Live | Glenn Hughes – Openluchttheater Valkenburg [NL]

17 May 2024

There are those days….. Those days you look forward to for months. In this case it was one I was really looking forward to. Not because I am a huge Glenn Hughes fan, but because I can appreciate him as a singer/bassist/musician. Add the fact that he is coming to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the legendary Deep Purple album ‘Burn’ and the very special location, the math was easy and I knew I wanted to be a part of this special event. Even months in advance of the event.


And then the day itself came and there was nothing but rain, rain and more rain. Nothing more of the lovely weather of the days before. Not really a nice prospect for an outdoor theater event. Fortunately, the municipality of Valkenburg decided in the afternoon that the concert could go on and apart from a single shower during the first two / three songs, it stayed dry.


Glenn Hughes

For people who cannot imagine Openluchttheater Valkenburg: The Open Air Theater in Valkenburg is the oldest -and according to many also the most beautiful- open air theater of the Netherlands. On the flanks of the famous Cauberg [a hill]. About 1.000 visitors enjoy the performances on stage under the canopy as well as the idyllic green-yellow setting of the trees and the marl wall. Truly an extraordinary theater. And thus a unique setting to see a legendary artist like Glenn Hughes at work. The concert was sold out, and despite the weather, only a few seats were unoccupied.

8 SONGS!?!

When the first notes sounded, loud cheers could be heard from the audience who were clearly looking forward to it. The sound was good and the light show added to the special atmosphere. A small glance at the set list made me suspect the worst. 8 songs!!!? Fortunately, that turned out to be not so bad, as it turned out to be old-fashioned XL performances of ,,Mistreated’’, ,,Stormbringer’’, ,,You Fool No One’’, ,,You Keep On Movin’’’, among others. Sometimes with a playing time of almost 30 minutes. In that respect it was an old-fashioned 70s gig, with a high jam content.


Ash Sheehan

Then you are likely to get bored, but that was certainly not the case in Valkenburg. On keyboards/hammond, Glenn had brought along Rotterdam-based fellow Dutchman Bob Fritzema. Guitarist Soren Andersen provided the guitar fireworks and drummer Ash Sheehan is simply an artist of the highest caliber. Normally when there is a drum solo during a concert, I am tempted to get a drink, but in this case, he managed to keep me on my toes for the entire duration of the solo. And so you see, not every drummer needs a 40-piece drum kit to give away a show. What a giant.

Bob Fritzema


Not to mention, of course, the host of the evening. Mr. Glenn Hughes. I can be brief about that, he seemed to have had a great time in Valkenburg, because looked like he was playing these songs for the first time. What is most remarkable, however, is that after all these years he still knows how to hit all those high notes, with a strength and power of which many a singer would hope to have even 50% of his talent. Bear in mind that this man is also nearing the respectable age of 73.

Soren Andersen

The closing song for this fine gig was of course ,,Burn’’, which was also put down in a great performance.

I have seen Glenn Hughes many times over the years, and sometimes left his gigs with mixed feelings, but in Valkenburg Mr. Glenn Hughes managed to convince me 100% of his craftsmanship and the band he had with him of course also played a big part in that.

People I talked to after the gig actually all agreed, this was a top gig at an insanely beautiful and unique venue!!

All photos by Raymond Helebrand



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