Live Review: Within Temptation/Evanescence/Veridia

Within Temptation/Evanescence/Veridia

First Direct Arena, Leeds – 19/11/2022

It’s been two years and several delays in the making but finally the World’s Collide tour is a go. No pressure for support act Veridia then, over from the US and clearly relishing playing to packed out arenas. Here in Leeds they are quite superb. Deena Jacoub leads the way with clean crisp vocals and an engagingly warm style. The music is a good fit for the tour with rock and metal featuring interspersed with nods towards pop territory. Veridia are confident and fill the stage well. They’ll certainly be welcomed back to the UK if they chose to play a run of headline shows in the future.

As a co-headline run it’s Evanescence’s turn to play first tonight. There’s an air of expectation in the crowd as Amy Lee takes to the stage. She certainly sounds on form with songs picked from the whole back catalogue on show at some point. The tempo ebbs and flows with a pop up baby grand piano featuring heavily. Lee’s mezzo soprano vocal is one of music’s great joys to hear, particularly in a live environment. She can belt rock and switch to near classical tones seamlessly. It’s a magnificent performance enhanced by the musicianship of the rest of the band. ‘My Immortal’ is a show stealer. It just never loses its ability to raise goosebumps even if you know it off by heart. The audience participates by lighting up the auditorium with phone lights, a fresh take on the old lighter waving of the past. A sea of streamers mark the end of the set. It’s been a blast!

You always get a full show experience from Within Temptation.  They never hold back. Their stage craft is second to none and in Sharon Den Adel they have one of the finest singers on the circuit. It’s interesting to see how Den Adel and Amy Lee use their similar vocal ranges in different ways. With Lee it’s angelic and then power, with Den Adel it’s about smoothly shifting through the gears. The Within Temptation sound may be heavier but the nuances of the writing give the vocals room to breathe. You can hear that tonight, the way the music washes over you in waves so you can take it in fully and enjoy it to the max. There’s plenty of fire to warm people up too. The pyro is spectacular while not over cooked. The set flies by in the blink of an eye, always a good sign. It’s been a pleasure to watch a band at the top of their game.

This was always a tour that whetted the appetite and the postponements only made that more so. What transpired wasn’t just a fantastic night out but a feeling that things really are finally returning to normal. An added bonus was Veridia who effectively made the whole thing a three for two experience. Most knew what they were getting with the co-headliners but so many were blown away by the support act too. There has to be a shout out to the Leeds Arena and it’s staff too. It’s a well designed venue run by a friendly crew. Entering into winter this was a great night out that people will cherish for a long time.

Review and photos by Gary Trueman