Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: Adrian Hextall (Photographer/Live Gig reporter Myglobalmind Webzine
Originally due to play in London in January 2014, Within Temptation decided to postpone the tour until April to allow for time to complete their latest album ‘Hydra’. With multiple collaborations with other artists including Tarja Turunen, Xzibit and Dave Pirner the delay to the tour has meant that fans have had plenty of time to now become familiar with the new material and allowed Within Temptation to record backing videos with their guest collaborators to include in tonight’s live show.
Delain, like Within Temptation, come from Netherlands and were formed in 2002 by former Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt and Charlotte Wessels. The name of the band comes from the Kingdom of Delain in Stephen King’s novel, ‘The Eyes of the Dragon’.
Wembley Arena is almost full by the time Delain arrive on stage and it’s encouraging to see such a fantastic level of support for the opening band. The fact that they play music very similar to Within Temptation’ earlier material is going to do them many favours tonight. As such, they seem like the perfect warm up for the headliners rather than a band that is playing simply because they are on the same record label.
Classically trained vocalist Charlotte Wessels gets a huge cheer as she arrives on stage during the intro music and then as the band take their respective spots on stage the fans are treated to a lengthy set of gothic tinged symphonic metal.
Afforded a significant portion of the stage to work with (often rare for opening acts), Delain make the most of the space and utilize every inch of the stage with Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije (bass) and Timo Somers (guitar) constantly trading places stage left and right to in an effort to play (it feels) to every individual in the arena.
The setlist focuses mostly on the latest 2 albums ‘We Are The Others’ and ‘The Human Contradiction’ (released only 5 days before this show). Charlotte’s voice soars and is note perfect at all times as would be expected from someone with her training. Timo Somers, one of the latter additions to the band, has brought with him every lead guitarist pose and trick and is clearly having a blast playing to such a large crowd as the smile is rarely off his face for the whole set.
‘Army of Dolls’ and ‘Stardust’ from the latest release are played back to back and slot neatly in with the older material getting just as good a response from the crowd who are unlikely to be as yet familiar with the newer material.
Martijn Westerholt (keyboards) and Sander Zoer (drums) are perched high on the stage and bathed in a sea of blue light for most of the set but make the most of their elevated view to deliver a sound that fills the arena and supports their band mates lower down on the main stage.
A couple of tracks from debut album ‘Lucidity’ follow before Delain finish with ‘Not Enough’ and ‘We Are the Others’ from the album of the same name. The final track is truly epic in style and scale and is a great indicator as to why the band have been asked to open for Within Temptation tonight.
A solid, crowd pleasing opening set.
Continuing to tour in support of new album ‘The Human Contradiction’, Delain will accompany Within Temptation on all European dates and then play festivals over the summer before the tour finale in the USA with Sonata Arctica and Xandria.
Go Away – april rain
Get the Devil Out of Me – wato
Army of Dolls – thc
Stardust – thc
Electricity – wato
Sleepwalkers Dream – lucidity
The Gathering – lucidity
Not Enough – wato
We Are the Others – wato
Martijn Westerholt – keyboards
Charlotte Wessels – female vocals
Sander Zoer – drums
Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije – bass guitar
Timo Somers – guitars
As ‘Dragon’ a short movie plays out on the main video screen to herald the entrance of the headliners, it becomes apparent just how far Within Temptation have come in the last few years. The stage design is huge, making full use of the space afforded by Wembley Arena. The look of the set is reminiscent of a steam punk feel with metal, lights and steam in view. The design is finished with heads from latest album ‘Hydra’ surrounding the large video screen behind the band. It was only a few years ago that the band were playing venues with a maximum capacity of say 5,000 people. Tonight we are looking at around a crowd of 10,000 or more.
‘Let Us Burn’ from ‘Hydra’ opens the set and the decision to delay the tour to allow the release to be finished has clearly paid off as the crowd respond to it like an old favourite. ‘Paradise (What About Us?)’ makes use of the video screen to great effect with Tarja Turunen appearing to provide visuals to her vocal elements on the track.
‘Faster’ and ‘Iron’ from ‘The Unforgiving’ prove why the band are playing such a large venue tonight as the reaction from the crowd as the songs finish is immense. Purists who fell in love with the original gothic tinged elements of Within Temptation have suggested that the more commercial feel of the last 2 albums detracts from the band’s sound but it clearly works in the live environment. Within Temptation have moved into another league and are attracting fans across the board at the moment.
Howard Jones appears on screen for ‘Dangerous’ followed by an appearance from Xzibit for ‘And We Run’. Oddly these “featuring” elements come across really well and show a band confident enough to add seven tracks from their latest album into the set tonight.
The stage layout includes a walkway out into the first 15 to 20 rows of the audience and sees den Adel and Co. make full use of it to grant those sitting on the sides and at the back a great view of the band. As with Delain both Martijn Spierenburg on keyboards and Mike Coolen on drums are set high up on platforms making the most of the set design and grant the crowd the best view of all members.
To keep the old faithful happy, the band dip into their back catalogue as well (although the set focusses mainly on the last three albums) and we get material from both The Silent Force and Mother Earth. The old and the new material stands side by side perfectly and further proves just how far the band have ascended over the last few years. Extremely tight performances, stunning vocals and great visuals provide the perfect package for the masses tonight.
Keith Caputo appears on screen for fan favourite ‘What Have You Done’ which sees the whole arena bouncing in unison and chanting the chorus back to the band. A bold but beautiful acoustic version of ‘Whole World is Watching’ follows before the band finish with ‘Mother Earth’ .
A great set, amazing look, and the tightest of performances simply confirm that Within Temptation can become even bigger globally and are definitely riding the crest of the wave at the moment.
Dragon (Short Movie)
Let Us Burn
Paradise (What About Us?)
Edge of the World
In the Middle of the Night
Our Solemn Hour
And We Run
Tell Me Why
Elements Intro / See Who I Am
Stand My Ground
Covered By Roses
What Have You Done
Whole World Is Watching / (Acoustic)
Summertime Sadness / (Lana Del Rey cover)
Ice Queen – ME
Sharon den Adel – lead vocals
Robert Westerholt – rhythm guitar, grunts
Jeroen van Veen – bass
Ruud Jolie – lead guitar, rhythm guitar
Martijn Spierenburg – keyboards
Mike Coolen – drums
Stefan Helleblad -rhythm guitar, lead guitar