Conception + Inhalo
20th of April 2023
Just like so many other shows, Conception’s original show was planned for 2020. After it has been delayed two more times, the band can finally start their tour in 2023. It was a crowded day at the Melkweg, as a few other shows were planned as well, with doors open around similar times.
Doors opened at 7.30PM, with support act Inhalo starting at 8PM sharp. Inhalo originates from Amsterdam, so this is a home game for the Dutchmen. Besides this show, they will also support Conception in Luxembourg. The band have also supported Antimatter and played at Progpower Europe. So this truly is a great pick to warm up the crowd.
On a small stage, with barely any room to maneuver, Inhalo performed their full debut album from 2022, “Sever.” The band reminds me of Riverside, parts of Tool and maybe a little bit of Opeth and Porcupine Tree. All band members played their hearts out. Lead singer Fons Herder addressed the crowd a couple of times on how beautiful we all looked and how great it was to finally be able to play here.
Their songs alternate between the more robust “Sisyphean” to the timid “Pretenders.” For “Eventide,” special guest Vincent Swiersma joined the band on stage to play the sarangi, just as he does on the record. Things like this make the show just a little bit more special. If you’re into prog, I definitely recommend checking Inhalo out.
For their third show of the “State of Deception Tour 2023,” Conception landed in Amsterdam. With the instruments of Inhalo removed from the stage, more room was created. Still, it seemed as if the Norwegians expected higher stages at least, as only half their backdrop could only be seen.
“State of Deception” is their first new release after two decades and the record still feels new to them, as they haven’t played it live yet, as Roy Khan mentioned on stage. Before the show, I was expecting a lot of Kamelot shirts to appear and it actually surprised me that there weren’t so many. Obviously, a lot of fans (including myself), know lead singer Khan from his time with Kamelot.
I must say, I really missed his voice on stage. The way Khan sings, the emotion he puts into the show and his way of singing just gives that bit extra. Especially with songs like “Feather Moves” and “Waywardly Broken” this is amazing to witness. In the middle of the set, Conception took a small break to add a little acoustic part to the setlist. “Silent Crying” and “Sundance” sounded great acoustic and it was great to see the full band just enjoying themselves.
Bass player Ingar Amlien almost had an accident on stage. At one point he almost tripped over something, but thankfully he laughed it off. Maybe that’s the downside of the small stage here at the Melkweg.
It was great seeing all the fans here enjoy the show. The Norwegians gave their all, mixed things up with the acoustic set and expressed how happy they were to be playing here. Live they sound even better than on record and it was one hell of an evening!