Another great European metal tour came through the USA. This time, the American audience would be treated to Dutch symphonic metal band Delain, Finnish melodic death metal band Amorphis, and Dutch singer Anneke Van Giersbergen. A great package for all European metal fanatics. One of the later stops on the tour was the Grove in Anaheim, California. Even before doors opened, there was a line of fans waiting to get in. A Friday night seemed perfect for bands of this caliber.
Anneke came out and started with a cover of Ih-Ah originally by Devin Townsend Project. Her show is completely acoustic so the usual heaviness and speed of the songs was completely changed to sound acoustic. Still, it was very calming to hear her absolutely beautiful voice. One of the highlights of the show was hearing her go back to her roots of her days in The Gathering and played a cover of Saturnine. Another one of the hits played was Jolene originally by Dolly Parton. She encouraged the audience to sing along and those that new the song, gladly sang along. Van Giersbergen isn’t usually playing the guitar so it wasn’t uncommon to see her struggling a bit when it came to playing or making sure it sounded just right and would often say her mistakes out loud. Seeing her do her mistakes was actually really cute and she and the audience would laugh together. Van Giersbergen played some really well known songs including Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) and Like a Stone (Audioslave). Being the opening act, Van Giersbergen had a short set and decided to treat the metalhead audience with a cover of none other than heavy metal legends Iron Maiden by performing a cover of Wasted Years. Playing that intro on acoustic guitar was no easy task, but she managed to pull it off and even the audience joined in on signing along to the chorus. Van Giersbergen finished up her show and left the stage. The show was already off to a great start.
Amorphis came out and started with the opening track from the newest album, The Bee. Amorphis sounded great, just as they do on the album. Up next was one of the best songs on the new album, The Golden Elk. The song is a bit lengthy at just over six minutes, but it’s a perfect six minutes for such a beautiful song. The whole band was very energetic making sure to use the whole stage as their playground rather than stand one the same spot for the whole show. Some of the other hits played included Into Hiding, Wrong Direction, and Heart of the Giant. Amorphis always sounds great live as singer Tomi Joutsen alternates between harsh vocals and clean singing. Joutsen made note on how on the new album, there’s one song that has a special lady on guest vocals. That lady was Anneke Van Giersbergen. Coincidentally, she’s also on tour with the band. Joutsen brought her out to sing Amongst Stars, one of the best songs on the album and one of the most beautiful songs that Amorphis has ever written. The duet singing between Joutsen and Van Giersbergen was absolutely beautiful and perfect. Seeing Amongst Stars being performed was definitely a special moment. To end the performance, Amorphis played House of Sleep. A perfect ending to a great show. Amorphis wrapped up their show and left the stage setup ready for the headlining band of the night.
Delain came out and started with Burning Bridges, a brand new song from the upcoming new album that also has a music video out. The last member to come out was the beautiful and talented, Charlotte Wessels. Fans were seen with smiles as the beloved band that is Delain finally took the stage. The next song was the fan-favorite Suckerpunch from the previous album, Moonbathers. Delain was very energetic on stage with Wessels dancing on stage as well as raising her metal horns and headbanging to her music. Every now and then, cannons would shoot out fog and give the band a beautiful look to go along with their symphonic metal. Wessels sounds just as beautiful live as they do on record. Delain is known for being some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. One of the many times you can see this is in-between songs, Wessels would talk to the audience and members in the audience would reply to her and she would laugh it off or go along with the joke. She would also interact with the children in the audience by shaking their hands and giving them hugs. Delain kept the energy up as they played many of their greatest hits including The Glory and the Scum, Mother Machine, Stardust, and Hands of Gold. Nearing the end of the show, Wessels notices a little boy who was holding up a sign. She wondered if maybe it was a request to play a song. She held the microphone up to the boy and he said, We Are the Others. Wessels agreed that the song would make a perfect closing song for the show. Delain played their best known song We Are the Others and fans were jumping to the song as well as raising their horns. The song is about acceptance of one another without judgement and to be yourself instead of following trends or being told who to be. The song is also inspired by the 2007 murder of Sophie Lancaster who, along with her boyfriend, were murdered by a group of boys simply for being goth and “different”. Delain finished the song, thanked the audience, then left the stage. There were nothing but happy vibes on this tour as it should be. The whole band is nothing but smiles and always put 100% into their performance regardless of attendance numbers.