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013, Tilburg, The Netherlands
December 22nd 2005
After Forever meets Orpheus

This was one of those special concerts this year I did not want to miss. Though I wasn’t the only one I had expected a bigger crowd. This was not a sold out concert. Those who weren’t there have missed a special evening, one of the best Dutch gothic metal bands performing in one of the best venues of the Netherlands with a complete orchestra!


The royal harmony Orpheus from Tilburg has been around for over 140 years now; they even have their own youth department. Herma Antens of Orpheus came up with the idea of this cooperation. Her husband Ron Antens made all the arrangements for the songs. Before playing with After Forever they were to perform some of the most famous songs in rock History.

They started out with ´Paint It Black´ which got a lot of reaction from the audience, due to the guitar taking part in it. Then they played ´Nothing Else Matters´ of Metallica. Personally I do not support this choice. This song has been performed by an orchestra before and therefore it is almost impossible to top or duplicate that. The next songs all sounded great again; ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, ‘Smoke On The Water’ and then a Beatles song of which neither I nor all the people around me could remember the title. Then it was time for Floor to join them. Together they performed ‘Weak’ from Skunk Anansie. A great song and Floor has the strength in her voice needed for this song but her voice is just too classical for it. This song asks for a special kind of emotional screams, which are not in Floors voice.

It is quite hard to say something about the performance of an orchestra for they all sit on chairs. The only one moving was the conductor and he had his back turned to us. There was some interaction between members of the orchestra and the audience, some even were learned how to make genuine metal horns (with their hands). When Floor entered the stage there was a loud applause, a familiar face on stage! You could see the emotions in her face as always and gave a great performance. The lightshow was ok but very subtle, probably because of the sheet music of the orchestra.

01. Paint It Black (Rolling Stones)
02. Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)
03. Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2)
04. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple)
05. ? (Beatles)
06. Weak (Skunk Anansie)

Music 7
Performance 7
Light 6
Sound 7
Total 7 (6,9)

After Forever

Then it was time for After Forever to give the orchestra a break and play on their own. They had to overcome some technical problems, this was not the After Forever the audience was expecting, they have certainly done better.

Floor does not seem to have the best of nights, vocally speaking. I have heard her sing a lot better. Though it seemed she needed to warm up for the more she sung the better it sounded. There were some trouble with the guitars too, two amplifiers were broken. So Sander only came out to sing at first. They told us this only happens in big venues during important gigs. Luckily they could laugh about it and the show could go on. Sander even told us this was the best he had ever played! As you might well know, ‘Follow in the Cry’ always holds a surprise, tonight it was ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ from Kiss.

Their solo performance started off quite impressive with the loud bangs of Enter, accompanied by bright flashes of light. Then Floor enters the stage and the show is off to a start. The audience is often asked to clap along and they are happy to do so, there is good atmosphere. There is little space for the band, for most of the stage is filled with chairs for the orchestra. This also has its effect on the light show, it was mostly lost in the huge space of the stage.

01. Enter
02. Come
03. Boundaries Are Open
04. Living Shields
05. No Control
06. Attendance
07. Follow in the Cry
08. The Final Countdown

Music 7
Performance 6
Light 6
Sound 7
Total 7 (6,5)

After Forever and Orpheus

Now, finally, the moment we had all been waiting for. Orpheus joined After Forever on stage!

Floor had the warm-up she needed and gave her all during this set with Orpheus. The orchestra added depth to the music, but mostly in the more bombastic parts of the music. There it enhanced the strength of the music, at other more quiet parts you hardly noticed the orchestra was there. Floor seemed to have adjusted some vocal parts for she sung a few classical notes where they never were before. A great addition, especially for this evening.

Even though there was little space the men found ways to get from one side of the stage to the other and play together, at times holding their guitars up in the air as true rock stars. André had his own space with a shield behind him, so the sound of his drums would not be lost. He was very concentrated, but at times there was space to make contact with the others. The band members were clearly enjoying themselves. Of course something had to go wrong, this time it had to do with the sound table, Floor kept on talking and just when she thought all was lost they got thumbs up and they could finish their set.

01. Childhood in Minor
02. Beautiful Emptiness
03. Beyond Me
04. My Pledge of Allegiance #1
05. Intrinsic
06. Through Square Eyes
07. Eccentric
08. Forlorn Hope
09. Being Everyone
10. Monolith of Doubt

Music 8
Performance 8
Light 7
Sound 7
Total 8 (7,7)

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