Youp and De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig
On Wednesday evening I was in Haarlem, to watch the tryout of comedian Youp van‘t Hek’s New Year show, this time with the theatre set. Arriving in Haarlem was no easy task. Traffic jams, a wrong address and other hassles ruined any chance of me fulfilling my intention of discussing with the Hekwerk team what they thought I should pay attention to during the show. The show, which I was now watching for the third time, was as always slightly different, but more than anything it was much better, and thanks to the lighting technician the set now already offered the most spectacular images and panoramas that we can play around with to our hearts’ content in the coming weeks.
A couple of days later, on Friday, I went to a concert by a Dutch band called De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig (Today’s Youth), which makes great music, but especially excels in good lyrics. We had to be there at half past eight. Saint Nicholas had given me two tickets to go and see the concert with Lieve (my eldest daughter), although she really wasn’t too keen on going to a hip-hop concert with her father. However, she was prepared to join us if I went with my friend Edwin and his two sons, because then I could amuse myself at the other side of the hall from her. And so we arrived there at twenty past eight, Lieve arrived exactly on time at twenty-five to nine. De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig started their gig exactly on time too, at eleven o’clock, following a lengthy support act involving a couple of deejays, a Lurex-clad woman dancing, and a band consisting of one man and a laptop, none of which seemed to afford anyone any pleasure at all. We were sitting around philosophising on the need for and choice of such a dreadfully long and in no way exciting support act, and came to the conclusion that the rent for the venue was probably so expensive, that it was necessary to earn it back on the sales of beer and other drinks. Even before De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig began, I was ready to leave, but I forced myself to stay, affording myself the dubious pleasure of the start of the concert. My mood, already severely tested, dive-bombed within the first few notes to an all-time low, deep in the red, to use a financial term. No effort had been made to facilitate the slightest difference between one tone and the other. Neither the lyrics, otherwise well worth listening to, nor the music, also not without its merit, could be heard or understood. Apparently, the organisers had also managed to find a cheap sound system somewhere.
Lieve and the boys had a really nice evening, so my opinion is just that. My continuing efforts, almost daily, to forbid the listening to music on mobile phones and iPods (without earphones) anywhere in my vicinity have increased in significance or perception; today’s youth does love music, but once heard, apparently recognition is enough, and the imagination does the rest.
It made me think briefly of Anne, Youp’s sound technician, who can get really depressed if even one word in a whole show has been less than audible, or missed altogether. Is that an old-fashioned sense of quality soon to disappear forever, or is it all a coincidence, and is De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig indeed usually comprehensible?
What actually bugs me most is that I was so grumpy that I went home early and left Edwin behind in that racket. Some friend I am!
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