Ron Thal aka Bumblefoot, perhaps the most skilled guitar player I have crossed paths with. Together with perhaps one of finest drummers from the Netherlands they delivered prog rock fans some already great tunes. The CD’s Abnormal and Normal still get loads of airplay at my home, car, bathroom…. Even when I shit it’s good 😛
Of course people also know Ron from that other band with which he invades the whole world. When you are as skilled as Ron, you will get noticed by the big guys. That’s what happened. Since 2006 he is hitting the stage with major act Guns N’ Roses! Where most people would walk beside their shoes… Well, Ron stayed down to earth and besides being the most skilled guitar player, he is a genuinely warm and down to earth person.
No wonder my heart skipped a beat when I heard that Ron will be playing in the Netherlands. And even a bigger skip when I noticed it ain’t with Guns N’ Roses. No, he is finally coming solo again and as a cherry on this big fucking cake … Dennis Leeflang will be on drums with him.
Arriving early of course, at the Duycker Hoofddorp. Good to see loads of familiar faces. It gives me a sort of a family reunion feeling. The band is still traveling, but no worries; there are two openers tonight, so we won’t have to get bored!
The first opener is a young Dutch band called Schizoid Lloyd. One thing I can say about them is that they deserve a compliment for the spirit and enthusiasm with which they hit the stage. There’s clearly some talent in the band. But things need to get a little better. Songs could use a little more structure and the vocals might need to be a little more warmed up.
I know Prog means room for experimentation, but this was a little too much for me. The audience ain’t really into them. With some more practice and experience these guys will do fine. I have to be honest. Tonight it ain’t a really good show.
Seventh Veil from Italy are a little further progressed in their career. Their musicianship is tight as hell. They bring us some fine glam rock tunes! Nothing that special and perhaps they need some more of an own identity in their songs. But damn, they can play and the ladies up front seemed to enjoy the looks of these Italian Studs.
Ron “ Bumblefoot” Thal Vocal-Guitar
Dennis Leeflang – Drums
Simone Massimi Bass
Nazarene Zacconi Guitar
Ron gives us nothing less than we can expect from him. The axe warrior is humble, full of jokes and of course does mind-blowing guitar playing. Before I go raving about all the crazy stuff that happened tonight, I need to give a big thumbs up to the rest of the band as well. As a proud Dutchman, it is nice to see Dennis Leeflang be in his element tonight. What a maniacal drummer is this guy. With so much schwung he plays the drums. It really shows that Ron and Dennis have a long history together. It’s like bacon and eggs. Without each other it tastes fine.. But together it’s waaaaaaaaaaay better. With his drumming he brings the songs to an even higher level.
Back to Ron. Well what is there to rave about? Well fucking hell, what ain’t! Take for example the song “Guitar Sucks”. It ain’t an easy song to play. But he plays it with so much passion and so spot on. With all the shredding, tapping and stellar difficult notes you might expect some minor flaws in his playing. Well, that’s what so special about Ron. Even when he takes time to sign something while playing, he won’t even miss a note. Wow … Even when he decides to run off the stage there is no loss in his playing. He decides to take a walk throughout the venue. While playing like a madman, the crowd goes insane! I loved how he ended up on top of the balcony. Spot on and brings on a hell of a solo. The band is still playing on stage, but I love it how they are also enjoying the mad stuff Ron is doing tonight.
Video made by Kris Claerhout
Like I said before about how Ron is a warm and down to earth person, It shows when during the concert he decides to bring a young dude on stage from the audience, to let him sing along. He was about to start “Don’t Cry” when he remembered he promised the dude to sing along. So with no problem at all, he gets him on stage and lets him sing. The dude really showed some stage skills. He loves the Axl moves, that’s for sure. With only three songs of Guns N’ Roses in his set Ron does not milk out his playing with them. The great setlist shows he’s got enough material of his own to give the audience a night they won’t forget. Like always with Bumblefoot, this was a night I will never forget! DANK JE !
Text and Photography by Ronald van de Baan
More pics soon on the site!