Leaves’ Eyes @ Manchester Academy [Live Review]

Bands: Leaves’ Eyes, Stream Of Passion, Awake By Design
Location: Manchester Academy, Manchester
Date: 20th October 2011

I have no idea why Awake by Design were touring with Leaves’ Eyes and Stream of Passion I think the tour would have been better, but not only that they didn’t have any of the same elements that the other two bands offered. With low communication between the band and the audience it was probably good that they had a short set (only a couple of songs) though to be fair the amount of space that they were given – which was next to none – they just had enough to fit the band on and off, which maybe they could of done better with a bit more space.

In 2007 Stream of Passion had to cancel part of their European tour, one part of this tour was in the UK when immigration denied Stream of Passion from entering the UK on suspicions that they were coming here to actually settle in the UK illegally, each member was separated and questioned but despite providing the legal documents they were unable to come over to the UK, that was 4 years ago and Stream of Passion hadn’t even announced a UK yet they talked about returning until the original support act Visions of Atlantis had to cancel their shows in the UK, Czech and France because of Mario Plank voice problems but seemed to be able to make it for their MFVF where they will be shooting there live DVD.

Stream of Passion opened with a song from the new album Darker Days (released June 2011) entitled Lost. They continued to play a lot of songs from their latest album, so if your an old fan there wouldn’t be a lot of songs that you would know, though they did perform Passion and Out of The Real World – Passion is from their first album Embrace The Storm, where the Marcela told the crowd that  it’s a really old song and told everyone to raise their hands and clap within time. They also had one from their second The Flame Within, my favourite song of the night was Collide (there new single), I was happy to see lead singer Marcela Bovio using her violin for the show and did on a numerous of songs through the show but also how she was okay at head banging on the stage I have only every seen that on Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil and Floor Jansen (ReVamp), and how the whole band seemed to be on their music and great hopefully Stream of Passion will get more recognition for what they do as they are great to see live and musically talented. I think that the band enjoyed there time in the UK, more so in London and will be returning (according to their official site and also Marcela mentioned) that you can see Stream of Passion at Fused Festival 2012. 4.5/5

Its been 5 years since Leaves’ Eyes last visited the north of England, so by performing in Manchester they definitely made up for lost time, despite Academy 3 only being a small venue the gig did not sell out but they did have a heavy and respectful crowd which Liv Kristine Espenaes Krull did mention. They kicked off their set with Spirits’ Masquerade, Liv being the last one to come onto the stage in a pure black medieval styled dress with corset around her middle, the sleeves edges of the dress and designed in a gold pattern, where she wore fish nets and high heeled shoes (which she later used to put holes in the set list) as the song progressed she held her hand out and touched everyone that she can reach in the audience.

The next song was from their first album Lovelorn, and is the first song I heard of Leaves’ Eyes, this is Ocean’s Way during the introduction Alexander Krull walks on with his desirable waist length, who encourages the audience to be a bit more brutal referring to his wife as ‘too nice’ and demands that the audience throw their fists in the air. The pair make a great duo Liv’s soft vocal with Alex’s definitely make Leaves’ Eyes unique.

I thought that My Destiny would be the last song or one of the last songs on the set list if not the last song but was pleasantly surprised when it appeared to be the third song in the list, this maybe because Alexandra was already on the stage? Who Knows. The audience is silent and Liv begins to sing the beginning vocals gently taking a quick break to tell the audience she loves them before the guitar riffs start off, Alex’s still encouraging the audience especially to call back at him often holding his ear to crowd in response to get more noise out of us.

From there I don’t know the order of the songs that they played, though the set list was cut short with songs like In To Your Light not being played because of lack of time, the band did continue to play songs from all 4 of their albums, one I didn’t think that they would play was Farewell Proud Men this is probably the songs that Liv came close to head banging and often raising her arm up in the arm to create the rock on symbol \m/

Not long after these songs they began to be slower songs with them playing Krakevisa which was dedicate to the horrible tragedy that happened in Norway this year with a man killing loads of teenagers, the song was sang in Norwegian and has the element of folk in it, the song i think is on about the hunting and killing of something.

After another song the perform Elegy probably one of the mans most famous and icon songs that appears in their second album Vinland Saga, the crowd is encouraged to clap along with the rhythm of the song and to call out the lyrics making sure that the crowd are were on the rising vocal range begin the song ‘Are you ready to sing really high? Are you?”. From this song there o into some musical difficulty with the intro of To France beginning, the crowd than edges them to carry on singing along to To France’s chorus, the next song is obviously To France.

The Last Leaves’ Eyes song is one that I didn’t think would even be on the set list and is off third album Njord Frøya’s Theme, Alex joins his wife on stage to perform their last song.

Leaves Eyes are great performers and the next time that they are in the UK you should totally go, a Security memeber after the show and told Liv that he had never heard of them before but totally enjoyed it. Definitely 5/5.

Danielle Eley

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