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Within Temptation - Live in Baltimore

Within Temptation - Live in Concert
September 12, 2011 - Rams Head Live Baltimore
Within Temptation

As the whole east coast was swept up in a frenzy at the news of Within Temptation’s first North American tour in four years, I decided I would actually go to two shows. I had bought my tickets to the New York show already, thinking it’d be a one-off thing, but when the band announced additional dates, I figured I’d go to Baltimore too, because, you know, it’s Within Temptation.

Not wanting to go alone, I ended up dragging a friend of mine with me who had heard a few songs and not hated it, and who made good company as we waited for the show to begin. The opening band went by the moniker 3, and though the first few songs of their set didn’t really do it for me, when lead guitarist Joey Eppard broke out the acoustic and performed a mind-blowing solo, I can’t deny that I was impressed. Really, everyone in the band is extremely skilled, and though their style of prog-rock/metal isn’t really my thing, I can’t help but appreciate the band’s talent. I enjoyed 3’s set, yet I wish Within Temptation had brought someone closer to their style of music along with them, like Delain or Stream of Passion. But the opening band did their job. The crowd was warmed up and ready for the headliner.

Within Temptation

I’m going to admit that Within Temptation was never in my top five. I always liked the band, and as impressed as I was with the new album, I could never really rank them amongst my favorites. However, seeing them live changed that completely, and you know what? It was even better the second time. The lights dimmed, the crowd screamed, and the short film Mother Maiden began to play. Out ran the band and dove right into "Shot in the Dark." Sharon came out to deafening cheers from the crowd and gave it her all, somehow making eye contact with everyone in the venue at least once (and me at least three times! Maybe she recognized me as the spazzy kid from New York…) and encouraging the crowd to put their devil horns in the air and sing along. The atmosphere in the venue was electric, and everyone seemed to be having a good time as the band charged their way through the first four songs of The Unforgiving. Ruud, Robert, and Jeroen ran around the stage, encouraging the crowd and not letting the minor technical difficulties at the beginning of "In the Middle of the Night" get them down. The crowd sang along loudly to classics such as "Ice Queen" and hits like "What Have You Done." The band played a great mix of old and new material, hitting most of the fan favorites (including "The Howling," "Mother Earth," and "Deciever of Fools,") and throwing in a few ballads as well. Sharon sounded fantastic, really showing off her voice in a captivating performance of "Memories," a sparkle in her eye the entire time. At least this time, the mic didn’t blow out during the high notes in "Angels." It must be hard for the equipment to handle the magical voice of Sharon den Adel.

The best songs of the night had to be the epic "Our Solemn Hour," "Sinéad," to which everyone jumped and danced around, and the beautiful closer "Stairway to the Skies," although there wasn’t a flaw in the entire set. They finished the show with a bow, to the clapping and cheering of many satisfied fans, and promised to come back sometime next year. Within Temptation have proven that they are even better live than they are on record, and I’d even go as far as to say it was one of the best live show’s I’ve seen. Granted, my concert-count is only a smidge below twenty, but even compared to Nightwish, Epica, Lacuna Coil, and In This Moment, all of whom I rank among my top five bands, Within Temptation comes out on top when it comes to live performances. Even my friend, who barely knew any of the songs, said he was impressed at how into the show he was by the end of the night. Serious kudos to the band for a fantastic night, both in Baltimore as well as New York. And next time, I swear I’ll get that front row spot!

Set list:
Intro - Mother Maiden Short Film
Shot In The Dark
In the Middle of the Night
Fire and Ice
Ice Queen
Our Solemn Hour
Stand My Ground
Sinead Short Film
What Have You Done
The Howling

Encore #1:
Deceiver of Fools
Mother Earth

Encore #2:
Stairway to the Skies

A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Roadrunner Records USA and AT Productions/Germany
For more Information about the band:

Official Website
Roadrunner Records