Tonight’s show was a special show from Delain to mark 10 years as a band. The setting for the show was the beautiful and legendary Paradiso venue in the heart of Amsterdam. An old church it’s a great venue with two balconies and raised areas near the bar which mean pretty much everyone gets a good view. There was no support, just Delain plus some special guests.
Surprisingly there was no backdrop behind the band, but that made sense onse the show started as the white wall and windows acted as a screen onto which they projected album covers, changing each time the band started a new song, so they always displayed the cover of the album that song was taken from.
They kicked off the show with “Hands of gold” and within seconds surprised me as Arch Enemy singer Alissa WHite-Gluz joined them on stage. I knew she’d be appearing during the show, but to have a guest so early in the show was a surprise. Alissa’s powerful growls sounded great and she also threw in some clean vocals too, demonstrating her versatility. The song ended with confetti cannons firing, covering the stage and half the audience in shiny confetti. What a fantastic start to the night, and the crowd reaction set the tone for the night as they went wild during the song then the cheers and applause at the end of the song were so loud and went on for so long you’d have been forgiven for thinking that was the end of the set, not the start.
This really was a stunningly good show – Delain were on form and putting in an absolutely superb performance which alone made it one of the best Delain gigs I’ve seen, then the guests helped take it up a notch, but it’s the audience that turned it from a great gig to a truly unforgettable one – one of the most passionate enthusiastic crowds I’ve ever experienced. Rather than describe the whole show I’ll just pick out a few bits to comment on…
During “The Hurricane” they decided to make it snow indoors as small white bits of confetti floated down from the roof looking very much like a snowstorm.
One of many highlights was “Where is the blood”, a song they very rarely play, so them playing it tonight was a real treat, but to make it even more special we had Burton C Bell from Fear Factory joining the band to add some harsh male vocals.
“Tragedy of the commons” saw Alissa come back out on stage halfway through the song to add some growling vocals and also do clean vocals with Charlotte for the chorus.
A couple of songs including “Your body is a battleground” feature vocals from Marco Hietala, but as he was unable to attend due to performing in Finland, his vocals were on tape and a projection of him singing was played on the wall behind the band.
“See me in shadow” saw a Cellist join the band on stage as dry ice was used to turn the stage into a carpet of thick white smoke, and then a minute or so into the song, former Leaves Eyes singer Liv Kristine joined them on stage to duet with Charlotte.
There were other guests too – for “Sleepwalkers dream” wer got three guests – Rob van der Loo on bass, Guus Eikens on guitar and Sander Zoer on drums, while most of the band took a much needed break, with only Charlotte and Martijn remaining on stage for it.
There were technical problems, but thankfully these didn’t spoil the night – Martijn’s keyboard stand was supposed to be illuminated but the lights on it kept failing, and a confetti cannon refused to stay in position which meant they couldnt fire the confetti cannons (which were presumably ready for the finale).
The band all looked to be having a great time (Charlotte could barely stop grinning) and genuinely looked surprised by the noise from the crowd. Before the final song of the night (We are the others) they insisted the crowd had to make more noise before they’d agree to play, and I don’t know about them but I was deafened by the cheers.
Costume changes, special guest, confetti – all nice additions to a show, but if you’d stripped away those elements tonight it wouldnt have changed anything as what matters was the band’s performance and the crowd reaction and both of those were fantastic. This was the best Delain gig I’ve been to in the 8 years I’ve been seeing them, and has to be one of the top gigs I’ve been to this year. Happily the show was filmed and will be released as a DVD next year so fans who couldn’t make it will get to experience the show.
Hands of gold
The glory and the scum
Get the devil out of me
Army of dolls
Where is the blood
Here come the vultures
Fire with fire
Tragedy of the commons
Your body is a battleground
See me in shadow
Sing to me
Don’t let go
We are the others