Live Review : Antimatter

Sint Joriskerk, Venlo, Netherlands on the 29th of April 2022

It’s not that often that I take a two-hour one-way trip to see a band. But tonight’s concert promised to have such a unique atmosphere, that I just had to attend.

For their 20th anniversary tour, Antimatter had two shows scheduled in The Netherlands. Even though their show on the 1st of May would have been much closer for me, the show in Venlo had something special, it was to be held in a church!

Immediately this gave me flashbacks to the very special Katatonia show, “Sanctitude” and the show I attended of Orphaned Land in the MerkAz in Utrecht, a Synagogue. With that in mind, I made the two-hour trip down to Venlo, my anticipation brimming.

Arriving at Venlo, I walked a nice circle around the church, as I apparently chose to take the long road towards the entrance. Entering the building, I did not burst in flames weirdly enough, but I did see a nice mixture of people in the audience sitting in the church benches. Only a few band shirts were to be seen, which is quite a change from the concerts I normally attend.

Originally Antimatter was a duo, consisting of founding members Duncan Patterson and Mick Moss. Nowadays, it’s a solo project of only Mick Moss, where he is assisted by different artists on tour. For this tour, he is joined only by a guitarist Dave Hall.

The lights were dimmed and the first song that was played was “Leaving Eden.” Since there were only the two of them, they had to make use of a loop board and more smart ways to get as many little effects in. Mick used a tambourine on his foot and on the floor, there were some bells.

After a couple of songs, Mick gave us a little bit of an insight about how he works. He mentioned that every record he makes, he has a certain theme. The only downside of that, is that he writes too many songs. By now, he has around thirty songs in his head. Mick said: “So lately I have been thinking, when I die, those songs die with me. In one or two cases, that would not be such a bad thing, but for the rest it would be a shame.” Thus, he thought it would be a good idea to include “Breaking the Machine” on this tour, a song that did not make the cut on the “Lights Out” record.

After the song, Mick asked the crowd for a thumbs up or thumbs down. Jokingly he said: “Maybe I should make a record containing those unpublished songs.” This got everybody cheering, on which Mick replied that he was still waiting for someone to shout no. Some names of the would-be record were jokingly discussed, like the “worst of” or the “not-so b-sides.”

It’s great to see the passion Mick has during the songs, as well as the interaction between the two artists during “Killer.” In between, we also were treated to the Frankie Goes to Hollywood cover “The Power of Love”.

The downside of such an intimate show with so few instruments is that you’d have to tune your guitar quite often. After “Between the Atoms” this had to be done again and Mick jokingly said that because of the tune-ups taking so much time, he had to skip all the costume changes he had planned. He thought that especially the leotard would have blown us away.

The last song of the original setlist was “Hole” which had a snippet of “Whole Lotta Love” in it. After a standing ovation of the crowd, we got a short encore. As Mick mentioned, “Epitaph” was directed towards the people who were no longer with us, and “Freedom” was dedicated to the people of Ukraine.

As there was still a little bit of time, and the crowd could not resist another standing ovation for Antimatter, we got another encore. “We hardly ever do a second encore. I have work in the morning, doing the dishes and all.” What a perfect intro for “Working Class Hero”, a cover of the John Lennon song.

After getting a third standing ovation, Mick gave the crowd a blow kiss and was visibly thankful. So was I, as this was a stellar performance by Antimatter. The whole ambiance, acoustic and setting was great. Not to mention that Mick might even sound better than on record. If you have a chance to see Antimatter during this tour or the next, I would definitely recommend it!

Upcoming shows:

25th of June Midsommer Prog Festival Valkenburg
16th of November Tilburg

26th of November Zoetermeer

Michael Brookhuis

Hi, my name is Michael, I'm from The Netherlands and next to writing here, I love writing about games, nature and art. My love for metal started around the age of sixteen, when the more mainstream bands like Evanescence, Within Temptation and Linkin Park were more of a thing and actually on the radio. Later on, my taste in music broadened and nowadays I listen to a lot of subgenres. From Power Metal like Sonata Arctica, symphonic like Ayreon, Doom like Draconian and more, I don’t think it would be easy to pin-point any specific sub-genre that would be my favorite. Lately my playlist consisted of Epica, Heilung, Katatonia, Dark Tranquillity, Nightwish, Kamelot and more, it all depends on my mood. But I think a lot of us feel the same way. Metal-Exposure for me is a group of same-minded individuals that through music have found a connection which makes us friends.

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