I was ecstatic after seeing my favorite band Within Temptation earlier this month in San Francisco. Their performance was so marvelous that flying to San Francisco was worth it. (Yes, I went to San Francisco just to see them perform. Flying to San Francisco was a crazy thing to do but it’s better than driving there.)
I’ve been a huge Within Temptation fan for more than four years and I had been wanting to see them in concert. They had not played in the States before since they’re European and did not sign with an American record label until recently, so it was a treat to see them perform.
They opened with “Our Solemn Hour” from their new album, The Heart of Everything. After the band started playing the intro, lead singer Sharon Den Adel came on and the crowd went wild. Throughout the performance, you could hear everyone sing along to all the songs. I was shocked at how great they sounded—like metal but with heavy keyboarding, and instead of a man, they have a woman lead singer.
Halfway through the second song, “Stand My Ground,” (a song that sounds something like Pat Benatar’s Heartbreaker but Den Adel’s vocal range is higher) Den Adel’s voice gave out. I was disappointed because I thought the band would cut their performance short, but she drank cough syrup and was fine. (When Den Adel said her voice gave out, a guy from the audience screamed out, “I’m a doctor, honey, I can fix you baby.” You could tell that her boyfriend, Robert Westerholt, who is the band’s lead guitarist, was less than pleased by the expression on his face.)
After Den Adel’s voice came back, they started “Stand My Ground” again and played four more songs. Within Temptation was so spectacular and I can’t choose a best song because all of them were awesome. Usually when going to a concert, the band sounds different from the CD but Within Temptation sounded exactly as I imagined they would. The only part I’d change is that I wish they would have played “A Dangerous Mind” because it is one of my favorites off their old album The Silent Force.
When I first arrived a band named Stolen Babies was performing. It was a girl with an accordion singing and four guys playing regular band instruments. I thought, “How can someone play an accordion in a metal band?” But when she started playing, it blended in perfectly. The next band, Kylesa, was from Georgia. As soon as they started playing people seemed bored because the concert theme was female metal vocalists and Kylesa didn’t have a female vocalist. But what I thought was really cool was that the girl who was their lead guitarist could do guttural vocals like Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow.
Lacuna Coil, which headlined, came on after Within Temptation and opened with “Fragile.” I was shocked at how bad they sounded. Lacuna Coil’s front woman Cristina Scabbia and front man Andrea Ferro both sounded like someone had scratched a chalkboard, and the drummer was really off. They played about five more songs and took a break. During the break, the crowd was screaming “Coil, Coil, Coil” then after a while gave up and started screaming “Luca, Luca, “Luca.” The band came on again and played a couple more songs and finished. It’s sad that Lacuna Coil really sucked, but I’m just so glad that Within Temptation kicked ass.