An unexpected visit to the Netherlands gave us the opportunity to see the incredible talent Joel Hoekstra & Brandon Gibbs give it their all on some acoustic guitars. It was a great night filled with stories, and awesome tunes.
Italian Marco Pastorino opened tonight’s acoustic adventures. The singer and guitarist of the power metal band Temperance brought a calmer approach with this show. Playing songs from Temperance and Fallen Sanctuary, it was great to hear this approach.
Pastorino has a great voice and was very entertaining to watch. I liked his songs, with a special shoutout to Diamanti that sounded awesome. Definitely have to check out his bands’ music in the future.
THE SPIDER ACCOMPLICE
LA based rock duo The Spider Accomplice followed the set of Marco. Guitarist Arno Nurmisto and singer VK Lynne bring an interesting show that has a nice twist with songs. I really enjoyed it when their song Find Me went into Remember You from Skid Row.
They brought a great amount of energy, and it seemed some of the crowd were well aware of their songs, as I heard some singing around me. It wasn’t fully my cup of tea, but it was a great watch and listen.
HOEKSTRA & GIBBS
Joel Hoekstra is a recognizable figure on this blog, having been featured in an interview a few years ago. His consistent standout performances with Whitesnake have been a notable highlight. While Brandon Gibbs is making his inaugural appearance here, you may already know him from his contributions to Devil City Angels and Poison. Collaborating under the moniker Hoekstra & Gibbs, they present acoustic shows encompassing hits from their respective bands, solo material, and select covers.
The performance in Leusden tonight was in keeping with their usual standard. Both musicians brought their best, delivering an engaging show filled with stories and beloved tunes. Although Joel Hoekstra occasionally seemed contemplative, Brandon Gibbs animated the stage with infectious energy, providing a visually captivating experience. Despite the intimate audience, the applause and singing reverberated, creating a lively atmosphere that fuelled the energy of both musicians.
The 13-song set list kicked off with two tracks from Gibbs’ Devil City Angels project. Both No Angels and Boneyard resonated well in this intimate acoustic setting. Brandon Gibbs showcased surprising stage presence, exhibiting great vocals and charisma. A nod to Poison came with Every Rose Has Its Thorn, accompanied by a delightful backstory. Joel paid homage to his current main band, Whitesnake, with a heartfelt rendition of Love Ain’t No Stranger.
What stood out to me about this performance was its intimate setting – we were seated within 2 meters of the duo. During Gibbs’ acoustic solo, which included a snippet of Kashmir, the singer-songwriter got even closer, interacting with the crowd.
The initial part of the show focused more on Brandon’s repertoire, featuring tracks like This Town. However, for fans of Joel, the second part showcased his songs, kicking off with the powerful Hard to Say Goodbye. Personally, I was thrilled to hear this song live for the first time. A highlight was a cover of The Doors’ Love Me Two Times, with Joel delivering the lyrics. It added a fun twist to the set list.
Joel’s solo was reminiscent of a full electric Whitesnake show. Impressive and visually striking, complete with his signature style and hair flipping. Experiencing his playing up close in such an intimate venue was a treat. Is This Love brought a soothing interlude after the electrifying solo. More from Joel Hoekstra’s 13 followed, including Until I Left You. The performance concluded with Something to Believe In (Poison) and the iconic Here I Go Again. For the finale, Gibbs & Hoekstra were joined by Marco Pastorino and The Spyder Accomplice.
Hoekstra & Gibbs delivered a remarkable and intimate show that was a joy to both see and hear. Following the performance, the duo headed to the merch stand, where they graciously took pictures with fans and signed CDs. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and it was a pleasure to meet both of them.