When the time comes to express your feelings concerning the live show of a band you really adore, you are really at loss for words. Especially when this band is Anathema: You just remain in the corner being unable to utter a word, only memories are there with you of that night of emotional eternity you embraced.
I talked to Vincent and got an autograph from him, it was really an honour exchanging some thoughts concerning the beautiful evening we, the fans, and Anathema spent together! I told him "Anathema were perfect the previous year, this year they were more than perfect" and it was true: They gave it all, musically, atmospherically and emotionally! Their relation with the Greek audience is special, and both sides of this relationship know it since Anathema kept on thanking the Greek audience for all its love and support throughout the years and dedicated some songs to us. The audience kept on hailing with so much love and admiration one of the bands consisting of the UK Holy Trinity (Anathema, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride), Anathema. Vincent said that they will come back in Greece next year and promised that they will play new songs from their upcoming new album (if you ask me, I am really looking forward to seeing them once live again)!
Anathema would play all alone and, believe me, it was the best decision. While waiting for Anathema to appear on stage and for the show to begin, Vincent and Danny were appearing at times on small window above the stage covered by a black mantle and were either saying hello to us (both Vinnie and Danny) or giving the sign to the audience to sing the songs that were echoing in the club while waiting for them (Danny did this while a song of System Of A Down was echoing) and Vinnie also threw a banana which was quite funny. Having listened to many wonderful songs, some atmospheric metal ones generally in the beginning, some punk rock/new wave video-clips afterwards and some alternative rock songs in the end, the lights finally faded to see, in ecstasy, Anathema appearing on stage!!!
The whole night was filled with intense emotions of pain, sweet sorrow, accepted spiritual decadence, endless fall, tears and memories. For about two hours, Anathema kept on overruning our hearts and souls with their heart-rending and tear-filled emotional melodies. The audience was showing its love to Anathema at all costs, either jumping or head-banging, sighing or singing along with the band and the whole positive energy the people were giving to the band was returning back a thousand times stronger from Anathema, a positive energy charged of emotions. About 25 songs of emotional beauty let memories and tears flow in the air that night at times of pure artistic expression when your soul entwines with what the artists have to offer; and Anathema surely had a lot to offer to us. That's something we will never forget and that will live on with us until the day we fade.
Playlist (not in order):
A Dying Wish
Shroud Of False
Destiny Is Dead
One Last Goodbye
Leave No Trace
A Natural Disaster
Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd cover)
Phantom Of The Opera (Iron Maiden cover)
Orion (Metallica cover)
After so many years, they played for the first time in front of a Greek audience "Lost Control", a real opus that made every person, as individual, and the whole audience, as one, wonder afterwards "have I really lost control?". Anathema paid tribute to their overall history as a band starting from the doom/death opus "Serenades" reaching nowadays "A Natural Disaster" and the audience was in utter ecstasy seeing Anathema at one of their finest times for sure! Danny was in his own world, lost in emotions, showing the grandeur of his guitar talent whenever it was needed. Jamie, with his imposing presence, was lending pulse and rhythm to the compositions alongside John Douglas on the drums. Les Smith was playing the soundscape with either dreary or fragile, deeply emotional and touching, sweet, melancholic or bleak colours to create this emotionally burdened atmosphere and, last but not least (I don't want to underestimate the other 4 Anathema members, but Vinnie is the front-man!), Vincent gave voice to all the nightmares, intense grieving emotions, dreams, thoughts, visions that were part of Anathema all these years, singing at times in a whispering tone like the wind passing by in darkest times making you shiver, singing in an emotional way at others caressing your heart with rose-leafs letting the rivers of the heart flow and singing in an intense almost-screaming heart-rending way, letting you dance on the thorns of the rose, leaving wounds behind that bleed still memories; Vinnie was adding grey colours in the emotionally burdened atmosphere with his guitar, acoustic or electric, enriching even more the beauteous scenery of loss.
I enjoyed the whole show because everything that was happening in there was a part of the dream (a dream that opened with "Balance"), but from this dream that seems to have reached its end by now, yet is still vivid in my mind, the moments that touched me the most were the following (not in order):
1) While playing "Judgement". This song is one of the best out of "Judgement" and was surely a must for the live show! You all know the ecstatic raging part that follows from a moment and on during this song; well, when they reached this part, Anathema didn't continue the song but continued with "Panic" without stopping making the audience jumping and head-banging, a more raging and ecstatic version of the song, if you ask me!
2) Do I need to say that "Sleepless", a song they dedicated to Darren White (their previous singer during their early days who has written the lyrics for "Sleepless"), and "A Dying Wish" were two of my personal high-lights of that night to remember? I don't remember that much of what was going on stage while Anathema were playing those songs, cause all I remember is me head-banging at all costs! Two of my favorite early-period Anathema songs that made me feel wonderfully and has shown that the band has not forgotten its past! (I wish I could listen to the whole "The Silent Enigma" live, but, I know, I am asking too much!)! All I remember is that, next to me, some fans created a quite big pit in which ecstatic Anathema fans were running, punching, kicking or doing whatever was hitting their minds when the first calm half of "Sleepless" finished - of course, I didn't enter in there because 1) I didn't want to get hurt or hurt anyone and 2) because I wanted to headbang all by myself because headbanging is something special for me, since I headbang only when I feel intense emotions when the song rages on!
Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd cover)
Phantom Of The Opera (Iron Maiden cover)
Orion (Metallica cover)
Do I need to say something more here? I guess not since Anathema fed the audience with three wonderful covers and made them scream, sing, jump, headbang and do whatever they felt like doing - I even headbanged for the first time to a song written by Iron Maiden, played by Anathema this time of course, even a friend of mine was wondering how did this happen!! "Orion" was hailed by me and my banging head since the song was flowing like hell and was very energetic and groovy! "Comfortably Numb" is one of the few Pink Floyd songs that I really adore and I was singing along with the audience, Vinnie and Danny (who has a great voice too!).
4) "Angelica": This song is like magic, once you listen to it you feel enchanted by its emotional beauty and dreamy atmosphere, a song that made our hearts shiver that night to the sounds of Anathema, to the voice of the saddened, Vinnie's voice. This song that is a highlight by its very own self, whenever you listen to it, alone at home, with company or at a live show, but since Anathema were in front of your eyes, five living shadows playing music for the desolate souls, "Angelica" was a great and unique experience!
5) "One Last Goodbye", "Pitiless" and "Forgotten Hopes" go together as those songs are coming out of one of my favorite two Anathema albums, "Judgement" (the other is "The Silent Enigma")! The first because it is of emotional importance for Anathema in which the 3/5 of the band paid tribute to their beloved mother with Vincent sounding more emotional and vivid than ever, feeling every single word he uttered, making the audience shiver to the sound of his emotionally burdened trembling voice, the song for being the opus it is, for being an ode to bleakness and the third for being a special song, not only to me, but also to most of Anathema's fans; I guess lyrics like "Did I punish you for dreaming? Did I break your heart and leave you crying? Don't you ever dream of escape" are not lyrics that are being written every day and of course "Forgotten Hopes" isn't one of those songs that you write every five minutes, it's a song written under the influence of heart, soul, nightmares, dreams and life with Danny pouring his soul into this fabulous composition. I missed two songs from the whole show and it happened to be songs of "Judgement"; I'd love to listen to "Parisienne Moonlight" (one of my favorite songs ever) and "Anyone, Anywhere", again, one of my very favorite compositions with both the music and the lyrics, the emotions and the atmosphere having scarred my heart and soul internally. Maybe next time! (the previous year I had listened to "Parisienne Moonlight" live, but I wanted to listen to it once more, it's just perfect!)
6) "Shroud Of False", "Fragile Dreams", "Empty", "Lost Control" and "Inner Silence", five songs out of the ten from "Alternative 4", five compositions that made the audience bleed! You know, when you are listening to Vincent whispering in front of your very eyes "we're just a moment in time" you feel like nothing, you understand how meaningless you are in the passing of time, you're "just a moment in time", that's how I felt that moment, "a moment in time". "Fragile Dreams" were floating in the air while you were left all alone, "Empty", having "Lost Control" in your "Inner Silence". Words just can't describe the beauty of the moment, the emotional intensity we felt…
6) "Hope" of course; listening to Vincent signing in such a heart-rending way "I wanted to live for ever", isn't it a high-light of its own? The groove of this song, slower in the beginning, more up-tempo later led the audience to an emotional movement singing along and feeling every single word! A great moment!
While writing this I was listening all the time, on the repeat mode, to "Anyone, Anywhere"! Anathema is one of the purest bands on stage, evoking intense emotions, fragile dreams, forgotten hopes and one last goodbye in the air caressing in silent grieving ways your desolate soul…
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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