Without having released a new album or anything, Anathema thought it was time to pamper Europe again with their beautiful compositions. That these Brits aren’t strangers on Dutch soil can be concluded given the fact that they’ve played Holland 18 (!) times in the past 4,5 years. Tonight in Utrecht they brought the French act Demians with them.
One-and-a-half month ago Demians debuted outside their own country with a very nervous show during the Symforce II-festival in Tilburg. Tonight they were a bit more confident about their own capabilities, but still they didn’t play like an oiled machine. Especially the long breaks in between the songs were killing. Furthermore the band isn’t that interesting to watch when they’re on stage. Their progressive rock is beautiful and I definitely must get my hands on their album Building An Empire, but if they continue with playing live this way I’m not very interested to see them play for a third time. Too bad, ‘cause bands like Porcupine Tree prove that a concert can be awesome although a band is very static. Demians does make great music, but it isn’t a great band (yet).
After a somewhat disappointing appetizer it was time for a two-hour show of the talented Brits from Liverpool, Anathema. After starting out as a doom metal band in 1990 many things have changed. The band went through various line-up changes, their sound transformed from doom to alternative rock and they’re currently without a record label. That they’re still very popular hasn’t changed the past few years. Just as the last time in Utrecht (June 2007) the floor was nicely filled with a varied crowd. Just as expected Anathema gave away a fantastic show. They played their most popular songs, even if the band didn’t like them anymore. They know that the people standing in front of them every evening are the ones that keep the band alive and therefore they’ll play what the audience wants to hear. That it not always works out that way, couldn’t be accused to the band though. When the audience asked for a new song at the end of their encore the venue unfortunately didn’t let them. They only had time for one more and as a closer they decided to play ‘Fragile Dreams’. All in all this was just a great, passionate and even funny performance by a great band which will definitely end high in my 2008 yearlist!
Pictures by Bert of www.metalshots.com