Over the years, Within Temptation have gained the status of one of the best live heavy acts in the world. This year, they were voted the best live band of 2018 in Metal Goddesse Awards. And deservingly so. Let’s recap their career and take a look at the top 5 live performances from these Dutch masters.
You would be a fool not to agree that one of the ultimate live highlights of symphonic metal took place at Ahoy Rotterdam Arena on February 7, 2008, and was later released on a now iconic live DVD “Black Symphony”. The band was accompanied by The Metropole Orchestra, Pa’dam Choir, stilt performers and special guests – Anneke van Giersbergen, Keith Caputo and George Oosthoek. The show was opened with an epic Ouverture written by conductor and composer Jules Buckley for this occasion. The setlist focused mainly on at that time new tracks off their fourth studio album “The Heart Of Everything” intertwined with classics such as “Ice Queen”, “Stand My Ground” and “Deceiver Of Fools”.
In 2012, Within Temptation went even bigger production-wise for the celebration of their 15th anniversary. They invited orchestra and choir to join them again, as well as ex-members including Martijn Westerholt of Delain. Some of the most memorable moments of the show include band’s guitarist Robert Westerholt (now working behind the scenes) shredding his guitar several feet above the ground on a huge construction with LED screens during “In The Middle Of The Night”, Sharon den Adel with majestic wings during “Angels”, George Oosthoek joining her for a haunting duet “Candles”, appearance of the legendary white Mother Earth dresses, stilt performers and dancers. Two years later, the show was officially released as one of the two performances on the “Let Us Burn – Elements & Hydra Live In Concert” live album/DVD.
Within Temptation do love Christmas with a little macabre twist. They prepared a special thematic celebration of the holidays with spooky costumes, creepy make-up and props back in 2015 and 2016. For this occasion, the band premiered their very own Christmas hymn “Gothic Christmas” live and covered some interesting pieces from Black Sabbath, Type O Negative, Alice Cooper, Michael Jackson and even the original Ghostbusters theme song. Majority of the 2016’s show was later released on Youtube for fans to enjoy this insanity forever.
In 2008, with the first edition of theatre shows, Within Temptation proved that they’re not only masters of massive productions, but can easily capture your attention in the most intimate setting as well. They decided to strip down some of their songs and took these acoustic pieces with special arrangements, additional string musicians and exceptional set-up with cool screening effects such as holographic Anneke van Giersbergen to theatres several times throughout their career. 2008’s Eindhoven acoustic set ended up being recorded and was released on a CD “An Acoustic Night At The Theatre” in 2009.
Live with Tarja
Unrealistic dream for all Within Temptation and Tarja fans became a reality in 2014 with the album “Hydra” and now legendary duet “Paradise (What About Us)”. It took until 2016 to hear Sharja – as fans love to refer to the divine duo – joining forces for a live performance. Luckily, this heavenly duet at a renowned French festival Hellfest wasn’t a one-time thing. The ladies met two more times – a few weeks later at M’era Luna and at Metalfest in 2017. The latter was a truly unique experience as it was Sharon who joined Tarja and her band not only for “Paradise” but also an acoustic rendition of “Angels” and Tarja’s “I Walk Alone”. And there’s a huge possibility the ladies will make us cry tears of joy again at Masters Of Rock festival on July 13.