It was freezing that night. Me and George stood in front of the venue and our teeth clacked like crazy. We were early, too. Not a bad decision, seeing that the line in front of us was considerably long. Luckily, our moments in the freezing cold were cut short as soon as the doors were opened. We announced ourselves as being press and by mentioning the name Metalrage.com people gazed at us in awe. Well, not really. But who cares, we settled for a drink and mingled with the crowd.
All of a sudden there was movement on stage. No doubt about it; Paganís Mind had made their appearance and immediately cut to the chase. The first two songs came off the Infinity Divine and Celestial Entrance albums. The flow of people still continued, but the response was mellow. At the beginning of the second song (I canít quite remember which one it was, but it might just have been Dimensions of Fire), Nils shouted ďHolland, alles goed?!Ē, which immediately broke the ice. Cheering, clapping and whistling was the response. It hit me; this was going to be a night to remember.
The first song off the new album, Godís Equation, wasnít United Alliance as I initially expected, but the David Bowie cover, Hallo Spaceboy. I was simply amazed by how good it sounded live. Then, special guest Floor Jansen (vocalist of dutch progressive gothic metal band After Forever) entered the stage to perform Heartís Alone with the band. The original version of this power ballad already sounded great, but the progpower version simply kicked donkeyballs. Coming Home, an instrumental song, was announced and we decided to move to another spot in the room because the bass was a little too heavy from where we were standing.
The sheer musicianship of these Norwegians is, simply put, outstanding. Every single member of the band adds a little something to the whole that melts into that blinding mix of progressive and power metal. Even though the fact that there were two drum kits on stage (of which one wasnít used in the performance, it later proved to be the drum kit of Fateís Warning) - which felt a little awkward - and the bass was just a tad too loud at some points, the performance was fantastic. After closing off with the sublimely brought Through Osirisí Eyes, it was time for the main act of the night. *sigh*.
Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take photo's anymore as of this point of the show. Yet lots of people had gathered to catch a glimpse of the Americans of Fateís Warning, a band thatís been around ever since 1983. Maybe it was just the aftermath of the fantastic performance that Paganís Mind presented, but the American progmetallers just couldnít cut it for me. Aldersí vocals sounded more like those of an Orange County punk rock band, and the riffs in general sounded dull and non-challenging in comparison to those of the Norwegian support act. Still, it was a sound performance for the dedicated fans, who had gathered to express their appreciation for the bandís efforts after every single song.
In conclusion: George, originally a black metal fan, was stunned by Paganís Mind performance. The first word I heard from him after the Norwegians had left the stage was Ďwowí. Fateís Warning had made less of an impact on him. I could only agree. Paganís Mind was Ďjustí supporting that night, but as far as we were concerned, they were the encore that Fateís Warning could not offer.