched the show reluctantly from the floor. With thought of what kind of music the head line acts plays it felt like Wheel wasn’t the obvious choice of opening act as their music doesn’t have much in common with either Epica or Apocalyptica. However, I give Wheel credit for being skilled musicians.

The last song for the night was “Wheel” which ended the 30-minute show. The band members thanked the crowd and left the stage quickly. I have seen better support acts in my days but the band did their best and I bet their fans enjoyed it, which is what counts.

Set list
Blood Drinker

The crew began to prepare the stage for Epica and a huge drum kit was placed on the right of the podium and to the left a keyboard. In the middle of the stage there were stairs that led up to the podium. It was quite an impressive stage set for sure. More people started to arrive and it was pretty clear that many had come to see Epica. About 10 minutes past 8pm, it was time the band to hit the stage in Copenhagen.


The band appeared after a really long intro and as soon as the fans saw them, they gave them a warm welcome. The intro was taken from the previous album and is titled “Alpha – Anteludium”. The first real song was “Abyss of Time- Countdown of Singularity” taken from OMEGA. The fans all shouted at the top of their lungs when they heard the song, which includes growled vocals by guitarist Mark Jansen. Epica is:

Simone Simons – lead vocals
Mark Jansen – guitar
Coen Janssen – keyboards
Arien Van Der Weessenbeek – drums
Isac Delabaye – guitar
Rob van der Loo – bass

The crowd was given no chance to catch their breath because “The Essence of Silence” followed straight away. The classic song is from 2014’s THE QUANTUM ENIGMA. The band seemed really happy to be performing live again as the members joked around with each other during the entire show and everyone was in a great mood. Simons invited the fans to sing along with her in “Victims of Contingency” and the fans did their best to please her. All of the members moved around and no one stood still for long. Even Simone headbanged and their great mood transferred to the fans on the floor. “Thank you everyone for being here tonight”, Simons said, “it’s awesome to be out on the road again. The next song is dedicated to all of you here tonight and I want to see everyone clap your hands in “Unleashed”!”. As the song ended an intro was heard from the speakers as it was time for “The Final Lullaby”. The huge screen showed a bunch of different patterns in various colors and it looked really nice and fit the song.

In “Fools of Damnation” Simon had the fans shouting “hey, hey” and Jansen tried to get a circle pit forming on the floor. Keyboard player Janssen had on a keytar as he walked around on stage. Simons once again disappeared from stage and it was time for Jansen to show off his skills in a solo to end the song. As Simons re-entered she said, “I see it’s time for a scary song in “The Skeleton Key”. Simons’ voice was great and she is a fantastic front woman. She kept the fans and the show going all backed up by her extremely competent band members. All of the members are really skilled musicians and it was a treat to see them perform live.

For “Rivers” the screen went black and the lights dimmed as cell phones lit up the club. It looked really cool and it added that little bit of extra flair to the song. Simons sang the first verse accompanied by pre-recorded music and the rest of the band joined her in the second verse. Her voice sounded flawless in the song and once again she showed just what an amazing lead woman she is.

“Code of Life” followed in which keyboard player Janssen walked over to the side of the stage picking up his phone to film he and Delabaye in action. “Here comes an Epica karaoke song in “Cry For the Moon”. Come on everyone and sing with me!”., shouted Simons. The tempo and energy that ran through the band throughout the show was amazing. As soon as the song was over a drum solo took place, leading into “Beyond the Matrix”. When the band fired off “Consign To Oblivion” hell broke loose and the fans clashed towards each other in a wall of death. Jansen pointed at the crowd wanting them to form a circle pit and the fans did as they were told. That ended the show and the band thanked the fans once again for an amazing night together.

The band didn’t play any encores, but I guess that was because of the limited time. Now the clock said 9.30pm, so Epica had been on stage for about and hour and 20 minutes. What an amazing show they treated the fans to! They and the fans were on fire so it sure was one hell of a show to remember. Epica delivered and I have nothing to complain about. Well, I would have loved for the show to last longer. I wanted to hear and see more of this amazing Dutch act! I wondered how the hell Apocalyptica could possibly top this.


Set list
Alpha-Anteludium (intro)
Abyss of Time – Countdown to Singularity
The Essence of Silence
Victims of Contingency
The Final Lullaby
Fools of Damnation
The Skeleton Key
Code of Life
Cry For the Moon
Beyond the Matrix
Consign to Oblivion

During the second change of gear, the podium was taken down and it also looked like people started to leave the club. A new drum kit as well as three mics were placed on stage and now it the only thing to do was to wait for the second headliner to enter the stage.

Apocalyptica is a Finish act that started out as a classical-style Metallica act back in 1993. Originally the band consisted of four members but today they are three and the only remaining original member is band leader Eicca Toppinen. Since 2003 the band also includes a drummer. In 2020 their latest studio album CELL-O was released and is a strictly instrumental piece. Even though I haven’t followed the band closely, I have run in to them performing at various festivals through the years.


The band started their show at 10pm and the first song out was “Ashes of the Modern World”. As Toppinen thanked fans, it seemed like the crowd clapped their hands politely, with a significant drop in energy after Epica. “Grace” followed, after which Toppinen asked if the audience wanted to hear some singing. On cue, singer Franky Perez entered the stage and it was time for “I’m Not Jesus”.

“Not Strange Enough” followed straight away and the music seemed more alive with lead vocals. To be honest, it’s not the most fun thing to listen to cello’s taking on metal music. The four piece act consists of:

Eicca Toppinen – cello
Paavo Lötjönen – cello
Pertu Kivilaasko – cello
Mikko Sirén – drums
Franky Perez – lead vocals (session member)

The three cellos were tuned so that they actually sounded like guitar and bass, which was quite cool. As Perez left the stage, Toppinen said it was nice to be back in Copenhagen again and thanked the people for coming to the show. “We have released a new album. How many of you have listened to it?”, he asked. “Now it’s time for us to play two new songs from it, and we start with “Rise”. The fans were glad to hear the ballad live and as the stage filled with smoke and red lights, “En Route to Mayhem” followed.

Franky Perez re-entered the stage and it was time for “Shadowmaker”. Like Epica, all of the players joked and laughed with each other and it seemed like they were really glad to be performing live again. At the end of the song Perez walked over to the drums and took over the drumkit and the song ended with him behind the drums. “I Don’t Care” followed as the screen showed the video to the song while the band played. Perez thanked for the support and once again left the stage as “Nothing Else Matters” followed. The Metallica song woke up the crowd but even though the cello players urged the fans to sing along, the audience wasn’t in a singing mood. Despite the lack of lead vocals, the band did a solid version of the song and it actually sounded quite good.

“Inquisition Symphony” followed and during the Sepultura cover the cello players kicked their chairs off the stage and stood up while playing. It really seems like the show was struggling to take off. The longer it went on, the more I lost interest. Kivilaakso took the mic and said, “We are Apocalyptica and we’re still strong. It’s great that you like Danish acts because the next song was originally made by the next best Danish act – Volbeat. But actually, here’s a little more Metallica music for you. If you know it then sing a long in it, here is “Seek And Destroy”!”. That song actually put some fire into the crowd. “Thank you Copenhagen you have been an amazing crowd!”, Toppinen said and that ended the 70 minute show.

The crowd started to shout for encores and the band shortly returned. “In the Hall of the Mountain King” was next, originally written by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. The band did a great version of the old instrumental piece. As the song ended Perez came back on stage to thank the fans for the support. “Take care of each other and love each other, we will be back!”.

His words ended the 80-minute show and the night was over. Well, what can be said about this Finish partially instrumental act? They all are amazing musicians and it’s admirable that their music has lasted for 30 years. Even though their music isn’t my cup of tea, I was stunned by how well they managed to execute the metal covers. Am I going to buy their albums? No, but it was fun to experience something different for once.

Set list
Ashes of the Modern World
I’m Not Jesus
Not Strong Enough
En Route to Mayhem
I Don’t Care
Nothing Else Matters (Metallica cover)
Inquisition Symphony (Sepultura cover)
Seek and Destroy (Metallica cover)
In the Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Grieg cover)

And with that, it was time for me to head on home to Sweden again. It was a great night with Epica as the clear best act.

Thanks to Per Abildtrup, booking/promoter, at Amager Bio for help with press/photo pass.

Thanks to the security/staff at the club for a nice treatment.

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