[concert reports]


» bielefeld – 2001-10-12
» hamburg – 2001-10-13
» köln – 2001-10-14
» berlin – 2001-10-15
» hannover – 2001-10-16

the morning after stickstock. hung over & grey faces everywhere. everybody seems to be exhausted & tired. not me. i start to come to life

to hear live music of one of your favourite bands EVERY NIGHT is so direct, immediate; the songs burn themselves into your brain & parts of them just spring to your mind. "neverland" is one of those songs that was always present, "landslide" & "my best friend" as well. also, seeing the same kind of show over & over again you start to understand better. just like an album that has to be listened to multiple times to be understood you can understand a concert much much better when you see it several times.

i am in my very own element! :)

breakfast, check out, goodbye to anders & oystein & jürgen & me are off to köln in the car. :)

we lost two hours in the huge traffic jam near bremen that had kept jeannette, leslie & torsten from reaching köln but luckily we did make it to köln in time, thanks to jürgen's incredibly concentrated way of driving. :)

it's the first time i see the river rhine, i pay a visit to the dome & i am picked up by a buddy from the pearl jam mailing list at whose place i will spend the night & who will see MP as well. we go for a beer in the infamous underground ("the wheel"!) & then it's this feeling again that's almost better than sex: PRE-SHOW NERVOUSNESS.

"guten abend" snah shouts upon entering the stage. he sounds pumped. they open very relaxed with the instrumental, named "5/4" this time. surely a mood setter, a nice one, i dig it.

"since they [TSOOL] rock so good then we thought we do something else today. we'll just see what happens. alright? you guys are with us?" bent adresses us.

"YES!" i go inside. i was hoping for "something else"! the past two years i've seen motorpsycho doing pop & rock shows, i have seen mellow shows & mixed ones with a good portion of psychedelia but i did not get one of those EXTREMELY FAR OUT shows, one of those shows with the longest versions & the spaciest improvisations like darmstadt & pisa 2000 or holland 1999. the closest i came to those kinds of shows were berlin 1997 & dresden 1999. but i disgress. :)

"blindfolded" is next. a song i haven't heard yet on this tour & i suck it in; i just love snah's 'out-of-tune-in-tune' singing. ;)

the boring threesome of "phase out" / "nlyo" / "tof" is next. i start to worry. this is not exactly the setlist that leads up to a psychedelic show extraordinaire. "phase out" followed by "never let you out"? huh? bent, this isn't different!

during "the other fool" the exhaustion, the lack of sleep & the alcohol kick in & i stand there falling asleep for maybe two minutes.

the brutal intro of "superstooge" wakes me up & i am totally there again. i just love following the inside jam which took very adventurous paths recently. the jam is dominated by baard's distorted organ & soon it moves into "tristano" which i don't recognise at once. slowly the bass riff creeps into my brain & i realise it's my first "tristano" ever! i am stunned. the "superstristano" combination works very well. the way they increase the tempo is very hypnotic & climatic. this is clearly one of the songs that would not be possible without baard & i start to wonder whether it might be his brainchild...

from now on the setlist works very well. we get a quick "time to skate", which pleases the audience, before the sweet & intense couple "up down" / "unreal" is played. the versions presented tonight are much more intense than the ones i have heard either on CD or in concert; both gain a lot from the new sound: "up down" HAS TO BE played electric & "unreal" has a new guitar sound that finally does the album-version justice. :)

"watersound" is the bridge to a six-rock-song segue that just takes off! the incredible "drug thing" really shines with perfection,  p e r f e c t l y  followed by "like always" (i remember "like always" was originally part of "blissard" which makes sense tonight!) & the "into the sun" outro jam brings the house down!

wow! this was really really hard. everything was special: the sound, the lights, the venue, the audience (one of those non-talking, head-shaking ones).

the encore opens with "when you're dead". at least this is better than midset when it totally kills the momentum, so i do not suffer that much. ;-)

what came next was the musical centerpiece of 'my' "phanerothyme" tour. :)

a jam starts. very slowly. bent & baard play something. what is this? this sounds familiar! could it be the "the wheel"? snah joins in. no, this can't be "the wheel" unless they decide to totally rearrange it. but damn, if this bass riff doesn't sound like "the wheel"! they take their time. three minutes into the jam i still do not recognise it. i am reminded on early (spring 1997) "superstooge" versions. it has the same feeling. the jam grows louder & tighter. i stand there mouth open realising i am witnessing something HUGE & EXCEPTIONAL! i move closer to the stage. the audience listens with concentration.

after six minutes they jam their way into "my best friend" (OF COURSE!).

it was only this year that i fully understood this beautiful song & it was  t h e  song i wanted to hear especially after i had listened to the freaky version from rome the night before in the hotel. this is their new "K9" & it is a worthy replacement!

the middle part is very abstract. it's screeching, it's noisy, it's feedback, it's funky & electric, it's baard & IT IS SPOOKY! i am reminded on 1997 versions of "un chien d'espace". it's this kind of jam you don't want to hear alone in the dark. the lights underline this effect: blue-ish stripes everywhere, very dark, very subtle.

after six minutes it gets very quiet & both, snah & bent, kneel down & play with their amps (the effect of watching fireside the other night?).

bent gets up & leads the band into a very hard & upbeat, guitar-dominated jam that still has that dark feeling to it. awesome. the perfect counterpart to the light-hearted & sweet third verse that closes this 25 min suite of improvisation.

this wasn't the last "best friend" i saw this tour but it surely was the most drastically altered & spaced out one. :)

the second encore brings us "taifun" which never ever fails to impress with its incredible build up.

that's it. show is over & i am happy beyond expression. this show was very different from the night before & it can surely be regarded as the highlight of the german tour. :)

in fact, it was the best MP show i've seen since dresden 1999. i am just constantly surprised about the many sides of MP. :)

i was happy & in heaven. what a pity the next stop of the tour would be berlin, with all my hometown-troubles etc.

at this point i would have followed the band EVERYWHERE! :)

bielefeld | hamburg | berlin | hannover