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Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, Caliban, Sonic Syndicate - Eastpak Antidote Tour in Utrecht
On October 10th Neurotic, Paul (a friend of us) and I went to Tivoli to witness a, on the forehand, fantastic show. Curious as I was to see all these bands playing live, I couldn’t wait to witness the show. Well…here’s the result.  
 
Sonic Syndicate
To be honest I first wanted to review the performance with just one word, namely NEXT (just because utter crap is two words…). I’m very sorry but the whole performance of Sonic Syndicate couldn’t appeal to me for just one second. The sound in Tivoli was terrible and Sonic Syndicate suffered the worst from it. I have listened to some songs on their MySpace and on other sites and they sound more than okay, so I can understand that Nuclear Blast is promoting them heavily. But their performance…It wasn’t solely due to the terrible sound, but also because their presentation and stage antics were brought too forced. At the same time walking to the edge on the stage etc. etc. It wasn’t spontaneous at all. If they can work at their presentation, this will be a great band in the next few years. Right now I’m not impressed at all! [Neurotic] 

Caliban

After seeing the band live at Patronaat some years back, I was immediately hooked on this band. They really got my attention with their bone crushing break-downs so I was really stoked to see them again here in Tivoli.

During one of the intros singer Andreas Dörner introduced the band and said they came from Germany. I don’t think that’s the right way to win over a Dutch crowd, but ok. The band gave a nice mix between old and new songs. The crowd really enjoyed older songs such as ‘I Rape Myself’ and responded very well to one of the new songs, ‘Stop Running’ as well. Of course singer Andreas divided the crowd in two, making them collide soon after. Straight from the start is was clear that backup vocalist Denis Schmidt couldn’t quite rise above the guitars, so the clean vocals were difficult to hear. Hopefully it was due to technical difficulties otherwise it just goes to show how much you can cover up on a record cause his singing wasn’t that good at all. However frontman Andreas got the audience to sing the words along.

Despite the non-existing clean vocals, Caliban gave a good show and performance. Giving the people a chance to stage dive and playing a little volleyball. [Paul]

Dark Tranquillity

Dark Tranquillity…the band I was almost looking more forward to, than headliner Soilwork. I like their music on CD very much. Especially the grunt of Stanne and the great melodies combined with excellent riffs and drum work. This was the first time I would see them live, so I was anxious how they would sound. Well as always when you have high hopes, you get disappointed. The grunt of Stanne was almost nonexistent for the first part of the show, again because of the weak sound in Tivoli. The instruments sounded okay, but his voice is one of the distinctive characteristics of Dark Tranquillity.

Luckily after four songs, the sound became better. Stanne was finally hearable and not sounding like Kermit the Frog with a sore throat. The recognizable melodies didn’t get lost in the blur of sound like in the beginning of the show. Especially the songs of the CD Damage Done brought some excitement in the crowd (which was easily pleased by the way). The boys certainly regrouped themselves and left me satisfied, though it still was a show with a bit of an aftertaste (and that was not only because of the strange, may I say homo-erotic? hand gestures of Stanne!). [Neurotic]
 
Soilwork
Ever since I got acquainted with this Swedish band I wanted to see them live. Before the show I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t know all the songs they were about to play but fortunately that wasn’t the case ‘cause I highly enjoyed myself singing and headbanging along with songs like ‘Figure Number Five’ and ‘One With The Flies’, which is one of my favourites by the way. I even went into the pit during that song, something I hardly do anymore nowadays (leaving aside that I’m not a regular visitor of concerts in the first place). But I guess that also had to do with the amount of alcohol I had. For some reason it hit me pretty hard. Which isn’t a problem at all of course!
 
Other great songs that were played are ‘Follow The Hollow’, a song called ‘Exile’, which is from their upcoming album and closer of the evening ‘Nerve’. All in all it was a great show with songs from a variety of albums. The only songs that I would have loved to hear and that I missed were ‘The Bringer’ and ‘Song For The Damned’.
 
Although the sound wasn’t too optimal during the show it still was way better than the sound of the preceding bands. I always wonder why support acts sound so crappy and why the headliner all of a sudden seem to have a great (read: better) sound? How’s that to be explained? Anyway, I couldn’t care less since I highly enjoyed Soilwork’s show. Can’t wait to hear the new album and to see them live again some day!
 
All in all we can conclude that this was a nice package of (mainly Swedish) metal bands. Four bands with great skills and power. In the end I’d say it’s been worth the money, despite the crappy sound during the biggest part of the evening. I personally look forward to the next edition of the Eastpak Antidote Tour.[BoEk]
 
Thanks goes out to Paul for reviewing the Caliban show.