Wednesday 12 December 2018

Come As You Are 2018 @ Effenaar

I am old enough to have experienced the nineties in all its glory, but was able to miss out on seeing bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam in the flesh. Fortunately I caught up with them later on although I never got to see Nirvana or Alice in Chains with Layne Staley. Effenaar Eindhoven makes us relive those days with bands from that era and new bands who were inspired by music from that time.

Come As You Are at Effenaar Eindhoven, December 8 2018

We join the other grey and bald members of our generation while Dutch band Drive By Wire are about to close their show. We get to see a couple of songs by this band, but it is too short to get a really good impression of them.


We head to the small hall for Belgian rockers dirk. The four young men are clearly drawing inspiration from bands like Nirvana and early Foo Fighters, with plenty of tongue in cheek. The band is clearly here to entertain us and work hard for that. But it is hard to make this middle aged crowd move although a few give it a try. It's not the band's fault who have plenty to offer. They are still all over the place with their sound, but for now that is a good thing. I enjoyed this band from start to finish and hope to see them again.

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Green Lizard Tribute To The 90s

In those nineties there was this cool Dutch band Green Lizard who played heavy rock songs and released a pretty good album. I always enjoyed this band, and saw their brief return a few years back. Tonight they are playing all those songs that formed the soundtrack of my early years as an adult: Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains. They found a great singer in Matthias Bastiaan van Beek, who comes freakishly close to Kurt Cobain, both in looks as in sound. Urban Dance Squad singer Rudeboy joins them occasionally as special guest playing some of the biggest hits from his old illustrious band. Thanks for that wonderful trip down memory lane boys!

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I'm pretty fired up by now and can't wait to meet up with that crazy band Tusky. You can't go wrong with these guys who are always playing like their life depends on it. They are trying to form a circle pit again, but have to accept that these old timers in here have no clue what it is. It doesn't get them down, but only motivates them more to get this crowd to move. In the end their punk rock songs go down well and definitely succeed in spreading their good vibes again.

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Admiral Freebee

I was really happy that Admiral Freebee also is part of this bill. I love this artist's music and his approach to it, where he alway goes his own way. He is in a soulful mood today and brought an amazing band including a horns section. His show turns into a warm soul and rhythm and blues show, with a groovy band and an inspired Admiral. I never can't get enough of this wonderful artist and can't wait for his new LP to drop.

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Birth Of Joy

To me Birth of Joy is one of the best Dutch rock bands of this moment and I am sad that they are about to quit. But I'm also happy to see them live tonight and bid them farewell in January at their last show. No time for sadness though, since these guys rock this joint to pieces. The wild guitar and organ driven rock music, with the incredible groovy drums, are simply irresistible. I can't believe they are playing the small hall and I can imagine this is one of the reasons they are calling it quits. This band should have been playing the big stages in this country instead.

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Soundgarden Lives

One of the big bands of the nineties was Soundgarden of course and they are one of my favourite groups of that era. Chris Cornell surely was a unique rock singer and I'm still sad he is no longer there. If any band can do justice to the Soundgarden music, it is Navarone. That group indeed knows how to recreate their heavy and groovy sound. I know some of those songs are not easy to play, but this band makes it look so easy. With their amazing singer Merijn van Haren they come really close to the nineties giants. Guest singer Caroline Westendorp from rock band The Charm The Fury does a decent job too. However the singer whose name I didn't get, playing big hit 'Blackhole Sun', totally misses the whole vibe of the song and thinks he can leave an impression by trying some rock howls. Soundgarden was a lot more than that mate. Fortunately our own Anneke van Giersbergen shows that you can make those songs completely your own with a beautiful acoustic performance of Audioslave's 'Like A Stone'. Later she joins van Haren for an amazing version of Temple of the Dog's 'Hunger Strike' until that one singer joins them again and almost destroys the moment.

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This has been such a wonderful day with great music and a lot of fun. The bands all showed a lot of heart and although the crowd was maybe hard to get moving, the vibe was completely right. Count me in for next year.

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