Anneke Van Giesbergen’s VUUR First Headlining show REVIEW!
Anneke Van Giersbergen was poised, charismatic, and down to earth. Two hours before the start of the show where she and her new formed band Vuur are going to headline for the first time, we left the tour bus where an in-depth interview has just taken place (find out all about it here). “It’s unbelievable” I said to myself “Unbelievable that a mega star like Anneke can be that modest and friendly”. I guess sometimes you have to see a person outside of the limelight to discover the human in them. To have a glimpse, only a little one at their true self.
The place is Paris and on a cold and rainy Thursday evening of December, Vuur alongside My Propane and Scar Symmetry were ready to rock the Parisian night. Into the waiting line, I make my way and there to my surprise I meet many fans who came to see Scar Symmetry, a band that I didn’t know beforehand but for sure worth a listen. And for sure, all of Vuur’s fans waiting under rain drops to meet the stars of the night.
The concert started with My Propane, a dark progressive band with one album under their sleeve (Modern Violent Gentleman-2013) with a new release coming soon. Their energy was quite remarkable with interesting melody lines and outstanding musicality. This band is definitely going straight to my Spotify playing list. Unexpected surprise…check!
The next act was the Swedish melodic death metal band Scar Symmetry. This band has a lot to offer: catchy riffs, dreamy melodies, strong growls, and spacy clean voice. By seeing the many die-hard fans in the audience losing it, I could say that Scar Symmetry has built a loyal fan base through the years even if this was the first time they play in Paris for a long time. Metal dose….check!
Then of course, it was time for the one and only Vuur. With their great melody lines, extreme music mastery, the spot on lighting, Vuur had the venue in their pocket!
Anneke, the front woman that she is, moved us all with her powerful, angelic voice proving again why she’s a power player in the metal world. She was on another dimension, moving us through space and time with her voice range and her undeniable presence on stage. She also plays an important role with the string section playing those important chords that add to the orchestra of steel.
But what caught my attention even more was the great harmony and connection between band members. Beginning with Ed Warby behind the drums, the guardian of the rhythm, he was spot on the whole concert bringing fluidity and beat to the sound.
And then there was the string section comprised of Jord Otto (guitars), Ferry Duijsens (guitars), and Johan van Stratum (bass). The energy between those three gentlemen was very satisfying to watch. Goofing on stage, making fun of one another, all while rocking the hell out of their instruments. With great solos of Otto, cut clear bass lines of van Stratum, and hypnotic rhythms of Duijsens, the mix was explosive.
They were not shy to include Anneke into their little stage games. Seeing the band on stage was a privilege. The playing, the amusement, and the stage atmosphere made the concert an extraordinary experience. A night to remember…check!
The setlist included mainly songs from Vuur new album “In this Moment We are Free-Cities”, but the surprise package were songs from “The Gentle Storm” (Anneke’s latest music adventures), a Devin Townsend song (Fallout), and the ending was no other than The Gathering’s signature song “Strange Machine” (for the full setlist, click here*). The only other song that I personally wished to be included was the power ballad “Freedom” from their latest release.
Taking a step back to see the whole picture, it seems that Vuur is one big family: The band members for sure but also lighting technicians, Evert behind the console and Robbin the tour manager who even with a broken hand because of a “stupid accident” (to paraphrase her own words) is around to make sure that it all goes smooth and on schedule for the band.
All in all, Vuur’s concert got the Metal Bell seal of approval! The only downside in my opinion was that there were some empty spots in the concert hall. An event like that really does merit a full house.
After the show, in a generous gesture, the band was at the merchandise booth for their traditional after party meet and greet. I make my way to thank Anneke and the boys for a great evening.
Then again, with a smile, with the lights almost out, and the energy fading away, we exchanged our farewells. The contrast between now and then tremendous just like the warrior’s rest after a glorious fight…. The balance is restored….. This is “Darkness and Light”…..
– By Maher Ajamane
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