Sunday 3 June 2018

On Stage: Johan @ Paradiso

Dutch alternative rock band Johan have always been one of my favourite bands. Their ability to write gorgeous songs and their sparkling sound never missed their effect on me. That's why I found it really sad when they called it quits back in 2009. Fortunately earlier this year the band returned with another wonderful album and I couldn't wait to see them play again.

Johan at Paradiso Amsterdam, May 30 2018

On the new LP Pull Up it is clear that the band hasn't lost its magic touch as it is full of wonderful songs once more. They did have a line-up change with new guitar player Robin Berlijn, who adds a bit more roughness to the sound and rock guitar. You can hear this tonight as well where the new songs have room for him to play his solos. Johan's sound is so flexible that it actually feels good and the band kicks off with a few new songs right away. Next to long time members bassist Diets Dijkstra and drummer Jeroen Kleijn, keyboard player Jan Teertstra completes the band.

They work their way through a set that is built around the new songs but also add plenty of older ones including fan favourites like 'Oceans' and 'Tumble and Fall'. The look on their faces reveals they are happy to be back as well as they seem to enjoy this show just as much as all the, mostly long time, fans. Singer and master mind of the band Jacco de Greeuw's voice seems to have a bit of wear and towards the end of the show he has to work harder and harder especially in the high registers.

There also is a bit of wear on the guitar strings, as they keep breaking during the show. Here and there you can tell things aren't running smoothly all of the time, telling from the look on their faces. So it may not be a perfect Johan show, but that doesn't bother anyone for a bit and it doesn't matter either. It only gives tonight's show more charm and after the band finishes the encore it leaves everyone very happy. I'm so glad this band is back and are playing shows again since they are truly one of our countries' musical gems.

All Pictures

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