Live | Delain [& Illumishade] – Poppodium De Nieuwe Nor – Heerlen [NL]

2 February 2024

Recently Delain was in Heerlen. They came to visit as part of their ‘Dark Water over Europe Tour’. Since I thought their latest work sounded quite good and I had not yet seen the band live with new vocalist Diana Leah, I was very curious about this show.


As support, Swiss band Illumishade joined this tour, and I didn’t know this young band. I must say that I was quite impressed with the show they put on. They were certainly in the mood to present a good show. In any case, singer Fabienne Erni is a whirlwind on stage and the rest of the band guaranteed a rock-solid foundation. Musically we are dealing here with a mix of prog metal, intertwined with symphonic metal. What was especially noticeable is that there is enough room to give the soloing talents of guitarist Jonas Wolf the space he needed.

The musicians visibly had fun and gave it a 100% which translated to the reactions from the audience. De Nieuwe Nor was therefore well filled with enthusiastic music lovers. Illumishade even took the time to sling a typically Dutch tune into the concert hall. With carnival just around the corner, they thought let’s give Andre van Duin’s ,,Er Staat Een Paard In De Gang” some attention. The response from the audience was a loud singing along.

But their own songs are what really impressed and with ,,Rise’’ they even managed to produce a beautiful ballad. I expect that we will hear more from this Swiss band and that is no punishment at all. Great show!


– Elegy
– Enemy
– Here We Are
– Crystal Silence
– Cloudreader 
– Rise
– Muse Of Unknown Forces
– Tales Of Time
– World’s End


After a short change over, it was time for Delain to take over the stage. The stage looked beautiful. Beautifully decorated drum and keyboard risers. They kicked off with ,,The Cold’’ from their latest album `Dark Waters’ and ,,Suckerpunch’’. The sound was good, only Diana’s vocals could have been more prominent in the mix. In terms of light, there was mostly a lot going on from behind the stage, so the band members were in the dark quite often. Too bad because after all, people like to see what they came for and that is now mainly between songs. Keyboardist and band leader Martijn Westerholt managed to lead the band through Delain’s musical history.

The songs were expertly performed and the audience seemed to enjoy the show. What I missed, however, is the role of booster in the band. Normally the frontman/woman takes on this task, but Diana has a rather subdued role and there is not a lot of interaction with the audience. Occasionally there is some chatter between songs, but it is difficult to understand. Guitarist Ronald Landa also tried to get the audience to move up a gear, but only moderately. In terms of interaction, it could have been a step up.


Delain’s catalog is large enough to easily accommodate an evening of highlights and we glided through the band’s songs. With a small emphasis on their latest album. As a guest vocalist, Delain brought along Italian Paolo Ribaldini on tour. He has, of course, joined in on some songs on the latest album. His presence does give some more dynamics on stage. He is allowed to join Delain for a total of six songs. Quite a number.

All in all it was a fine performance, but certainly not the best I ever got to see of Delain. In terms of front woman, with Charlotte Wessels, they had someone on stage who knew how to get the audience on her side more easily than Diana. Diana put down a good vocal performance by the way, but clearly hasn’t gained the mileage of her predecessor.

It was a solid performance, but unfortunately the roof did not go off Poppodium De Nieuwe Nor. Okay, maybe a little when the band played crowd favorite ,,We Are The Others’’. Sometimes you have those shows where the support managed to impress more than the main act. This was one of those nights.


– The Cold
– Suckerpunch
– Burning Bridges
– The Quest And The Curse
– April Rain
– Get The Devil Out Of Me
– Sleepwalkers Dream
– Invidia
– Queen Of Shadow [with Paolo Ribaldini]
– Your Body Is A Battleground [with Paolo Ribaldini]
– The Gathering [with Paolo Ribaldini]
– Don’t Let Go [with Paolo Ribaldini]
– Moth To A Flame
– Not Enough
– Mother Machine


– Control The Storm [with Paolo Ribaldini]
– Sing To Me [with Paolo Ribaldini]
– We Are The Others

All photos by Raymond Helebrand



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