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Фест - XXV лет - (ARIA FEST - 25 years)
Olympic Stadium - Moscow, Russia
May 28, 2011

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Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia

This was a moment I never really thought I’d live.

Arthur Berkut singling live with Aria

It was a dream I had for years, which finally came true on that cold November night.

I discovered Aria thanks to my best friend, Ricardo, back in 1993, with the album Blood for Blood.

Arias albums are hard to find, but somehow during the years, I managed to get all their CDs.

Vladimir Holstinin of Aria in Moscow

As a fan, my next step was trying to see them live in concert. But besides Ukraine, Belarus and other ex-Soviet Republics, Aria doesn’t tour outside Russia.

In 2010 Aria were scheduled to play a short set in the afternoon at the Sonisphere Finland Festival, but of course the big thrill was seeing a headlining show.

Then my friend Ricardo launched the idea to go to Russia in November… and I couldn’t say no!

Sergey Popov of Aria in Moscow

What we didn’t know when we booked, is that this concert was actually the Aria Fest!

The band was celebrating 25 years of career, and they did it with style!

The opening bands were the bands to which Aria gave birth: Mavrick, formed by virtuoso guitar player Sergey Mavrin; Arteria, the band from Sergey Terentyev;
Master, formed by ex-bass player Alik Granovsky;
and Kipelov, the band of ex-Aria singer Valery Kipelov.

Виталий Дубинин

I just can’t imagine a better occasion to see Aria playing live for the first time!
Aria is a very big band in its country, which they tour extensively year after year.
For this occasion the big 20 000 capacity Moscow Olimpisky indoors arena was completely sold-out!

The concert started with a quite long intro. Then the curtain fell and very bright white lights blinded my eyes for a few seconds: All spots were on, the volume was up, and Aria were finally on stage!

Максим Удалов - Maxim Udalov on drums - Aria live in Moscow

Aria were the only band to use the whole stage... and it was a really huge stage! It had a platform on each side and the band logo on the background.

Vladimir Holstinin is an amazing guitar player. He's the founder of the band, and the one who composes and plays most of these melodies that make Aria songs incredible.

Drummer Maxim Udalov is really impressive, like he plays without effort, and always with a smile.

Arthur Berkut on piano, duo with Hellawes - Aria live in Moscow

It was incredible to see Vitaly Dubinin on stage. While Alik Granovsky from Master is Aria's original bass player, Vitaly Dubinin has become a symbol of the band.

Sergey Popov, who used to play with Master, is a great guitar player too, making a lot of solos through the show.

Finally, Arthur Berkut does an incredible job, as he's undoubtly a great singer, with a large vocal range. He's also a great frontman.

Natalia "Hellawes" O'Shea playing harp with Aria - Aria 25th anniversary concert in Moscow

Aria's line-up was very special tonight and some special guests were invited tonight.

The first ballad of the evening was Там высоко (High Up There), played as a duet by Arthur Berkut on piano and special guest Natalia "Hellawes" O'Shea on the harp.

They played a very beautiful version of this tune, which the audience sung really loud. Without any doubt, one of the best moments of the evening!

Let's go back in time - Aria with Valery Kipelov

But right after that, Valery Kipelov came on stage and sang most of the rest of the concert, starting with the song Hero Of Asphalt!
This was better than a trip somewhere back in time! It was two Aria concerts in one! One with the former singer, and one with the current one.

Well, if Artur Berkut is a great singer and frontman, Valery Kipelov is an exceptional one!
It's hard to find such a charismatic singer, in total communion with the audience.

Vitali Dubinin and the lights cross - Aria 25 Anniversary in Moscow

The setlist was also great. Actually, they could have played any setlist, I still would have been happy!

Nevertheless, Aria played nothing from the albums Кровь за кровь (Blood for Blood) and Ночь короче дня (Night is Shorter Than Day), which are some of my favourites.

The sound was great during the whole show. The lights were disposed as a half circle, giving the impression of an even bigger stage.
There was a backdrop with the logo of the band on the back of the stage, and a cross of lights was formed for the song Calm (Штиль).

Valery Kipelov live with Aria

After the song Замкнутый круг (Closed Circle), the whole band went backstage as we waited for the encores. But we didn't wait alone!
Drummer Maxim Udalov stayed on stage and played a drum solo while the other guys came out.

That's incredible, usually the drummer is the first one who wants a short rest, but not Maxim!

Sergey Popov, Vitali Dubinin and Vladimir Hostinin

The band came out for the encores, first they played "Street of Roses" with Kipelov on vocals, then "Give'en Hell" with Kipelov and Berkut.

After this, every single musician that played at the Ariafest came on stage!
All members from Mavrik, Master, Arteria and Kipelov were there to greet the audience, while Aria played the Crocodile Gena's Song, a song that every russian knows!

Headbanging for the Ulica Roz choreography

It was an incredibly amazing evening!
I'm sure that every fan in there was pleased. Can you imagine a lengendary band and all its ex-members in just one evening?
A complete anthology, I couldn't dream of a better concert!

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Setlist Aria – Olympic Stadium - Moscow, Russia – May 28, 2011

01. Колизей
02. Раскачаем этот мир
Rock This World
03. Крещение огнем
Baptism Of Fire
04. Небо тебя найдет
The Sky Will Find You
05. Последний закат
The Last Sunset
06. Там высоко
High Up There
07. Герой асфальта
Hero Of Asphaslt
08. Осколок льда
Shard Of Ice
09. Баллада о древнерусском воине
The Ballad of an Old Russian Warrior
10. Штиль
11. Бой продолжается
The Battle Continues
12. Замкнутый круг
Closed Circle
—— Drum Solo ——
13. Улица роз
Street Of Roses
14. Дай жару
Give'em Hell
15. Песенка крокодила Гены
Crocodile Gena's Song

Aria Links:

Aria Website
Aria My Space
Aria CDs on Amazon.comAria Amazon
Aria CDs at
Aria on Metal Traveller's Flickr
Aria Amazon
Aria iTunes downloads

Aria Line-up:

Arthur Berkut – Vocals
Артур Беркут
Vladimir Holstinin – Guitars
Владимир Холстинин
Sergey Popov – Guitars
Сергей Попов
Vitaly Dubinin – Bass
Виталий Дубинин
Maxim Udalov – Drums
Максим Удалов

Special Guests:
Valery Kipelov – Vocals (songs 7-14)
Валерий Кипелов
Natalia "Hellawes" O'Shea – Harp (song 6)
Ната́лья "Хелависа" О’Шей
All band members from Mavrick, Arteria, Master and Kipelov – Backing Vocals (song 15)
Aria special line-up: Sergey Popov, Vitali Dubinin, Valery Kipelov, Arthur Berkut and Vladimir Hostinin
Valery Kipelov and Arthur Berkut singing togetherin Moscow
Arthur Berkut teasing the audience at Moscow Olimpisky, with all the special guests on stage
Sergey Mavrin and Vladimir Holstinin playing guitar - Aria 25th Anniversary
Happy 25 Years! - Aria live in Moscow
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