Radio Eliza combines modern beats with old-fashioned guitar noise
On the Umoja stage, the “discovery place” of Concert at SEA, is Radio Eliza playing in the warm sunshine. Just before the start of the concert, a couple of young fans are already loyally waiting, bright yellow CAS caps on their heads and smartphones camera-ready in their hands. Slowly but surely the square in front of the stage, heavily smelling of Mexican, Indonesian and grilled dishes, crowds. The six young men of Radio Eliza are at the start of their promising career, but they’re already record holders of the band that played all 40 cities of the Popronde. The frontman of the band, with a Kurt Cobainesque coupe and a bright blue guitar, leads his young comrades into a cheerful and nonchalant sound. The happy guitar melodies work contagiously and the public is dancing. Among them are young girls, holding onto the front barriers, while they look up to the gentleman of Radio Eliza nearly obsessively. The band’s sound is youthful, but creative and relevant. Radio Eliza combines very modern beats with old-fashioned guitar noise and nearly romantic lyrics. It’s a combination much to the liking of the younger public – the older viewers decide after a few songs to go and nibble on a mussel or two. Quite a shame, because Radio Eliza is a name to keep an eye on. As the stage presenter already sharply noticed; now the band is playing the smaller Umoja stage, but soon they might shine on the big main stage.
La Pegatina is one big tropical surprise
Eight Spanish gentleman bring a ton of joy, fun and party to the Zeeland stage of Concert at SEA. La Pegatina is one big tropical surprise, which stuns the audience from the very first note – in this case literally, because the band utilizes the confetti canon already during the first song of the set. Both on and off the stage people are partying. Sensually hips are being shook, exuberantly people are jumping into the air and butts are shaken excessively, with the audience following the suggestions of the band members. La Pegatina consists out of born entertainers, so much is clear. All members play full of energy, passion and verve. The sounds of the accordion – of which the player is wearing a Scottish quilt, for reasons still unknown – acoustic guitar, double percussion, trumpet, bass and vocals melt together into one well-oiled machine. The partying public would not care the slightest, but the songs knew little to no variety, which caused everything to blur together into one happy hodgepodge. A very tasty one at that.
Tom Odell is secretly a rockstar
Around dinner time the seagulls are hungrily circling over the crowded festival grounds, looking for a little snack before Tom Odell climbs the main stage. “What can I expect from the atmosphere in Zeeland?” asked the young Brit backstage of the stage presenter, who answered: “Only love”. And there’s love in abundance during Tom Odell’s set at Concert at SEA: the singer-songwriter’s love for music, and the love the impressive amount of female fans feel for Tom. The young Brit is sitting behind his shiny black piano, surrounded by the three members of his band, where his fingers fly over the marble keys. The sound is full; of romance, passion and self-confidence. His voice sounds impressive, while he sings about broken hearts, growing old together and hanging around with the ‘wrong crowd’. During Concert at SEA the crowd is behaving perfectly, filled with ladies falling head over heels in love with Tom. And if you weren’t in love with him just yet, you definitely are after his performance at the festival. Tom stands up from behind his safe piano seat quite often and skulks the stage nonchalantly, dangerously leaning over the edge of the stage, while the ladies lovingly reach for the singer-songwriter. But Tom does not succumb – he is on a mission, after all, to bewitch the audience. With his beautiful vocals, complex compositions and elegant melodies that mission is successfully completed. During Wrong Crowd, for example, Tom climbs off the stage and onto the front barriers, where the ladies are already waiting for him. He might play sensitive songs and sings romantic lyrics – secretly, Tom Odell is a rockstar.
RONDÉ’s performance at CAS: nothing but a routine job?
The youngsters that aren’t busy worshiping Tom Odell, is right here waiting for RONDÉ on the Umoja stage. After two years the young band has returned to the Brouwersdam, where they play with a debut album, three 3FM mega hits and a healthy dose of confidence. This year the crowd was already fuller, as the front-woman of the band duly notes, upon which the audience responds: “Even fully next year!”. Front-woman Rikki looks over the full square with a content look upon her face; she shines and wins the audience easily. Where the songstress goes, follow the many many eyes of the audience. She glides over the stage, turning around with her long leather coat as a magical cape. Fiery and knowledgeable Rikki bedazzles the audience, while the rest of the band makes a nearly bored impression, as if they’re just doing a routine job. It is a shame, because RONDÉ surely has the potential to play the main stage during upcoming editions of the festival, with hit songs such as Why Do You Care, Run and Naturally.
Doe Maar: dancing at a delicate age
The dust has been swept, the sound has been rediscovered and the time-machine has been turned back: Doe Maar takes on the main stage on the first festival day of Concert at SEA. The men enjoy themselves immensely and crack jokes considering their rather delicate age. “You never know,” begins bass player and singer Henny Vrienten, “but should anything happen, I don’t worry, because the night nurse is waiting backstage”. The familiar hits are almost dutifully sung along by the audience, while the younger members look just a tiny bit lost. With the colorful LED-screens on the background, the gentlemen try to modernize their festival performance. In the end, the burning question remains, is Doe Maar just another example of faded glory?
Kensington: success formula of routine-rockers has faded
It’s time for the first headliner of the festival: hitmachine Kensington. Fans were standing against the front barriers since the very beginning of the day, patiently waiting until the moment the four men climbed the Zeeland stage. And they do so completely in style, with a lot of fog- and lighting effects, and the electronics-based song Regret. The mysterious-looking frontman Eloi Youssef enters the stage last, after which he skulks the stage in a manner more resembling rappers than rockstars. But sooner rather then later the electronics are replaced by the familiar guitars, the flame throwers are ignited and the confetti canons shot; this is the Kensington we all know too well. The gentlemen use the exact same formula – consisting out of an overdose of special effects, tightly played stadion rock and countless sing-along moments. To remain in the rapper manners, the advice for the gents of Kensington would be to watch the throne, because any day now the success formula will lose its magic and these routine rockers will surely be dethroned.
This article was originally written for and published on 3VOOR12 Zeeland.