Nervous excitement for Kensington before megashow in Johan Cruijff Arena.
translation from an article that appeared in Dutch newspaper Het Parool
Come Saturday Kensington will play for 50.000 people in a sold out Johan Cruijff Arena. One of the biggest shows ever in Dutch pop history. Singer Eloi Youssef (31) is having trouble sleeping because of it. ‘I dreamt I lost my microphone.’
A Dutch Rockband that is able to fill the Johan Cruijff Arena – only Kane has done that before (in 2003, in a smaller setting). How does that feel?
Most of all I’m really proud. On us as a band and on Rock music. It’s great that a rock band can still excite this many people in a time in which hiphop and dance are the most popular genres.
Rock used to be mainstream. Now we, together with Di-Rect and De Staat, have almost become dinosaurs. But, Rock is still alive, that much is clear.
How nervous are you?
Since this week I am starting to feel some tension. I feel restless, I’m not sleeping well and I have weird dreams. Last night I dreamt I was in the Arena. I walked from the stage in the back of the venue to the main stage. When I got there I noticed I had left my microphone behind.
I felt panic rise. I had similar dreams before our first Pinkpop show. Apparently I am preoccupied with it. And that Pinkpop show went really well, by the way.
When the idea arose to do a show in the Arena, you went to see the Rolling Stones and U2 with the whole band. Was that to gather ideas for your own show?
Yes we had a good look around. Our sound engineer came along as well. An arena show requires a different approach as a show in the Ziggo Dome. That venue was built for live music, is easy to control acoustically. In the Arena it can be tough to get the sound right.
That’s why we have paid extra attention to technical stuff at the Rolling Stones and U2 shows. The Stones had a much better sound then U2. That was because the loudspeakers were in a different location, so we saw from the stands. And another important lesson: don’t all speak at once on the podium, because nobody will understand what you are saying.
Last month there were lots of complaints about the sound in the Arena after the Ed Sheeran show. You use a lot of sound effects. How will you prevent the stadium from becoming and echo chamber.
Our advantage when compared to international top artists is that they have to use the same setting for every stadium they play in. We can adapt ours to the circumstances, we have discussed this to great lengths with the Arena’s sound engineers.
Of course, we sometimes use amplified bass- or guitar sounds and reverb. We toned that down a bit now. The Arena already provides those effects for us.
You played the Ziggo Dome ten times. Canyou go even bigger after the Arena?
I don’t see a career as a road to something bigger. We don’t have to play stadiums every time now. It would be great to do smaller shows again after this. A more intimate setting.
We haven’t decided on our next steps yet. After this show writing new material will be priority number one.