Golden Earring @ IJsselhallen, Zwolle, 20 January 2018

The Golden Earring is a band I had wanted to see for a long time. As a teenager I was a pretty big fan, but that sort of waned after I got older. However, I never happened to see them live for various reasons. They are – I guess – the oldest rock band still active, having been founded in 1961. I actually wanted to go to Utrecht one day later, but it was sold-out before I had a ticket. But as I was in Zwolle anyway the day before, I stayed a bit longer and went to the IJsselhallen to see them. The venue was quite full, but not sold-out. I managed to get a good spot at the front.

They brought one support act: a band called Luminize. An all-female band, originating from Croatia, but operating from The Hague. Musically, rather basic, pop-oriented rock music. Only the bass lines were actually interesting. The drums were as dull as can be. The guitars played mostly basic chords and the vocals where pretty harmless.

After a change-over, the stage was ready for the Golden Earring. A huge drumkit was set-up in the middle for Cesar with two huge drums hanging behind it. The band came on stage and opened with Just Like Vince Taylor from Moontan. It was immediately obvious that the musicianship is still sparkling in this band. Even though the drum patterns are not all that complicated, Cesar livens them up with a great deal of accents to make them interesting. The bass lines – a bit low in the mix perhaps – are adding depth to the music. And George guitar work really drives the song. Early on his vocals seemed a bit off, but that improved during the remainder of the set. Barry added a variety of instruments to his lead vocals, including guitars, flute and tambourine. And he still looks like he still has to turn 40, even though they are all around 70. Most of the set consisted of classic tracks Twilight Zone, Another 45 Miles, were included early on. They included a couple of lesser known songs, that according to Barry they just like to play, such as Liquid Soul. Many of the big hits from the 70s and 80s were included in the set, like When the Lady Smiles, The Devil Made Me Do It and Long Blond Animal. Before Radar Love Rinus played a bass solo on a double bass-guitar, of which the second even had a tremolo. And half way through Radar Love Cesar got a little time to show off his skills on the drums, even the big drums were used during this along with some double bass drumming. Then they finished Radar Love and ended the regular set. I had missed my favourite song She Flies on Strange Wings, but that turned out to be the first encore. They concluded their nearly two hour set with Holy Holy Life. Quite a great gig.

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