Review: De Dijk’s last dance in Ziggo Dome (concert)

‘The last chance to see De Dijk’, that is how the first Ziggo Dome show wasannounced. Then another mega concert went on sale. And another one. Andanother one. And this is how we will be at the fifth goodbye show of Huub vander Lubbe and his on Monday hot rocking unit (according to Solomon Burke).With more than three thousand performances over 41 years, everyone has had thechance to see this band play – from brown bar to barn to pop temple – but thislast time is extra special, we want to be there. Or in De Dijk jargon: ‘Dear,put on something nice!’

Photography Mick de Jong

‘I don’t want to become an annual outing,’ Huub van der Lubbe explained hischoice to stop in de Volkskrant. An understandable reason, but let’s behonest: the band had been on that annual outing for at least fifteen years. Afixed value on the concert agenda for visitors, bookers and last but not leastfor the bar turnover of the pop venues (everyone drinks beer in the café, butcertainly also at a concert by De Dijk). That the public has always continuedto rejuvenate is apparent on Monday evening in Ziggo Dome: every father hasbrought his daughter and every mother her son. Nevertheless, the atmosphere isdetermined by the elderly who are eagerly filming the back of the person infront of them – with flash. It’s been nice, you think.

The most fit boomer in this concert hall is without doubt Huub van der Lubbe(69) himself. And what a pleasure it is to see him again with all his typicaltraits. Those cranky motor skills, the tense neck muscles, the raised handsand crazy convulsions with every stress: a wooden soul man on track. “Goodto have you all here,” he says repeatedly. ‘Unbelievable, five times the ZiggoDome…’ And he knows that there will be a big (already sold out before corona)club tour, in which he will have to say goodbye to a new crowd every night.Cry a little every night. To die every night – just for a moment. Thatrealization can be read on his face, mixed with the will to flame one moretime.

And that’s what the band does in Amsterdam, with a blistering Het Beste Vanshow. Make it happen tonight , Enter without knocking , If she is notthere , Nobody in town … how many bands can put together such a series ofNederpop classics in the first half hour of their 2.5 hour set? Carelesslyalmost. All songs that are full of the fine, catchy phrases and wisdom withwhich Van der Lubbe has enriched Dutch culture over the past four decades.”Although it always comes down to love,” he confesses. Just look at the setlist: What a woman can ‘t do. Big heart. Hold me. I can not do italone... De Dijk’s oeuvre is one long plea for love and affection. “Love,love, as long as you love each other.”

That saying goodbye also means looking back is apparent from the countlessmemories that Van der Lubbe recalls during the evening. Sometimes subtly, forexample by wearing a shirt of their deceased ‘youth hero and friend’ SolomonBurke under his shirt, sometimes also in the form of an extensive anecdote.For example, about De Dijk’s first single, which was released exactly fortyyears ago and mercilessly flopped despite the sky-high expectations. ‘No. 30in the Tipparade’, the singer remembers. ‘And when you hear it now, youunderstand why…’, after which his band Bleeding Heart effort. Precisely inthis cracker, the singer seems to have lost his lyrics. ‘You know the lyrics alot better than I do’, he grins afterwards.

The band swings and jokes effortlessly through its goodbye moment. The pain ofsaying goodbye – and the fact that the rest of the band would have liked tocontinue – can be read between the lines and you can see it in the symbolismwith which the evening is built. from opener Good to see you again (‘Whathappens next, I can’t count on it’) to Don ‘t let it be over (‘What you’velost, you’ll never forget’). And of course in closing Can the lights beturned off , which is definitively enough. ‘Enough seen today’, concludes Vander Lubbe before the lights go out. Pop! Lights out, end of show. ‘I’m notgood for anything’, he sighed two songs ago. Looking back on 41 years of DeDijk, that is not so bad.