The Dutch Gothic goddess, her famous her beautiful siren´s voice, along with stunning dresses and vivid dancing moves, made the band quite a frequent visitor in Finland, only last time they played at Tavastia. Back then they still qualified as “underground”… Having now signed to a major American label, the band demands a larger venue with bigger capacity and better sound system but much less atmosphere.
A few minutes before the start, the floor in front of the stage was still barely covered, and without much effort you could´ve made it to the front, a surprising situation for a famous foreign band in the Finnish scene. The stage itself was covered with a dark curtain bearing the band´s logo. A short intro, then the curtain fell with the hit of the guitar´s riffs and uncovered the already playing band. That obviously should´ve been the moment of the crowd´s most ecstatic cheer of joy and support, but nothing happened. By about the fourth song the front rows warmed up a bit and cheered a bit more actively, but because of this indifference, I won´t be surprised not to see Within Temptation coming back to Finland in the near future.
The stage was decorated in band´s usual Goth style, but hardly any Goths or Metallers were there who could have appreciated that, mostly teenagers and mainstream regular people were in the audience. The light wasn´t at its best either. A positive note, Sharon wore a beautiful long layered tulle skirt, well combined with a satin corset, which must´ve been much enjoyed by those nearer the front, when the singer constantly bent over to do her famous dance. The guitar players were very active as well, moving and headbanging, but still, the whole time I was missing something, the drive, some spirit and soul to it all…
“The Heart Of Everything” seemed to be accepted by the present audience, as much as I could sense from it, but this new album obviously cost the band many of its original fans: the new record is upbeat and catchy, melodious and easy, no growling or especially heavy parts, something for mainstream radio. Clearly there were also a playback for the finer sopranos but everything else Sharon perfectly covered herself. The audience, however, did not really sing along anyway, despite Sharon trying to encourage people, giving the front rows the microphone or putting hands to her ears. Therefore she was herself very active on stage, regardless of the difficulty of her vocal parts; she still managed to dance, headbang, interact with the other musicians and her frozen audience. Unfortunately one singer alone didn´t manage to fire the spark between the stage and the floor, so the concert ran rather average, if I try not to use a word “boring”.
Suprisingly, though, he band was much cheered for an encore! The band courageously returned and played a more upbeat pop version of “Memories” and the classic “Ice Queen”, so finally the audience has melted, it only took them the whole concert! Maybe it is not the heaviest of bands, but how can people (men!) not respond to Sharon´s charms, smiles and dances?!