On the 12th of February, in the middle of the famous Brazilian Carnival week and in Lapa, a place most famous for being the birthplace of Samba in Rio, the Dutch band Within Temptation arrived, finally, for their first gig ever in the 'Marvellous City'. The event, so long awaited for many loyal fans, was to promote their brand new album, 'The Unforgiving'.
Cariocas (people born in Rio) are well known for their carnival, samba, beautiful beaches, but unfortunately, we're not well known as a great public for Heavy Metal and rock n' roll concerts; that's the reason why so many great bands choose to play in other cities like São Paulo and Porto Alegre. The audience is usually low compared to other Brazilian cities. Knowing the Carioca crowd, I was not expecting a great audience for the gig, so I was surprised to see that the queue to enter the venue was huge and it was stretching around the corner.
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A huge storm started just before the concert, and it was really hot that Sunday, but nothing kept the fans away from the event.
Everyone was excited to check out the new sound of the band, after all 'The Unforgiving' brought some touches of pop into the symphonic/gothic well known style of the Dutchies, led by the gorgeous and talented Sharon den Adel.
Thirty minutes after the scheduled time, the venue's lights went down, and the short film of 'Mother Maiden' started on the screen.
After ten minutes of intro, Jeroen van Veen (bass guitar), Stefan Helleblad (guitar), Ruud Jolie (guitar), Martijn Spierenburg (Keyboard), Mike Coolen (drums) and Sharon den Adel (vocals) were finally on stage, jamming and head banging with their single 'Shot In The Dark'.
Although the concert was meant to promote 'The Unforgiving', the classic songs weren't kept away from the set list, so the fans went nuts with 'Ice Queen', 'Mother Earth', 'Deceiver Of Fools' from the 'Mother Earth' album (the one that gave made the band famous worldwide), also 'Stand My Ground', 'Angels', 'What Have You Done', 'Hand Of Sorrow' and others from their previous albums.
As for their new work, the audience listened to all the singles, including 'Faster', 'Sinéad', 'Fire And Ice' and 'Where Is The Edge'.
After almost two hours of excessive heat (despite the heavy rain), discomfort (crowded venue), I can say that the people were very pleased with the band's performance and so were the band with the audience.
We could clearly see that Sharon Den Adel was touched by Rio's crowd, which is contagious with its energy. I guess that a sense of "we will soon be back" was in the minds of each band member.
Rio is not only about Samba after all.
Special thanks to Isabella Mendes for helping me with this article, Gustavo at Overload Records and Vivi at Circo Voador for the credential.