A Decade

by 15.12.12

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

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  1. Congratulations! You all deserved it! I wish I could see a video or at least a pic of the very first show!
    Greetings from Brazil, I hope I finally get to see you guys live when you come back here.

  2. I love Mark Jansen, i love you and Epica :D congratulations!! I want to see your band again, but this time in Costa Rica

  3. congratulations, dear!

    you are all so great and it's such a pleasure listen to your music and go to all of your shows and enjoy the great things you have to say! :) I hope we can all keep on listening Epica for a really looong time!

  4. Hey Simone you do have a point when you say Epica is growing strong! Almost every day I enter the Epica facebook account and it is amazing how you guys get a lot of 'likes' in just one day! I love it...you know Epica is my favourite band and it has changed a lot of things in my life...Thanks to you I've met a lot of people who are my best friends now and I've learned to appreciate classical music and metal as well!

    Thank you for sharing your first experience on stage! Nice post S! :)

  5. If I could be in Germany that day I wouldn't miss. Don't forget to make a DVD from it!
    Love and devotion,
    Carlos Spartacus.

  6. Ops, in Netherlands of course... If I could I wouldn't miss. :)

  7. congratulations on these 10 years,what a achievement! Awesome.This was a good blog post.I find it hard to imagine Miss Simons being nervous(although understandable being the first gig)before a gig. I'm not just trying to flatter here either,I have seen a ton of live Epica videos on youtube & Simone seems really stage confident. I have not been with Epica since the start.I first fell in love with epica about five years ago.I heard Chasing The Dragon while browsing youtube videos & it blew me away. I'm so excited for the Glasgow show today.I got the vip tickets. I'm excited for the show,but so nervous about the meet & greet session.

    I'm sorry Simone if you hear this a lot,but it's true.To me your voice is much more than audio pleasure.It carries so much sentiment & emotion.I have been brought to tears at times hearing your voice.
    If retrospect is being recorded I will definitely buy the dvd.I would love to come,but alas insufficient funds prevents me from attending.
    Thanks to all past & present Epica members for contributing to the most beautiful music I have ever heard.

    ps: I'm sorry.I didn't like Epica's old name Sahara Dust,what did that name even mean?
    Also did you hear the good news from Ruurd Woltring on his youtube channel? His smile was priceless.

  8. Congratulation Simone! And thanks for so many years of beautiful songs, I've grown up with your songs, they have been a part of my life for so long now and Epica and your sweet voice is one of the reasons I started studying classical singing, the first song I ever sang in front of an audience was Feint, I'm really thankful with you and they guys for inspiring me. Cheers for many more years of Epica!!!

  9. SIMONE, PLEASE READ THIS, PLEASE!! OMG... listen to The Classical Conspiracy extremely loud and read this post made me cry like a baby! it feels so good to have a reason for living, something that makes you stand up everytime that you're sad, something you can never get tired of, something you love, something that means your life; that something are you guys! EPICA is the reason i am here right now, EPICA changed my life... i cannot explain how much you mean to me. I'd give everything just to meet you, because i've never met you! i won't get tired of your songs, NEVER! i know i will be the biggest fan FOREVER AND EVER. Listening to you in Mexico was a dream come true, i experienced something beautiful and i didn't care about anything else, i was just staring at your faces, crying, shouting, headbanging and having the best time of my life! It was a dream come true, i'll never forget the moment when Mark gave me his pick... i'm crying, really you can't imagine how much you mean to me, EPICA IS MY LIFE! THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR CHANGING MY LIFE! I LOVE YOU ALL <3 -Daniela Alvarez

  10. Congratulations Epica saved my life THANK YOU FOR ALL.. EPICA 4EVER I LOVE YOU GUYS ... MIRIAM DENISSE (SALLY)

  11. Congratulation for the ten years!! I'm proud to say that Epica is my favorite band!! You Rock!!
    Please record this great concert all Epica fans will love to keep this forever!!!

  12. To me, Epica is the best! Want to see you celebrating 20, 30, 40... years!!! \,,/

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. you and the band should make a dvd, it would be awesome!! =)

  15. Anonymous15.12.12

    Words can't describe what you and your music mean to me. Your voice is so beautiful and unique and your lyrics are eye-opening. Epica has greatly impacted my life and I truely believe I am a better person because of Epica. I only wish I can someday meet you to express how much I love you and the rest of Epica; it would be a dream come true. I very much appreciate everything you do, all of the work and energy you have put into your songs. Epica is literally all I listen to, your songs never get old. I am proud to be a fan of Epica and I will always support you guys. Your music has been the one thing in my life that is constant, and to me you are an angel. Thank you for everything you do.

  16. Congrats to you! You guys are awesome and our music is made with such a passion, competence and devotion that you absolutely deserve all of this!
    I follow you from the very first cd (I remember Sahara Dust = D )and I'm grew up with your music.. So thank you for this awesome journey that, I hope, will go on for more time to come!

  17. Congratulations! =)
    Wow, many things came into my mind while reading this, what a nostalgia! *-*
    If my life was a movie, Epica would be the soundtrack. Looking forward to seeing you and the guys, once again, on March 23rd. See ya! <3

  18. Thank you for these incredible 10 years! And good luck with the next 10 (20, 30..)! :)
    I don't want to be cheesy and to write an essay about how much Epica mean to me. I fell in love with Epica when TPA was released and I'm pretty sure that our relationship is lifelong journey. :)

    1. Oh, I almost forgot it, but..Magyarország szeret titeket! :)
      Hope you understand it! :D

    2. Yep, Magyarország szeret titeket ;)

  19. Congratulations!!!!! You deserve it!!!
    Like a lot of fans; Epica also changed me.. and you were with me in the most complicated part of my life:)
    Thanks all of you! A million times! When everybody left me alone, I heard your music and I was quiet, I heard your voice and I felt like you spoke to me..all it's ok.. don't give up.
    When my body recovered from the surgery, now years ago, I went to see Epica at a concert .. and got a Mark's guitar pick! :D
    Thanks sweetie Smoon&Epica!
    your music is a precious gift for our ears

  20. Thanks for share your nice memories. All of you deserve this great moment and more to come. Congratulations!
    We want more and more from Epica! Long live!

  21. Anonymous15.12.12

    Congratulations on this huge milestone!!


  22. Gefeliciteerd EPICA!!!!! :D

  23. I cried when I read this lol. Can't wait to see you tonight! LONG LIVE EPICA!!!

  24. Oh, das macht mich ganz aufgeregt, ich kann die Show im März jetzt kaum erwarten!
    Gefeliciteerd, Epica! :)

  25. Wow, time went so fast.. You guys deserves the best!!! Your music for me is perfect, amaizing. Since i start listening you, i can't stop doing it. You are the best band ever!!!! Please keep rocking and making great music for us!!
    Congratulations! You're the best band ever!!

  26. Congratulations EPICA! I'll be there at the show in Eindhoven, as I wan't to be part of the special evening of the band that means the most to me!

  27. Congratulations! I very like Epica, since I hear for the first time! I realized who you evoluted too much! Your voice, your performance, your appearance! You always very pretty, but this beauty grows!!

    Simone, you inspire very person in the world, to your voice, your beauty, your job and determination! I'm very proud of you!!!

    Why you don't show Epica's pics since 2002? Kind, a compilation? You can select pics since 2002, the best pics!!!

    What you think about?


  28. Hi guys, thanks for your kind words! Your support as gotten us this far and means the world to us!
    Hail to all the Epicans out there!



    1. thanks to you guys! you mean everything to me, and when i say everything is EVERYTHING! love you!!!! <3 did you like my comment?
      -Daniela Alvarez

  29. Which I could be there in March! Here's hoping for ten more wonderful years at least.

  30. Epica i love you :')

  31. Happy birthday to Epica ! Thanks Simone for sharing with us these memories, I can feel your emotion through your words.

    And thanks you, Simone, the boys ;), all your staff, for this amazing decade, made of awesome music and gigs. There's definitely an "Epica touch", almost elusive because of your so fine-cut compositions - music, lyrics, atmosphere. Each album is really "Epica-ish", each album has its own essence, its own particularities... I've never finished to discover your music ! It's always a bliss, there's always a new sensation.
    And on stage... WOH !Always a blast ! Can't find the words to describe how you make me feel, thanks to your music and the relationship you achieve to create with your audience, and thanks to the real complicity we feel beteween all of you.

    So, long life to Epica, long and happy life to all Epica-members ! Stay the same guys : amazing on stage, so talented and full of energy and good vibes, and so kind and "as simple as anybody else" outside, it's really appreciated. It's priceless to love music made by a band like you !
    See you in Eindhoven, to party with you ! Ready to rock all night long ;)

    Emilie, from France.

  32. It's really inspiring to see the long way you did and how you grew over the years, and I wish you luck in your future with the Epica, and I'm sure you'll keep doing what you do the best :)
    It's also really nice to know how bands like Anathema influenced you... can you tell more about bands that affected you?

    Thanks for sharing these special memories with us! I'm looking forward to see/here the retrospect show!

  33. I'm a beginner in the music, I started to sing in a choir last year and I know how you felt! My last show was on friday and I was nervous, but in general everything went good!
    Do you still feel nervous sometimes? I wanna give elogies to your voice, your style and your band, one of my favorites!
    Wish you all the best and ten more years of success!

  34. Ik kan het nog steeds niet geloven dat onze samenwerking voor een gouden plaat heeft gezorgd. Sowieso wens ik jou en de anderen fijne kerstdagen en een voorspoedig 2013.

  35. Anonymous3.1.13

    f**k ...i'm crying...your words are very beautiful, simone...congratulations!!

  36. http://www.rockezine.com/asp/rez_aconcert.asp?ID=134&review=+Anathema+++Sahara+Dust

    Bij 'more pictures' zie je volgens mij de foto's van jullie eerste concert! Zo leuk om te zien!