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After Forever, Nightmare, Crimson Tears Gig

After Forever/Nightmare/Crimson Tears Gig Review
The Garage, London
31st January 2006

I had been waiting for this one for a long time, planning everything in advance in order to get passes and a half-decent camera to take some blurry shots of the event. However, on walking up to the Garage at 7pm and expecting to see a long blackened slug of a queue oozing round the corner I was purely greeted with a small smattering of people looking cold and wondering why there was someone at the front of the queue in a green sporting jacket.

I walked up to the front gate and demanded my pass off the very clueless bespectacled Pole behind the desk who promptly gave me one from the large pile she had next to the desk after five minutes of questioning. I then realised how easy it would be to get into gigs free. All you have to do is turn up wearing a suitable large piece of machinery and say you’re waiting for a pass from the promoter. If the venue is simple enough not to hold passes in peoples’ names then you’re laughing.

Crimson Tears

When I got inside Crimson Tears had just started playing and it was obvious that the sound had been turned down quite a bit since they were the support act. This didn’t do them any great favours and the absence of any real light show just felt like we were watching them play in a village hall on a Saturday night. Even some flashing disco globes from The Gadget Shop would have gone down well.

It was also clear that this is a band who have not done very many live performances since there was very little movement on stage and though they were more or less tight musically, it was hardly a thrilling routine since they all stayed bunched up on the right side of the stage and it was a static show in spite of Gina’s various contorted facial expressions. Six songs is hardly a long set but it was a nice starter to this evening. The sound might be miles better on the EP but they seriously need to work on their live routine.

Gardens Of Sorrow
My Plea
Razorblade Serenade
Moon Child

Music 7
Performance 4
Light 3
Sound 5
Total [4.75]


Nightmare were a far more professional and polished act who had clearly done a lot more live shows. This was also helped by a good light show and the fact that the sound was turned way up for them. No female vocals here and the music was generic power metal in the same vein as a thousand other bands but I actually found it very enjoyable, as well as the band’s great ways of communicating with the audience and bringing them into the show. It might have been a little bit annoying being forced to sing ‘here we are in the circle of the dark’ over and over ad nauseam but I was still transfixed throughout their eleven song set.

Set list

Trust A Crowd
A Taste Of Armageddon
Secret Rules
Messenger Of Faith
Invisible World
Circle Of The Dark
Power Of The Universe
The Watchtower

Music 8
Performance 7
Light 6
Sound 8
Total [7.25]

After Forever

After Forever finally took the stage at about 915pm. AF were not really a band that I was all that keen on after Invisible Circles – actually I was downright cynical about them. However, they totally stole the show at MFVF III last year and I was wondering whether they would do a similarly good job this evening.

Needless to say as soon as Floor entered the stage the crowd went crazy and I was totally struck by the onstage presence that she had. She was totally in her element and had full command of the music in hand. After Forever made their way through eighteen numbers in all, including a cover of Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls while Floor went to have her ‘break’ and Iron Maiden’s The Evil That Men Do at the end of the evening. Once again I was thoroughly impressed by how tight they were and what a fantastic front women Floor can be. This is definitely a band who have rocketed up in my estimation and who can put on the best live show out of any female-fronted act out there.

Set list

0. Enter
1. Come
2. Boundaries Are Open
3. Living Shields
4. My Pledge Of Allegiance I
5. Beyond Me
6. Attendance
7. Monolith Of Doubt
8. Strong
9. Free Of Doubt
10. For Whom The Bell Tolls [Metallica]
11. Only Everything
12. Yield To Temptation
13. Face Your Demons
14. Being Everyone
15. Digital Deceit
16. Forlorn Hope
17. Follow In The Cry
18. The Evil That Men Do [Iron Maiden]

Music 9
Performance 9
Light 7
Sound 8
Total [8.25]