Sunday, 13 April 2014

Within Temptation Live at Wembley Arena

Within Temptation is big business in Europe now and whilst this show was far from sold out Wembley Arena was packed with 8000 or so punters to see the symphonic Dutch troop go through their paces ably supported by newcomers Delain. My seat was unfortunately a bit far back from the stage but I guess the good seats had gone by the time I bought my ticket. In fact the seated areas were pretty much all sold out with the floor being pretty full at the front and more open at the back.

At 7.45 on the dot Delain took to the stage and played songs new and old from both their albums. They were afforded a clean sound thankfully and front woman tried to get the crowd going which was a little reserved at first but they gradually got the message. They played for 45 minutes in total and they were pretty much on top form and a great warm up act for the headliners. I guess their aim is to be the headliner in a show of this size. It might or might not happen for them but that's the aim. It's happened for Within Temptation. As for last night they were spot on although I must admit I have yet to get to grips with the new album which seems a little harder going than the debut in the sense that the melodies are a little harder to come by in my opinion anyway.

Go Away
Get the Devil Out of Me
Army of Dolls
Sleepwalkers Dream
The Gathering
Not Enough
We Are the Others

After a shot turn around time the roadies got the stage ready behind a Hydra backdrop so we didn't actually see the stage being set up. Finally at 8.45 the intro started and the band took to the stage and the guitarist played the opening riff to Let us Burn and the Arena floor was finally much more animated than it was for Delain not unexpectedly. Sharon sounded huge and the sound seemed to be twice as loud as it was for Delain but still pretty crystal clear with Sharon's vocals booming out over the top. The thing I like about WT on record is that their songs are just supremely catchy blessed with monster pop hooks. The question is can they transfer this to the live Arena? Well with the amount of experience they have under their belts now the answer is a resounding YES!

WT are a full time big Arena band now. Their songs demand an elaborate stage set and that's what they get with two fire breathing dragons ie Hydra at either side of a step tiered stage allowing band members to move up and down as they please and a short runway at the front as well allowing either Sharon or the guitarists to get closer to the audience a little. It was hard to say which songs went over best as all the songs were pretty much awesome. Personally I enjoyed Paradise which sounded monstrously huge with the video with Tarja playing in the background.

Surprisingly enough I loved their cover of Summertme Sadness in the encore, that was really great. Hydra is a great album no doubt and the band are just a highly tuned live outfit with a shed load of fans many of which aren't even really metal fans judging by many people that I saw. Their songs transcend metal pretty much these days and plenty of normal folk can enjoy a Saturday night out at Wembley with these Dutch symphonic metal stars as evidenced by the wide ranging audience. Whether they can go any higher I doubt but for a metal band to headline Wembley Arena you can safely say they've made it!

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
The Cross
Covered By Roses
Mother Earth

What Have You Done
Whole World Is Watching
Summertime Sadness
(Lana Del Rey cover)
Ice Queen

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