MetalPit was at Rhapsody Reunion’s concert at Orion Club in Ciampino on Monday, February 19th, 2018. The tour of the historical Italian band Rhapsody was successful in foreign countries, with several sold out dates, and now it’s back to its native country for four appointments, with the participation of Nicoletta Rosellini, lead vocalist of the Tuscan band Kalidia. The band has been preceded by two foreign ones, Scarlet Aura (Romania) and Beast In Black (Finland).
I reached the concert’s place with a little advance compared to the programmed interview with Anton (Beast In Black), who turned out to be very kind inviting me to get in, offering me something to drink. I was led to the common room where the three bands in the program could spend their time outside the dressing rooms, where Anton made me take a seat while waiting for the interview. Once I carried out my task, I received a pass to be able to stay – before the meet&greet with Rhapsody and the interview with Fabio Lione – in the concert area; during this pause and the soundcheck, I could fix an extemporary interview with Scarlet Aura, also very nice to me and visibly glad to have the chance to tell about themselves. After that, the moment for the meet&greet – to which I took part – came, during which the guys of the band, being extremely agreeable, signed a lot of autographs and took a lot of pictures with the fans, who also received some gifts other than being able to spend a long time friendly chatting with them. At the end of the meeting I had the opportunity to interview Fabio for a quite long time, who seems to have appreciated the questions since, later during the show, he also wanted to thank me showing up to be hearty and gentlemanlike as always.
The show was opened by Scarlet Aura, a female fronted Melodic Rock/Metal band coming from Bucharest, the real surprise of this evening. The band formed by Aura Danciulescu (lead vocals), Mihai Thor Danciulescu (lead guitar and vocals), Catalin Ungureanu (bass and vocals) e Sorin Ristea (drums) faced quite a conspicuous but cold at first audience, unsheathing a remarkable and unexpected energetic charge, that could wipe away the general skepticism. It’s not for everyone to be able to warm up the public enough to, in a couple of songs, be able to captivate it completely; the tribute to Dolores O’Riordan was very appreciated by the attendants, whose voices united in a memorial choir on the notes of “Zombie”, readapted in a full Scarlet Aura style. A good stage presence, mostly by the beautiful singer Aura, contributed to the excellent work done by these guys.
BEAST IN BLACK
After a short change on stage it was the turn of Beast In Black, a Heavy Metal group coming from Helsinki, formed by Anton Kabanen (guitar and vocals) after leaving Battle Beast, accompanied by Yannis Papadopoulos (lead vocals), Kasperi Heikkinen (guitar), Mate Molnar (basso) and Atte Palokangas (drums), on tour for their album “Berserker”. The atmosphere was warm already, but the adrenaline wave coming from the stage during this quintet’s show took the public by surprise anyway, since its knowledge about the group was clealry limited; only a few attendants knew their songs enough to sing them entirely, but despite this, during the refrains the audience could still follow the singer with great involvement, who in turn interacted a lot with it. The stage presence of the entire band was absolutely impeccable, from the care for details to the way each member (the drummer too!) was able to interact with the public and establish a kind of connection with it. A song that was particularly interesting and which amused and made the audience curious surely was “Crazy, Mad, Insane”, during which the band performed something like a small coreography adding some extra accessories (screen glasses with flowing text on them and a cyborg glove) the guys worn for that moment. The acclamation expressed by the audience at the end of every song clearly decreed the success of a band who, during this evening, surely gained many new fans.
During the inteval various songs were broadcasted to entertain the people, among these there was “Night Crawler” by Judas Priest, which the public immediately sang in unison with undisguised enthusiasm.
Let’s come to the headliner: at this point of the evening the club was full of people, luckily the structure of the place guaranteed a good view and acoustics everywhere, many invocative choirs reciting the band’s name or the members’ names succeeded during the time frame elapsed between the Finns’ goodbye and the Italians’ entrance; finally, at the end of the second stage change, “In Tenebris” resonated in the club chosen as show intro and Rhapsody, shortly after, came on stage welcomed by the enthusiast fans’ screams.
The familiarity with the place an event like this creates is undeniable, the guys are literally at home, the crowd is in rapture and “Dawn of Victory” chosen as first song certainly is an excellent way to let the fans’ vitality and wit explode.
There were many variations in the set list compared to the last tour in Italy, songs that weren’t in the previous shows like “The Village of Dwarves”, “Power of the Dragonflame” have been included with unmissable songs like “Knightrider of Doom”, “Holy Thunderforce” and “Lamento Eroico”. Right during this last, full of emotionality song, an almost surreal atmosphere is created, rich of melancholy and solemnity at the same time, which irredeemably brings many of the attendants to tears (me included), a constant every time it’s played.
But the news don’t end here: next to the astonishing drum solo by Alex Holzwarth, a bass solo by Patrice Guers, as much as epic, was added; it amazed and delighted the audience. Another surprise is surely the song chosen for Fabio Lione’s solo performance, which was the famous hit “Con te partirò” by Andrea Bocelli, which he introduced by telling the story of the day when they accidentally met; this song was very appreciated as well and sung by the whole crowd, in a wonderful choir on the refrain. Another thing that was appreciated as much as the previous one, was the tribute to Christopher Lee, a brief heart-felt speech by Fabio in memory of the great man and artist with an extremely brilliant mind, other than a well known cinema star, with whom they collaborated. The adoringly facial expressions and the fans’ screams were predictable, they gave their 100% just like their idols on the last song, an explosive “Emerald Sword” with which Rhapsody ended an unforgettable concert in style, at the end of which they said goodbye to everybody with a series of deep bows to the public who really wasn’t willing to let them go.