De Mens will not be thrown off balance in Lotto Arena due to sound problems

Could it have been the hall? Royal Blood also had technical problems earlier this week. The Lotto Arena may not have been the right choice for De Mens. The top ring remained closed on Saturday and the stage was moved forward in the hall. A good, overcrowded AB would have been better chosen for this anniversary, you heard many people think.

Especially when the sound also failed. “Does it still not sound good?” asked Frank Vanderlinden after ‘Somewhere Along The Way’, the beautiful duet that Portland performed with De Mens (after their ‘The Best Of’ passage). “Sounds like it’s an old cell phone, you say?” You saw Vanderlinden frown, shrug and hope for the best. The sound balance was sometimes completely lost. Then the singer’s voice was barely audible, then again David Poltrock’s keys sounded so bombastic that you thought you were watching Front 242.


Statue Tine Schoemaker

But De Mens refused to perish. Not here, not now. And neither did the band. With a few intermediate steps: ‘Jeroen Brouwers (writes a book)’ and ‘Kim is dood’, the frontman performed solo, accompanied only by keys. He had already opened the evening on his own. From the highest scaffold, Vanderlinden delivered ‘This is my house’ acoustically and with full dedication. Like a bold statement. Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

Local butcher

The number 30 was highlighted as a decor. Large, printed in gilt letters and with a laurel wreath around. As you can see in the shop window of the local butcher, when he is allowed to show off services rendered. De Mens has been supplying fine meats for three decades, packaged in tight pop and rock songs with accurate lyrics. It was the fans who were allowed to put together the set. ‘Sheryl Crow I Need You So’ was released early, ‘Sex Changes Everything’ got a throbbing bassline and ‘End of the Century’ flashed as fast as the strobes. ‘Under the Sun’ was dedicated to their daughters by the band. In addition to hidden gems such as ‘Angst’ (a text by Herman Brusselmans) and ‘Loud music in small cars’, three songs from the new album brothers brought. ‘Where is the love’ and ‘Brother’ already seem to be an integral part of De Mens’ repertoire.

‘As if we were important’ was about friendship. Talking about each other again without scruples. The perfect moment to get Ruben Block on stage for ‘Kamer in Amsterdam’. Block raged across the stage like a madman and concluded ‘Without Desire’ with a whirling solo. You could see the band enjoying themselves even more than the audience. Vanderlinden made the gesture that he wanted to step off the stage after this devilish duet. Certainly when the sound problems cropped up more and more often, you couldn’t blame him for that.

The Human, Lotto Arena Statue Tine Schoemaker

Man, Lotto ArenaStatue Tine Schoemaker

Great Gate

It was switching. Vanderlinden tried to laugh at himself. “You’re only here for the visuals, aren’t you”, he winked after ‘Four chords’. On ‘Laughing and Being Beautiful’, the band single-handedly pulled the audience out of the trenches. Almost the entire hall clapped rhythmically. Michel De Coster kept pumping with his bass guitar. The masses then decided: if these are the circumstances, we will make the best of it together.

It was a final through the Great Gate. No circulation plan was required for ‘En in Ghent’. Vanderlinden and De Coster started playing nose to nose, grinning like two teenagers. On ‘Monday’ the singer started a round dance, while the bassist pulled a disco tune. Standing still was not an option. Man wanted more. It made the entire Lotto Arena crouch and jump up again. They are familiar games, but they worked. The final chords were played so quickly that De Mens briefly overtook The Ramones.

The Human, Lotto Arena Statue Tine Schoemaker

Man, Lotto ArenaStatue Tine Schoemaker

Siren Irene

The hall was shrouded in darkness, but the enthusiasm of the fans soon took over. While the band was briefly off stage, the Lotto Arena started the chorus of ‘Irene’ in one voice. And how good that sounded. Better than the group because of the loudspeakers. The bisronde turned out to be a moment to remember.

After their anthem, ‘This is my house’ was resumed. But then as a group, rocking tight and solid. To end with ‘Somewhere along the way’, where Ruben Block and Portland came to sing along one last time. There, too, the sound suddenly shot three stripes higher, only to fall away just as quickly. incomprehensible. But De Mens and his audience were nevertheless unstoppable. That deserved a laurel wreath.

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