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On stage: Arena

- Arena & Pain Of Salvation - Oct. 2000 - Verviers (B) -

- Arena & Pain Of Salvation -
- Oct., 15th 2000 - Verviers (B), Spirit of 66 -

With the fall came the progressive metal tours... Tonight in Verviers it was time for Pain Of Salvation and Arena, a few days later Spock's Beard are scheduled.... Probably these tours are the highlights for prog metal fans in 2000....
The Swedish proggies opened their set with a track from One Hour By The Concrete Lake which is called Inside. For some of the fans at the Spirit Of 66 they probably was too much metal, too wild or too groovy, but most of the attendees appreciated the set incl. 4 songs from the new album Perfect Element Part 1. On a small stage like this it didn't handicapped the band too much that their singer has a plastered arm. The single Ashes opened the Perfect Element part and is also the single they released. Well chosen to introduce the new material live to the audience which appreciated the following songs like Morning On Earth, Used and the title track. Due to the late starting time Pain Of Salvations set was a little short... They finished their set with Inside Out which is like the opening track from their debut album.
After a break the British royals of prog metal entered the stage. The 20 min. long opener Moviedrome started a magical ride through the musical history of Arena. Changing outfits of singer Rob Sowden gave the set a touch of theater atmosphere. It was amazing to see them performing songs like Crack In The Ice, Don't Forget To Breathe, Serenity, Butterfly Man and The Visitor. Tonight they also played Midus and Elea which haven't been part of the set at other shows as I got told... Was that a kind of special bonus for the fans who came out that Sunday night to Verviers... Whatever was the reason for, the guys in Arena rocked the house for more than 2 hrs.! Everybody in Arena has a God-given talent and so it was a pleasure to watch them play. People were standing on the seats, stairs and try to catch a look at them from the back of the venue. A special magic of Clive Nolan and his mates enchanted the audience. And as an old saying tells "Time is flying, if you have fun" and the band and fans had fun! This time the tour trail lead Arena through small venues all over Europe, if the word of mouth is strong enough and the band release another high class album like Immortal? they will hopefully come back soon to tour bigger places!
Thanks for this amazing event! Definitely one of the best shows this year! Don't miss them when they play in town!

Claudia Ehrhardt

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