Tour Report: A Journey Through the Shadows of Europe Tour 2006 May 10th - May 30th On May 10th Royal Anguish left Florida to embark on its first ever European tour. After many flights the six of us arrived in Europe on May 11th (some to Dusseldorf Germany (Matt, Katy, Marius, Sean) and others to Amsterdam(Tom and Al)). Immediately upon our arrival we were greeted by two representatives from Fear Dark, Mike and Kevin, who were quite hospitable and ready and willing to make us feel right at home! After a day of attempting to gain some rest (which was unsuccessful) we were off to our first festival of the tour. 5/12/06 ALPHEN a/d RIJN, HOLLAND @ HET KASTEEL (Fear Dark Festival w/ Morphia, Eluveitie, and Taketh) As this was the first show with the current lineup (Tom and Al had been brought in only weeks before), so it was definitely a mixed bag as far as our performance. We did a lot of things right, but also had a lot of room for improvement. Nonetheless the crowd really enjoyed it and we got a lot of raving reviews by the people in attendance. We were also able to meet Ohtar and Grimbold from Slechtvalk. Ohtar I might add is one of the largest human beings I've ever met. In my stage boots I am like 6'6" and he was still taller than me. We also were able to meet Ezra from Natan, who turned out to be one of the coolest and most helpful people of the tour (it would be nice if he would give me back my right nipple though ) Also of note the backstage area (which was in the basement) had a "plumbing incident" which caused part of the backstage room to be flooded. And yes the bands... we cant forget the bands. This was our first chance to meet all the guys in Morphia, Eluveitie, and Taketh. And to a person we couldn't have been placed on a lineup with any cooler bands! SET LIST: INTRO, SHADOWS OF TIME, ONE LAST TIME, PITCH BLACK, THE TALE OF SULLEN EYES, I CLOSE MY EYES, FALL FROM GRACE, TORTURED VISIONS, TWISTED ANGEL 5/13/06 EDE, HOLLAND @ DE KEI (Fear Dark Festival w/ Morphia, Eluveitie, and Taketh) This crowd was definitely very into our sound and we had a great time with them afterwards. Tom, Sean, and I even went outside the establishment for about 30 minutes and mingled, took pictures and made videos with the fans. To a person they all said they really loved what we gave them that night! SET LIST: INTRO, SHADOWS OF TIME, ONE LAST TIME, PITCH BLACK, THE TALE OF SULLEN EYES, I CLOSE MY EYES, FALL FROM GRACE, TORTURED VISIONS, TWISTED ANGEL 5/14/06 ZWOLLE, HOLLAND @ HEDON (Fear Dark Festival w/ Morphia, Eluveitie, and Taketh) We were totally taken aback by the design of this club. Tight design with 2 levels of balconies if the crowd needed overflow room. As far as the actual club design this was probably the highlight of the tour. After two shows of getting our "feet wet", we felt like on this night we knocked on out of the park and truly showed what Royal Anguish was made of. On this night we made the European debut of Playing God and Frozen, and judging by the crowd reaction it was definitely the right move. I'll also note the the pit during Tortured Visions was the largest I;ve ever seen at an RA show... it literally went from one side wall to the other. Go Zwolle! SET LIST: INTRO, SHADOWS OF TIME, ONE LAST TIME, PITCH BLACK, THE TALE OF SULLEN EYES, FROZEN, PLAYING GOD, FALL FROM GRACE, TORTURED VISIONS, TWISTED ANGEL 5/16-5/17 Video shoot for TWISTED ANGEL For these two days we went to location after location filming video footage for a clip of Twisted Angel. Most of us felt that this was more tiring than playing a show! We did have a lot of fun making sets in very interesting places (an apartment building, a shipping warehouse turned into a soundstage, etc...) and we're confident the final product will be worth watching. When will the video be out? Who knows. The sooner the better! 5/19/06 DENMARK @ IMPERIET w/ Avencore Wow. This event had many things that were definitely a shock to the system. For one, the equipment supplied for our backline was top of the line. Both Marius and I were playing through Engl heads, which are some of the most expensive on the market. Next, the crowd, despite its size, was absolutely insane. Its hard to describe how absolutely crazy these people were. On the flipside, the volume on stage was as loud as we've ever experienced. We must've made an impression on the crowd, because they insisted on an encore, and they demanded we replay One Last Time for the final song. Give the crowd what they want! After the show the fans were some of the most enthusiastic we've ever come across. To a person it seemed like everyone who talked to us said they loved us and insisted we not forget them "the next time we come through". It was a definite treat to have fans at a show that ate up everything we gave them at the show and were salivating over anything other scraps we could give them afterwards. I literally had people lining up to get a signed "tour card" from the shows the previous weekend! The opening act, Avencore, was very talented and had the crowd eating out of their hands. Their lead guitarist, Staffan, had the crowd at his mercy all night. We felt as if we were "honored guests" at their personal party. The atmosphere was very fun and loose. This is a crowd and establishment that won't easily be forgotten. Also of note, I'd personally like to thank the band for allowing me to fulfill one of my childhood dreams, which was attending Legoland Denmark earlier in the day before this gig. It definitely scared the little kids having a beastial metalhead walking through the park, but I had fun. SET LIST: INTRO, SHADOWS OF TIME, ONE LAST TIME, PLAYING GOD, PITCH BLACK, THE TALE OF SULLEN EYES, FROZEN, FALL FROM GRACE, TORTURED VISIONS, TWISTED ANGEL / Encore - ONE LAST TIME 5/20/06 ALINGSAS, SWEDEN @ w/ Taketh, Shadowbuilder, Exhale, & Trendkill The band was very excited to be playing in Sweden the first time, as well the club was happy to have an American band take its stage for the first time ever. There were many people at this show that I knew or had had contact with on the internet. Also there was Samuel Durling (who did the coverart for our new cd). Everything went well during sound checks, but then the wheels came off during the set. We played each song well, but had FOUR stoppages for technical / sound difficulties. The crowd though was hugely supportive and rallied behind us as they knew we were doing the best we could in the face of these problems. All and all being able to meet some longtime acquintances, such as Ghashul, was a blast. We stayed at the club that night, as did quite a few fans, so much hilarity ensued throughout the night (i think we'll keep that to ourselves though ). SET LIST: INTRO, SHADOWS OF TIME, ONE LAST TIME, PLAYING GOD, PITCH BLACK, THE TALE OF SULLEN EYES, FROZEN, TORTURED VISIONS, TWISTED ANGEL 5/21/06 Crimson Moonlight / staying at Pilgrim's secluded cabin in Sweden On this day we were able to attend the tail end of a Crimson Moonlight practice, as well as stay the night at Pilgrim (Crimson Moonlights vocalist)'s secluded cabin is Nassjo Sweden. While there we learned about axe throwing and sword fighting, and we were treated to an enormous feast! Tom and Al and I were in heaven as we had been whining for steaks and meat all tour, and we definitely got more than we bargained for on this night! We all thank Pilgrim for his hospitality and for opening up his cabin for us crazy Americans! 5/25/06 HOB NOB 2000 Open Air Festival, Almelo, Holland We had no idea what to expect from this gig. We arrived a mere 15 minutes before we were to start and saw that the band before us had about 10-15 people paying attention, so we expected a throw away show. Fortunately that thought was quickly dashed as ther were many here who had seen us earlier in the tour and were ready and waiting in their RA gear. AS soon as we were ready to go we had hundreds in attendance who were VERY supportive and definitely into our show. There was even a television station who covered our set. It was pretty bizarre playing a few hundred feet from merry go rounds, tanks, other kids rides, etc... but all in all the crowd really enjoyed our performance and us being there, even if it was a 2pm show! SET LIST: SHADOWS OF TIME, ONE LAST TIME, PLAYING GOD, THE TALE OF SULLEN EYES, PITCH BLACK, FROZEN, FALL FROM GRACE, TORTURED VISIONS, TWISTED ANGEL After the show we headed DIRECTLY to Germany and the home of Mario, the drummer for Sacrificium. He and his wife Miriam showed us great hospitality. Miriam didnt stop baking bread for us the entire time we were there! It was my first exposure to German bread and man it makes the stuff in the USA seem like kiddie food. One slice of this stuff was like a whole meal! 5/26/06 STUTTGART, GERMANY, w/ LKA LONGHORN (Fear Dark Festival w/ Dark Fortress, Morphia, Eluveitie, and Taketh) The club we played in, LKA Longhorn, is a historic venue it seems. All over the upper area there were full size posters from previous shows and it seemed like anyone who was ever anyone in the music scene as a whole had, at some point, set foot in this establishment. Tonight also marked Marius's debut with Taketh. Their 2nd guitarist was unable to attend this weekends festivals and Marius had offered to cover for him on a few songs, and cover he did. Marius did a great job with the Taketh guys! As for our set, technical difficulties (which became a common theme for the tour) really hampered our performance, but we pushed through the best we could. The crowd was by far the toughest of the tour to this point, but it was clear that many really enjoyed our set. SET LIST: INTRO, SHADOWS OF TIME, ONE LAST TIME, PLAYING GOD, THE TALE OF SULLEN EYES, PITCH BLACK, FROZEN, TORTURED VISIONS, TWISTED ANGEL 5/27/06 CHEMNITZ, GERMANY @ (Fear Dark Festival w/ Morphia, Eluveitie, Saphena, and Taketh) This definitely gets the award for the weirdest venue. The club took over a nearly condemned and vacant apartment building and made one of its floors into the club. They served a kings feast for the pre-show meal, and we needed all of it because the stage was so hot that heat stroke was a definitely a possibility. Many people left the stage with steam pouring from their heads from the searing heat and humidity. Both Sean and Tom came off the stage pale as ghosts. We had severe sound issues throughout the set which were very frustrating. Once again though, the crowd was very supportive in the face of problems, and really made us feel like welcome guests. This was by far the most packed house of the tour. The stage was so small that Eluveitie literally didnt even fit on it (with Sevan standing on top of speaker stacks quite a bit) as well as Sime and Ivo being totally hidden on the back of the stage. SET LIST: INTRO, SHADOWS OF TIME, ONE LAST TIME, PLAYING GOD, THE TALE OF SULLEN EYES, PITCH BLACK, TORTURED VISIONS, TWISTED ANGEL 5/28/06 AARAU, SWITZERLAND (Fear Dark Festival w/ Morphia, Eluveitie, and Taketh) This was exactly the way to end the tour and the Fear Dark Festivals for this year. The sound was amazing, the bands all had great performances, and the crowd was large and hot. We were the 2nd band and had the crowd requesting an encore which was great. Sean had a slight incident with a fan in the crowd on this night also. Somehow his bass headstock got underneath a girl that was headbanging and when he brought it up it smacked her in the head and the two got tangled up. The poor fan had a knot the size of half an egg on her head, but she got out of it a bunch of merch and Sean's bass strap. So a lesson to all: if you want free stuff get injured by a member of a band! Woohoo! Another thing that happened was that Royal Anguish and Eluveitie were able to take the stage together to close out the Festival. Earlier in the tour members of both bands had discussed us teaming on their cover of Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills". Tonight was the culmination of that and it was just like one big party atmosphere on the stage. Four RA members (Matt, Marius, Sean and Tom) as well as Jasper from Morphia were all on stage cutting loose with Eluveitie for this song. The crowd was way into it and those who had been at pervious FD fests said, to a person, that this was the finest close ever. SET LIST: INTRO, SHADOWS OF TIME, ONE LAST TIME, PLAYING GOD, THE TALE OF SULLEN EYES, FALL FROM GRACE, PITCH BLACK, TORTURED VISIONS, TWISTED ANGEL, Encore: FROZEN THE PEOPLE: What can I say about the people! The Fear Dark staff (Roy, Mike, and Kevin) as well as their families, all treated us with great care and respect while we were there. We will definitely miss all of you! Ben, who was our driver for the middle section of the tour, is a great guy! So funny, and he was a real help when sound issues arose. Can't say enough about how cool this guy is! Those we met from other bands we didn't perform with: Ohtar, Shamgar, Fionghulla, and Grimbold from Slechtvalk, Ezra from Natan, Pilgrim, Gustav, and the rest from Crimson Moonlight, as well as many many others. We were glad to meet each and every one of you and we thank you for the kind words! And last but not least the bands we toured with: Taketh, Eluveitie, and Morphia. We could not have been placed with three more diverse bands made up of better people. Vin from Morphia has got to be one of the funniest blokes of all time. To the rest of you in Morphia, you definitely made a great decision with this guy... and I'm not even talking about his guitar playing... just the off stage entertainment alone is worth it! If we were the loud and rambunctious Americans, Taketh were our quiet Swedish counterparts. Really great guys and fun to be around in their own way! And Eluveitie... I personally have all the respect in the world for each and every member of this group. Chrigel, Rafi, Sevan, Ivo, Sime, Meri, Merlin, and Sarah: you all left an indellible image on me from this tour! Thanks for the comments to my family Chrigel and Meri. Thanks for the Red Shamrock CD Rafi! Thanks for being my sister Sevan! Thanks for letting us join you on your stage in Switzerland! I wish you all the best and for anyone who hasn't heard their new cd you MUST do yourself a favor and pick it up. This is a shoe in for CD of the Year 2006 in my book. If these guys and girls dont make it big than something is truly wrong with the music industry! And definitely to the fans... there were so many of you that were so cool I don't know where to start. Just know that we hope to see each and every one of you again someday. Thanks for all the support!