Anneke van Giersbergen & Árstíðir – Norderkirkzaal, Sneek; March 27th, 2016
Sitting at my hostel’s bar, feeling the first tugs of severe post tour blues, I realize how lucky I have been to see so many shows on the Verloren, Verleden tour and especially fortunate to see the one in Sneek. Who would have thought that a matinee show in the middle of nowhere would be the best one of the entire tour (or at least of the 11 shows I have seen so far)? Absolutely every detail was perfect about this concert: the sound, the atmosphere, the audience, the mixture of heavy songs and light jokes, the interactions of the band members. I do not see any way they could top this one. It was intense, it was emotional and it was wonderful. :’D Thinking about it, I still have goose bumps and struggle to find the right words to describe it.
After a rather short night I was on the way from Antwerp to Sneek and wondered once again, why this one show had to be a matinee. Got a little scare when I changed trains in Rotterdam and found out they all ended in Utrecht. It turned out I only had to change one extra time though and still got to Sneek at the time I had planned. Could easily check in to my hotel and then still be at the venue on time. Doors had not even opened when I got there. Was on the guest list as planned (thank you!) and scored a seat at front row center. Perfect! Until it started I thought I had seen it all now – after ten shows I was still enjoying it, but didn’t expect any surprises. The laughter, the tears, the goose bumps were already part of me. Once again they proved me wrong and took me on an intensely emotional ride. So here I was with shivers running down my spine, too caught up in the moment to even think about what was happening. It was bliss!
From the first notes of ‘Solveig’s Song’ I realized how good the sound was. Warm and beautiful, resonating nicely all over the room. This was going to be good. 🙂 As usual, Anneke told us how she first started loving this song when she was a little girl and how it is also about wanting to travel. She said how much she travels, pointing at the globe that stands next to Guillaume – as it lit up almost everyone in to audience made a loud “oooh” sound. That was a first and brought a big smile to Anneke’s face. What a great start! 🙂
The amazing ‘Everwake’ followed. No matter how many times I hear it, I never get tired of this song and this afternoon’s version was a beautiful one. It was followed by Anneke’s story of climbing into her parent’s bed when she was little and how this was the best place of the world to be back then and how thinking back comes with a bit of melancholia. ‘Russian Lullaby’ was the perfect song after that. ‘Het Dorp’ unexpectedly brought tears to my eyes and I loved it especially when Gunnar’s background vocals set in. ‘A Simple Song’ also worked really well – the piano intro to that song is just lovely.
The audience was very much into the show, warm, respectful and receptive. They sure had fun with the Icelandic lesson too and even though I have heard it 11 times by now i still got a kick out of it. Something was especially funny this time, but I cannot remember it, just that I laughed very hard at one point. Guillaume used the poster again and I’m not getting any better at pronouncing that word. When Gunnar did the full sentence, many replied in a sort of fast “rararararara” imitating the many rolled Rs instead of just laughing. 😀
During ‘Þér ég unni’ and ‘When I am laid in Earth’ there were a few times I forgot to breathe as goose bumps crawled all over me. The power of ‘Shades’ drew me back to reality only to leave me caught up in the music again. The song never ceases to amaze me. Anneke was back for ‘Circles’, telling us how in Haarlem she had to go up several flights of stairs to their dressing room and walk through the crowd from the big hall so she barely made it back to the stage in time. 🙂 I loved the song like I do every night, but this time, ‘Four Years’ brought me to tears. :’)
‘Danny Boy’ was beautiful, but ‘Lost in you’ absolutely took the crown. It must have been the best version of the tour. I felt a big lump of emotion in my throat.
Somewhere along the way, Anneke took a sip of tea and Ragnar told us about the universal uses of the word ‘lekker’. Once again it made everyone laugh. This, time, Gunnar confirmed that it really was universally used and told us how he rented a small room in Amsterdam and the lady who showed it to him did not speak English and seemed very nervous until he said it was “lekker”. 😀 The whole show was full of lovely moments, jokes and smiles. Not only the energy between the band and the audience was great, but also among the band members on stage. Shared caring gestures and smiles. <3
Before ‘Four Years’ Anneke joked again, about ‘Er staat een paard in de gang’, wondering what that even meant. someone in the audience explain that it was actually about the neighbor’s wife. Not sure if it’s true, but it certainly was funny.The main set ended with ‘Leaves’, a song that has grown to one of my favorites over the course of this tour, followed by a stunning version of ‘Bist Du bei mir’. Everyone stood up to see them out, then we called them back with cheers and applause. Both ‘Heyr, Himna Smiður’ and ‘Pavane’ were wonderful and if you ask me, they could have started again from the top after those. This was the one show where everything was perfect!
Afterwards, I stayed for quite some time and telling everyone how great it was. I did not want to leave, already feeling the sadness looming on the horizon. Great concerts often leave me with a feeling of melancholia and this was no different. Finishing this, I feel the tears coming back. All is well though, they are happy ones. I hope for many more of those!
A Simple Song
Þér ég unni
When I am laid in earth
Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)
Lost in you
Bist Du bei mir
Heyr, Himna Smiður
Verloren, Verleden tour: 11 concerts down, 1 to go. Last stop: Amsterdam