Kayak, Dutch Tour 2002
Amsterdam, Paradiso, 13 january 2002
Vianen, Stadshof, 26 january 2002
Tilburg, 013, 13 february 2002
By Jeroen Kooistra
So far, I have seen three concerts of Kayak's 'Night Vision European Tour' (after all, they played one show in Belgium!). So now, halfway through the tour, it's time for some reviews. After 'not much rehearsal' (as Ton Scherpenzeel put it) and one try-out gig, the tour opened at the famous Paradiso in Amsterdam. The hall wasn't filled to capacity, but there was a good crowd. Miracle Man was the heavy opener, the first of seven songs to be played from the new album. From the start, it was clear the Rob Vunderink's role in the band has become more important (and very valuable!) than on the last tour. His guitarwork and vocal contributions (sometimes taking over lead vocal from Bert H.), really lifted up a couple of songs. On the other hand, it must be said that the band made quite a few mistakes. For example, Chance For A Lifetime was completely messed up, and Ninane also wasn't perfect to say the least. Bert Heerink felt most at ease in the new songs. The Way Of The World was good, as was Tradition, a favourite of almost every fan. It was a great and welcome surprise to see Where Do We Go From Here introduced into the set. But it was a pity that Sweet Revenge was not played. All in all, it certainly wasn't the best Kayak concert I ever witnessed.
But two weeks later, things had changed for the better. The venue in Vianen was an all-seater, which didn't really add to the atmosphere. But the sound was good, and the band played much better, in spite of Rob Winter not feeling too well. Maybe it was because he was celebrating his birthday, but Bert Heerink was in a good mood, and performed very well. Ton and the two Robs came out fine in Two Wrongs, a song that works much better in a live setting than it does on CD. To my relief, Sweet Revenge was back, but this time Good Riddance was left out. After the halfway break (yes, seriously! The band stopped after about 50 minutes, and we all went off to the bar for a drink), Bert Heerink decided that the audience should not return to their seats, but stand up and get closer to the stage. Good thinking from Bert. This made the evening more lively, and a good time was had by all. But there was more to come.
13 february: a great hall (it was my first time at the 013), and again a nice crowd. On top of that, I received a backstage pass, so what could go wrong? Well, not much went wrong. Helped by a big lightshow and crystal clear sound, the band delivered an almost perfect show! Bert Veldkamp and Pim Koopman played tight, Rob Vunderink seemed to be even more 'upfront' than before, and Ton's keyboard work could be heard clearly. On nights like these, it becomes clear what a fantastic composer and musician this man is, even when some of the equipment doesn't cooperate. It's hard to mention the best parts of this show, but Where Do We Go From Here, Tradition, Merlin and Niniane were fantastic. Good Riddance had returned as the final encore. The band members seemed to enjoy themselves, making jokes about eachothers age and physical condition. In the audience there were more 'listeners' than 'dancers', so Bert Heerink had to do some work to get the hands in the air. But after each song, it was obvious that the audience liked what they saw and heard!
In my humble opinion, Kayak is still Holland's best band. On stage and on CD, the band delivers a nice diversity of styles. But it's all about good melodies, and (like I once heard an American fan say:) it has written 'TASTE' all over it. I'll be seeing the band two more times in March. Based on what I saw and heard in Vianen and especially Tilburg, I am sure that I won't be bored! Go and see them if you can!
Water For Guns
Where Do We Go From Here
Close To The Fire
A Million Years
The Way Of The World
Sweet Revenge (not in Amsterdam)
Chance For A Lifetime
Full Circle (end part)
Good Riddance (not in Vianen)