Alright, so time for the full review. As most of you know, this was my second show of Evergrey's tour, having hit the Philadelphia show this past Sunday. I managed to get the rail spot I wanted, but sadly never got the chance to meet the band - so that's really what I was looking for out of this show. I even considered upgrading to the VIP package, and probably would have if the venue would've let me - but I'm actually very fortunate I didn't.
We got into the city around 3:30 and waited outside for a few hours. I managed to grab a quick picture with Tom S. Englund on his way inside. They let the VIP ticket people (maybe 12-15 total) inside around 6:30, and the rest of us at 7. Turnout for this show was actually pretty solid, much unlike the Philly show. I would say there were something in the neighborhood of 500 people there. The Absence came on at 7:30 and played for a half hour. I really hate the vocals, but these guys can play, no real complaints. Powerglove came on at 8:15 and also played a half hour, and, unsurprisingly, I still didn't enjoy them.
Without a doubt the biggest surprise of the night was Sabaton's draw. If there were 500 people there, at LEAST 150+ came much more for Sabaton than Evergrey. Honestly, I had no idea this band was starting to get popular. The crowd loved them too, and I have to admit, they were definitely very good. I'm still not dying to listen to them as they're not REALLY my thing, but they were a great live band. If they tour here again with another band I like, I won't hesitate to see them again. They said: "We'll be back - and next time we'll be headlining", and I believe that. They played for about 45 minutes.
Evergrey hit the stage around 10:15 and played an absolutely amazing set. Fortunately the sound last night was a good bit better than the Philly show, and the band played so well. My spot right between Tom S Englund and Marcus Jidell gave me the perfect vantage point, it was just a blast. Fortunately the band made 2 slight alterations to the set from Sunday, including adding I'm Sorry back to the setlist on the spot, which I couldn't have thanked them enough for, as it was easily a highlight of the show. Even at 17 songs and an hour and 45 minutes, the show was too short - this honestly could've lasted forever and I would've been fine with it. I got a setlist and a pick from Marcus.
Afterwards we were determined to meet the band, so after running down the the 7-11 for some drinks, we came back and waited outside (The Gramercy has no back door). I usually never do this sort of thing to try to meet a band, but for one, I just cared so much about this, and also, I'd been told by many people that Evergrey aren't the sort of band who will blow off their fans, and if you wait to talk to them, they will talk to you - and last night certainly proved that true. We hung out with the whole band outside their bus for at least a good hour or so, it was the best. The whole band are seriously the nicest guys in the world, but it was mindblowing for me to just get to talk to Tom for a while about all sorts of things. This was honestly the most amazing end I could've asked for to these 2 amazing days. I can't thank the band enough for the awesome shows and their outstanding hospitality to us last night. They probably would've let us stay and hang out forever if they didn't have to get on the bus and leave. My hats are off to them, this was seriously a life-changing experience. 2 of the best shows I've ever seen and one of the best interactions with a band I've ever had. I joked that I'm going to give up going to concerts now, cause they will never get better for me than these were.