After Forever, 15th December 2001
Escape, Veenendaal, The Netherlands

By Erwin Groeneveld

I'd never seen After Forever live, so I was very happy to hear that they were going to play in my hometown Veenendaal. The Escape is a small venue, but some big names like Withtin Temptation had already played there. After Forever's debut album Prison of Desire already impressed me quit a bit, but since they released their magnificent second album Decipher, my wish to see them play live got bigger and bigger. So, the day finally arrived. We (me and a girlfriend) arrived around 21.00. Some ten minutes later, the support band Cerberus started playing. I didn't like the performance at all. Some of the guitarwork was nice, but it sounded all very cliched. The singer was bad and the keyboard player was even worse. She even started playing the wrong music on two occasions. After some 30 minutes they left. The Cerberus stagecrew removed all of the gear and the After Forever crew took over with a short soundcheck. The venue was packed and there was a very good atmosphere.

Around ten o'clock the ouverture from Decipher, Ex Cathedra, sounded through the venue and the band smashed directly after that in the fast Monolith Of Doubt. It was clear immediately that the band was in topshape. The singer Floor Jansen apologized for the fact that she had a cold and that her voice was not that good. Not that good? Is she kidding? Her voice was fantastic!
The next song was My Pledge Of Allegiance part 1. One of the best tracks from Decipher in my opinion. It was played flawless and both the band and the crowd were having a good time.

The band played most of the songs from both albums, which resulted in a very balanced performance. The crowd was really having a party which inspired the band greatly. Fast pieces like Estranged and Yield To Temptation (which was welcomed by a big roar from the crowd) resulted in a lot of crowdsurfing and jumping around :-)

Forlorn Hope was played which ended the main set in a majestic way. (I still find the sample of Rabin speaking and the lyrics of that piece very moving).
The band left the stage only to return within a minute to play the encore Follow In The Cry, which really rocked.

A bloody marvellous performance. I surely will go to another concert.

Setlist (I hope I got it right):

Ex Cathedra
Monolith Of Doubt
My Pledge Of Allegiance Part 1
Semblance Of Confusion
Inimical Chimera
The Embrace That Smothers, Part 1: Leaden Legacy
Beyond Me
The Embrace That Smothers, Part 3: Yield To Temptation
My Pledge Of Allegiance Part 2
The Key
Forlorn Hope

The Embrace That Smothers, Part 2: Follow In The Cry


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2001 DPRP