Chris Loomis

Delain & Amorphis @ City National Grove – 10/11/2019

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Another fantastic tour package came through Southern California on Friday night October 11 as Delain and Amorphis brought their co-headline tour to City National Grove in Anaheim with special guest Anneke Van Giersbergen. Representing Netherlands, Finland and Netherlands respectively, Anaheim was in for a night of some of the best Symphonic Metal Europe has to offer.

After a local band warmed up the fans in attendance, Anneke Van Giersbergen took the stage and played an acoustic set of cover songs. Her magical voice and witty sense of humor lit up The Grove as she played “Ih-Ah!” (Devin Townsend), “Jolene” (Dolly Parton), “Wish You Were Here” (Pink Floyd) and a few others. She ended her time on stage with an interesting yet entertaining cover of Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years” that the crowd absolutely loved and sang along with every word.

Out supporting their May 2018 release Queen of Time, Amorphis had a strong fan-base at The Grove even though they played the same venue just a year prior. The band opened with “The Bee” and then into “The Golden Elk” as vocalist Tomi Joutsen mixed his clean vocals and harsh growls as he moved about the stage in fine fashion but noticeably missing was his trademark custom microphone that is almost impossible to describe aside from that it has small “handlebars” on each side of the actual mic – he obviously sidelined that for a traditional mic on this tour.

Amorphis plays a heavy, progressive type of metal with bits of folk and death metal sprinkled in creating a very unique sound. Anneke Van Giersbergen returned to the stage to join Joutsen on vocals for “Amongst Stars” and then band ended with as much energy as they started with as “House of Sleep was the final song of the night”. Another killer performance from these Finnish metal monsters.

With the huge success of the 2016 release Moonbathers, symphonic metal masters Delain have been touring non-stop in support and are planning on releasing the follow up to that record in early 2020. A new single “Burning Bridges” from that album is out and the band opened the show with that song and all in attendance singing along. The band played a full 75 minute set to the delight of the Delain die-hard fans who typically get a shortened performance due to their opening band status. Lead vocalist Charlotte Wessels is the focal point of this band not only due to her natural beauty but due to her vocal prowess and electric stage presence. She comes across as genuine and charming as she speaks to the fans in between songs and is forever interacting with the front row throughout the show.

If you are into hair whips, Delain is the band for you as their synchronized headbanging throughout the set provides a spectacular visual. On this night the band only had one guitar player  – Timo Somers as Merel Bechtold had left the band during the summer of 2019. The rhythm section of new drummer Joey de Boer and bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije provide the thunder while longtime keyboardist Martijn Westerholt ties it all together.

The band played a killer 13 song set that sprinkled in songs from throughout their existence. Even if you are not a big fan of Delain’s music you can’t help but to enjoy their captivating live performance. Fingers crossed for more North American tour dates in 2020 in support of the new album.

Anneke Van Giersbergen Photo Gallery

Amorphis Photo Gallery

Delain Photo Gallery

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