Originally, I would have written a review about the CD presentation of JURASSIC PARK. On the day this would happen, we received a message, that one of the band members got the flu and the gig was cancelled and rescheduled at further notice. On the same day PICTURE would record a live DVD in Ridderkerk, only twenty miles away from our hometown. After seeing the band in Vlaardingen for a try-out gig with veteran members Ronald van Prooijen and Jan Bechtum, we didn’t think twice to fill this gap. PICTURE is playing a lot in Germany (Headbangers Open Air), Sweden (Sweden Rock) and South America this year, so this might be the last show for Holland, who knows? Well, let’s start the engine and put the car into fifth gear to see PICTURE in Ridderkerk. You can read my personal vision of this memorable night below….
DAIZY BELL replaced them, who got about forty-five minutes to get the people warmed up. Before that, we already heard some music like “Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick” of WHITESNAKE, but the band itself started their show with the cover song “She Sells Sanctuary” of THE CULT. The male and female singer constantly switched places and they cranked out one rock track after another. You can say whatever you want, but standing here for a bunch of wildebeests, who came to see the hottest band of Holland, is quite something, especially when you only know a few hours upfront, that you have to be on stage for this occasion. “I Was Made For Loving You” is on next and I think that a lot of people here tonight will have some very fond memories about the video clip of this monstrous hit single from KISS, who were in their disco years back then, which turned out to be the most successful KISS song, at least in Europe. Turn the clock forward ten or more years and you’ll get to GUNS ‘N’ ROSES, who are being covered here with “Sweet Child Of Mine”. It’s all done very tasteful and a lot of good memories come alive, when you hear these songs. Like for example how much I hated grunge, when I hear “Smells Like Teen Spirit” of NIRVANA. Hands up, who still remembers REPUBLICA, the one hit wonder and their hit single “Ready To Go”? The RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE cover “Killing In The Name Of” was done quite well, I must admit. LED ZEPPELIN’s “Whole Lotta Love”, no matter how hard they tried, would have been better left out, but that’s my own opinion. Then it’s time for some BEASTY BOYS with “Fight For Your Right To Party”, while they finish their set with a PICTURE cover “You’re Touching Me” from the “Diamond Dreamer” album. It’s a warming up for things to come next. A nice opener and once again I have to say that this was a very brave move of this band to play here. DAIZY BELL consists of Eugene on vocal, Angelique on vocals, Marco on guitar, Landy on guitar, Phil on bass and Rodney on drums.
The venue is jam-packed and our Belgian friends Christophe and Katrien arrived on time nicely to watch the show. Actually, there are quite some fans from Belgium and we even spotted Erwin ‘Axeman’ of FIREFORCE standing in the front row. They must have travelled a long time to get here. There’s even a Brazilian delegation to watch the show. It’s probably a coincidence that they are in Europe, when PICTURE is playing live, but they sure have the time of their life. PICTURE is extremely famous in South America and they have the status of a band like for example BLACK SABBATH or KISS over there. I’m not kidding you. Will they play the same songs, like in Vlaardingen and will it be of the same high quality, like on this memorable night? You will read the answer below.
When the band hits the stage, you’ll hear the intro tape of Carl Orff’s “Oh Fortuna”, which has been used by many other bands. I think OZZY OSBOURNE is the most famous for it, although I remember that PRETTY MAIDS have been using it in the early eighties as well. The first question I asked myself will be answered with a ‘yes’ now, nearly the same songs will be played here tonight. A few minor changes have been made, but the opener is “You’re All Alone”. Unfortunately, the microphone of Ronald isn’t working properly. He didn’t use his headset tonight, but this is not a good start. Appie’s mike was confiscated and they switched the mikes very soon, so the real party would start. “Get Back Or You Fall” was already a nice surprise in Vlaardingen, but looking at the people’s faces around me, they never expected this one here. Once again, we would hear a mix of the first three albums with some exceptions. “The Hangman” is the first time, that the crowd introduced the ‘PICTURE fan choir’, that got together on this special occasion. Try to sing along to all these classic tunes, you know for thirty years or something. You will sing them word for word, believe me. “Nighthunter” is on next and the atmosphere is just freaking brilliant. You’ll see the smile on the faces of the band members and the joy of the public watching them. The band is not only in good shape, nope, they are in perfect shape. Just listen to the mighty “Message From Hell”. Jan is starting up the engine of his guitar and goes from slow to faster and faster into the fifth gear. Yes, that really gets the whole crowd going. It has always been one of my personal favorites. “Nighttiger” continues and it shows that Ronald’s voice is in excellent shape. His poses are perhaps less gymnastic and the big rasta kind of hairstyle is not as big as in 1981 anymore, but man what a voice does he have, it’s really outstanding. Another personal favorite is on next, namely “No, No, No” from the “Heavy Metal Ears” album. This was one of the songs, that Alfred ‘Big Al’ Lagarde introduced to the fans in his show ‘Betonuur’ on Dutch radio. I will never forget these moments. My tape recorder worked overtime for many hours. The introduction of the next song is done by tape, which is a loud barking hellhound. The comment of Ronald is too funny, not to mention here. He said: ‘That’s not a Pekinese dog, that I hear’. It’s the introduction to “Old Dogs New Tricks”, the title track of the album, that PICTURE released in 2009. It’s still a great song to sing along to. Then it’s show time for a man, that has been called ‘The Dutch Ritchie Blackmore’ many times. Jan Bechtum’s solo spot is coming up, so you’d better hide in your shelter, I’m only going to say it once. It’s a bit too short in my opinion, but I realize that they can’t make an evening filling program with that. Jan Bechtum is the man, who came up with all these magical riffs. From the first notes on, you know that you’re listening to a PICTURE song. His sound is so recognizable and of course Holland has got a few very talented guitar players, but it’s difficult to beat the qualities of this guy, who always looks so silent, when being off the stage. Once he’s in the spotlights though, that magic knob is turned on and he transforms into a guitar wizard, spreading out his magic spells over the fretboard. Mind you, the same goes for guitarist Appie de Gelder of course. A quiet guy ,when he’s off stage, but once the amps are tuned on and he has got that six string in his hands, you’d better run and hide or the walls come tumbling down on you. Stranger things have happened. Luckily nobody gets hurt this time, when the beast in guitarist Jan is being unleashed. His solo spot is the intro to “Live By The Sword”, which is also taken from the “Old Dogs New Tricks” album. After that, PICTURE is really exploding. The audience is going completely mad and the band is in excellent shape. “Heavy Metal Ears” kicks off, followed by a bunch of all time classic tunes, in which the band is reaching the highest possible level. In contrary to Vlaardingen, “Rock & Roll / Under Your Spell” has been played here tonight. To me, this is without any doubt one of the very best PICTURE songs ever. That part of the record is almost clear and only small parts of the vinyl album are still there, the rest has vanished into thin air, because I’ve played that song a zillion times or more. The little mistake in Ronald’s announcement hasn’t even been noticed. I think, that he was on such an high adrenaline level at the time, that he mixed up the chronological order of the albums. Almost right after he made the announcement, he corrected his words right away, but hey, what the heck. The public screamed so loud, when Jan was playing the first riffs of “Eternal Dark,” that it put a big smile on my face. “Diamond Dreamer” has been deleted from the setlist, because of the awesome “Rock & Roll / Under Your Spell”. “Unemployed” is on next, which is the second clear spot on my copy of the second PICTURE album. The high pull outs of Ronald are simply amazing and he does them again tonight, but this time in a live situation. This is really beyond all human comprehension. We know, that Ronald doesn’t need a stuntman and he does it all by himself. But I really didn’t expect at all, that he would still be such a great singer. I watched him with my mouth open to hear whatever came out of his golden throat. When he keeps on singing and climbs on one of the amplifiers to sing from high up above, I’m totally freaking out. What the hell is he doing??? For sure, you would do things like that thirty-five years ago, but not anymore. He just goes for it and nothing can stop him now. That’s what people call in Dutch ‘Even Een Bonkelaartje Doen’, because he did that thirty-five years ago in De Bonkelaar and exactly the same way. This is also the venue, where they recorded the video clip for the next song. It must be the ultimate PICTURE song for many reasons and I think that song made this band famous. Just try to imagine PICTURE without “Bombers”, you just won’t succeed. In this very song, Rien Vreugdenhil also has got his solo spot. It’s the moment, where he steps off the stage to go into the audience to play his part, right in the center of many fans, who gladly make room for him. The venue is boiling at the moment and the last song is still waiting after that. Rien climbs back on stage and “Lady Lightning” goes on, which is the last song of the regular set. The band is being introduced and the shouting ‘Bakkie, Bakkie, Bakkie’ alone for drummer Laurens ‘Bakkie’ Bakker is really amazing and is giving me the chills. Both guitarists are performing a guitar duel at the end of the song and obviously, guitarist Jan Bechtum must be a fan of the man in black, Ritchie Blackmore. His guitar slides against the mike standard and one more time the band pulls out everything they have got and they kind of jam their way to the finale. This is simply unbelievable. I can’t imagine, that it took me more than thirty-five years to see the best PICTURE show of my life. I know, that in the early eighties things were fantastic and these guys were on top of the bill in Holland. But what they achieved here tonight was truly amazing and freaking fabulous. Of course people immediately started shouting for more after the band disappeared backstage. Not long after that, the band returns for the first encore, called “You Can Go”, which was also on the “Hard Rock Live” compilation, next to “Bombers”. Some of you old hard rockers may still remember this compilation album. And then it’s over and we can go? No, not really, because Ronald tells the audience, that he really had the time of his life and he has one more message for his fans. ‘I want to “Spend The Night With You”’. What an awesome surprise, since this track was not in the Vlaardingen set, too. The people from Brazil must have had the time of their life. And I guess, that everybody, who came over to this DVD recording party for sure had a marvelous time, because this was by far the best performance of PICTURE ever and I’m not kidding you. They turned back the clock for a long long time and they simply performed an outstanding show here. It will probably take a while, until things are getting back to normal here in Ridderkerk. If the sound quality would be fine, this show will be released on DVD. I’m so sorry for Mike Jones of JURASSIC PARK and I really would have loved to see them, don’t get me wrong. But I am glad that I witnessed this eight world wonder live on stage. It’s time to have a little longer chat with our Belgian friends Christophe and Katrien. After all, we were only a thirty minute drive away from home. Our thanks go out to DAIZY BELL, Appie, Rien, Ronald, Laurens and Jan for this amazing evening. Can’t wait to see this show on DVD!