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Anathema | Resonance Tour, Dublin

The Academy, Dublin, 17th April 2015

There could be no more fitting way for Anathema to celebrate a 25 year career: 3 sets of songs from across all of their 10 albums.

No support slots, just 3 hours of Anathema along with former bassist/songwriter Duncan Patterson and original singer Darren White.

As a fan since 1995’s ‘Pentecost III’ all the way up to the recent releases, this was a must gig for me.

You could sense a certain air of excitement and anticipation from the crowd when walking towards the stage.

I couldn’t help but think minutes before the first set began ‘Is this going to be one of those great gigs to remember in years to come?’

And to have this 10 day, one-off tour finish in Dublin, would it be something special?

Set 1 (1999-2014) Untouchable Soundscapes

It was time to bring back the classic doom era of Anathema.

The current line up takes the stage for the first set. They start off with the strongest song off the latest album, the emotive piano driven ‘Anathema’.

A cool build-up of atmosphere is slowly charged by the soaring vocals of Vinnie Cavanagh. Danny greatly executes that amazing solo which pierces the speakers and starts to give you goose bumps.

A great cheer bellows out from the crowd, acknowledging that we are off to a good start. The sound engineer did a top notch job, everything is crisp and clear, especially the drums behind that thick glass cage.

Vinnie explains to the crowd that this tour will play something from all the albums, starting in reverse chronological order from the latest post-rock ‘Distant Satellites’ album all the way back to the doomy debut ‘Serenades’. “…with the older songs, the heavier we get.”

A few guttural screams can be heard to which Vinnie smiles and responds jokingly.

Lee Douglas joins the stage and gets the crowd participation off to a great start with us singing back the end of ‘Untouchables Part 2’. Her best moment was her passionate efforts on ‘A Natural Disaster’, a truly powerful, commanding performance.

A lot of the newer stuff felt heavier in a live setting, ‘Closer’ being one of them, that electronic drone and vocoder vocal line is just hypnotic while the sublime ending of ‘A Simple Mistake’ is a certain head banger.

The first set ends on the agonizingly beautiful ‘One last goodbye’ and Vinnie wows the crowd with one of his best vocal performances of the night. Another fantastic goose bumps moment.

It’s moments like this you wonder how Anathema hasn’t been embraced by the mainstream world; it is just frankly bizarre at this stage.

Set 2 (1995-1998) The Peaceville Stable

Duncan Patterson, responsible for many of the band’s doomy, gothic laden 90s songs joins them on stage.

‘Fragile Dreams’ gets the crowd buzzing and we truly get immersed into the mid era Anathema soundscapes. The whole band nailed the sullen drenched, atmospheric feeling to this era.

One noticeable thing was that Danny looked quite subdued during this set, playing key riffs/solos turned away from the crowd, perhaps it was down to sheer fatigue from playing 3 hours of this 9 days tour in a row.

However, the quality of his playing does not dip in any shape or form. It is a minor distraction as Vinnie’s vocals are one of the many highlights of the night, powerful in ‘Empty’, haunting in ‘Lost Control’ and pained in the ‘Eternity’ trilogy.

The conviction and power in his vocals were unreal, such a raw ability on display and the crowd were lapping it all up.

“Have I really lost control?” Amazing.

Set 3 (1990-1995) Sleepless Nights Ahead

The final set of the night arrives and the song choices are stellar. This is what many fans were finally waiting for, the Anathema show I’ve been wanting to see.

Original vocalist Darren White arrives on stage for ‘Kingdom’ to great applause and within a few minutes injects a new vibe into the crowd. Slightly disappointed they decided to go with the ‘Falling Deeper’ version but Darren’s vocal performance alleviates this minor point by belting out the dramatic ‘My Kingdom’ lines which resonates with the whole crowd.

The hair on the back of your neck stands to complete attention when he projects his baleful tone and towers over songs like ‘Mine Is Yours To Drown In’ and ‘Lovelorn Rhapsody’.

Can’t help but smile at all the devil horns and head banging going on at an Anathema gig nowadays. Darren stage presence is both candid and captivating, he looked like he was really enjoying it all.

The gig ends on the final highlight of the evening, the old era favourite ‘Sleepless’.

It was the only way to end the night. The crowd responded just as powerfully at the end, I couldn’t hear myself scream in praise of such an perfect night and perfect end to the tour.
Darren rightly shouts “Dublin, fucking Dublin!!!”

A sign of an good gig is when time hardly registers, but what elevates this to an excellent gig is when the bands quality and energy manages to let time fly over you, leaving only its vacant shadow behind.

I have finally run out of superlatives to convey how good this was, but great memories of this gig will remain, a delight for fans across all the eras.

– Kevin Byrne ::: 19/04/15
– Photos with thanks to Ciaran Broderick

  1. Yes, very yes. Review sums it up 100% for me.

  2. Danny is a fucking knob ! His hatred for old stuff couldn’t be more obvious , but doesn’t matter because everyone else nailed it !! Deadly gig

  3. Ya agreed about Danny. He tuned out. Beautiful solos but complete detachment and when the mid section of Dying Wish needs concentration from the performers, it was bad form of him to try to quieten the crowd I thought. Get on with it like. Minor gripe though. I’d have loved more off Judgement and Enigma buy hey… It was a cracker.

  4. resonant paddy Says:

    One gig ill take with me to the grave. A pity we didn’t get restless oblivion or we the gods but that’s a small thing. very few bands are as captivating and solid live as anathema, class night.

  5. I would have thought Danny be tired from the road and playing lengthy sets, could be fatigue rather than being a knob?

    That said, it was a great night, hopefully it won’t be the last time to hear some of those old songs.

  6. pentecost7 Says:

    Cracking gig, summed up perfectly by reviewer. One to remember for any die hard Anathema fan like myself. Highlights for me were: a simple mistake, closer, mine is yours..,lovelorn rhapsody and under a veil. Magic

  7. Danny wasn’t in great form and I’m not sure why but it wasn’t about disdain for playing the old stuff or anything as it was something that was just up with him on Friday. He perked up towards the end at least. Great night anyway.

  8. yeah a real contrast in danny from when i seen them in belfast last year, he was on top form
    what a gig though, so many great songs played. glad i was there, i doubt they’ll do this again

  9. Blizzard Beast Says:

    Id have to agree with the negative vibes mentioned above about Danny that he gives off,the last few times I have seen Anathema he has looked pissed off compared to the rest of the band,I always thought it was down to tour fatigue.Does he actually get on with Vincent ?

    It was Danny’s idea to have the Resonance tour so looks like he has got his wish that the older songs will no longer be played unless he’s going to quit the band again and they wont play them without him.

  10. i’ve heard he’s gone a bit up his whatever last few years so doesn’t surprise me or the brothers, let them on. Darren and Duncan owned the show and John too of course. Darren never lost the charisma, a great frontman and top bloke.

    The early stuff is so powerful, hasn’t aged a bit though not fond of that ‘alt’ version of Kingdom. Its atmospheric but just not as good as the real deal, nice try though to… i guess contemporise it to ‘fit’ in with their new gear which i do like too but not all of it, hit and miss, nobody is perfect, no point in pretending.

  11. Ok Folks, here’s the insider sketch on Danny…. He was knackered, it’s as simple as that. Living on a tour bus (no matter how posh) and playing for over 3 hours + a 1hr sound check every day for the best part of 2 weeks, not to mention a week of intense rehearsals prior to departure is going to take it out of you. Add to that a 3.15 am ferry crossing from Holyhead on the morning of the gig & you might understand why he used all his energy concentrating on playing. I know as I was with him every step of the way.

  12. Ah here, that baldy bouncer should have had to buy a ticket, he’s obviously a fan!!!! 🙂

  13. The Sunday before at Roadburn, we were having lunch and chatting with Danny and Jamie. All in great spirits then and looking forward to rocking the old stuff. Definitely had no objection to playing it, and I pulled him up on a comment he made in The Button Factory at a previous gig about “Sleepless” being a caveman song and when were we going to evolve?
    It was a joke.

  14. Danny cavangh Says:

    Hey folks, just so you know, I was just very mentally and physically drained, that’s all. Nothing to do with the music. I wrote a lot of that stuff and had a big hand in designing exactly how the set list would go.

    Just felt I had to defend myself a bit there. Sorry I wasn’t on top form, you weren’t to know why.

    Anyway I really enjoyed the resonance tour (check you tunes of earlier gigs like lodz) and there may be more to come……..

  15. Danny cavangh Says:

    Oh and I never fake anything 🙂

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