The Gathering / Habitants Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 12, 2018    
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The Gathering / Habitants - Doornroosje, Nijmegen (The Netherlands) - 22 June 2018

Four years on from their 25th anniversary, Dutch band The Gathering returned to the stage once again in their hometown Nijmegen (in the Netherlands) where they delivered a memorable show and also introduced René and Hans Rutten's new musical project – Habitants.

Habitants Live

The latter opened the show with a one hour set that featured songs from their debut album 'One Self', which was due out a week after the show. They performed a very clear, atmospheric and melodic set and were fronted by Anne van den Hoogen. She is already known for being the lead singer of the Dutch band Rosemary & Garlic and has also sung for The Gathering on 'The West Pole' album in 2009. Among the nice songs played by Habitants, I deeply appreciated the two early-released ones, 'Meraki' and 'Jupiter', and I felt very emotional during 'Magnolia'. I eventually listened to the whole album when it came out and it's a success. I love it and can only suggest to anyone reading this review that they give it a try!

The Gathering Live 1

The Gathering played a very interesting set with a few songs that have rarely been played live, which included opener 'Black Light District' and 'Paralyzed'. It was such a pleasure to see some classics as well like 'Paper Waves', 'Probably Built In The Fifties' and 'Heroes For Ghosts'. Silje Wergeland was absolutely stunning and she sang with such a powerful voice that I didn't expect having listened to the studio records! Both "covered" songs from Anneke van Giersbergen's era and new ones (the album 'Disclosure' was massively represented with five songs) were perfectly mastered.

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A simple LED screen hung behind the stage and displayed animations during the songs. I am traditionally not into these LED screens, but this time I have to say that it fitted in perfectly well with the atmospheric ambiance on stage. The whole crowd were captivated over one hour and thirty minutes, punctuated with cute moments of discussion with the band. It was easy to notice that they were playing at home and that they were happy to be back on stage. The last song, 'I Can See Four Miles', propelled us out of this venue with a fabulous quiet drums bridge that lead to the final explosion.

The Gathering Live 2

I think I was among the youngest people in the crowd as The Gathering are not a new band and everybody looked pretty familiar with them, their music and even the (very modern) venue. I was very surprised to see how "convivial" the atmosphere was; the whole evening was very pleasant and everyone seemed to be into the music. It all appeared as if it was the audience's friends that were on stage and that the people who were in attendance had been following them for decades. It was the first time for me seeing The Gathering perform live and it was such a nice moment, far above my expectations. I can unconditionally contest the fact that they were the precursors of a new music kind. Over their last few records with Wergeland as lead vocalist, they have produced a more atmospheric type of music than the more Alternative and Progressive styled sound with their former singer van Giersbergen. I have deeply appreciated their talent and the emotions they have delivered in each studio record, all of which I could feel on stage as well. The Gathering announced a mini tour through Greece and Bulgaria during the fall, and I hope they'll come back on stage in west Europa very soon. I feel very glad having finally had the chance to see them perform live after having to wait four long years.

Julien Marbaix

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