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Within Temptation "Hydra World Tour" - 2/26/2014 - Kaapelitehdas - Helsinki

After half a year from their latest appearance in Finland - where the band managed to fill up the whole indoor venue despite the warm sunny weather, beer festivals and other events all over the city - Within Temptation tries it again in this, still warm, winter.
Bigger venue this time, as the production is also much bigger, at least is what the three-layered stage, including catwalk and all sort of decorations, would suggest. The whole area looks more like is arranged for a festival rather than a one-band gig: the drinking area has been pushed way far back, and you can smell meatballs, kebab and all that sort of "gig food" from afar.
The wait before the gig is quite long, and there would have been plenty of time for one or two bands to entertain the audience in the almost 2 and a half hours from the opening to the beginning of the show. The fans are eagerly waiting in front of the white drop with the new "Hydra"’s cover, and similar dragon-like images are projected through the walls and on the floor.

The band takes its time, but finally enters the stage after some delay, which was pretty much accounted for, as the schedule said explicitly "about 21.00". Sharon will change her skin (or better, clothes) so many times during the concert that you cannot count, and the first outfit shows this hydra-shaped hat, as the first part of the set is entirely dedicated to the new record. Suddenly as the stage is revealed to the audience, the latter immediately explodes inciting the band, while smoke and colorful lights cover the scene, and all sort of videos are projected onto the screen on the back framed into two symmetric dragon mouths. "Let Us Burn" is followed by "Paradise", certainly the highlight of "Hydra", and here the fans’ expectations of Tarja Turunen popping out as a surprise guest were utterly disappointed.
There is really much more than the music in this show, but as you get the whole package, the continues images in the back can at some point become excessive. One thing is that the short movies are apparently necessary for the clothes changeover of the singer. Thus we get to see again what was the intro of the previous gig, "Mother Maiden", as we shift towards "Unforgiving" with the trio "Faster"/"Shoot In The Dark"/"In The Middle Of The Night".

Performance-wise all these videos, lasers and shiny lights help to distract from the small imperfections which normally bother the hardcore fans. After all this is officially the kick-off of the "Hydra World Tour", after the warm-up gig in Eindhoven, and there is so many worse things that could possibly go wrong, which luckily wasn’t the case.
It’s really impressive anyway to look at the stage from distance and enjoy the overall atmosphere of the event, despite the usual flows of Kaapelitehdas, above all the sound which is so unevenly distributed to make it pretty bad depending on where you stay. Not only Sharon takes the center spotlight at times, but the two guitarist also gain attention on stage, alternating with the singer on the end of the catwalk. These guys sure like to walk a lot, taking advantage of the whole stage, often standing at the top of the stairs.

Following the intro of the "Elements" anniversary gig, "Stand My Ground", "Angels", "See Who I am" bring us into "The Silent Force", before one last bunch of songs from the newest album. From here on it’s of course classics time: let’s then get it started with "Mother Earth", which also wraps things up before the encore. "Memories" and "What Have You Done" precedes the Lana Del Rey cover of "Summer Sadness". People don’t seem to want to leave just yet, and they are right, cause "Ice Queen" still has to wrap things up, and then you notice it’s been already past two hours of show.

Honestly I am always a bit surprised at how many people gather here in Finland to see Within Temptation every time, but it seems they are really welcome in this typically cold and inhospitable country. Tonight wasn’t for sure one of the best gigs the band has offered, but they do manage to pull it off quite nicely, and all the atmosphere created by the fancy lighting and various props has added for sure that little extra visual candy for the audience.
Everything gets wrapped-up really fast, as the crew needs to pack all and head towards Russia overnight for the preparations to the next date in Moscow. It’s incredible also how quickly the venue is emptied immediately after the conclusion of the gig, with the exception of a few super-fans keeping their hopes high to hang out with the band. Good luck to the band for the rest of the tour, and cheers to the organization that made this one event almost look like a mini indoor-festival. An interesting night for sure.

All photos (click on the image to access to the gallery):

Report a cura di Marco Manzi

Archivio Foto


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