The fountain of diversity is lost and found

Anneke van Giersbergen’s Vuur – Rockpalast, Bochum; February 12th, 2018

Anneke van Giersbergen manages to surprise me all the time. I know she can sing and play every style, but somehow she still always does what I least expect at that particular moment in time. There is probably a pattern in there somewhere, but for now I’m just enjoying whatever she throws my way. Last night it was time to see and hear her heavy side with the band Vuur for which she gathered some amazing musicians around her. the rocked the house in Bochum and I für 90 minutes I shut off my head and had fun.

Originally they had only announced tourdates fo the Netherlands and I had decided to go to Maastricht to see them and spend a nice weekend there. About one day after I realized I could not make it, they announced a European tour with Bochum as the first stop in Germany. Perfect! I arrived early, found one person waiting, K., who had come all the way from Almere to see them and we passed the time chatting. A few more people gathered before the doors opened, but it was stress free and easy to get in and to front row. Nice. I had never been to the Rockpalast before, only to the bigger basement venue called Matrix. I liked it.

First up were Polish Prog Metal Band Votum. They offered good, powerful songs with a nice variety. It was all a bit too heavy for my liking, but the singer’s voice was good and thy were fun to watch. They played well and did their best to get the audience going. about halfway through their set there was one song I really liked. It was called ‘Prometheus’ I think. They were a good warm up for the main band of he night and got the audience going.

The crew got to work changing the stage, the venue filled up and I was curious about the show we were going to see. I had hear on the UK tour the support band did not work out and thus Anneke played an acoustic set beforehand. I would have love to hear that, but of course we had had Votum. I knew of course that she had formed this band to show her heavy side as opposed to the softer side she shows with her solo stuff and had to admit that I did not listen to the album all that much. Still, everything is different live and I knew I’d find something I’d enjoy.

When the band walked on stage some of them looked familiar to me and introducing them Anneke said that this was the first time they were playing together as one band, but that we knew all of them and had seen them before. Yep, guess she was right. They all played well and brought great energy to the stage. Lots of flying hair too (in most cases anyway) so they were fun to watch. They were fun to listen to as well and even though I only recognized a few of the songs I sure enjoyed the music.

Johan the bass player seemed to have a bit of bad luck. At the beginning of the show he had trouble with his bass and kept checking with the tech guys. Later on, guitarist Jord accidentally hit him or bumped head with him or something of the like. Anneke made it all better by hugging him and petting his head. It was a sweet gesture.They played together a lot, always on the move across the small stage.

Among the Vuur songs, a few songs from Anneke’s other bands were strew in as well and she did an acoustic set. For me, this was the highlight of the show. I love her voice no matter what she sings, but do like her softer stuff better. She covered one Chris Cornell/Audioslave song that was beautiful and then asked us if we wanted to hear some Aryan cover. Not enough of us cheered to convince her so she assured us she liked Aryan and was gonna play the song anyway. It was just her with Ferry on guitar. Beautiful!

By the side of the stage there was a kid who might have been around ten and rocked out the entire time. Everyone played to him during the show, Anneke told him to keep rocking and at the very end she called him to the stage to take a bow with them and he got a guitar pick too. It was awesome. 😀

She did not talk all that much, just introduced some of the songs and of course the band. One thing that stuck with me though was that she said something along the lines of believing we could create our own little bubble of love and caring to live in make the world a bit better by that. I want to believe this too, that music unites us and all of us enjoying it together and spreading the love we feel at concerts can make this world a tiny bit better for us and hopefully those around us too.

It was a good show overall, with head-banging, fun, great music, a bit of dancing and just seeing a few great musicians at work. When it was time for the encores we were once again not loud enough so she had to ask us a few times if we wanted to hear more. 😀 Of course we did and not only one song! We got too and the show ended on a high note. I went and said hello after before saying my goodbyes and heading home. I#ll sure come back next time around.

Anneke van Giersbergen – vocals
Ed Warby – drums
Jord Otto – guitars
Ferry Duijsens – guitars
Johan van Stratum – bass

pictures of this concert

Setlist

Time – Rotterdam
My Champion – Berlin
On Most Surfaces (Inuït) (The Gathering cover)
The Martyr and the Saint – Beirut
The Storm (The Gentle Storm cover)
Like a Stone (Audioslave cover) (Anneke Solo)
Valley of the Queens (Ayreon cover) (only Anneke and Ferry Duijsens)
Freedom – Rio
Days Go By – London
Your Glorious Light Will Shine – Helsinki
Strange Machines (The Gathering cover)

Encore:
Fallout (Devin Townsend Project cover)
Reunite! – Paris

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