Seen Live: Circle II Circle

Circle II Circle’s tour in support of their latest album “Reign of Darkness” (Spotify) took them, quite surprisingly, to our neck of the woods. As a Savatage-afficinado — singer Zachary Stevens was their singer for four albums and most of the 1990s — having missed all their previous shows in The Netherlands on account of being in places that aren’t really doable with public transport — fancy doing Weert-Amersfoort late at night, anybody? — it was too good a chance to let slip by.

On this trek, they were supported by two bands: Desert (playing Epic Dark Metal, from Israel) and Lord Volture (Pure and Unpolished Heavy Metal hailing from the Netherlands. For fans of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Iced Earth.). They were fun enough.

Circle II Circle was just freaking awesome. Unlike earlier tours, where they played loads of Savatage material, this time they played a set of their own songs. I must admit that my recollection of their last few albums is kinda hazy, but I recognized enough of what I heard. Some songs from the last album, a couple from the “Burden of Truth” album to mark its 10th anniversary, the majestic and well-received title track of their debut — it was all good. The band was tight, Stevens was on, the sound was quite good, all in all: quite awesome. And then there was the encore, featuring four Savatage songs, including perhaps my all-time favorite, “Chance” and a rousing version of “Hall of the Mountain King” with Stevens on drums and keyboardist Henning Wanner on vocals. Good, good, great, awesome times.

Circle II Circle — Edge of Thorns, live at FLUOR Amersfoort

Rumor has it a recording was made, so here’s hope that’ll show up soon, one way or the other.

The only downside is that after seeing Circle II Circle (and the same goes for Jon Oliva’s Pain and Trans-Siberian Orchestra) I remember how unbelievably awesome Savatage was, and that I still kinda miss ‘em. Having a few bands to raise the fist of the metal child is cool, and one should not linger on things one cannot change and all that, but dammit, it’s just not quite the same.

Seen live
Circle II Circle, Lord Volture + Desert at Fluor, Amersfoort on May 7, 2016
Set list CIIC (Spotify playlist)
Intro: Over-Underture / Victim of the Night / All That Remains / Soul Breaker / Heal You / Live as One / Watching in Silence / Untold Dreams / Ghost of the Devil / Drum Solo > Diamond Blade / Revelations / Somewhere / Epiphany // Guitar Solo > Turns to Me / Edge of Thorns / Chance // Hall of the Mountain King