Celebration, anniversary, reunion; call it what you like but the Anathema show in Dublin’s Academy was the final evening of the ‘Resonance’ tour, an evening of the band’s entire career that since it was announced had left many salivating at the prospect. This was a show that many never envisaged happening and on the night, the venue was bursting at the seams with fans of all three eras. Songs were played in reverse chronology drawing from last year’s Distant Satellites right back to the Crestfallen EP. We decided to ask a few fans, who were there for this special occasion, how the evening was for them. Read on for the views from the pews:
“There is nothing I enjoy more than a band that effortlessly creates an atmosphere that is scary and intense. Anathema left goosebumps all over my body from the first note played by Danny to the closing line of ‘Sleepless’ – “No sleepless nights missing the dead, oh no more, no more war”. The foremost performance of the evening, which will stay with me forever, was ‘Closer’ which captivated the audience like nothing I have ever seen before. Live, Anathema are the masters of tension and suspense, instilling emotions I did not know I felt, leaving me drained but completely satisfied at the end. Words are not enough, seeing is believing.” – Karyn Corrigan, Wexford
“The first set is my favourite Anathema time frame so I was anxious not to miss a single minute. It was also amazing to see them back in Dublin so soon after their stunning performance in the Button Factory last September. The crowd was hyped as they kicked off the show with the incredible ‘Anathema’, containing the most wonderful goose pimple inducing solo; their best since Flying. Lee’s voice was haunting as usual for Untouchable and A Natural Disaster. I was personally delighted with the inclusion of ‘A Simple Mistake’ which was lapped up by the audience. The first set finished with the heart rendering ‘One Last Goodbye’. Such a beautiful song, with an unreal voice performance from Vinny, sadly it was slightly tarnished by the amount of chatter among some attendees. This is insulting to both the band who was giving an insane execution of their music and fellow concert goers. Note to self: Next Anathema gig, bring a big stick! Duncan Patterson joined the band for Set 2. The super Fragile Dreams got the crowd hopping. It was a joy to hear the Eternity trilogy live. The song of the set for me was Sunset of Age. By Set 3 the room was on fire; a lot of old school fans were so eager for what was coming. Darren White took to the stage like a man possessed. I was humbled with the Falling Deeper version of Kingdom as it was belted out. His stage presence is electric as the crowd fell under his spell for Under a Veil. A ton of onstage banter before the last song with Danny implying resignation after a snog from Darren and a ‘”Go ‘n’ Shite” from Vinny. The fantastic Sleepless brought the 3 hour performance to a close, which for me, flew by at lightning speed.
Once again, an amazing, hair-raising and unforgettable show from Anathema and probably the last opportunity to hear some of the tracks live. I was unfortunate not to get a Resonance t-shirt as they sold out quickly. It was an awesome atmosphere and one week later I am still reeling from it. Gig of the year!” – Lorraine Scanlon, Kildare
“Seeing a band like Anathema at their zenith, playing all the material that brought them to this point was really a once in a life time gig experience for me. This gig was one of those ‘were you there?’ moments in music like Hendrix at Woodstock and in the case of Anathema’s Resonance tour I can say I was there and I loved every minute of it.” – Colin Kavanagh, Arklow
“From the opening note of “Anathema” to the closing note of “Sleepless” Anathema took three hours of my life that I would only wish to have back again if they produced the same magical night. To be treated to a bands 25 year career split into significant segments was amazing, to also have the band members associated with each timeframe play those segments just brought it to a different level completely. The development and continued morphing of them as Artists may not be embraced by all fans, but surely a performance like those on the Resonance Tour shows the value of all of their body of work. I had teary eyes during “Untouchable” – something about that song just gets to me and I can listen to it over and over in a single sitting, felt tingles up my spine during “A Natural Disaster” and wanted to hit the pit during most of the 3rd set with Darren on vocals. Maybe what most impressed me was their ability to change styles so effortlessly and enjoy what they were doing, I was transported to a world of my own for one whole night, where outside worries or problems meant nothing for three whole hours and surely any music that can lift you to another place is all we could ever ask for – thank you Anathema, to have been present at this show for me personally was just an honour and a night I simply won’t forget. \m/” – Stephen Brophy, Dublin
“The Resonance Tour was something I’ve waited for 20 years to happen. For me it was an evening ov classic Anathema magic.“- Arkadi, Dublin (Via Estonia)
“Seeing Anathema play The Academy in such a special show was quite meaningful to me: First, there is the musical aspect; With a band that spans from the current more progressive tunes including the crystal clear vocals of Lee, back to the heavier side of things and their metal roots. Therefore the concert covered all of my favorite genres which you don’t get the chance to see too often from only one band. Bringing all the original members back on stage for this occasion has made a big impact on the overall experience of this gig, since you could clearly notice that the audience was responding to this in a very excited way. Darren White had such a compelling presence on stage that it changed the whole band’s interaction and appearance to a degree.
Secondly, there is the personal aspect: In 2009 they finished the very first festival I ever photographed in the middle of the night. I was working at the German With Full Force Festival, and experienced all the struggles that come with shooting such an event. After four days of running around between two stages whilst soaking in all the great bands I never got to see live before, I was just wrecked and exhausted by the end, but in a good way. Since Anathema were on bill for ‚The Last Supper’ as the last band around 3am I kept myself awake because I just had to see them (despite knowing that I had to be in college by 10am and had to wrap up my tent). Unfortunately the gig was not as good as I hoped – the band was rather annoyed, there were a lot of technical issues and so on. Nevertheless I like to fondly recall this finish, as it was an amazing wrap up and reward for my first festival as music photographer.
Six years later I got to see them again for the first time after this encounter and what should I say… It was quite special to celebrate Anathema’s anniversary, to go back in my own history and remember their contribution to it and especially to share this moment with my good fellow photographer friends. Attending a show on your own is one thing, but if you have mates that also connect memories to a band and that happily share them with you is a great way to create and link another unique memory to that band.” – Isabel Thomas, Dublin (via Germany)
“Mesmerising performance, such an experience to be taken on such a comprehensive journey through the progression of a truly remarkable musical career. The show was a fantastic display of their current work and an unforgettable celebration of their past. The Resonance Tour really is one that will resonate for years to come.” – Mark Doyle, Dublin
“Anathema is a band that has quickly climbed up my list of favourite bands in recent years. Having seen them twice before I knew they always put on a magical show that sticks with you, however, one thing that always bothered me was that the band rarely ventured outside their 00’s albums besides the song ‘Fragile Dreams’. When the band announced that they were putting on these ‘Resonance’ shows I ran out as soon as I could to secure my ticket. The promise of a career-spanning 3 hour set was simply too amazing to miss. A lot of people mentioned how great it was going to be to see these older songs played live again I was excited for a different reason; I’ve never had the opportunity to see these songs played before as I was simply too young at the time. The first set of their newer music was brilliant as always but it was the second set spanning Alternative 4 back to The Silent Enigma which stood out the most for me. Vocalist Vincent poured his heart into the tracks, giving them a new lease of life. Even the songs from The Silent Enigma held up amazingly, you could hardly guess the album turns 20 years old this year! The third set was a huge surprise for me, showcasing the bands earliest material. I’m not normally a fan of Darren White’s vocals, if I’m being honest, but it was a joy to see him come out and give the performance his all and loving every minute of it. It still hasn’t fully sunk in that these songs that I’ve waited so long to see will probably be the only chance I’ll get to see them. One thing is for sure though, it was an amazing opportunity to have seen this show and it’s one I will be sure to never forget.” – Roisin Plunkett, Dublin
“Anathema’s music has always pulled at my heartstrings and to see Duncan and Darren perform with the guys again was something I was never going to let pass me by. ‘One Last Goodbye’, ‘Closer’, ‘Lost Control’, ‘A Dying Wish’, ‘Kingdom’, and ‘Under A Veil (Of Black Lace) were breathtaking in a nostalgic set of pure magic. Anathema’s affinity with Dublin has always been a strong bond and it was fitting that they closed this special tour in our city. From Barnstormers and Charlie’s to Eamon Doran’s and The Ambassador, their music that has outlasted the Dublin venues in which it was first played and will outlast us all. With Resonance, Anathema celebrated their legacy and showed that Eternity is more than just a trilogy.” – Steve Dempsey, Dublin
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this article. – Steve.
Photos by Down The Barrel Photography