Fans from over 50 countries converged on Antwerp, Belgium on the night of November 13, when the city’s Sportpaleis arena hosted the 15-year anniversary performance of Netherland legends Within Temptation.
The show, called Elements, was a sold out affair and featured classic songs from the band’s five studio albums, all enhanced with coloured lights and pyrotechnics. Accompanying the symphonic rock outfit on stage was the Il Novecento Orchestra, which added an extra classical feel to the tunes with their army of instruments and choir.
The show also featured surprise collaborations, including Dutch opera singer Gea Gijsbertsen, who sang alongside lead singer Sharon den Adel during “Our Farewell”. Ex-Orphanage vocalist George Oosthoek also joined Within Temptation onstage, taking over the male vocals in their 1997 song “Candles”.
Within Temptation is currently Holland’s most successful international rock-band. The group was formed back in 1996 by lead singer den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt.
The band opened Elements with a set from their most recent album The Unforgiving, playing “Iron”, “In the Middle of the Night”, “Faster” and “Fire and Ice” all back-to-back.
The two-hour show displayed not only the intense connection and coordination between members, but also the band’s musical evolution over the last 15 years from Celtic influences to comic book-inspired music.
It was clear in the show that Within Temptation was focused on displaying their journey as a band rather than simply playing all the heavy-hitters in their catalogue, resulting in the exclusion of more popular songs like “See Who I Am”, “The Howling”, and “A Demon’s Fate”. While some fans may have been disappointed, the band did play classic hits from their critically acclaimed album Mother Earth.
Fans were also surprised halfway through the show when the band shook things up with some unusual cover choices, including Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” and David Guetta’s “Titanium”. Within Temptation is currently working with Q-Music on a covers project where they reimagine their own hits along with others from various musical artists including Nirvana and Coldplay.
The multi-dimensional show didn’t just boast a great audio and visual presentation (much due to the orchestra, choir and special effects), but the sense of grandeur was taken to another level with professional dancers, a trio of child acrobats and even performers on stilts.
The show was full of the energy and zeal that remain definitive of exactly who Within Temptation are.