What is better on a Saturday night than watching a rock'n'roll show? This was the thought of all the rock fans who came together in De Boerderij in Zoetermeer to see Vengeance.
But before the Dutch hardrock veterans entered the stage it was time for the opening act. It was the John Emmen Band. John Emmen, isn't that the drummer of Vengeance? Yes, indeed. But he also has his own band. They have their own songs and merge those with some coversongs. I think, that they did a good job as an opening act and I was surprised about the vocal range of the their female singer. She was pretty amazing.
But of course almost everybody came to see the Dutch hardrock institution. It was a few minutes before ten when Vengeance started their show. No intro, no real lights out. The band just started to play.
After the last album "Piece of cake" I was curious how the band sounds live. The album had some real highlights, but I think also some less strong tunes. After I have seen their show last night I must say that Vengeance is still a live band. 90 minutes long they spread pure energy, entertainment and they had obviously fun with what they are doing - playing awesome hardrock songs.
One important factor in this dominant live presence is without any doubt Leon Goewie. This guy was one and a half hour in action. There was no moment when he really stood still. Maybe he slowed down a bit during the bluesy ballad "Back to square one" from the "Piece of cake" album. Next to the exception he was like a dervish; walking from left to right, from the back to the front. He was simply everywhere. And with his facial expressions he was the perfect host of the rock'n'roll party - without any arrogance and star behaviour. Cool and I think a lot of singers and frontmen from younger bands can learn a lot from him and his passion. Also his voice is still like in the old days and the guy seems to be in good shape too.
But also the band played tight and transfered a lot of power. The bass solo from Barend Courbois, some of you might know him from Blind Guardian, was gorgeous. Normally too long solos sucks in a live show, but Courbois actually added another highlight to the show. Also lead guitarist Timo Somers (Delain), son of the former Vengeance guitarist Jan Somers, did a good job. The guitar was screaming and his stage performance was like it needs to be. Well done.
When it comes to the setlist we have to state that it was a well chosen mix between old and new. Especially the new songs gained compared to the studio recordings. "Sandman" and "Raintime" sound much stronger than on CD/vinyl. Also "Soul collector" from the corresponend album fittet perfect into the rock'n'roll show and was in line with the old classics of Vengeance. Tracks like "Take it or leave it", "Rock'n'Roll shower" and the surpassing "Arabia" must be part of a Vengeance gig - and thet sounded perfect. It was party feeling pure.
After the final note faded you could see a lot of happy faces in the audience and people went home with a satisfied smile. Isn't that what music is standing for? It was a 90 minutes massage for the ears.
I wonder after this evening, why the band hasn't more shows in planning yet. I hope this will come, because it is great entertainment combined with excellent hardrock. If the band comes close to your town, than grap the opportunity and go there. You will not be disappointed.
- Wait until the sun goes down
- Take it or leave it
- May heaven strike me down
- Cross in the rain
- Planet zilch
- She is the woman
- Take me to the limit
- Dance dance
- Back to square one
- Dream world
- Soul collector
- Down and out
- Rock'n'Roll shower
Location: De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands
Date: Saturday 15.03.2014