Thursday, 13th September 2007
Rock City, Nottingham, UK
Article & Live Photographs By Andy Brailsford
I saw After Forever for the first time at Download in June. I was impressed, even though they only played for around 25 minutes, so what would a full set do for me? And while Rock City is world famous and has had some of the top names in rock there, (David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash to name but three), none of those have ever played on the really small stage that fits neatly under the stairs that leads to the main room. (Zakk Wylde has though). It is not the best venue to see a band in, unless of course you like the really intimate gigs. After Forever were going to play there tonight, (Vocalist Floor Jansen not being particularly happy about it), and I was concerned that, once again, I was not going to see the band at their best. I need not have worried.
The band kicked off at 9pm with ‘Don’t You Believe’ and the crowd had decided that, whether there were many of them there or not, they were going to sound like there were more of them. They went with it right from the start, which relaxed the band a little and allowed themselves to enjoy it, a fact that was easy to see from smiles on faces. Continuing with songs old and new, the crowd really got into it with ‘Energise Me,’ which is the first single from the new album. Because of the lack of room, the guitarists didn’t have any scope to move around the stage really, (although the bass player did wander a bit), which cut down on anything to really take in visually, although let’s be honest, with Floor at the front of the stage what more do you need? The mixing desk was also at the side of the stage, and it’s always easy to get it wrong when it’s like that, but the engineer coped very well and I couldn’t criticise the sound at all. It is odd however seeing the ‘backline’ of speakers in the front corner of the stage pointing inwards, and essentially being used as monitors. Other songs in the set included ‘Transitory,’ ‘De-Energized’ and ‘Equally Destructive’ which are all from the latest album, and ‘Face Your Demons,’ ‘Digital Deceit,’ ‘Being Everyone’ and ‘Forlorn Hope’ from past releases. (Apologies for not having the full set-list. I did have a photograph of it, but inadvertently erased it from my disc). More evidence that the band were having a good time came when keyboard player Joost Van Den Broek played the intro to Equally Destructive and had to cope with guitarist Bas Maas twiddling with his knobs and basically trying to alter his sound. All in good fun though, and no harm was caused to the keyboard player in the playing of this song.
The band had finished, including encore, at 10:10 p.m. which some of the audience felt was a bit short, but it could be excused with the space they had, and it may be that the venue was opening as a night club later.
For my money though, it was still a good night, with some great music, and I would recommend anybody who likes quality to get out and see them.