London goes Within Temptation…

Within Temptation. A band from the Netherlands who have remarkably been around since 1996.

Yet for some reason have never quite got the recognition they deserve. But all that has changed over the years, and on Tuesday 13th November, they played to a sell out crowd at the O2 Brixton Academy. And it was one hell of a show.

The lights go down then come up for the entrance of the band – Jeroen van Veen, Ruud Jolie, Stefan Helleblad, Mike Coolen and Martijn Spierenburg – and gets the crowd ready for the opening number, Raise Your Banner. And that marks the entrance of lead singer, Sharon den Adel, who strides onto the stage complete with flag and wearing a white cape, and then bursts into the song with her incredible voice. The tone is definitely set for the evening.

“It’s great to be back again”, announces den Adel to a very appreciative crowd. And they get more appreciative with the second song of the set, The Reckoning. The light show is spectacular, the videos play in the background, the band run across the stage enjoying themselves, and den Adel is now looking resplendent in a black dress. I’ve never seen a band so in sync with each other, but Within Temptation do that with so much ease and joy. They then go straight into Endless War, full symphonic rock mode is now well and truly engaged.

“Time to test your vocal chords..”, orders den Adel. The song the crowd need to at their best for is, In The Middle Of The Night. And the crowd certainly don’t let her, the band and themselves down either. A fast, pacey song which Within Temptation once again make look so easy playing it live, and make it sound so brilliant too. Stand My Ground brings the tempo down, but never loses it’s grip on the quality that everyone is being treated to so far.

All I Need keeps the symphonic, steady pace going as den Adel’s vocals really come to the fore. She is really that good, I defy anyone not to see this band live. The only thing the song lacked was the crowd with their lighters in the air (thank you very much, health & safety). Supernova is next after that, and is delivered in a real cool fashion. Funky, maybe? This band could play it on a child’s guitar and pots and pans and still make it brilliant. The audience, as they’ve done all night, join in with the hand claps, and the band love it.

Then comes one of the songs of the night, Shot In The Dark. A proper, full head on rock song. Sharon den Adel and co keep up their incredible energy and makes this song really stand out. The Promise follows that, and den Adel turns her hand into whipping up the crowd into joining in with her singing. And they duly oblige at every opportunity. But it’s the vocal range of den Adel that captures this song, she really does bring a sense of opera to whatever they do. I promise you now, there isn’t a rock singer, male or female, who can match her. Faster is another song of the night (they all are, to be fair), and a chorus of “HEY! HEY! HEY!” from the crowd can be heard throughout this great number.

“You! Me! Everybody! Let’s do it!”, signals the start of Paradise (What About Us?), with den Adel sharing vocal duties with the video appearance of Finnish singer, Tarja. It’s a tribute to the show coordinators that the guest vocalists can still make an appearance of sorts, making the song even better to watch. The Heart Of Everything follows on after that, and keeps everyone wanting more and more. And they get it with another number from The Heart Of Everything with What Have You Done. This time it’s the turn of Keith Caputo to make the video appearance. The song wouldn’t have been the same without his voice in some form.

There is a third offering from The Heart Of Everything, and it’s THE song of the night. Forgiven. The band leave the stage, with just den Adel and keyboardist Martijn Spierenburg left to perform one of the most beautiful songs ever made. It truly was a majestic sight and sound. A live masterpiece. The first part of the set then comes to a close with one of the early numbers, Mother Earth. A song that embraces the full symphonic rock sound of Within Temptation. The encore consists of just the one song, but it’s a great one. Stairway To The Skies. And den Adel comes back out in an angelic style white dress and gives off a hell of a singing performance, before she is hoisted into the air to look down and sing down to those below. That closes the show in magnificent fashion.

This truly was a show that captured you in sound and vision. The extraordinary vocals of Sharon den Adel keep you hooked, and the band as a whole is one very tight unit. Within Temptation are a band you shouldn’t ignore, they are a band you can easily fall in love with. And, after this show, fall into temptation with too. Rock music at it’s most brilliant.

We rate:
5.0 rating