I can remember it so well, on the 15th of December 2002, Epica (called Sahara Dust back then) had our very first show. It took place at the 013 in Tilburg.
When Mark told me that we had an option for a first show, I was thrilled. When he told me that it was in front of a lot of people at a big venue, supporting Anathema, I got a little nervous. Another problem for me was that I actually already had a gig that day with the choir I was singing in. I had to leave after the first part of the show with the choir to be in Tilburg on time for the sound check.
The show was a complete shock for me. It was over in a flash. I felt like a tiny little mouse out on an open field. Singing in a choir makes you feel safe. There are a lot of people around you. In the 013, it was just me and the boys. The guys from Anathema were extremely nice to us. Their CD 'Judgement' is a part of me and I am thankful that we were given the chance to have our first show in front of a great crowd, together with a great band.
Now, ten years later, I have travelled the around world many times. Seen and experienced lot's of beautiful things. I've experienced pain, been severely ill numerous of times, but got back on my feet again. It's been blood, sweat and tears, but worth every second of it.
We are all in a very privileged position and thankful that we can call our hobby, our job. Epica has grown out to one of the biggest symphonic metal bands around nowadays and is still growing strong. When fans give us our CD's to sign, I look at the artwork and get flashes from the past. 10 years is a long time, and it went by so fast.
On the 23rd of March 2013, we will celebrate our 10 year anniversary together with you in the 'Klokgebouw' in Eindhoven! Our biggest show ever will be called 'Retrospect' and will also be the longest EPICA show ever. Together with a choir and orchestra we will go back in time and create a magical evening for you.
We would love it if you guys would come by and celebrate this milestone together with us.
Love from Newcastle, England