On the 8th of September 2011, Rock Era had the pleasure to attend Anathema live in Dubai in Crown Plaza Hotel. Opening for them was a progressive rock band from UAE called Eye; organized by ‘Traffik Events’ who turned out to be very professional and friendly people.

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At 10 PM sharp everyone was already there. The concert started around 10:20 PM. The audience jumped at each sound check, thinking it’s the intro. ‘Eye’ were not a letdown at all; rocking some original music which was completely in their favor. They played six originals, including Poet, East, The Call and others. The audience was packed with energy. An hour later, Anathema appeared on stage to hundreds of people screaming their lungs out! The band looked ravishing on stage. From where I was standing, they were an absolute vision! As soon as they got on stage, they gave a shout out to all the Arab countries and the people who saved some cash just to be there that night. They gave another shout out to all the fans that wanted to come and couldn’t make it, adding “We’re thinking of you tonight!”

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They performed 24 different tracks from 6 different albums and focused on their 2011 album “We’re Here Because We’re Here”, performing 7 beautiful tracks; such as “Thin Air”, “Universal”, “Angels Walk Among us” and others. By the end of the second track, “Summer Night Horizon”, Daniel Cavanagh – lead guitarist and band lyricist – openly protested the audience segregation into VIP and regular fans.

 

Few tracks later they performed “Forgotten Hopes” from “Judgment”. Vincent pointed the mic at the audience and they harmonized pretty well. Every single person was singing! One of the best of the performances was “Lost Control” from “Alternative 4”, which is one of the band’s highlights, known for its gloominess. Although the track is considered to be one of their darkest, the band still managed to make the crowd jump to rhythm. Hundreds of hands flashing the rock sign defiantly pierced the air around me. The glorious Lee Douglas pitched in a couple of tracks at the concert, opening with “Angels Walk Among us” and closing with “A Natural Disaster.” Her wonderful voice filled the halls of the indoor concert.

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The concert peaked when the borders between the VIPs and the regulars were breeched and all united as one crowd, ending the concert perfectly with their breathtaking track “Fragile Dreams”, reaching absolute ecstasy.

I got back home at 2 in the morning, and had a hard time finding a cab, but I could care less. I had a great time listening to great music live and it was completely worth it!

 

Reviewed by: NJ Bakr

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