Delain – together with Stream Of Passion, Kingfisher Sky in Tivoli
foto: Monica Duffels
Three completely different female metal bands share the stage tonight in Tivoli, Utrecht to celebrate the last show of the ‘April Rain’ tour by Delain. It’s been a busy year for this Dutch symphonic metal band.
Like performances at the major summer festivals like Wacken Open Air, Sonisphere, tours in America, Mexico, Brasil and Sweden. As a word of thanks to their loyal fans, they will play one show on their home ground to celebrate their international success.
It is not a surprise that there is a long queue outside when Kingfisher Sky enters the stage as early as half past six. Opening song “Multitude” is also the first song of their new album ‘Skin Of The Earth.’ A very dynamic and progressive song, but it also has a strong and serene atmosphere.
Especially on this new album Kingfisher Sky is showing a very mature combination of progressive metal and an easy listening structure through fragile and melodic parts.
It is not easy to label this band or describe them in one word, and that definitely makes them more interesting than many other female fronted bands.
Throughout the set, vocalist Judith Rijnveld gives it everything she’s got, and that’s not just a lot of energy. She moves on stage gracefully and in a sophisticated manner, but her strength is her high voice. Easily rising above the strong guitar lines and uprising drums from Ivar de Graaf. There is a lot of interaction between the band members, which creates a dynamic and vivid show.
It is clear that they are very talented, easily producing a complex sound without creating a massive wall or unrecognizable choruses. “Balance Of Power” is another new song with a very Celtic-sounding intro. Chris Henny and Edo van der Kolk on guitars are creating a very minimalistic and strong basis for the long cello tones by Maaike Peterse.
She is a real eye-catcher and is responsible for a special dimension in the bamd’s sound. Halfway through the song, a sudden change takes place, introducing a groovy bassline by Eric Hoogendoom which creates a real energy boost on stage.
The feedback from the crowd is great, the adrenaline slows down during the calm, warm cello intro of “Hallway Of Dreams”. During the last song which is entitled, “Brody” David Rojas plays a major part on keyboards.
The song grows into a strong ensemble of instruments. This has been a very convincing show and a strong performance during which the band have warmed up the crowd with their natural charisma.
Another band that displays a lot of energy on stage is Stream Of Passion. For all the bands it has been an exciting year and for this progressive formation their recent tour in Canada has been a highlight so far. “Art Of Loss” sets in with a powerful vibe, which is unstoppable till the end of the set.
Johan van Stratum on bass can’t move around as much as he normally does, but he is a real energy booster on stage. The real spotlight is on Marcela Bovio, a female singer with a voice so great that it makes other singers jealous. Especially live on stage she is very convincing, as she shows so many emotions and carries each song to a new level.
On first sight their opening song doesn’t seem too complex, till she stops holding back and bombastically reveals the climax at the end of the song. It is a promise for the following 35 minutes: she will amaze the crowd with her intense performance, no wonder they start cheering loudly. There’s even a Mexican fan in the audience, who came over especially to see the show.
Creating unforgettable music means good song writing, something Stream Of Passion understands and since the beginning Marcela has been an important part of that too. It is rare for a band to have the talent to create catchy structures mixed with very progressive melodies, but this band has it all. You can feel that the band is growing during the songs, working towards a powerful and challenging end.
On ‘Passion’ it is Martijn Peters on drums who plays a dominant role, which taken over by the guitars during the songs.
The hit song “In The End” is an example of the rising talent and excellent song writing of this band. Their secret weapon is the violin intro by Marcela Bovio. It is not only a new show element, but also emphasises the warm layers of her voice.
Again the uprising beat of the drums is the sign for Eric Hazebroek on guitar, to start head banging and fasten up the groovy basis. Don’t underestimate the influences of Jeffrey Revet on keyboards in this song, and there is also the classic rock guitar solo by Stephan Schlutz, on his lighted guitar.
He has a very own sound which makes you feel like it is coming from somewhere deep inside, and again the energy is a huge drive here. The whole band is filled with such a strong energy, but that alone is not enough to create such a talent. Stream Of Passion always sounds natural, even with the automatical elements which have been added to the performance.
They don’t let go of the attention and when they play the Radiohead cover “Street Spirit”, which is a more midtempo song, they handle it very well. “Out In The Real World” is an ode to their roots and Arjen Lucassen, but with an own twist.
There is not much front light during this song, and Jeffrey Revet is practically hidden in the back during his solo. Currently, the band are writing news song for their upcoming album, and there are many fans wanting more Spanish phrases included in the songs, as Marcela Bovio sounds quite enchanting in her own language.
After the overwhelming song “This Endless Night” the band says goodbye. The audience needs to get some air, because it is warm, crowded and many people are excited in anticipation of the headliner of the evening.
Delain have toured extensively after the release of their second album ‘April Rain’(2009) which brought them even more success than their debut ‘Lucidity’ (2006). The setlist of this special evening is an excellent mixture of both albums, and after it a rare live single will be released for the fans.
A perfect idea by Roadrunner Records, because it is a night to remember. Not only because guitarist Ewout Pieters is saying goodbye tonight. It is also a steping stone from where Delain is going further, because a new album is in the making.
The band has the tradition of concluding a year with guests in Zwolle, but this time Tivoli has the honor and this was a good choice. Many fans are able to see the show close by from the balcony and even in the back there is a wide view of the stage.
The opening song “Invidia” is introduced with smoke and with clapping and screaming from the audience. A huge transformation has taken place on stage, during which higher levels for keyboards and drums, a huge backdrop and side elements have been added.
A very professional crew is an important part of this band, and together with an outstanding lightshow and a good sound this guarantees a high level of quality from Delain. It proves that Martijn Westerholt (songwriter, keyboards) made a good decision by changing the project into a real band some years ago.
Charlotte Wessels suddenly appears from the back of the stage, taking her time to reach the front row, building up the expectations. Performing in her hometown is a real happening and with her big smile she wins over the audience in no time. Touring had a very good reflection on the band, because Charlotte has grown in many ways.
Her performance is more mature, diva-like with her golden shiny dress and she moves around with grace. There is also a lot of interaction between the band members. The energy vibe rises during “Frozen”, their first single.
Maybe it’s because of Charlotte’s sincere and warm words of thanks to the fans. The song fits perfectly to the more pop and rock orientated voice of the front lady. The duet with guitarist Ewout Pieters is an intro to his finger fast solo, which reflects his roots in more technical metal.
“Go Away”’ continues the excellent energy vibe, and has a more dominant role for Martijn Westerholt on keyboards. An up tempo song, which means lots of movement in the audience and head banging by Otto Schimmelpennick on bass, on the left side of the stage.
Charlotte Wessels uses different layers in her voice and carries the whole song to a higher lever, with a lot of power in the lower rocky parts and then switching to a more fragile high sound.
Grunter George Oosthoek is the first guest on stage during “A Day For Ghosts” and for many fans this is a moment to sing along and scream for more. Besides his deep, unique growling sound and powerful screams, George is also an amazing performer with his moves and energy. It is always a pleasure to have him on stage, creating a spectacular duet.
The second guest tonight is Ivar de Graaf on acoustic guitar during “Start Swimming”. The Kingfisher Sky drummer shares a history with Martijn Westerholt concerning Within Temptation. A highlight of the show, Charlotte plays a major role in the performance of this song, showing a fragile and more emotional side of herself. Ivar is playing like he’s always belonged there, in modest and very natural manner. Nice performance and great combination of guitarists. A huge contradiction is “The Gathering” another hit song of the band and again it is the catchy melody that stays in your head.
The audience is amazing, the whole evening they are giving so much response to all the bands and they aresinging along all the time. Of course there are always little mistakes or changes in a set, but they are not worth mentioning.
Charlotte needs time to warm up her voice and you can hear a difference in comparison with the beginning of the set. After a strong second part of the show with “Control The Storm” and “Sleepwalker’s Dream” and the last song “Silhouette Of A Dancer” Ewout shines ones more.
The band has a few minutes’ time to catch their breath and find the energy for the encore. People are screaming for more and calling Ewout’s name to thank him for his years of service and “Virtue And Vice” is the sign for another energy vibe exploding in the crowd.
One last time George performs on “Pristine” and this is the perfect ending, with the familiar arrangements in the intro (even at the back of the venue everyone is screaming and clapping) and then we are given a great opportunity to scream our lungs out one last time. Delain have done it again, they do not only impress with their songs but also show how, each year, they are growing more and more into an international rock act.
more picture on Metal – Experience webzine.