Hallows’ Eve in Haarlem and the first band that enters the stage comes with the moniker of The Zombies – what a match. Now, if you’re a bit deeper into rock music and 50+, you know that The Zombies has nothing to to with Helloween and scary sounds (spoiler alarm: those came later).
The Zombies are the opening act for Uriah Heep, actually more special guest rather than an opening act. The British rock band was originally founded in 1961, with some splits and reunions that followed. In the good old way, that band is announced and don’t just enter the stage. Since it’s unusual nowadays the background music is still playing and the announcer has to wait. After this amusing little episode, The Zombies enter the stage and play an impressive show, all in the spirit of 60’s and 70′ rock music. It is not decoration and agility that made a difference. It is the passion and musical savvy of the five-piece that makes this start into a rocking evening to really good one.
The curtain closes, another thing from the earlier days of rock music. I haven’t seen it earlier over the last years and it’s surprising for the crowd too. The bigger is the applause when the curtains open, unveiling a view on a stage set-up, ready to got for Uriah Heep.
The drum kit is the centerpiece, even well lit and dominant. One by one the band enter the stage and start with ‘Grazed by Heaven’ into their show. It’s always a bit of a surprise egg, thinking about to what to expect from a show of real rock pioneers. In this case, I can report that Uriah Heep performs a show that is mind-blowing, in one way. I guess that a lot of younger bands can learn a thing or two from these legends when it comes to dedication and passion. Mick Box and bandmates made clear that age is just a figure that has no importance in rock and metal. And now comes the ‘But’.
What is a downer though, is the sound. While The Zombies benefits of a good sound, it is a muddy and undiversified sound for Uriah Heep. Fans are not really pleased, with vocal being too far in the background and a real problem with the upper part of frequencies.
All in all: great songs, great band, an awful sound that night – maybe the spell of Hallows’ Eve.
Location: Patronaat, Haarlem, The Netherlands
Date: October 31st, 2018