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2006-12-01 NL – Apeldoorn - Gigant

After the tour in support of their new album Home was cancelled due to sickness Dutch exceptional artists THE GATHERING played some summer festivals, unfortunately no one I attended. So I had to wait for the tour’s re-schedule, which happened in September, where I had to cancel one confirmed show for own date collisions, another one got cancelled by the band. Ok, last call & chance to catch this band was the second leg of this tour, which took place in Holland only. Well, I live near the border and I somewhat shrunk this country so it had to be the show in Apeldoorn I wanted to attend.

Together with guest writer Mo we just hit the road to get around the corner to Apeldoorn… a ride that took us 1 ½ hrs. Not to mention the difficulties a Dutch city holds for foreign car drivers ;) After finally arriving the Gigant, the support band already played…

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Completely famished we hurled ourselves into our live pleasure beginning with :: GLASS MOON :: and their third song, a Rush cover version of Tears. With our first beer in hands (and the only one) we looked about discovering this club. The Gigant emerges as a small venue that was well-filled with approx. 200 people, promising a homey and familiar atmosphere. It is surprising that a band like The Gathering still plays in such small locations, which is definitely a good thing!
The hall itself is built up in ranges so that everybody has a perfect view on stage. What I liked most was the fact that this show a non-smoking one.
Local support GLASS MOON I never heard of. It is quite a young band regarding its formation but an old one when talking about experiences and skills, since the founding members formerly played in the symphonic metal band Dagoba System. Musically GLASS MOON mainly ranges into Rock fields, with gentle rock tunes here and powerful but short metal riffs there. Songs came from the band’s two untitled demo records. Not really spectacular but downright likable :)
Setlist: Total Awareness, Monsters, Tears, Don’t Close Your Book, Garden Of Eden, Deliverance, Locusta

After just 20 minutes of backline-change :: THE GATHERING :: entered the stage, accompanied by much applause. I have to confess some fears rose regarding the agility of the band and the voice of singer Anneke van Giersbergen. The Amsterdam show of the first tour leg got filmed and broadcasted (via FABChannel) and did not really convince me. But that might have been due to the quality…
However, with the first tunes of Shortest Day all doubts were swept off and THE GATHERING above all doubts. This Dutch super-group seemed to have a lot of fun on stage, enjoyed themselves and the feedback from the crowd and rocked out body and soul. Even usually very concentrated playing guitarist René Rutten smiled now and then. Songs, especially from current album Home got played much heavier as on CD, which worked out very well. Anneke did not have any problems with her voice but stayed on a lower and more powerful pitch. She mastered her audience from the very first second, joked around and overwhelmingly said thank you to the fans. On the other side she herself sunk into her own songs, displaying a lot of emotions while performing. She absolutely went down authentic, not even a tad arrogant and overdrawn.
A truly special moment was given with the encore, exclusively consisting of songs from legendary Mandylion album. Anneke actually did a little voting before and – as for me – most screams went for How To Measure A Planet?, but who cares, we already got enough songs from this album so we got Eléanor, Strange Machines and In Motion #1. Wonderful! That caused gooseflesh all over the body! Stunning!
Setlist: Shortest Day, In Between, Liberty Bell, Probably Built In The Fifties, Spirits, Saturnine, Monsters, Alone, A Noise Severe, Great Ocean Road, Box, Broken Glass, Waking Hour, Travel // Eléanor, In Motion #1, Strange Machines

Really a great and amazing show! My expectations got topped and push this show on the same level of the legendary show in Essen in support of Mandylion. It was the first tour with Anneke as new singer at that time, mid nineties I think.
Unfortunately we could not enjoy much from the after show spectacle, because we had the car in a parking house that closed its doors at midnight. Show finished at 11.50… ;) Ok, hungry like wolves we thought we could get some food instead, but… tough luck… Apeldoorn seems to be such kind of a city where even on Friday night the sidewalks gets rolled up at 6pm. Ok, let me say 10pm... Everything was closed so that we had to assault a Burgerking back home to save ourselves from starving to death *lol*


story & pics © Dajana