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Ария Фест - XXV лет - (ARIA FEST - 25 years)
Olympic Stadium - Moscow, Russia
November 27, 2010

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Poster for Aria 25 anniversary concert, Moscow

So, in November 2010 my best friend and I went to see Aria, a famous and historical Heavy Metal band from Russia.

Not only it's was a dream come true, but we also caught the AriaFest, a festival where Aria celebrated their 25-year career and the opening acts were the bands formed by ex-Aria members: Mavrin, Arteria, Master and Kipelov.

It was unbelievable, amazing and exceptional.

I went there with my best friend, Ricardo, and he asked me if he could write the review. So, here is the Aria Fest review by Ricardo.
Click on the links for individual concerts reviews of Mavrin, Arteria, Master, Kipelov and Aria.

Arthur Berkut singling live with Aria

Who could tell that someday in our lives that this was about to happen?
In the early 90s when we found about Aria through a DJ that sent us some recorded cassettes in our far Colombia, who could think that we were about to see them Live??

When the Internet world evolved we found out a lot more of this band but even in this days when record shops are just a “click” away, Aria CDs or DVDs are still difficult (of course I speak for those who live outside the Ex-СССР domains, like us).

Vladimir Holstinin and Arthur Berkut of Aria in Moscow

Well…as Iron Maiden says: “The dream is true”: When Ronnie J. Dio passed (RIP Master), once again we realized that we have to live and enjoy today, so we though “let’s do it, let’s go to see Aria in Moscow” because we really don’t know what could happen to us tomorrow…seize the day!!

After a lot of bureaucracy to get the visas to go to Mother Russia, we discovered that this concert was to celebrate the 25 years history of Aria!
Opening acts included the ex-members' bands like Sergei Mavrin, Kipelov, Master and Arteria.

Sergey Popov of Aria in Moscow

We took our plane on a snowy day in Munich and after 3 relaxing hours and great German efficiency and service we finally arrived to Moscow.

I really didn’t know what to expect from Moscow: maybe a place with a high underdevelopment and plenty of soldiers as I saw on TV, but I was wrong: I found a developed and competitive place with people who stares at us very curious because we were foreigners but making us feel welcome and tons of beautiful girls.

Vitaly Dubinin from Aria live in Moscow

We went to the МАИ Тур-Сервис (MAI Tour Service, the company in charge of concert’s organization) offices to get our foto passes and then had a drink with a girl from the company.

She couldn’t believe that somebody from abroad and so far way, were doing all of this for a Russian band.

Maxim Udalov on drums - Aria live in Moscow

The next day we went to see the city and to “hunt” Aria’s CDs and DVDs and thanks to a friend of us who lives in Moscow we found a place where we could buy all the Aria discography we wanted (Thanks Lisa!)

After a visit of Red Square and some major monuments the time for the concert arrived, so we headed to “Olimpiski”: It is a place were ice skating, concerts, and competitions are held, and they arranged for this concert a maximum capacity of 20.000 people.

Vitaly Dubinin with Aria - Aria 25th anniversary concert in Moscow

We arrived and we saw that all the people, like in the rest of the things in Moscow, very disciplined and organized: everybody was in queue, very calm, waiting the turn to enter the place. The atmosphere was wonderful!

We really felt welcome when we got inside.
Coming from abroad, a girl from the organization said we were "their special guests".

Valery Kipelov is back - Aria live in Moscow

The Festival started very punctual at 19:00 with the band of Sergei Mavrin, who played guitar in Aria in albums like “Geroi Asfalta”(Hero of asphalt), “Igna s ognyem”(Playing with fire) and “Krov za Krov” (Blood for blood).

His way to play is unique, I’ve never seen a guitar player doing solos the way he does.
The sound was excellent and we could enjoy every note in the 30 minutes they played.

Vitaly Dubinin live with Aria

After that we saw Arteria that is the band of Sergei Terentyev who played guitar in Aria in albums like “Nots koruim dnya”(Night is shorter than day) and “Generator zla” (generator of evil).

Then was the turn for a Band called Master from the founder bass player Alik Granovsky. They played old Aria Songs like “Volya i rasum”(Will and reason) and a very speedy version of “Torero”.

Then played Kipelov, the people love him in a way I’ve never imagined. His drummer is Aleksander Maniakin who played in Aria from “Playing with fire” in 1989 until “Himera” in 2001.

Kipelov gave a great atmosphere and showed us how he owns the stage. They played a song from “Krov za Krov”(Blood for Blood) called “Sleduy za Mnoi” (Follow me) which in my opinion is one of the best ones from Aria.

Kipelov, Holstinin and Berkut - Aria 25 Anniversary in Moscow

The equipment change from one band to another was really quick and professional, showing us again the great discipline and good organization from the Russian people.

Then the moment arrived, a big stage as the ones you see from big bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica or Judas Priest, with a scenography you couldn’t believe: fog, lights, platforms everywhere...

At 21:15 the lights turned off and the Intro began... then we could see Vitali Dubinin and hear the first notes of Kolisei!!

Guitars! Sergey Popov and Vladimir Holstinin

From the very first moment you could see the strength of this band among the audience. They had an unbelievable energy.

During the first songs you could see the experience of the band members and how professional they are. They were playing all their songs very clean and we could hear clearly the harmonies from Mr Popov and Holstinin.

Arthur Berkut and Valery Kipelov together

After 5 songs, Arthur Berkut sat on a piano and came out a beautiful girl with a harp. They sang together Tam VysoKo (High Up There): that was one of the highlights of this concerts in my opinion!

After that, Mr. Kipelov hit the stage again and sang the rest of the setlist, sometimes with Arthur Berkut.

Vitaly Dubinin in Moscow

After 2:15 hours they played classic Aria songs like “Hero of Asphalt”, “Baptism by fire”, “Ballad of the ancient Russian warrior”, “Rose street”...

After a great drum Solo from Maxim Udalov they finished the set list with a special version of “Dai Scharo” (Give'em the heat).
At the end of the song, we saw on stage all the members from the other 4 bands that played during this magical night.

Everybody sang and you could see everybody up in the stage and downstage were having a great time.

Despite the freezing cold and all the bureaucracy it was worth so much to go to Moscow and hear them live. If you’ve never heard of Aria we suggest you to, because is one of the best heavy metal bands around!

Arthur Berkut with Valery Kipelov on stage

We would like to say thank you again to Anastasia, Natalia and MAI Corporation because without them this experience wouldn’t be possible. We’ll never forget this!!

Click on the following links for individual concerts reviews of Sergei Mavrin, Arteria, Master, Kipelov and Aria.

Maxim Udalov sharing his drums with the audience Bookmark and Share

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Happy 25 Years! - Aria live in Moscow

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