Last year I had a lot of fun writing an overview of all the concerts I’ve visited that year. I have a list of all the gigs I’ve been too (of course, #crazylistlady and all…) but reading a mini-review brings back way more memories. So, here it is again! This year has been a busy year music-wise: I’ve seen over twenty bands live! So: let’s get going!
The year started with a horrible cold and The Weeknd on stage. Not being able to breathe properly during a concert is terrible! I wanted to see The Weeknd on stage after I discovered Trilogy, Abel has a wonderful voice and I love his melancholic pop. The concert was really nice, although I could have done with a bit more of his older work and less screaming girls 😉
Next up: White Lies. I’ve lost track of these guys for a while (I played To Lose my Life… to death – pun intended – when it came out) but they reappeared on my radar when they launched their latest record Friends. The setlist brought a variation of old and new songs and my favorites ‘A Place to Hide’ and ‘Death’.
I’ve been lucky with gigs in my hometown this year! When Baroeg announced an :Of the Wand and the Moon: gig I quickly got my ticket: I love the band, and Kim never disappoints on stage. The dreamy, melancholic folk songs are a pleasure to listen to, and Kim’s voice sounded amazing this day. Ever since he gig I’ve been obsessed with the song Hold my Hand, it might be my new favorite :OTWatM: song.
Although not very familiar with his work I joined my boyfriend on his trip to the Rotterdamse Schouwburg for an evening with Danish Alex Vargas. The light-show was as hypnotizing as his electronic sound, a surprising evening!
Up next: Roadburn. Finally. I’ve been wanting to visit the Roadburn festival in Tilburg for years, yet somehow never did. This year’s line-up was so good I just had to go. The day started with King Woman on stage. Their debut record Created in the Image of Suffering is fantastic, and I loved hearing the songs live. I had to run to catch the whole True Widow gig in another venue, I hope to catch Kristina & her band live on stage again in the near future.
Speaking of True Widow: yesss! I love this band, and I was so excited to finally see them play live! True Widow’s records are a wonderful blend of hypnotizing gloom and groove and translated fantastic to a live setting. I might be a bit biased because this band can do no wrong, but this gig was amazing.
After that highlight came another one: Emptiness from Belgium. The once black metal band transformed into something dark, haunting and heavy on their latest two albums, and was perfectly placed on the stage of an old church on the Roadburn festival terrain. The band sounds a little heavier live than they do on record, yet never lose their dark and gloomy atmosphere. Recommended if you’re not easily scared!
With a small time overlap I skipped Emptiness’s latest song to get a good spot for the queen: Chelsea Wolfe. This was my fourth Chelsea gig and I just can’t get enough: she’s so good. From the first tones of Feral Love I was enchanted: there’s something about the mood Chelsea and her band know to portray that just works for me. With Static Hum we even got a preview for Hiss Spun, a record I’ll be talking about in my year list. Great gig again, already looking forward to seeing Chelsea Wolfe again.
After a long day of fantastic music I didn’t know what to expect from Amenra, the Belgian sludge heroes everyone keeps raving about. Many say an Amenra gig brings you to a whole new level of intense, so I was curious to get into the experience. And yes: this was intense. From the first tones to the last ones: this gig was like a meditative session. It’s the loudness, the beautiful black and white imagery and the mesmerizing performance of the band members: this is something you should witness. I’ve been listening to Amenra a lot since this gig, I might have been officially converted to The Church of Ra.
TL;DR version: Roadburn was awesome ?
A trip to the Hague finally gave me an opportunity to see Emma Ruth Rundle live on stage. Emma is an amazing singer and guitarist, both in her solo work and her awesome band Marriages. Due to an injury the gig wasn’t as long as I hoped for, but every song she played was flawless.
On a very warm and sunny day in the middle of Summer I got a treat from Baroeg (thé alternative music venue on Rotterdam): a brand new festival called Wavefest. The first edition featured my favorite Dutch band on stage, The Wounded! It was my first time seeing The Wounded again after their long awaited record Sunset from last year. The new songs are fantastic in their live versions, and The Wounded is a band that delivers both on record and on stage.
A few months went by ‘till my next gig: the mighty Wardruna. The enchanting Nordic music by this band is fascinating on their albums, and leaves an even bigger impression live. The gig took place in Tivoli Vredenburg, which I haddn’t visited after their big make-over a few years back. The venue and the sound were great, the band even more on fleek than last time I’ve seen time and the songs from their latest record Ragnarok sound fantastic live. Definitely go and see these heroes when you get a chance!
On my birthday The Ruins of Beverast & King Dude played a gig in Leiden. Quite a combination right? I’ve never seen The Ruins of Beverast live before, fortunately they were just as dark and haunting on stage as they are on record. King Dude was a blast again – I mean: how many gigs have you been to where the singer of the band answers his phone during a live gig?
On a way gloomier (and colder!) day than its first edition, the second edition of Wavefest took place in Baroeg. With Hante from France and She Past Away from Turkey on stage (among others) this was another line-up to die for. I loved dancing on Hante’s dark synths! She Past Away was a blast too – although I don’t speak a word of Turkish I always find myself humming along to their songs.
My final concert this year had a Scandinavian touch: Myrkur from Denmark and Sólstafir from Iceland. Not being a big Sólstafir fan (I just can’t cope with the singer’s voice) I would have skipped this if it wasn’t for Myrkur, another name that will show up in my favorite records list. The Danish singer has a wonderful voice and her blend of folk and metal is right up my alley. Her music translated to the stage very well and it was a pleasure to hear her Amelie sound just as good on stage – singing, screaming, chanting, howling – as on her albums. Yay!
- The Weeknd: February 24 – Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam
- White Lies: March 15 – Het Paard van Troje, Den Haag
- :Of the Wand and the Moon: : April 9 – Baroeg, Rotterdam
- Alex Vargas: April 16 – Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam
- Roadburn Festival: April 20 – Tilburg
- Emma Ruth Rundle: April 30 – Het Paard van Troje, Den Haag
- Wavefest I: July 8 – Baroeg, Rotterdam
- Wardruna: October 15 – Tivoli Ronda, Utrecht
- King Dude & The Ruins of Beverast: October 21 – Gebr. Nobel, Leiden
- Wavefest II: November 26 – Baroeg, Rotterdam
- Sólstafir & Myrkur: December 15 – Maassilo, Rotterdam
That’s it, what a list! With Lana del Rey tickets in the pocket, 2018 seems to be another promising year – I look forward to it! What concerts have you been to this year? What was your favorite?