[concert reports]


» bielefeld – 2001-10-12
» hamburg – 2001-10-13
» köln – 2001-10-14
» berlin – 2001-10-15
» hannover – 2001-10-16
this was the first tour i saw more than three shows, six shows that is. it was so worth it. i was already hungry for more the second it was over...

the last leg of the tour, the german dates, happened to take place just in time with a somewhat difficult time i had. being unhappily in love i needed every distraction i could get. i cannot think of a better way to get some fresh air & distraction than meeting some great people & listening to some fantastic shows. music's still the best narcotic! :)

things were packed quickly, some arrangements for tix, youth hostels & rides were made easily & off i went. bus ride to bielefeld, some walking around in the ugly-ass city of bielefeld until i finally headed for the venue. i am the first fan to arrive. snah walks by saying hi. wow, he was shaved, he was smiling, he was *NOT THICKER* & yes, he looked healthy. :)

slowly others start to arrive: jan & kai, jürgen.

up to this point i was literally glued to my damned mobile phone (CALL ME! DON'T CALL ME! FUCK IT!) when all of a sudden it's soundcheck time & i started forgetting about it.

wow, this really rocked. apparently they must have been listening to some who tunes in the bus. the soundcheck consisted of who songs & many little riffs & ditties that hinted to the who. the songs performed did actually sound a little bit like the who, with bent trying things on the bass i haven't heard him doing before.

here is the complete soundcheck setlist:
01) shaking all over (2x)
02) summertime blues
03) heaven & hell
04) nlyo (chorus, a capella)
05) when you're dead (partial)
06) pinball wizard (riffs)
07) tommy can you hear me (chorus by bent)
08) as we go along (partial)
09) snafu
10) pppp (first verse)
11) tof (partial)

between soundcheck & showtime i meet anders, oystein & pal. we check in the youth hostel, return to the forum & the pre-show buzz, this sweetest of feelings, kicks in.

i find myself a place right in the middle of the crowd. halfway between soundboard & stage, dead center. i found out this is the best position for me to enjoy a MP concert. i need to drown inbetween this anonymous crowd of people. since i have my eyes closed most of the time anyway i don't need to see very well.

they launch the show with a focused version of the new instrumental, called "enger" this time. "this last song is dedicated to the old forum enger" bent says. the crowd cheers in appreciation. what a nice gesture: they show the audience they know the local history of clubs, they know where they are & they do care. this starts of nicely, i smile to myself. :)

next off "the nerve tattoo". despite the messed up beginning this is a nice opener followed by a rocking "neverland". the crowd is into it. just the kind of crowd i like: no heavy dancing, just slowly shaking their heads & paying attention.

the "superstooge" jam is clearly directed by snah. i can see him nodding to bent & baard while he plays some very abstract riffs. i stand there in awe: it is NEVER the same, unlike for example many of the 1998 "K9" jams. this time it slows down & we almost get a real drumsolo. they bring it back home & the crowd screams. the next jaw-dropping moment isn't far away: a "song for a bro" with FREAKING VOCALS by baard. he just goes apeshit. he sings the melody he plays in easy syllables like 'ba' & 'da' etc. he then proceeds to stand up, grab a tambourine & play some weird percussions. i can't help but thinking he looks a little like thom yorke with his new haircut & shaking the tambourine. ;)

"she used to be a twin" finds me loosing it. i stand there, sweat running down my face, mouthing the lyrics & being totally into it. this is relief. this is healing. THIS SONG! wow. that's what i needed. thanks guys, i can go home now. :)

a few more rocking tunes & rarities & it's the encore. this must be the most consistent thing on any setlist of the tour: all songs in the encore built up the same way, starting slow & growing to an incredible crescendo.

"sws III" was hypnotic with some special drums i hadn't noticed before, "unreal" finally SHINES with intensity with a BURNING solo, "stalemate" is gorgeous & "watersound" pleases the crowd.

a great show & i enjoyed myself very much. unlike in bremen i was mentally ready for them. the conditions were much better: my state of mind, my position, the crowd, the whole day. this is only the beginning i realized. :)

although the show worked very well i think they have reached a difficult point: how many styles can you cram into ONE SINGLE show without confusing the audience too much? hell, this show had new songs, one of them being a 10 min long jazzy instrumental, it had acoustic pop songs, bad-ass heavy-rock monsters, long improvisations & wonderful MP classics. everything within 135 min! it doesn't have to work, i am thinking. luckily it did tonight. but they are really walking a thin line there.

the night ended with lucky faces at the forum, my first contact to the wonderful italian crew & some beers & male talk until 4 am.

i fall a-sleep full of beer, MP & impressions of this long day. everything is fine by now. :)

hamburg | köln | berlin | hannover