Live Report and Photos by: Zenae Zukowski
Over 25 years and nine full-length studio albums later, Brazilian power metal giants Angra has booked the most extensive world tour in their entire career in support of their latest effort Ømni, which was released earlier this year via earMUSIC. While we’ve seen them at 2017’s 70,000tons of metal cruise, we’ve waited a long time for the band to book a full-fledged North American run. The time has finally arrived and it happened shortly after their performance at this year’s ProgPower. They managed to trek out to New York City’s Gramercy Theatre on September 12th, 2018 and we were lucky to attend.
Angra has had quite the journey as they’ve gone through several lineup changes, which includes the most recent being Kiko Loureiro who left the group to join Megadeth back in 2015 and has recruited guitarist Marcelo Barbosa as his replacement. The rest of the latest lineup consists of founding member Rafael Bittencourt (guitar), longtime member Felipe Andreoli (bass), Fabio Lione (vocals) and Bruno Valverde (drums).
Unfortunately, the venue wasn’t as packed as it should’ve been but those who were there were in for a special treat. The crowd was a mix between veteran fans and die-hard Rhapsody of Fire/Lione devotees. However, majority of the audience was familiar with the entire set that ranged from 1996’s Holy Land up until this year’s Ømni.
There was a lot of interaction between the band and the crowd, as they went into songs such as “Newborn Me,” “Travelers of Time,” “Angels and Demons,” “Nothing to Say,” “Insania,” “Acid Rain,” and “Caveman.” Valverde had his moment under the spotlight as well when he went into a drum solo. Lione was brave enough to announce the next song, “Black Widow’s Web,” as he nearly fooled the crowd thinking Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz was going to make a guest appearance since she is featured in this tune on the LP. Instead, Lione sang the song with Bittencourt. The night wrapped up with songs “Spread Your Fire,” “ØMNI – Silence Inside,” “The Bottom of My Soul,” “Lisbon,” and “Magic Mirror.” The group put on a zesty performance and maintained a vibrant energy from beginning to end.
However, the pace slowed down when Bittencourt walked on the stage to speak to the concertgoers before the encore began. His gratitude was evident that night as Bittencourt not only thanked the fans and his bandmates who were on stage with him; he also gave a warm shoutout to all of the band’s former members. It was something that you rarely see at a show, and it was apparent how much it meant for him to say. After the heartfelt speech, the group went into songs from 2001’s Rebirth with the title track and “Nova Era.”
Angra’s charismatic performance is one for the books. They surpassed being musicians as they’ve reminded all what shows are capable of accomplishing. It was an evening for all era’s of Angra, despite skipping their 1993 debut Angels Cry, they did what they could to execute a two-hour setlist highlighting their entire career. Overall, it was an honor to experience their magic.