Finally, Eloi, Caspar, Jan and Niels positioned themselves on the stage. Caspar let the guitar roar, the intro started. The square construction rose slowly into the air, the bright lights blinking and flickering. In a rough, slightly scratchy voice, Eloi began “All Before You”. They continued with “Rely on”. Every time it gets under your skin when Eloi sings insistently “… but I’ve got to rely on you …”
Latest at the third song Niels shirt disappeared as usual. With his well-trained, bare chest, he sat behind his drums and energetically pushed “Do I Ever”, one of my favorite songs, while the pyros shot up.
The stage was huge. The LED wall in the background seemed even much bigger. The graphics and pictures on it as well as the whole light and pyro show during the concert were totally impressive. Again and again they astonished you.
While Kensington played their setlist song after song, occasionally animating and challenging the audience to sing along, I was totally happy to be there. But somehow I soon had the feeling that I was missing something.
Trip to the Netherlands
I don’t know, whether you know the Dutch indie rock band Kensington. I first saw them at Gurtenfestival in 2014 and was immediately impressed. But here in Switzerland they are still playing smaller shows like at Dynamo Zurich or Bierhübeli Bern. They even shared the concert evenings in a double concert with the Bernese band Yokko.
However, they are really big at home in the Netherlands and have already sold out the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam three times in 2016. Well, if you ask the Dutch about the band, surprisingly not everyone seems to know them. But the numbers speak for themselves. Because in 2017 they broke this record and sold within a very short time 54’000 tickets. So they filled the Amsterdam Arena even on five evenings. My Dutch (pen) friend got us tickets for Friday night – a full year in advance.
Red velvet cake in Amsterdam
But anticipation is known to be the greatest pleasure. I spent 4 days in the Netherlands, especially in Rotterdam. I love to combine my concert trips abroad with short breaks. Of course it’s worth twice then. So I spent a lot of time in Rotterdam, where I also met other friends, had delicious food (such as at Jamie’s Italian) and went shopping. A small photo shoot at the especially for Instagrammer colorfully painted Samsung Pink Wall was also in.
The afternoon of the concert was spent in Amsterdam. We actually wanted to have lunch at the Blond Amsterdam Cafe, but after 2.30pm, it was just too late. There was “only” cake left. Yes, we just could not resist the delicious red velvet cake.
Looks great, right? It also tasted absolutely fantastic! I can totally recommend the small, sweet cafe. Then there was some sightseeing at Museums District before going to the arena.
There were not that many people around 30 minutes before the doors were opened. I was a bit scared of the safety check, because in the last few months safety has been increased everywhere and it is sometimes difficult to know where what was allowed and where not. But honestly, that was called control? The entrance was already divided into various sectors and the control was made so fast. We were inside the arena in no time. We were finally in the 7th to 10th row. Suited great!
But hey, 17’000 people fit in there? More than into the Hallenstadion Zurich? Yes, when I google, I am told that the Ziggo Dome has a capacity of 17,000 viewers. More than the Hallenstadion in Zurich. Just, this arena somehow looked so much smaller than the Hallenstadion. Haha. Well, if you divide the 54’000 sold tickets into the 5 evenings, that would be just under 11’000 per evening. About the amount they let inside in Zurich. It seemed still smaller.
When you got into the entrance hall, the whole place looked somehow like at a cinema. The red carpet, the food stalls. The fries smelled delicious. But this particular token system put me off buying some.
Support of the evening: The Brahms
There was a different support act every night. This time it was The Brahms, a five-member indie band from Utrecht. So I’ve got the right evening. They stood sideways on a smaller stage, which later expanded at Kensington to the huge main stage.
I loved the Brahms. Above all frontman David Westmeijer, who knew how to take and entertain the audience well with an energy and simultaneously ease. Other support acts have certainly had more trouble.
So far, the band has released two EPs. The debut album is still pending.
Kensington at Ziggo Dome
The setlist consisted next to the songs like “Fiji”, “Done with it”, “Riddles” or “Do not Walk Away” from their four albums, also from the Armin van Burren cover “Heading Up High”. Sometimes the songs were rocking, catchy and danceable. Then they were more romantic and touching again. For example, when the arena was turned into a sea of lights at “Little Lights” or Caspar sat down at the piano for “Sorry”. Definitely two highlights of the evening.
- All Before You
- Rely On
- Do I ever
- Send Me Away
- Done With It
- Don’t Walk Away
- Little Light
- Words You Don’t Know
- We Are The Young
- Heading Up High (Armin van Burren Cover)
- Let Go
- Home Againencore:
- All For Nothing
- St. Helena
In the end, the band once again turned up with their hits “All For Nothing” and “Streets”, before the concert ended with “St. Helena”.
As exciting and cool all the fountains and wallpapers, graphics and lights were, as much as I loved to see the band live, the tingling and excitement was not that pronounced at some point. The connection was missing somehow and it just didn’t seem to thrill me like it had done at shows before – the small shows here in Switzerland. The fact that I didn’t understand most of what was said to the audience due to my lack of language skills, certainly didn’t help either. But that had been predictable.
So far, I had experienced the Dutch fans (outside the Netherlands) differently at concerts. Much more energetic, lively and some even pretty funky. It felt more like being at Hallenstadion in Switzerland, when the audience again doesn’t really get going.
So the front rows were great. They were fully involved, participated and practically sung their lungs out. But otherwise one would hardly have thought that so much audience was there. But even my friend, who has been to Ziggo Dome several times, had never seen such a bad audience. The days before were allegedly not necessarily better. So it wasn’t just me.
Small locations preferred
It was a nice concert and great to see the band in their home country. But in the end there was more of a certain, disappointing feeling. My expectations had probably been too high. So abroad, it is not necessarily automatically better 😉 So I’m looking forward to the small Swiss concerts again and hope not to wait too long.
Information about the bands can be found here: