Nov 16 2012
To celebrate their 15th year anniversary, Within Temptation planned a special one off event hosted at the Sportpaleis Antwerpen, Belgium. I thought attending with SWMBO would be an excellent way to mark our own anniversary of 21 years of marriage this October.
The quality bar was set high as Elements was to be a show similar to “Black Symphony” complete with orchestra and special guests.
We left our house at 10:45 travelling to London on an ‘inter-city’, across the capital city on the tube and then onward to the Brussels on Eurostar. Check in and boarding was painless as was entry to Belgium – a far cry from the usual stress inducing situations generated when flying. Arrival in to Brussels was a little earlier than planned and we managed to hop on a local service to Antwerp within minutes. By approximately 18:30 local time we were at the door of our accommodation.
The Yellow Submarine is a funky modern Bed & Breakfast located toward the north of Antwerp. It’s a bit out of the way located past the University and probably towards the less desirable areas of Antwerp. The place was stunning - meticulously presented, clean lines, well provisioned and managed by one of the most helpful owners I’ve ever experienced. If you ever need to stay in Antwerp then you could do a lot worse.
After relaxing and changing we headed towards the centre to catch the metro to the venue. It was simply a case of following the crowd as you can image – the show was being advertised as a sell-out meaning the body count was somewhere round 20,000. The merchandise stalls were not stocked to cope with demand as lots of prospective fans were unable to adorn their bodies with the ubiquitous tour t-shirt. I added an Elements Event shirt to my collection although remained in original attire for the evening.
The set list was vibrant mixing a range of hits from across the years. Sadly WT seemed to think it was appropriate to “slot fill” with a few covers. These were performed well but should have been excluded in favour of a few missing tracks from WT’s collection. The orchestra were used for probably half the concert which was a little disappointing. Even when they were in use poor sound mixing kept their impact to a minimum. Sharon was energetic coping with several costume changes and hitting the full range of notes when required. Stage dancers, young ballet dancers, props (Angels brought out an enormous pair of wings), special guests and the odd prop filled out the show. It wasn’t a stage show like Queensrÿche’s Operation Mindcrime we saw a few years back but more of a musical journey for WT.
After a couple of hours it all ended too soon and we trekked back to the B&B via the metro and leg power.
The day after was supposed to be a day of sightseeing but a country wide strike of certain train drivers created transportation hell. The Eurostar website also stated no trains would run so we were looking at an additional night in Belgium with no place to stay – the B&B was full! Undeterred, we set of for Brussels and eventually arrived by 15:00 through lots of walking, a train that got us as close to Brussels as possible then completing the journey with a tram and yet more walking!
Although the day wasn’t what it was supposed to have been it at least was the day after! We saw a great band put on a great show and that’s all that mattered. Getting home could always wait… In reality we needn’t have worried as the Eurostar ran pretty much to schedule.
Coincidently, Eurostar celebrated their 18th year on the day of our return journey!