Tuesday, 1 June 2010

An Evening With Anathema - O2 Academy Islington - 21/5/10

(To be printed in PowerPlay Magazine Issue 121)
(^ Appalling quality photo of Vincent Cavanaugh courtesy of my camera phone)

Watching their An Evening With concert, you’d be hard pressed to tell that Anathema were suffering from a wealth of technical problems as every note remained perfectly delivered and not a single beat missed. Having quietly taken the stage with new cut, 'Thin Air', it didn’t take long for Anathema to start providing some much-appreciated fan-service. The audience showed their love throughout - the reaction to 'One Last Goodbye' was stunning, with the crowd drowning out the band by the end of it. The aforementioned technical hitches even led to one of the evening’s best moments with guitarist Danny Cavanaugh’s impromptu acoustic performance of 'Are You There?' demanding only awe. Having such a varied discography, their set saw them drawing on frantically energetic cuts like 'Empty' to balance out the more subdued performances such as 'Flying'. The encore even saw Anathema really looking back, delivering the roaming bass and crunching riffs of 'Sleepless' to the clear joy of many. Juxtaposed with further new material such as the beautifully melodic 'Universal', the variety of songs gelled surprisingly well, their seamless integration effectively acting as a testament as to how consistently well Anathema have progressed from their days of doom metal to their modern prog-rock melancholy.

Most bands live, as good as they may be, are entertainment. Anathema live, however, are truly an experience, performing entirely on a level of their own. Few bands have managed to send shivers down my spine like Anathema have and the rest of those attending were clearly just as enamoured.

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