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Within Temptation at the Lotto Arena: A satisfying concert for fans both old and new

Article published on May 5, 2014
Article published on May 5, 2014

On 29th April, the sym­phonic metal group Within Temp­ta­tion per­formed at Antwer­p's Lotto Arena. With big ex­pec­ta­tions to live up to, the new hy­brid 'Hydra' di­rec­tion of the band didn't dis­­ap­point.

A lot of water has passed un­der­ the bridge since Within Temp­ta­tion was formed in 1996. They have re­leased six stu­dio al­bums, in­clud­ing a con­cept album which was ac­com­pa­nied by comics and short films ti­tled The Un­for­giv­ing, and in 2012 they cel­e­brated their 15th an­niver­sary with the peo­ple of Bel­gium with an enor­mous event ti­tled El­e­ments, in which they were joined by the Il Nove­cen­tro Or­ches­tra and other spe­cial guests.

After giv­ing the peo­ple of Bel­gium such an enor­mous show two years ago, it was clear that the band had very big ex­pec­ta­tions to live up to this year when they re­turned to Antwerp to per­form at the Lotto Arena, fol­low­ing the re­lease of their new album, Hydra. Being ex­per­i­men­tal as with every new re­lease, Hydra has taken the band into yet an­other new di­rec­tion, with catchy feel-good beats and the par­tic­i­pa­tion of nu­mer­ous guest-singers, in­clud­ing rap­per Xz­ibit and Tarja Tu­runen, the so­prano. The album, though tak­ing some risks with their new and ex­per­i­men­tal sound, has re­ceived al­most en­tirely pos­i­tive re­views and has been a huge com­mer­cial suc­cess.

The con­cert catered both to those who had come to hear the new sin­gles and some of their all time clas­sics such as An­gels, The Cross and Ice Queen - the sin­gle that sparked the group's in­ter­na­tional suc­cess. Within Temp­ta­tion is one of those bands that doesn't give you the feel­ing that they're sim­ply tour­ing be­cause it makes more money than sell­ing CD's and they gen­er­ally seem to enjoy performing their work to a live au­di­ence. They have good pres­ence and de­vel­oped ways to in­spire au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion. The song that stands out the most would prob­a­bly be “Stand my ground” with Sharon del Adel giv­ing the mic to the au­di­ence for the cho­rus in the pow­er­ful chant of “Stand my ground I won't give in”. Other spec­tac­u­larly per­formed songs in­cluded the pow­er­ride “Jil­lian” and the more tuned down acoustic ver­sion of “Sinéad”. The pre­sen­ta­tion of the con­cert was ex­cel­lent, con­sist­ing of the support band De­lain and then blast­ing the au­di­ence into the con­cep­tual world of Within Temp­ta­tion's work, with well-timed spe­cial ef­fects and never-been-seen videos tying to­gether the tales that the band re­lays through their songs.

Ob­vi­ously, the con­cert was on a smaller scale to El­e­ments, but even with less to work with, the group did not dis­­ap­point their fans and were in good spir­its, rais­ing their glasses to their fans and telling jokes in be­tween songs in their na­tive Dutch. The only com­plaint would be the long time that passed be­tween the open­ing act and the main act. Over­all the con­cert was a great ex­pe­ri­ence for all fans - old and new, and left every­one sat­is­fied and in high spir­its, earn­ing them 4.5 stars out of 5.