2019 is an incredible year for tours. There are farewell tours from both Slayer and KISS to Iron Maiden that brought the Legacy of the Beast to Tool as well as King Diamond touring throughout North America. It’s challenging to choose which will be the best experience and, of course, it’s different for all metalheads. However, we want to focus on the tour with Delain, Amorphis, and Anneke Van Giersbergen, which recently wrapped up on Monday (21st). The tour leaked late last year at the same time when we spoke to Anneke on the trek as she revealed: “it’s been one million years since I’ve toured the U.S.” With Anneke on the bill, made this trek an instant must attend. However, there’s something about seeing these three acts back to back that has made it an enjoyable experience. We attended their show on September 20th, 2019, at Gramercy Theatre in New York City.
A lot has happened since the tour was initially announced back in November 2018. While things appeared the same since Amorphis’ last appearance with Dark Tranquillity, Moonspell, and Omnium Gatherum, there have been a few changes with Delain. Guitarist Merel Bechtold quit Delain over the summer, and right before the tour kicked off, the group announced drummer Joey de Boer’s visa was denied. Therefore, Amorphis drummer Jan Rechberger stepped up to perform twice every night. Additionally, for the New York crowd, the show moved from Irving Plaza to Gramercy Theatre. This made it a more-than-sold-out night.
Anneke Van Giersbergen
For those who attended this tour, would know that the evening started in a more intimate setting when Anneke performed solo standing behind her acoustic guitar. At that point, it didn’t matter what she would sing or how many mistakes she would make on her guitar. Everyone was mainly taken back and in awe that the Dutch musician was standing on a U.S stage. While there was no mention on her Vuur project nor any songs performed from it, she gave a rather fair collection of songs throughout her career as well as covers from her idols. Songs consisted of “Ih-Ah!” (Devin Townsend Project cover), “Valley of the Queens” (Ayreon cover), “Sure Know Something” (KISS cover), “Saturnine” (The Gathering cover), “Circles,” “Like a Stone,” (Audioslave cover), “Wish You Were Here” (Pink Floyd cover), “Cloudbusting” (Kate Bush cover), and “Wasted Years” (Iron Maiden cover).
Finland’s Amorphis are one of those bands that you could see dozens of times and never get tired from the experience. Despite the lineup changes, including the return of bassist Olli-Pekka Laine, it’s clear there’s an extreme amount of life in this group. While we didn’t hear anything relatively new, they were still there promoting their latest effort 2018’s Queen of Time. With Anneke on the same bill, the band invited the Dutch artist on stage during the performance of “Amongst Stars.” Songs included “The Bee,” “The Golden Elk,” “Sampo,” “Into Hiding,” “The Smoke,” “Wrong Direction,” “Daughter of Hate,” “My Kantele,” “Amongst Stars,” “House of Sleep.”
While it’s been since 2016’s Moonbathers for a full-length LP, Delain released the EP Hunter’s Moon back in February via Napalm Records. However, on this tour, these Dutch metallers promised a new record is on the way as they included the new song “Burning Bridges” to the setlist. Despite the evident challenges that brought the group to tour the U.S, they pushed through it all like true professionals. Vocalist Charlotte Wessels didn’t hold back to the obvious changes that’s been happening to the U.S as she revealed what happened to their drummer was the first time they’ve ever encountered a conflict while booking a tour in the country. Regardless, they put on one engaging performance as they went into songs “Burning Bridges,” “Suckerpunch,” “April Rain,” “Stardust,” “Masters of Destiny,” “Control the Storm,” “Pristine,” “Hands of Gold,” “Don’t Let Go,” “Fire with Fire,” “We Are the Others,” and “The Gathering.”
There’s something about the diverse energy between each set that has made this one of the best touring packages of 2019. From acoustic to melodic and concluding with symphonic, there was something for everyone. Perhaps we will see more diverse tours in 2020.