Marillion, November 25th 1999
Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
By Hester Stasse
During the Radiation Tour in 1998 Marillion visited Holland only once when they played the Ahoy in Rotterdam. To promote their last album they had chosen to go for four smaller venues again, namely the Oosterpoort in Groningen, 013 in Tilburg, the Music Centre in Enschede and Paradiso in Amsterdam. I attended two of these concerts, namely the ones in Tilburg and Amsterdam.
Paradiso had been sold out only shortly after the tickets had gone on sale. Main reason for that was the fact that the Dutch department of The Web had laid its hands on a large quantity of the available tickets. Therefore the main part of the audience consisted of true Marillion fans and that caused the crowd to be a whole lot more responsive than the one in Tilburg.
After another nice performance by NOONe [hopefully we'll hear some more of this band in the future!], Marillion started their last gig in Holland for this tour as they did in Tilburg, namely with Go!. This night's setlist was largely the same, but differed on some points. Afraid Of Sunrise had been replaced by Beautiful and IMO this song is a much wiser choice to play at a concert.
As some of you may know, November 25th is not just any day... no no, this is the birthday of the guitarist of a band formerly known as Silmarillion...;) That of course meant that there was quite some "Happy Birthday" singing by the audience in between songs, both in English and in Dutch. Especially the latter appeared to be pretty confusing to H... [who was going: "What the f*@k was that??!!??"] According to the band, there was absolutely no better way to celebrate Rothers' 40th birthday than with what they expected to become the best concert of the tour!! [Paradiso seems to be connected with quite some happy memories for more bands...:)] Both band and audience were obviously in for a party and that is exactly what the gig turned into!! Steve R. was presented with a birthday card, a cocktail and some gifts on stage. As a thank you, he treated the audience with some more beautiful guitar work. :)
The first set of encores started with Brave and The Great Escape - just like in Tilburg. After the last notes of The Great Escape had faded away, though, the guys didn't leave the stage, but lashed into 80 Days instead, to thank the fans for their never-ending support. Surprisingly enough, they still didn't leave the stage after that song, but started playing a steaming version of Cover My Eyes with the audience tackling the "backing vocals"!! By now, the crowd had almost reached boiling point and the cries for more were literally deafening!!
I had kind of hoped that the fact that most of the venue was filled with Web members would mean that Kayleigh and Lavender were dropped from the setlist and that we would get to hear Interior Lulu instead... Alas, it was not to be and these two best known tracks from the Marillion oeuvre were played tonight as well as on the nights before. However, since probably everyone present knew the lyrics to these songs, the singing along is so overpowering that the PA guys had to turn the sound coming from the stage louder in order to be able to hear it!!! H took place on one of the monitors and just sat there enjoying the crowd taking over his job with a huge smile on his face...
Those present at the 013 gig expected to hear Slàinte Mhath after the last notes of Lavender had faded away, but to underline the festive atmosphere Garden Party was played as a final encore instead!!! This naturally lead to the crowd-gone-insane bursting into some big time partying indeed...:) Sadly, the party also ended with this song, but I for one was left with a much much better feeling about this gig than I was two days before in Tilburg!!
Still no Interior Lulu, though...:( The audience had been calling for it again and from some friends I heard that the song had been played in Enschede the night before!! [Since that town is an absolute b*tch to reach by public transport, I wasn't able to go there, though......:(] In other words, it was not like they hadn't rehearsed it or whatever!! Well, I sincerely hope it'll be permanently on the setlist next tour, so fingers crossed, I guess!!
Under The Sun
Wave/Mad/The Opium Den
Afraid Of Sunlight
The Answering Machine (acoustic version)
Memory Of Water (big beat version)
The Great Escape
Cover My Eyes (Pain And Heaven)
All photos © Hester Stasse