DEAR MOTHER played their first ever concert on 13 May at Zik Zak in Ittre, Belgium. The band, led by the now famous guitarist Merel Bechtold, delighted the audience with almost the entirety of their debut album “Bulletproof” released in July 2021. The Belgian band Cellar Twins had the honour of opening the evening.

At the beginning of 2020, news of a new project by Merel Bechtold in collaboration with her ex-bandmate in Delain, Joey Marin de Boer, began to appear on the social networks. The guitarist and drummer were then joined by David Pear on vocals and DEAR MOTHER was revealed. A crowdfunding campaign followed to finance a twelve-track debut album, entitled “Bulletproof“, which was released in July 2021 (see our article on this subject: Dear Mother, new Merel Bechtold’s baby). The release of the album is accompanied by no less than five music videos (to be found here: to promote it while waiting to play it on stage.

And now it’s done! The first two DEAR MOTHER shows took place on 13 and 14 May. The first one at Zik Zak in Ittre, Belgium (where we were), and the second one in Utrecht, Netherlands.

A few weeks earlier, the trio had launched a call for applications on social networks to recruit two bands to open for them. For the evening of 13 May, Cellar Twins was selected.

It’s not an easy task for Cellar Twins to capture the attention of the fans who have come to see DEAR MOTHER on stage and who have been waiting impatiently for two years. And yet, the four young musicians manage to do it with their alternative rock/metal set. A modern sound, sometimes aggressive, sometimes soaring, and a good energy on stage, that’s how I would sum up the efficient performance of Cellar Twins. You can feel their comfort level on stage and the audience is receptive, in short a good start to the evening. The Belgian quartet defends their album “Duality” released at the end of 2019 as well as some new tracks. Their latest single, “Abyss“, was released last February, I’ll let you have a closer look here: 

After a short break, it was time for the headliner to unveil itself. Present but injured, Joey Marin de Boer will finally not be behind the drums that night, to my great dismay. Merel Bechtold and David Pear took to the stage with three session musicians. The show is interrupted for the first time at the end of the first track by a power cut. No matter, the gas is turned on again and the show is back on. To please everyone, DEAR MOTHER have chosen not to make any choices: the entire “Bulletproof” album is played tonight. The only thing missing from the set on May 13th (but which will be played the next day in the Netherlands) is the magnificent ballad “Palace” which closes the album. The evening ends with “Symbiose” which is unfortunately interrupted three times by new power cuts when David had just asked the audience to give all the energy they had left. At the third interruption, which occurred almost at the end of the song, the band decided to leave it at that. Shortly after leaving the stage, the musicians are back at the merch stand where they are very available to chat with the fans and take some pictures.

Technical incidents did not detract from the evening in the end. DEAR MOTHER definitely won over the audience. It was so good to hear this much listened to album live! The musicians were smiling from start to finish and David was generous with his interactions with the audience. There was an obvious closeness between the band and the fans, and everyone seemed very happy to share this moment. I, for one, am still on cloud nine. No other dates have been announced yet, but I hope we’ll be able to see DEAR MOTHER on stage again very soon. One thing is for sure, I will be there, and I can only advise you to join us.

Cellar Twins