My 3000 km travel to Avantasia
1. Stop: Mons, Belgium
I started my journey to Avantasia on 11.04. with my first destination in Mons, Belgium for the PPM Festival. I travelled around 5 hours by car including one stop. I arrived there in late afternoon and could do a little resting in my hotel. The next day I went to the indoor festival arena, but sadly they opened the doors very late and the first band played, when we were still trying to get our festival wristband. The weather was quite cold, windy and rainy for the first 2 days, so I was quite happy that it was an indoor festival.
The arena itself was quite good and since there were not so many audiences, you had some place to walk around or sit down somewhere. Also as a result of this late door opening, there was no signing session for Avantasia and sadly I didn’t see anyone in the VIP area either, so this was the beginning of my journey to get some fanclub stuff signed.
Avantasia started their concert around 22:20 and they played as promised a show of 2 ½ hours, which is really very long for a festival. As I expected, ‘Spectres’ was their opener and a really very good show followed. Michael Kiske appeared in the 4th song and again as expected; they played ‘Reach out for the Light’. Michael was in very good shape from the beginning and the quite calm audience was loud for the first time. Then the first little surprise followed with playing ‘Breaking Away’ for the first time live. Another surprised followed with Kiske singing the ending of ‘Farewell’ and ‘The Seven Angels’ played live for the first time as full version. I also had some little complaints and the parts of Kiske were too short for my taste and the audience could have been a little more alive as well. But all in all it was a quite promising start of the world tour.
On the 3rd day, Helloween and Gamma Ray also played at the PPM Festival and they also did signing sessions. I organized some signatures from Markus and Kai for our fanclub and said ‘hello’ to them.
2. Stop: Milano, Italy
I stayed 2 more days at the PPM Festival and travelled on Monday 15.04. my longest distance with around 930 km from Belgium to Italy. I drove through Belgium, Luxembour, France, Switzerland and finally Italy to arrive at my hotel at around 22:00. I was really tired, but the next day I felt quite good again. I went to the concert hall in Milano for some first pics and there were already several fans waiting. After some more fanclub work, I finally went to the concert around 17:30, but sadly the opened the doors late at around 19:00. But I could talk a little bit with some fans I know from the fanclub. Luckily the weather was very good as well and finally some kind of summer temperatures.
The show started some minutes after 20:00 and for me this was the first 3 hours show. In the end it was more than 3 hours. It was definitely the best audience of this tour and the fans almost knew all lyrics. Tobi and Michi several times confirmed this and they were so impressed and happy about the audience. I heard here for the first time ‘Stargazers’ and ‘Avantasia’ with Kiske, 2 songs that they didn’t play at the PPM festival. Kiske was in incredible good shape and it was almost as good when they would play in South America. I was impressed as well and glad that I visited Italy for the first and for sure not the last time. I didn’t meet anyone of the band there and went back to the hotel then.
3. Stop: Ludwigsburg, Germany
I stayed one more day for sightseeing in Milano and travelled on 18.04. around 540 km to Ludwigsburg, Germany. The weather was still good when I arrived there and this sadly changed the next day. I checked the arena first and made some pics of the tour busses. I went to the show then quite late, since I had a sitting place this time.
The doors opened at 19:00 and the show started some minutes after 20:00. It took some time until the inner field of the arena was filled and I had first some doubts, but in the end, it was quite crowded and also the sitting places were filled with many people. The audience was a little calmer, but still good. Especially when the intro of ‘Reach out for the Light’ was played, the first Kiske, Kiske calls could be heard. Kiske sounded again very good and it was the same set-list than in Milano. The acoustic was very good in this concert hall and I could really enjoy it. After the concert I went back to my hotel.
Sadly this was also the beginning of the little sad story of the first part of this world tour. They said that they somehow caught a flu in Belgium, which started to affect them later. I didn’t hear anything here or in the following 2 shows.
4. Stop: Kaufbeuren, Germany
The next day I already drove around 200 km to Kaufbeuren and sadly the little summer was over and it started a heavy raining. Kaufbeuren was also the only place, where my hotel was located a few kilometers away and I couldn’t walk to the arena. I drove to the arena by car around 18:45 and luckily the opened the doors earlier than announced due to the heavy rain. There were not so many people in the beginning and it took some time, until it was crowded. The concert started around 20:15 and I had a place nearby the speakers, which is not the best place, especially for heavier songs. Nevertheless, I was nearer to the band than in any other show. It was again very good show and the audience was also very good, which Tobi several times mentioned.
I tried to catch the band after the concert, but due to the flu, Tobi and Michi immediately left the concert hall and only Oliver and Amanda did some signings and pictures. I drove back to the hotel then and it was really difficult, since you couldn’t see much with the heavy rain. It’s possible that Avantasia was in the same hotel, but I somehow missed them and only saw their tour manager at breakfast.
5. Stop: Fulda, Germany
The next day I drove to Fulda and when I arrived there, the weather got better. This time I was really in the same hotel than Avantasia and I already saw some fans waiting when I arrived. The concert hall was quite next to the hotel and I went down a little later. There was a big queue of fans already waiting to enter the concert hall. They started the show around 20:15 and it was again a sold-out show. I couldn’t really hear much of the flu, with maybe a few little things here and there. They played again the full set, but this sadly changed in the next shows.
Fulda is the hometown of Tobias and they really celebrated Avantasia. After the concert, Amanda and Oliver came down again to do some signatures and I could get some stuff signed for our fanclub. Sadly the other ones disappeared and no aftershow happened, probably again due to do some resting because of the flu. I went to my hotel room then too.
6. Stop: Berlin, Germany:
I already travelled the next day to Berlin and could do some resting in my hotel. I checked the concert hall later and was a little surprised that there were no posters of Avantasia nearby the venue. There was a kind of Turkish bazaar. The next day I did some little sightseeing in Berlin, since I was here for the first time and the weather was great that day as well. I went to the concert hall quite late, since I had again a sitting place.
There were sadly only a few people waiting to enter the concert hall and in the end, a little more than 1000 people were in this venue, but the concert hall was also quite big. But I had a nice structure, like a circus tent. They started at around 20:20 and the audience was quite calm, a little bit like in Belgium. Tobi and the rest of the Avantasia guys had to motivate them quite often. Later it got a little better. Sadly the flu of the singers got worse and Kiske had to reduce his singing parts. He skipped ‘Breaking Away’ and didn’t sing in ‘Stargazers’. It was also noticeable that he had some breathing problems, but he still sang well.
7. Stop: Hamburg, Germany
The next day, I went to Hamburg, the hometown of Michael Kiske. I had some traffic jam here, since an accident happened and the road was closed then. I drove via some smaller roads some kilometers and arrived much later than expected. I was still early enough to enter the concert hall in time, which was located next to my hotel. It was a smaller venue, more like a club and it was quite hot there. The atmosphere was very good. Kiske finally sang again in ‘Stargazers’ and almost no flu hearable. Kiske introduced ‘Stargazers’: ‘Originally I wanted to skip this one, but i try it’. I didn’t hear anything from his flu anymore, even not in ‘Seven Angels’. He had his voice again in full control and also no breathing problems that I noticed. Kiske really seemed to enjoy Hamburg very much and he stayed longer on the stage than in any other show. He joked with Amanda in the finishing of the show, he took her hair and put them on his head. Hamburg absolutely ruled. The audience also almost knew all lyrics. It was a great event.
8. Stop: Oberhausen, Germany:
I stayed one more day in Hamburg to do again some sightseeing and drove on 25.04. to Oberhausen. I was again in the same hotel than Avantasia and finally I could catch Tobi, Michi and some more Avantasians to get the fanclub items signed. I talked a little a bit with Tobias and he was very friendly and nice.
I went to the concert hall a little bit later, since the signing took some time, so I arrived after the doors were opened. It was very hot again and the band later complained some times as well, that there is no fresh air in the venue. The concert started quite late around 20:40 maybe. As Tobi told me before, they almost had recovered from their flu, except Kiske who still had a few problems with coughing. It was also a spontaneous decision to play ‘Breaking Away’ again and in the hotel they were still sure to skip that song. In the end I didn’t hear any problems of Kiske in this show. The audience was fantastic and sang a lot of lyrics with the band.
9. and final Stop: Lichtenfels, Germany:
The next day I did my last concert travel with around 480 km to Lichtenfels. During my travel there was a lot of rain, but it stopped when I arrived in Lichtenfels. The venue was againquite hot, but a little more air was there. They played again the same set-list than in Oberhausen, but with some curiosities. In ‘Farewell’ Kiske didn’t sing his part and in ‘Shelter from the Rain’ Kiske did a very low part, where he maybe had some breathing problems again. All in all it was again a good show with many audiences. The atmosphere was a little calmer than in the shows before, but still good. The next day I drove home, quite tired, but also happy that I did this long tour of Avantasia.