Location: Izmir Arena, TR
Katatonia from Sweden visited Turkey for a 3-city tour after their last festival gig in Turkey in 2015. I was lucky to attend the first ever concert of the tour that was in Izmir. The concert had no openers. The venue was an arena by the sea in Bayrakli region which is called Izmir Arena. I have to say, the place is more of a venue rather than an arena. However, the capacity and the location was quite good and comfy for the audience as far as I can tell.
I arrived at the venue just 15 minutes before the band took the stage and even though I was there last minute, I got to move towards the stage, on the front rows which was fortunate. The band kicked off with Forsaker from their “Night Is the New Day” album which set the mood right and rocking for the audience. Everyone in the crowd was apparently stoked, the excitement in the air was almost palpable as the band moved on to their second song. Then came Serac from their latest effort “The Fall of Hearts” which demonstrated the band´s more modern and melancholic side that nearly gave the fans some Anathema vibes with Katatonia´s own trademark prog touch.
The band played a balanced setlist of their most fan-cherished hits; such as Leaders, My Twin and on the encore; July, Lethean and also numerous tracks from their most recent albums as The Racing Heart, Old Heart Falls and Passer. The highlights of their set for me were Dead Letters, Ghost of the Sun and Soil´s Song. Even though maybe like a few other fans I was hoping to hear Deliberation and Evidence from their most classic albums to date; “The Great Cold Distance” and “Viva Emptiness”. But quickly I counted my blessings and felt lucky to see them live.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience to see Katatonia live in concert by themselves after their last festival set I´ve seen. I just can´t wait for the band´s new album “City Burials” that´s coming up on 24th April, 2020!