The russian metal band Aria toured all over Germany in spring 2012, and Easter was the perfect timing to go and see them!
On saturday I attended their show in Frankfurt, which was awesome, and on sunday I went to see them again in Stuttgart.
Both shows were very different, as the band was not playing under the same conditions.
The previous night they played in a theater, while here it was a night club.
The stage was much smaller so they had less room to move around, and they didn't have enough space to hang the backdrop with the cover of the new album.
Also, there were very few lights and the sound wasn't very clear.
In other words, the concert in Frakfurt was close to perfection, while it Stuttgart it was more spontaneous.
There were mostly Russians in the audience.
There was no opening band. That's sad because there are many good bands in the area of Stuttgart, and there 's even the headquarters of Nuclear Blast. A support band would have brought more Germans to discover Aria.
Anyway, they don't know what they missed... and that's a shame!
Aria is a band that gives everything on stage, no matter if they play at Moscow's Olympic Stadium or at a small club in Germany. The sound was a bit rough but the crowds went wilder.
Something I love about Aria is the way they mix melodies and strenght.
Sergey Popov is the kind of guitarist that every heavy metal band would like to have: not only he's a great guitar player, but he's also very communicative with the crowds.
On the contrary, Vladimir Holstinin remains calm and concentrated, no matter how difficult are the riffs and solos he's playing.
On bass there's Vitaly Dubinin, also in charge of the backing vocals. He's impressive, very technical and groovy, he makes the songs rock.
On drums, Maxim Udalov is the metronome of the band, and he's equally good during the fast and the mid-tempo songs.
Finally, the new guy is Mikhail Zhitnyakov on vocals, and he demonstrated that he was chosen for his high skills. He's got a beautiful voice and is a good frontman, spontaneous and dedicated.
Aria's setlist was exactly the same as the previous night.
The band played five songs from the new album, which makes almost a third of all the songs played. That's courageous for a band with such a long carreer, and I love this attitude of looking forward instead of being stuck in the past.
I like very much the new record and I think the Дальний свет (Distant Light) is a future classic. I loved the live version! Бои без правил (Fight Without Rules) also has a particular strenght, especially after the solo.
Some of the most enjoyable moments of the show were Колизей (Coliseum) and Последний закат The Last Sunset but of course, the hymns like Улица роз (Street Of Roses) Штиль (Calm), and Кровь за кровь (Blood For Blood) made everyone sing loud.
I didn't understand any of the speeches as Mikhail Zhitnyakov adressed the crowds only in Russian... But this was enough as only a handful of people didn't understand what he said. Anyway, he knows how to make people sing and scream!
As Aria doesn't tour much outside Russia, I don't know when I'll have the opportunity to see the band again, if I do.
But by now, one thing is certain, I will never forget these two concerts!
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Setlist Aria – Zapata – Stuttgart, Germany – April 8 2012
——— Intro ———
01. Чёрный квадрат
02. Бои без правил
Fight Without Rules
03. Ночь короче дня
The Night is Shorter than the Day
05. Дальний свет
07. Кровь за кровь
Blood For Blood
—— Drum Solo ——
10. Последний закат
The Last Sunset
11. Осколок льда
Shard Of Ice
13. Небо тебя найдет
To Find the Sky
14. Улица роз
Street Of Roses
15. Беспечный ангел
16. Дай жару
—— Outro: Мания величия ——
Aria My Space
Aria CDs on Amazon.com
Aria CDs at Play.com
Aria on Metal Traveller's Flickr
Aria iTunes downloads
Mikhail Zhitnyakov – Vocals
Vladimir Holstinin – Guitars
Sergey Popov – Guitars
Vitaly Dubinin – Bass
Maxim Udalov – Drums