The Unforgiving @ Alcatraz

Last week I was in Milan to attend the Italian date of the Unforgiving tour by Within Temptation.

I arrived 15 minutes before the start, the hall was half full but I managed to find a spot 10/15 meters away from the stage, on its left.

The audience was mixed: teenagers in goth dresses (the girls) and concert shirts (the boys), people in a more formal outfit (even a tie), and older people (yes, I’m in this group).

TriggerFinger was the support band. They had a lot of energy but I didn’t like them much: a couple of songs were nice (one reminded me of “Do the evolution” by Pearl Jam) but on the whole they seemed too different from the main act.

After a short break, “Mother Maiden” was on the screen behind the stage. From that point on, I was focused on listening and enjoying the concert: no pictures, no cellphone and so on.

They started with the first 4 songs from the album (skipping “Faster”), and then moved to older hits: half of the show was much like The Heart of Everything tour (or at least, the date at the Estragon in Bologna). I don’t know if most of the audience was there for the new album only, but I had a lot of fun. Then after few “old” songs, they performed Faster and Sinéad.

I have only 2 negative feedbacks. First, the shape of the stage was a bit odd, it was on two levels and I felt the band a bit distant even being so close to the stage. They had to go upstage to be seen by the people standing far back in the hall, moving away from the crowd.

Second, although I love Ice Queen as any other fan of WT, performing it at the beginning of the show was a bit of a waste, or at least the people around me weren’t excited as much as expected. However, I understand that performing it as encore for 10 years could be a bit tiresome, and Stairway to the Skies was a good choice as ending song.

Anyways, the concert was great. As I said to Ruud, the new lineup works very well: Mike was hitting the drums like crazy in the new songs and Stefan kept his slice of stage without troubles.

After the concert (2,5/3 hours of music if you consider the support band), we waited outside for a bit longer than an hour before the band showed up. I was looking elsewhere, then I turned and while I was thinking “is he Jeroen that one near the door?”, Stefan appeared just in front of me. I was the first one to take a picture with him, and I hope he wasn’t too weary to infer my full support from the few words I said (the other people waiting there jumped on the band the second after I took the picture with Stefan, so I missed the chance to exchange more than a sentence with him).

Ruud, Jeroen and Stefan hanged out with us for a while, signing, posing for pictures and talking with us. Ruud was surrounded by a crowd of girls with gleaming eyes.

After a while, Sharon joined us. She didn’t come in the middle of the crowd, but patiently greeted groups of 2/3 people at time. After taking a picture with her, I left: it was very late and I had to pick a train in the morning to go working. Also, it seemed wrong to keep her busy: she can sing for hours, but anyways she is a mother of 3 and there was a long line of people waiting to meet her.

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