"Anybody who's seeing a psychotherapist should have his head
Sharon, "Birds of a Feather"
VOLUME 7 ISSUE 3 TO VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 CONCERT TIME
by Richard Karsmakers
(With a rather forlorn left-about bit by Lucifer Eksod)
(I bet that's what the world has been holding its breath for)
Metallica - December 7th 1992, Brabanthallen, Den Bosch
Those of you fortunate (ahem) enough to have been able to glance
through the previous issue of ST NEWS (Volume 7 Issue 3 that is)
will know that I saw Metallica perform during their November 7th
concert at Rotterdam's Ahoy Sports Palace. Those of you will also
know that I had my reservations about the overall joy of the
experience, what with me not located in the arena and having to
satisfy myself merely with sitting, the occasional bobbing of my
head and the craning of my neck. Although Metallica were their
usual awesome self, sound quality was putrifyingly bad (at least
where I was sitting) and not loud enough either.
Not so on December 7th. An entirely different location where you
could only have arena tickets - i.e. one can attempt to get right
up front and flip out utterly in the middle of thousands of
sweating, headbanging metallunatics.
And bruise a rib or two, of course.
I had managed to get two tickets. Lucifer Eksod (a.k.a. Martijn
Wiedijk) was the lucky man that popper in my mind first, and in
the end we went with Roeland as well, who has also managed to get
his eager hands on a ticket through alternative channels.
Let me now use a bit of text that Martijn had written the next
day and left stranded on my hard disk without actually bothering
to do anything with it that even slightly resembled 'finishing'.
"Last minute check:
Concert ticket - check!
Money - check!
OV-jaarkaart - check!
Pictures - check!
OK, seemed like everything was ready. First I had to absorb a
peanutbutter sandwich and two cups of coffee. Ah, great. Roeland
arrived on short time's notice, too. He checked everything as
well. Seemed to be all in ordnung. The journey to Richard's mug-
hole in Utrecht could start. Off we went. We needed not bring any
sleeping bags or pillows 'coz Richard would provide them all. The
train was comfortable and the people were friendly. Found
Richard's house again. Rung the doorbell. Grunted 'n shouted a
Right. We went to the railway station soon after the chaps
arrived. They had dumped their bags and put on comfortable
clothing. I had quite a cold and I seemed to have run into a bit
of a fever. I could barely speak but I was not going to miss this
concert - not for anything in the world.
The concert was utterly great. There isn't much to be said about
it other than that. I sweated like to proverbial moat filled with
bloated pigs, I nearly lost consciousness two or three times, I
cried my voice to shrapnel and banged my head until my neck no
longer bothered to send signals of pain. After three hours of
playing (including "Motorbreath" that they hadn't played in
Rotterdam) Lars came back for the final time. After the second or
third encore Metallica always tends to come back and absorb the
audience's attention. He said this had been the best gig in the
tour so far, a fact that I was tempted to believe as I had heard
several other (bootlegged) concerts off their tour and they had
never yet said a thing like that. He also mentioned Metallica
being back in Holland to play in the Feyenoord Stadium in
Rotterdam in June 1993 (which I won't attend, for I've seen
Metallica twice on this tour already, not including Monsters of
Rock 1990, and I've been having to buy whoppin' eight CD singles
off their "Metallica" CD already).
The way home was long. Or at least it took an absurdly long
time. We arrived at Den Bosch station in time for the 23:33
intercity. It left late, of course, but that wasn't actually that
bad. What was bad was the fact that, barely a mile outside Den
Bosch station, the emergency brake got pulled. After half an
hour's wait we left again, only for some headbanging retard to
pull the emergency brake again. This caused the train, once
operative again, to be driven back to Den Bosch. It didn't leave
until about 3:00 AM when there was sufficient Railroad Police to
assure something like that not happening again.
I really hate those stupid hey-bet-I-would-dare-to-act-macho
retards. I'd like to kick their fucking face, to put it plainly
(excuse my French).
Whistler Courbois Whistler - February 7th 1993, De Nieuwe Pul,
I had not seen this band for over half a year when I got to "De
Nieuwe Pul", a café with built-in concert location in Uden.
Stefan was with me, and so was Miranda - she had never quite seen
them from this close before and certainly not playing live for
more than half an hour of so.
It was an afternoon concert, which probably accounted for the
fact that the amount of people that had turned up was somewhat of
a disappointment. There were about 75 people when, at 16:30, the
concert started. Half of them were the sort of small town people
that hang around places like these to see if something is going
down. Clearly, Whistler Courbois Whistler needs a lot of
additional name reputation which they still don't seem to have. I
am convinced that they can sell as much records and play for as
big a concert hall as, say, Joe Satriani if only someone would
invest the money necessary for some decent advertising.
The thing with a totally not-sold-out venue is that it's
difficult (at least for me) to flip out. It's totally impossible
to emerge yourself into anonimity, play air guitar and bang your
head along with the rest of the raging crowd. There might be
plenty of air to play guitar in, but you'd be the only one doing
it. Other people's heads just bob gently up and down in the way
parents might bob it to Neil Diamond. The atmosphere is killing.
No number of beers can change that.
It's such a shame, really, because they are such a damn
impressive bunch of musicians! Cyril Whistler plays the guitar as
if he's one with the instrument, Barend Courbois does things to
his bass guitar that might indeed make Stuart Hamm go drool, and
the whole thing is backed up by a rock-solid Jusso Whistler. I
still think they're the best European instrumental band, and
they're just getting better and better.
They played most songs from their latest CD, "Privilege".
Although the songs lose a bit when played live (no acoustic
guitar, limited use of samples and no flute/sitar), they gain
tremendous vitality and momentum. "Compendium Maleficarum",
"Co.Br.A.", "Privilege", "Commitments", "Refuge in the Sea", "No
Lyrics Allowed", "Desert Storm", "Prayers in the Garden" and
"Reltsih. W. Rhapsody" off their latest CD and "Fata Morgana" and
"Joey" off their debut passed our eardrums before they closed off
the concert with "Bangkok" (a bass solo and drum solo had
occurred as well). They came back once to play "Hurry for the
Curry" (even though the crowd was so numb it barely whistled and
we-want-more-ed). Playing for this audience must have been an
unthankful job for them, but it was impressive nonetheless.
Barend's bass solo has improved over the last year - I just stood
there, gazing, awestruck, ultimately impressed.
The problem with Whistler Courbois Whistler is that they only
play for 75 minutes even though the 'best of' taken from their
songs take up a lot more than that time. The concert would have
been even more perfect if they would also have played "How Can I
Call You My Friend", "Vilambit Gat" and one of my personal
After the concert we bought some merchandise (to wear at the
forthcoming Satriani concert!) and I got my "Privilege" CD cover
and tourbook signed. We then went to Stefan's place to watch some
TV and stuff ourselves with showarma (at least sortof) before
Joe Satriani - February 11th 1993, Vredenburg, Utrecht
For me this concert experience already started the day before.
At 15:00 I went to Vredenburg to generally hang around and see if
there was a possibility of me catching a glimpse of Satch when
arriving at the scene for the additional appearance at Vredenburg
that was scheduled for February 10th. Of course it was quite cold
and of course the man didn't turn up until 17:10. Together with
half a dozen other fans that had the same goal as me, we rushed
after the man and caught him just before actually entering. I got
him to sign some CD covers and that sort of thing. Joe didn't
have much time. The entire encounter with me and the other fans
probably didn't take up more than about two minutes. The most
frustrating thing about it was my photo camera. It's one of those
very 'smart' thingies that refuses to make a picture if the
object is too close. I had Joe look right in the camera and
smile, and then the blasted thing told me I was too close. I had
had my chance, the camera had screwed it up. Joe went inside.
Later, in the evening, I went back to the same location, hoping
to be able to ask Joe some questions after he had finished the
concert. He got out at 23:05, huddled in a jacket and scarf.
There was no chance even to ask him if I could ask him something.
He was off in the bus, and off it went to the Amsterdam
"American" hotel. That was a bit of a disappointment, but it
taught me a valuable lesson: Don't expect anyone to be wanting to
talk to you after they've done a concert.
But I knew the day after would be brilliant: The actual concert.
At just past 6 PM, February 11th, Stefan arrived at my place and
Miranda and me joined him to the concert. I had told him it would
be a smart move to arrive at Vredenburg early so that we'd be in
the hall as one of the first people - rush in and get the best
places. At 7 the doors opened and in we went. We assured a prime
position exactly in front of Joe's spot on the stage, right
against the stage. Nothing could go wrong.
The support act started at 20:15, Adrian Legg. I'd never heard
of him before and I doubt I ever will. He's a solo performer who
has specialised in the acoustic guitar. I had hoped to find
sortof a Bernd Steidl, but in fact it was someone who was
excellent at playing boogies and that sort of thing. Mind me, the
guy was quite superb, and it was amazing to see him play. He
played bass, rhythm and solo all in one go on one acoustic
guitar, which is quite a feat. I guess he was Michael Lee Firkins
who'd met Stuart Hamm and went acoustic in a traditional way. His
playing technique included fast hammer-ons, and at one particular
part of a song he used his left hand only to rapidly (de-)tune
the machineheads in order to get different notes. As I said, he
was doubtlessly brilliant - but it's the kind of stuff you can
hardly appreciate when just listening to a CD. I guess I won't
buy one of his records.
The support act played for half an hour. After that, some items
were removed from the stage and others added. At 21:05 the lights
were dimmed once more and the outrageously enthusiastic crowd
welcomed the first notes of "Satch Boogie". I have never quite
witnessed such zeal in a crowd. Joe could play the audience just
as efficiently as he played his guitar. We were quite
unbelievably close and this really makes a concert such as this
much better. We could see his every facial spasm, every finger as
it struck a note. This was mass guitar hero drooling if ever I
witnessed it. And it was pretty obvious that Joe was enjoying
himself as well - a huge smile was almost permanently present on
his face when it wasn't too busy contorting in some way or other.
After "Satch Boogie", "The Extremist" followed. After that I
lost my head so much that I couldn't possibly remember the
playing sequence. All I can remember is that he also played
"Cryin'", "Friends", the totally acoustic "Tears in the Rain",
"Summer Song" and "War" (my favourite!) off his latest album,
with "New Blues" in the first encore (including an audience <->
guitar duet, would you believe). "Flying in the Blue Dream" was
represented by its title song, "The Mystical Potato Head Groove
Thing", "I Believe", "One Big Rush" and "Big Bad Moon". Off
"Surfing With the Alien" he played "Ice Nine", "Always With Me
Always With You", "Circles" and the title song (which was the
first song of the first encore), and from "Not of this Earth" he
did "Rubina" (second encore's only song). The "Dreaming #11" EP
was present with the song "The Crush of Love", and we even got a
Gregg Bissonette drum solo which was capably performed but not
the thing we were waiting for. No "Memories" and "Hordes of
Locusts" were played, unfortunately - but you can't win 'em all.
At 23:10 the man removed himself after the final encore. He came
back for another two minutes or so, wielding a HandyCam to
capture the crowd on video - if you ever see a future video clip
with lots of fans carrying silly expressions plastered across
their faces, you might be looking at Miranda and me. Joe then
left for the final time, the lights going back on. Some frantic
minutes followed during which several freaks (me included)
zealously scanned the ground for potentially retrievable guitar
picks. No luck, though. In the end only Miranda had succeeded in
getting one from the last batch that was thrown in the crowd
after the last notes of the concert had died away.
Off to buy some (ridiculously expensive) merchandise, get some
Coke at a local off-licence and then back home. Van Halen would
have to be pretty abso-f*@king-lutely brilliant for this not to
be the best of yours truly's 1993 concert experiences.
Van Halen - April 13th 1993, Ahoy, Rotterdam
Van Halen had not been to Holland for almost exactly 13 years
when they finally came to play at the Ahoy in Rotterdam, April
13th 1993. Some other people of the Utrecht University English
Department went as well, so we had decided to meet in the pub
across our faculty building later in the afternoon so as to be
sure of a timely arrival.
After having downed a couple of pints we took the train to
Rotterdam. After a brief subway experience (which primarily
involved words like "crammed", "damp" and "warm") we arose from
the wombs of the earth at several hundred yards from Ahoy.
Already there was quite a significant gathering of Van Halen
afficionados. There were older people, younger people, fat ones,
thin ones, and quite a large amount of girls in comparison with
other heavy concerts I've been too. Well, Van Halen isn't exactly
heavy, actually, and the support act (Little Angels) was
positively soft, exactly the kind of thing girls would go to.
At one or two minutes to eight (PM) the whole thing started.
Little Angels played for well over half an hour and all I can say
is that they aren't a band that will ever make it big musically.
They are your bog-standard middle-of-the-road love song band with
no particularly excellent musical craftsmanship and too much of
an emphasis on long blond hair flailing and that kind of thing
which you probably all know I loathe.
At several minutes past nine Van Halen started. The crowd
regarded the gig as some sort of "welcome home" concert, banners
to which effect were flung on the stage and worn by singer Sammy
Hagar all the time. Eddie van Halen connected a drill to the
strings of his guitar and lead the band into "Poundcake" off
their latest "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" album. Although I
have never seen Van Halen with David Lee Roth, I think Sammy
Hagar is actually just about as good. OK, he can't jump as high
and his voice hasn't the all-too-familiar Rothian hoarseness, but
he's a good front man anyway. The band jumped around and had fun,
with the crowd making use of every spare moment to chant slogans
along the lines of, pretty straightforward, "Eddie, Eddie,
Eddie". Both Alex (drums) and Edward (Eddie) van Halen spent
about two or three years of their todlerhood in Holland and the
audience made most of it. Even Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony
(bass) felt sortof like playing a home match, or at least that's
what they said.
All of Van Halen's hit songs were played - "You Really Got Me",
"Judgement Day", "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love", "Panama", "Love
Walks In", "Why Can't This Be Love", "Jump" and even "Unchained"
(one of my old favourites). Of course there were some solo spots,
which were all slightly superfluous except, of course, for the
Eddie van Halen solo spot which was saliva-ejuculation-provoking
to say the least (and which took a quarter of an hour or
something). Although Joe Satriani has more soul and a technique
almost as brilliant, Eddie van Halen is simply a lot faster and
has even more technical bits up his sleeve. It was truly amazing.
The encore saw Eddie present himself on stage in an orange
soccer T-shirt number 14 (i.e. that of Johan Cruyff, and I think
Marco van Basten too). After he said "bedankt" (Dutch for
"thanks") the audience had its final flip-out. Sammy said this
had been the best European gig he had ever done (and he
emphasised that he didn't say this every time and that he was
sincere and all, so we all believed it).
Although not as intimate as the Joe Satriani gig, I would not
have wanted to miss this concert for anything. It was a
tremendously impressive happening. I am glad I've seen Eddie van
Halen at last. Now I only need to see Ritchie Blackmore and some
of the more recent guitar wizards still.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.