Anathema - Playing a show at Biebob (Belgium)
It’s amazing how a band like Anathema is able to change a truly lousy day into something beautiful. The trip to the Biebob was all but pleasant thanks to the Dutch railroads, and when on top of that your name is kicked of the guest list by a cranky venue employee the evening doesn’t really start as planned, luckily there are always people who you can count on for help (big thanks to Jamie). In short: after a little while we got in.
There didn’t seem to be a support act, which of course was all for the best, the more Anathema, the better. After a little bit of a disappointing show at 013 a few weeks back, it’s now time for the real thing, so not as support act for Porcupine Tree but a nearly two-hour-show!
Because of its long history (first album was released in 1993) the band has a lot of material, that tonight got pieced together into a stunning set. The band started off really convincing with the first two songs from ‘Alternative 4’: ‘Shroud Of False’ and ‘Fragile Dreams’. During ‘Fragile Dreams’ there even were some never heard before guitar melodies to be discovered. This was followed by a couple of songs from their latest album, ‘Balance’ and ‘Closer’. It has to be said that, although Anathema has left the metal scene for some time now, they still perform with the same intensity, especially with songs like ‘Closer’. Then followed ‘Release’, ‘Pitiless’ and one of my all time favourites ‘Forgotten Hopes’.
The crowd really was great tonight and after ‘Lost Control’ and ‘Inner Silence’ they created “a moment to remember”, according to Vincent (vocals), when they sang most of ‘One Last Goodbye’. What came next was a great mix between ‘Judgment’ and ‘Panic’, and after being treated to ‘Temporary Peace’ and Flying’, we all of course wanted more.
It didn’t take all that much to get the band, who were in a great mood, back on stage, where they served a desert for the older Anathema fans by playing ‘Angelica’ and ‘A Dying Wish’. Then it was cover time, what followed was ‘Albatross’ (Fleedwood Mac) and something I always hope for when going to see Anathema, their great version of ‘Comfortably Numb’ (Pink Floyd).
The way Anathema played tonight deserves a lot of respect. I have seen the band live for some considerable times now and I believe this was one of their best shows until now.
It’s time for a new album and I hope another few great shows next year!
Before I end this review I have to express my deepest of gratitude to “IJzeren Rinus” for the ride home.
Review by Teun van Irsel
(pictures (see picture section) by Cristel Brouwer)