What a day!!
The horizon is melting to a murky, gloomy, grey unity of dust and clouds. Even the few seagulls trying to catch up and withstand the wind.
With this dull weather and wind gusts (actually I would call it rather hurricanes) which almost had us blown away right from the beginning of our arrival (never had such a warm welcome before), we were wandering in Haarlem through dark, lonely and deserted alleys.
The reason why we have chosen narrow passageway is clear:
We thought it would lead us to the core of the city or maybe to a hidden place.
By the way "WE"-> that is my sister and me (you do not need to know more). Packed with food and quite a few unnecessary things, we have traveled from the mild, warm Germany to the stormy and cold Netherlands.
Despite the unpredictable weather (like to see the force of nature) we have made us some really great days in Haarlem and near the sea.
BUT the highlight should be and was the concert from the bad DELAIN in the evening of 29 January 2016 in "Patronaat".
To come back to our confusion and perplexity to find the right way-> unfortunately, there were no people to ask for, except some crazy Dutch woman riding and fighting the way through the storm with two kids on it ( I won't dare to scream : "Excuse me, I'm way too stupid to find my way cause my card is flown away. Yes I'm that old-fashioned).
We have found alternative strategies to reach our goal. Funny and cool thing I have to mention is that our suitcase was carried by the wind. It was much preempted and practically. My hat played "catch me if you can"-> also very entertaining. But one thing that made me proud, after we have reached the "Nieuwe Gracht" is that almost every bike, standing everywhere, formed a lane for us, after they fell one out after another.
Passing by further alleys (very afraid to be hit by a falling tile) we finally found our beautiful apartment.
Above us a musician played bass and sung with a beautiful jazz voice (reminds me a bit of Jamie Cullem).
After listening to this awesome voice and after a snack, consisting of the combination of hot kakao plus coffee and the remaining spekulatius of Christmas, we have explored a bit more of Haarlem.
After calling loudly to the wind and rain to disappear (I really did), we were ready for our short trip.
The upshot was that we have made beautiful photos, memories, collected all sorts of impressions, found cozy cafes and last but not least also had language problems.
I have to admit my Dutch is not the best.
But despite this slight negative intonation before, I will tell you now about a band and about a concert you should never miss out ever again.
Today on the 29 th of January in 2016, the traditional final concert of the last album and tour of the "Human-Contradiction-show" from the Dutch band DELAIN should take place in the Patronaat.
Beforehand it was referred with special effects, a cool lightshow, guests and new songs of the upcoming EP „Lunar Prelude". On board with the supporting act "The Charm The Fury" the evening was introduced energetically.
The Charm The Fury is a Metalcore/Post-Hardcore band from Amsterdam. Because I knew the band and their music style and way to perform before, I was very curious and excited to see them live for the first time. The band's opener was Down on the Ropes. For the people who do not know the band it was kind of a shock right with the first note and especially first tone of Caroline Westendorp (the singer of The Charm The Fury). Maybe most of the audience thought as a supporting act it has to be quite similar with the music of Delain. Wrong indeed.
They get a full package of grunting; screaming but also a bit clean singing. It reminds me a bit of the supporting act Arch enemy at the Nightwish concert last year. The people next to me said they do not want to be yelled at. I simply thought don't they look up the supporting acts??
The most amusing moment was when she called on the people to form a pit during the most popular song Colorblind by saying: " Laat me zien wat je kunt“. I saw parents with their kids and audience with open mouth and frightened eyes. I heard voices in different languages saying: Is she serious?? . I could not resist smiling and tried to animate the audience to clap to the music at least. Unfortunately, I and a few others were the exceptions trying to enjoy their music. The audience could not be convinced and they were standing in a rigid. I looked at expressionless faces. Next to Colorblind, their second song, they ended their seven-song-setlist with my second favorite song Carte Blanche. I was excited and even happier to see Delain now. To sum up, I can say it was a good mixture of their songs and although they had a little sound problems I really enjoyed it. Despite the intimidated audience, they were fresh and energetic maybe a bit flat at the end but I think that was alright. I have to admit that it was a Delain audience and maybe the band had to considerate on the audience. As an advice, they could have talk between the songs a bit or present their songs to the audience, so that they feel a bit more addressed also it was not their music taste. After the gig I would have said to the band members: Hold your head up high BUT hold your middle finger even higher. (Just kidding).
Setlist The Charm The Fury:
1. Down On The Ropes
4. Songs Of Obscenity
5. Living Saints
7. Carte Blanche
After the last song of their setlist was played I felt like the audience breathe a sigh of relief and their faces began to relax. I also heard merry laughter. From one moment to the next it was silent but the air was strung to the breaking point. After a really short waiting period, a symphonic intro begins to play and the curtains fall down. The artists appear (not Charlotte) in the spotlight with Otto Schimmelpenninck leading the way and the new member Merel Bechtold playing the brand new song ‘Suckerpunch’ for the first time live! After hearing Charlotte's voice and see her emerge behind the stage, the audience went crazy. It was a phenomenal opener. The song is really catchy, her voice was perfect and the band members had a lot of fun on stage. Merel is a really small woman but with so much energy. She can definitely keep pace with the big boys. I cannot wait to listen to the new album. Right from the beginning the audience was enthusiastic and moved. They jumped, clapped their hands and screamed -Oh yes really loud.
As a contrast to the supporting act the keyboards and drums were on a higher level on the back of the stage. It looked pretty nice and you could also see a nice video wall with their new music video of Suckerpunch on it.
Not later than after the insertion of the first chorus a lot of people sung along loudly the catchy passage of the chorus.
This insane, clenched and energetic mood continued. With Army of Dolls and Lullaby from the previous album, it went on to Stardust including a video on the wall. The tuning was perfect, her voice, the atmosphere, the light show was awesome (Red, green, white light effect) what more to expect??
The show was packed with heavy songs, classics but a highlight was the acoustic version of Scarlet. Next to start swimming (acoustic) is one of my favorites from the album "we are the others".
With Martijn on piano, Charlotte on vocals and Maaike Peters on cello they played a magnificent version of the song. Next to Maaike as a guest appearance, Caroline Westendorp from The Charm The Fury joined the stage later on. She sang the part of Alissa White-Gluz in the song „The tragedy of the commons". Again, the audience knew the song and knew how to sing along with everything their lungs had to offer. The, in my eyes exceedingly and incredibly well thought out Setlist, continued with classic „April rain" and the brilliant „Here come the Vultures". It was insanely fun to look at laughing faces and singing mouths. They even played the song "Don't let go", even though, I thought they would never play it live again. After the second new song „Turn the lights out" which was well received at the crowd they went on to I would call it“Oldie" song. Completed with "Silhouette of a dancer" and guest appearance from George Oosthoek from Orphanage. The wild ride went on with the super melodic and catchy song „The Gathering" and was topped off with confetti.
With the song „Not enough" They built up a perfect transition. The people knew that the show was not over yet. After three further songs and a crowning ending with the song „We are the others“, for me the chosen anthem from Delain, the show came to an end.
They definitely did not promise too much.
Gigantic, versatile light-show ( all colors like blue, red, green etc.), special effects ( like raiser, CO2 ),superb vocal performance, excellent interaction with the audience and last but not least the most important aspect, the joy of playing live music that you could see in every minute on their faces. Charlotte, Merel and the rest of the guys smiled like a "Cheshire cat" the whole time. So the unending applause was only justified. What constitutes Delain is that they act as a unit no they do not act they are a unit. They are authentic, down to earth and play honest and real music. They are not afraid of being who they are. They do not hide behind a mask. A tiny little hint to the Netherlands: You should definitely broaden your horizon a little bit more to the metal scene.
At the end I have a little tiny criticism: It was spoken mostly in Dutch, comprehensible in their own country, but due to the international audience a shame. NO!! Just kidding.
It motivates me to improve my language skills and hopefully the other people think the same way. Most of the time I could deduce the words and I am used to her voice.
To come to an end I have to say it was an overall worthy final show of the album „The human contradiction" and simultaneously a worthy entry for the upcoming album.
To catch up with the people right from the beginning is not that easy and naturally but wonderful when it happens like it was with DELAIN! I hope DELAIN has a lot of fun on the America tour with the awesome guys from Nightwish and Sonata Arctica and I hope to see them soon again.