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ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN and VIC ANSELMO live at the Rock Café St. Pauli, Hamburg (May 1st 2016)

Anneke van Giersbergen

Yes, another one before I carry on with my Roadburn Festival reviews, which are taking me a little bit longer than expected due to a computer disaster which fucked up a great portion of my weekend, delayed my work and and probably will continue to torture me for longer. At the moment I don`t even know if any of the data on my harddrive can be saved, so I might lose a lot of stuff that didn`t have a back-up yet. Music, scanned photographs - and all of my digital Roadburn pictures. So please keep your fingers crossed that my shit can be saved, hence I don`t have to write my Sunday review without photos. (The unfinished Saturday review luckily already has its pictures.)

So that`s about that.

Und warum schreibe ich eigentlich nicht deutsch?
I decided to keep this blog in english mode for now, at least until my Roadburn diary is done.

But not everything here circles around what I saw in the Netherlands last month. As a welcome distraction from my digital clusterfuck the most beautiful voice from the Netherlands came to Hamburg yesterday, as Anneke van Giersbergen stopped by the Rock Café St. Pauli on her acoustic solo tour.

The first of May is a pretty bad date for anything in the centre of Hamburg if you`re coming with your car, but luckily I had a wide timeframe, so even with an annoyingly long search for a parking space in the temporary police state, I managed it to reach the venue right before admittance and thus could secure a good spot in the first row.

Vic Anselmo

The night started with a short set of Vic Anselmo, a piano singer / songwriter much in the vein of Kate Bush or the early Tori Amos. I soon expected a cover of one of those two artists and indeed Vic played Bush's "Hounds Of Love" classic "Mother Stands For Comfort".
But her own songs were beautiful compositions too, delivered in a captivating charismatic performance. Rightfully the audience welcomed the latvian singer more than just friendly.

The set was over after only about twentyfive minutes. I don`t think anyone would have minded two or three songs more.

Anneke van Giersbergen

If you've ever heard the rumour that audiences in Hamburg are distanced, stiff and unexitable - the applause when Anneke van Giersbergen entered the stage proved this cliche to be wrong. Right from the start there was no mistake:
For the Ex-The Gathering singer (also known for her work with Arjen Lucassen on Ayreon or The Gentle Storm, with Devin Townsend and on various other projects) this show would be a triumph.

Anneke started right with my personal The Gathering favorite "Saturnine", so everything else counted as a bonus. The following set was a mix of her own songs and other material, she was originally involved in, as well as a good bunch of cover versions.
Those were mostly from widely popular artists like Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd ("Wish You Were Here") or Queen ("Who Wants To Live Forever"), which isn't the easiest way to go, since everyone notices when you can't live up to the originals or mess something up.

But her renditions were all wonderful. It was all just the acoustic guitar (no loop effects like she had used previously) and her voice. Her guitar playing is good, yet far from spectacular. Her singing on the other hand is just a class of its own.

Anneke van Giersbergen has this enganging combination of an iminitable angelic voice and a humorous down-to-earth presence that just makes it unthinkable not to love what she does. Which ultimately resulted in her playing two encores and people still wanting more.

The only thing that would have made the concert even better would have been her version of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "The Power Of Love", but you can't have everything, right?

Seriously - this was an excellent concert!

Vic Anselmo:

Anneke van Giersbergen:

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