Live report DELAIN & BLACKBRIAR, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht – 14.02.2020

After having played a few shows in the UK, almost a warm-up for the album release show at TivoliVredenburg, Delain returns to The Netherlands for a real homegame experience. The Dutch band, hailing from Utrecht, plays a release show for their newest album ‘Apocalypse & Chill’ which has been revealed a few days ago.

Delain, playing in Utrecht, almost guarantees a sold-out concert and also today the Ronda room at TivoliVredenburg is packed – ‘Uitverkocht’. Arriving at the venue shows that Delain fans are early birds. The queue of enthusiastic fans is pretty long, fans of any age that can’t wait for the doors to be opened. Also for me it means some waiting and I can’t avoid listening to a conversation where some dudes talking about having no idea about who Delain is and what’s their music. It was a photo of Charlotte that made them curious. However, these ‘newcomers’ are the exception today and the biggest percentage knows very well what to expect.

18:30 sharp first fans enter the room and 30 minutes later it’s Blackbriar, another Dutch band, that leads-off  a musical night, full of heavy music and catchy melodies. Female-fronted Symphonic Metal is what the bands plays and they for sure fit better to Delain than Arkona who opened for the Dutch powerhouse in November in Hamburg. Blackbriar, I haven’t heard of them before, does a good job. The six-piece band from Assen, NL was support for bands like Halestorm and Epica earlier, but a certain level of nervousness is tangible. With every song played the band gets more comfortable and plays a 30 minutes set with songs that find friends in the audience. The sextet can score some positive reactions in the already pretty filled room but the majority came for the headliner. Blackbriar, a band with good music in their repertoire but without big ‘wow’-songs, yet.

Delain already played some new songs on their recent tour in autumn (MHMB reported from Hamburg) but today it’s time to put the big focus on the newest album since the concert is the official release show for ‘Apocalypse & Chill’. With 21 songs, the setlist is rather long with a bigger part, eight tunes to be precise, coming from the newest offer.

‘Burning Bridges’ is one of them, leading off a 100 minutes show that acts as a perfect Friday night party. Adrenaline is in everybody’s veins this night, leading to Charlotte Wessels being ahead of things by announcing ‘The Glory and the Scum’ while ‘Creatures’ is next the setlist as song number two. It’s these kinds of human factors that make Delain to the authentic and approachable band fans love.

What’s obvious right away is that the new songs are great ones for being played live. I guess we will see, and hear, ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘We Had Everything’ during many of the upcoming shows and the fact that fans know all the lyrics already by mind states clearly, that they listened to these melodic smashers more than once over the last seven days. ‘Vengeance’ is another new song, featuring Beast In Black’s Yannis Papadoupolis. The Beast In Black frontman is also in Utrecht tonight, performing ‘Vengeance’ together with Charlotte Wessels, a welcomed surprise of the evening.

‘Apocalypse & Chill’ also features sensitive tones with ‘Ghost House Heart’ being such an emotional moment. The performance tonight is even more touching with Charlotte Wessels, Martijn Westerhold and Elianne Anemaat giving the song an extra soulful aspect, performing it as a trio, wrapped in warm light. It was a moment of calmness wining over heaviness and party.

The show in general is built very much on the more recent Delain deliveries. Next to the new melodic hymns, songs like ‘Suckerpunch’ and ‘’The Glory and the Scum’, both from the ‘Moonbathers’ release, are extremely well-received by fans in Utrecht, joining the band for a sing-a-long. As already during some previous Delain shows also George Oosthoek joins with deeper growls during ‘Hands of Gold’, again with huge balloons in the air, on stage and in the room.

Furthermore the ‘typical suspects’ showing up on the setlist too, tunes like ‘Don’t Let Go’, introduced by Wessels as the active part for the crowd, which basically means for fans to scream and jump. After a bit more than one and a half hours the show gets closer to the final song. Fans wouldn’t allow the band to leave the stage without having played ‘We Are the Others’ and melodic smash hit marks the grand finale of a concert that filled the Ronda room with great songs, catchy melodies and a really good vibe. A Friday night party and a start into the weekend can’t be much better than what Delain fans have been part of during the last two hours and you can see it in their faces – everybody left TivoliVredenburg with happy smile.

All Photos: Markus Wiedenmann Photography

Setlist Delain:

  1. Intro
  2. Burning Bridges
  3. Creatures
  4. The Glory and the Scum
  5. Suckerpunch
  6. The Hurricane
  7. April Rain
  8. Masters of Destiny
  9. Let’s Dance
  10. One Second
  11. Ghost House Heart (feat. Elianne Anemaat)
  12. Vengeance (feat. Yannis Papadopoulos)
  13. Combustion
  14. The Monarch
  15. Hands of Gold (feat. George Oosthoek)
  16. Not Enough
  17. Don’t Let Go
  18. The Gathering
  19. Fire With Fire
  20. Pristine (feat. Elianne Anemaat & George Oosthoek)
  21. We Had Everything
  22. We Are the Others

Location: TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Date: February 14th, 2020

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