The acoustic shows of the Belgian band Amenra are a tried and tested concept. The post-rockers have been playing their emotional and philosophical songs for years in a changing arrangement: hard rocking and intimate, in which the band takes place on a stage in a circle, as in a ritual of togetherness and conjuring up great fears.
In Thursday’s setting, in the Grote Zaal of TivoliVredenburg, the acoustic Amenra is even more poignant. The Belgians play twice, for a total audience of five hundred people, but due to the corona measures, the sold-out hall of course feels half empty. The quiet intensity of the music is only amplified by it.
It remains special how a band survives when the characteristic dynamics have disappeared from the music. The post-rock and metal is usually so impressive, precisely thanks to the connections between soft poetry by singer Colin Van Eeckhout, and the subsequent discharge in rock-hard rock and screaming vocals. In the soft circle arrangement, of course, only the quiet, plucking splendor of Amenra remains.
The broken chords are loaded with a dry, plucking electric bass, a violin and Van Eeckhout’s fragile voice. And also the covers, for example the song, stripped to the core Parabol from Tool, penetrate into your fibers. Also thanks to the sleek stage image in the hall: six bright white spots.
The Belgian folk song The village from the singer Zjef Vanuytsel gets a downright sinister charge because of our current, pandemic circumstances. And sentences like these: “Then the streets become so quiet, the shutters remain carefully closed.” The hall is now very quiet. Van Eeckhout: ‘Death can come like this.’
8/10, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht.