In November 2012, Within Temptation played their biggest concert to date, their 15th anniverary show – Elements. The concert was held at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, and was sold out with fans travelling from all over the world for it. The band put on a huge show and had an orchestra o stage with them. Since then the band have faced calls for it to be released on DVD in the same way they did for the Black Symphony show, and various reasons have been given for not releasing it, but finally the band have bowed to demand and it’s being released alongside footage from the Amsterdam dates of the recent Hydra tour.
There are various versions being released, but the one reviewed here is a BluRay plus 2 CD package. The Bluray contains both concerts, while one CD is audio of Elements while the other CD is audio of the Hydra show.
Taking the Elements show first of all, what has been released here has been heavily cut down – around a third of the show is not included (7 songs missing). Three of the missing songs are cover versions released on the “Q music sessions” album, so it’s possible that these weren’t included due to cost/copyright issues, but I’m guessing the real reason is to keep the length down since it’s a combined Elements/Hydra release rather than just Elements. Similarly the Hydra show has four songs missing when you compare what the actually played to what has ended up on the DVD. So between the two shows, that’s eleven songs that got cut. This does mean it’s a single DVD/Bluray, but I suspect many fans would have preferred to pay a little more for a double DVD/Bluray release that included everything from the two shows. Having said that, I think most fans are just grateful that at least part of the Elements show has been released here.
Taking the two live CDs, the audio quality is excellent with a good mix – all the instruments are clear and the crowd are also clearly audible. Between the two discs there are a total of 31 tracks, with 5 songs appearing on both, so that’s 26 different songs plus alternate versions of 5 of them, so plenty to listen to. I really like the fact that they’ve done the option of a CD/DVD package as the DVD is great to watch occasionally, but I tend to listen to audio CDs far more than I watch DVDs, so the CDs are great for regular listening, and the DVD for occasional viewing when I have a couple of hours to chill out in front of the TV.
The BluRay disc itself looked odd – it’s transparent enough that you can see through it between the printing, so I did wonder if it would play, but it played perfectly. Watching the Elements concert brought back a lot of good memories from my trip to Antwerp to see the concert. Watching the Elements concert on disc reminded me just how impressive the show was – it was one of the most impressive light shows I’ve seen in many years of going to concerts, and the sound was superb – seeing Within Temptation with an orchestra and choir takes a normal WT show and makes it so much better.
The Hydra show was also great to see – it’s fresher in my mind as the tour was only a few months ago. Filmed at Amsterdam Heineken Music Hall, it’s their full arena show that they brought to Wembley arena (but not any of the other UK dates)
This is a great release that Within Temptation fans are bound to love – two live shows in one release, with one showcasing their current material and the other being their fifteenth anniversary show that included songs from across their career. I suspect many fans will have done what I did and pre-ordered it ahead of the release date. A great purchase.
2. In the Middle of the Night
4. Fire and Ice
5. Our Solemn Hour
6. Stand My Ground
8. Sanctuary (Intro)
9. The Last Dance
10. Say My Name
11. Candles (Feat. George Oosthoek)
13. The Promise
14. Mother Earth
15. Ice Queen
16. Stairway to the Skies
1. Let Us Burn
2. Paradise (What About Us?) (Feat. Tarja)
5. Edge of the World
6. In the Middle of the Night
7. Dangerous (Feat. Howard Jones)
8. And We Run (Feat. Xzibit)
9. Stand My Ground
10. Covered By Roses
11. Mother Earth
12. What Have You Done (Feat. Keith Caputo)
13. Silver Moonlight (Feat. Robert Westerholt)
14. Whole World Is Watching
16. Ice Queen
Track listings are the same as the CDs with the addition of an intro for each show.