Yesss, after many years I finally have a platform to write about music again! I’ve written reviews and concert reports for an underground music magazine for years, and although I don’t miss the pressure of writing about every gig the day after I do miss being able to browse through my concert experiences. So from now on I’ll use The Quiet Cold to talk about my favorite music every now and then, starting today with a look back at all the concerts I’ve been to this year.
The year started really well with Verloren Verleden, an exclusive theatre tour by Anneke van Giersbergen and Icelandic Árstíðir. I’ve seen Anneke on stage many times before: when she was still a part of The Gathering, as a solo act and as a guest performer on stage with other bands. I’ve never seen her perform in such an intimate setting as a theatre though, and yes, she can do that too. This surely was an evening to remember: Anneke and Árstíðir are a perfect musical match and I loved their interpretations of known and unknown classic songs. The fun little intermezzos in between (even a small lesson in Icelandic!) were really nice and helped setting the intimate atmosphere.
At the end of April I travelled to Amsterdam with friends to join the Manic Street Preachers on their Everything Must Go anniversary tour. We were lucky to get a fantastic spot on the balcony of the beautiful Paradiso, and it was great to hear the album played in full. The Manics have great chemistry on stage and there aren’t many singers blessed with a voice like James Dean Bradfield. Fingers crossed there will be a This is my truth, tell me yours-tour as well!
I was lucky enough to cross three bands of my ‘Hope to see live some day’-list, and Baroeg, a small venue in my hometown, treated me on two of those. Late August I got to see King Dude on stage, an artist I’ve been listening to a lot the last few years. I love King Dude’s unique blend of Americana, blues and the occult: there’s nothing like it! He’ll be on tour next year with his new record Sex (just wait for that to pop up in my album year list) and I’m eager to see the guy on stage again. Great show!
The other gig in Baroeg was something exciting as well: Trepaneringsritualen! Finally! I’ve heard many good things about the live show from friends, and it didn’t disappoint. The stage was shrouded in smoke, red light highlighting a small altar with candles, a skull and incense. Thomas Martin Ekelund entered the stage with a bloody, burlap tied with a noose which he kept wearing for the first few songs. I love the dark energy this man radiates, it accompanies the music perfectly. If you like music that crawls under your skin and terrifies you: listen to this, it’s amazing.
Together with friends I visited the lovely venue of 013 for the second edition of Epic Metal Fest on October 1st. Highlight of the line-up was of course Epica, but for me there was only one band that really mattered: Katatonia. It’s been awhile since I’ve last seen them play, and my first time seeing them on a festival. Their set was short but featured ‘Criminals’, ‘Lethean’ and ‘July’, songs I can not listen to enough. Crazy good band. Oh and Epica? They were good as well! I’ve seen them play many times before, and although their new sounds isn’t really my cup of tea it’s always fun to watch their energetic live show.
Next up was something else: Crystal Castles from Canada. Crystal Castles are known for their energetic live shows, and boy, we got one. Definitely don’t go to see them if you can’t handle stroboscopes! The sound was great, I loved the live interpretations of both their new and classic work and danced my feet off. Hope to catch ‘em again someday!
Then, finally, November 13th arrived: The Cure day. I had my tickets for this concert for over a year, and was eagerly counting down the days to this gig. As you might know The Cure is one of my all-time favorite bands and it’s been 8 years since I’ve seen them on stage. Of course the show didn’t disappoint: the band played for almost three hours, chose a fantastic range of songs from their oeuvre (hello ‘One Hundred Years’ & ‘Fascination Street’!) and the sound was just perfect. Robert announced the band will be back soon, and I’ll make sure to be there again. Gig of the year!
One thing I’ve learned: if you’ve just seen The Cure don’t go to another gig in the same venue a week later. Placebo took the stage a week after The Cure with their birthday tour, and had big shoes to fill. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best show I’ve seen of them. With the perfectly blended setlist and natural way of playing still in my mind I couldn’t really get into the Placebo show. It started weird with a full-length video of one of their greatest hits (why?) and felt like a strings of songs instead of a full show. Nevertheless it’s always great to see my teenage heroes on stage, and classics like Without You I’m Nothing and 36 Degrees will never not amuse me. Not bad, but not great either.
- Anneke van Giersbergen & Árstíðir: March 21st – Oude Luxor Theater, Rotterdam
- Manic Street Preachers: April 29th – Paradiso, Amsterdam
- King Dude: August 28th – Baroeg, Rotterdam
- Epica & Katatonia: October 1st – 013 Tilburg
- Youth Code & Trepaneringsritualen: October 6th – Baroeg, Rotterdam
- Crystal Castles: October 22nd – Melkweg, Amsterdam
- The Cure: November 13th – Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam
- Placebo: November 21st – Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam
All in all it was a good year: how can it not be when you get to see The Cure? I hope next year will be just as good! I’ve already got tickets to see The Weeknd and White Lies, and hope True Widow will cross the ocean for a European tour… What concerts have you seen this year?