concert summary

Concert summary 2013

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

2013 is almost over – time for the annual look back at the concerts of the year!

Let’s start with the numbers: 55 concerts in total, seven of these were summer festivals. There weren’t really a lot of bands I saw more than once or twice … only Itchy Poopzkid with two concerts and two festivals, I think, and die Ärzte with one concert and two festivals. Oh, and of course this weird Norwegian band that I saw a couple of times this year. =;-)

29 of these concerts were in Germany, the other 26 abroad. Which is a rather strange ratio, I know, but well, I’m a concert junkie. =;-) In addition to the concerts, I attended three WWE events, one musical, one ballet, and one TV award show.

The smallest concert of all was the Honningbarna concert in Stuttgart: There were ten, maybe fifteen people in the audience. It was great fun, even though I was a bit jetlagged and couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would have a week later. The biggest concert … hmm, not quite sure. Probably Rock’n’Heim festival or the Ärzte concert in Bietigheim-Bissingen. I guess both had an audience of about 20.000.

Die Ärzte … well, no, I guess it’s over. I tried to give them another chance in Bietigheim-Bissingen, but it just was no fun. If you’re at a concert and think that you could just as well be back home on your couch with a good book – there’s no need to be there. And I had a very similar feeling when they played at Taubertal festival and Rock’n’Heim a month later.

The festivals: Interestingly, the festivals that I enjoyed most were Trollrock in Norway and Rock’n’Heim. The first one was tiny but awesome – only a few bands every day, so no “overkill”, and great music, nice people, and good weather. The latter … well, I had expected to HATE it there. Big, new (and therefore unorganized), expensive, my last festival of the year. But I wasn’t “working” at the festival, thus not writing any report or taking photos, so I could just do whatever I wanted, and I really enjoyed it. Plus, it was far from sold out, which means the area wasn’t too crowded. So thumbs up!

Biggest band surprise? Hmm, hard to decide. I LOVED the concerts/festivals with Itchy Poopzkid and Madsen. A perfect mixture and two great bands on stage! Also, I greatly enjoyed the Fozzy concerts I got to see, and I’m looking forward to their next European tour. Beware, I’m coming after you! =;-) And my new discovery of the year is clearly Hoffmaestro – I saw them at some festivals and turned into a fan right away. Their album is just as awesome. The sad part is that they canceled their tour in fall, so I hope I can catch them next year!

And finally, there was … Kaizers Orchestra. 28 concerts this year – three at the opera in Oslo, one in London, one in New York, and finally seven in a row in Stavanger. If I want to list the “traditional” geographical statistics, it’s Kaizers only. Northern-most concert: Kaizers in Trondheim. Eastern-most concert: Kaizers in Vienna. Southern-most concert: Kaizers in Zurich. Western-most concert: Kaizers in New York City.

Yes – New York City. And London. Both in one year – within one month, actually. It’s crazy, but it was soooo worth it. The London trip: an awesome week together with great friends, and not only Kaizers, but also WWE and Fozzy. I can’t even pick the highlight of the week – Kaizers were just one of many highlights. New York City had been on my list of cities to visit for a long time. Still, when the concert was announced, I knew I wouldn’t go there. And at the same time I knew I would … and I did. And just like London, it was a great vacation, and the Kaizers concert (and afterparty) were just … surreal. But an experience that I will never forget. And NYC itself would have been worth the trip even without the concert, so it wasn’t fully crazy. =;-)

Not all Kaizers concerts were amazing this year – I’ve seen them soooo often by now that I know them way too well. What might seem like a great concert to most can be a bit disappointing for me, as I notice if they could do more but just don’t care, like for example at my ten-year anniversary at Ravnefesten in Kristiansand. It was still a great concert, just not as good as it could have been. Still, there’s no concert that I would have wanted to miss. So many memories, so much joy, so much fun. Thank you, Kaizers!

The last week of concerts in Stavanger was a rollercoaster ride – both emotionally and concerning the “work load” (not only caused by Kaizers of course, as I was also doing “real” work remotely, but there was quite some work related to Kaizers). It was a terrific finale though – of course! Followed and finalized by meeting Janove at the airport in Amsterdam the day after the final show … time to really say goodbye.

Or so I thought … Just last month, I went to Norway again to hand out the award for the best live band of the year to the best live band of the year! Another surreal experience, and a great honor.

So this concludes the Kaizers era now. There will surely be less concerts for me next year, and fewer trips to Norway. Skambankt will take over a bit – my first trip to Norway is booked and scheduled already – but I doubt I’ll go there as often as for Kaizers. But we’ll see …

Apart from Skambankt, I’m looking forward to a Fozzy tour, some great concerts with Thees Uhlmann, Wirtz, Hoffmaestro, and of course some nice summer festivals. Taubertal, Mini Rock, maybe Trollrock again – it’s gonna be a fun year, but it will not be as much and as rushed as this year. Which is good, even for a concert junkie like me. =;-)

Concert summary 2012

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

2012 is almost over – which means it’s time to look back at this year’s concerts! All in all, I saw 60 concerts this year; plus two musicals and three WWE events.

The “first place” is shared between Kaizers Orchestra and Die Ärzte this time, with 15 visited concerts each. But they share the first place only if you look at nothing but the numbers. Most of you know where my sympathies are … =;-) And not only the general sympathies, but Kaizers’ concerts were so much more fun as well. In the competition about the worst concert of the year, I really cannot decide between Mas Shake (absolutely uninteresting, boring dance music without any profile) and Die Ärzte in Zwickau (audacious to actually take money for what they delivered there!).

It’s even harder to determine the best concert of the year … if I had to come up with an answer, I would have to decide between the Kaizers concert at Nordic Sounds (the first Kaizers concert after several months, and again they managed to turn an unsuspecting crowd from “what the hell do they want” to “waaah, they are awesome” in the course of minutes) and Kaizers in Oslo on March 1st (my birthday concert *g*). But there were more amazing concerts, apart from Kaizers, in 2012: Thees Uhlmann – always amazing, over and over again. Herrliche Jahre – our DÄOF birthday; oh, excuse me, the DÄFC birthday of course. Krafklub, Kraftklub, and Kraftklub again – six times all in all, and none of that was boring. Xutos & Pontapés – a little vacation in Portugal, but in Switzerland. H2O – during the soccer cup, watching the Germany game without any jerseys or “Schlaaaand” chants, outcasts among themselves; and a great concert after the game. Madsen, Bakkusan, and Die Toten Hosen – German punk is not dead. Fozzy – hach, Fozzy … =:-)

In the summer, I attended six different festivals. The nicest of all was by far Odderøya live – and totally unexpected! The festival was so nice and relaxed, and so absolutely professional at the same time. But the other festivals weren’t far behind. And even though this summer was rather cold and rainy – looking at the music, it was perfect!

As always, let’s take a peek at the map: The northernmost concert this year was probably the Kaizers concert in Levanger (where we actually wanted to drive back to Oslo during the night, but that was prevented by a snow storm …), the westernmost was Helmet at House of Blues in LA (which was a rather unspectacular concert, but well, if you are a concert junkie and you are in LA, you just HAVE to see at least one concert, not matter which!), the southernmost was LA as well, of course, but apart from that one, it was Nordic Sounds in Zurich, and the easternmost was Die Ärzte in Vienna (old men flagrantly using their popularity, and the young girls don’t even notice … how appalling! But a nice sunny weekend in Vienna *g*).

And finally, a short outlook into the new year 2013: As always, the year will start with some Busters concerts, before the Kaizers tour starts. First in Oslo, then all around central Europe, and finally the conclusion in London. Where WWE will have some events in the same week – how convenient! =;-) In the summer, there will probably be quite a few Kaizers festivals in addition to the yearly festivals. So I guess I won’t get bored next year!

Concert summary 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

It’s the end of December! So it’s time for another “concerts of the year” blog entry, looking back at all concerts of 2011! And a little outlook on 2012 of course…

Let’s start with the statistics: I saw 49 concerts this year – less than I had expected before I counted, but still quite a lot. Count in the literature reading (of a rock musician *uhem*), the four Sonny musicals and one WWE event, and I’m at an average of more than one concert/event per week again… *argh* No wonder I was kinda tired of concerts and especially festivals a few times this year!

Yep, especially festivals: I attended 10 festivals this year, one in early June (Rock im Park), on in mid June (Southside), and the rest in the seven weeks from mid July until early September. OK, I only attended one day for half of the festivals, but that still leaves five full festivals with LOTS of great music! And temperatures between 5°C and 30°C, thunderstorms and waterfalls, mud, and sunburn as well.

For the first time, I “worked” as photographer at some of the festivals and spent the first three songs of each band in the aisle in front of the stage. It was fun, no doubt, but I found out it’s not really what I long to do. It’s nice once in a while, but I’ll rather concentrate on the music instead of taking pictures that I’ll never ever look at again (and that are too bad to make any money out of them – especially since I don’t plan to make money out of going to concerts instead of going there to enjoy the concerts!).

Of course, most of the concerts I saw this year where somehow related to Kaizers Orchestra – all in all, I saw them 20 times this year. *cough* That might sound boring, seeing one band over and over and over, but it’s not. I love their concerts, I can’t get enough, and for some reason I don’t get tired of seeing them. There were some weaker concerts of course, like the one in Gent or at Eier mit Speck, but then there were so many concerts where I had blinking hearts in my eyes after they went off and couldn’t stop smiling for hours afterwards. Hell, I was close to tears at Vega! Because of Kaizers, and because of the beautiful time I had with my tour- and travel companions. THANK YOU for the wonderful time!

Apart from Kaizers, I saw four concerts of Die Ärzte (ok, actually three were not Die Ärzte but Laternen-Joe, but… you know how it is), four of Itchy Poopzkid (including an amazing tour conclusion just a week ago), and four of Monsters of Liedermaching (and these four were all completely different).

The last years, I listed the “geographical dimensions” of my concert trips – that’s not really that impressive this year. I was traveling a lot, but not really that far… I guess the south-eastern point would be Wien or Graz, south-west would be Gampel (probably the best festival of the year! Even though Serengeti was also amazing, just way too cold and overshadowed by the shootings in Norway). North-west was Amsterdam and north-east probably Oslo, with Øya and the Spektrum concert.

Most impressive concerts? Hmm, that one’s always hard to answer. Especially since all concerts are so different… I already mentioned the Kaizers tour, and all in all, that’s probably my favorite. The most surprising concert for me this year was Fozzy in Copenhagen. Yes, in Copenhagen… I never traveled that far for a band I hadn’t seen live before. But it was SO SO SO worth it! They just blew me away. Newcomer of the year was definitely Kraftklub. I hadn’t heard about them before I saw them live at Serengeti, where I instantly fell in love with them. I saw them again at Mini Rock (another great festival I haven’t mentioned yet, but it should be mentioned because it started out as a tiny festival and has constantly grown over the years, without losing its great atmosphere) and then just a few weeks ago at a club show. The club show was so crowded it was hard to enjoy the concerts, but then, it was impossible to not enjoy it. They will make it big! No newcomer but someone I hadn’t noticed before is Wirtz – I saw him at Taubertal, was very impressed, loved his gig at Gampel as well and was a bit disappointed by his club show a few months later. But then, I didn’t know his songs well enough; I do love the album now that I have it. And finally, I must mention Xutos & Pontapés; a Portuguese band that actually played in Switzerland and Luxembourg this year, yay! Great concerts, and a great experience as well.

So, what’s coming up in 2012? Actually, I thought at a concert a few weeks ago (don’t remember which concert it was, it doesn’t really matter either): “OK, maybe I should cut back on concerts a bit next year; if I don’t see so many concerts, I might appreciate the ones I see even more.” Makes sense, right? Sounds like a plan, right?

Well, looking at my concert schedule for 2012 demolishes that plan, sort of. =;-) There’s already 31 concerts planned; 16 times Die Ärzte, 7 times Kaizers Orchestra (and they haven’t even announced their European tour yet…). Plus probably a few festivals – Mini Rock is pretty much set, Taubertal would be fun again as well, and the rest is up to the bands that will be playing.

Guess I will be busy next year as well. Happy 2012!

Concert summary 2010

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

2010 is almost over – this means it’s time for my annual concert summary!

Let’s start with the numbers – which are surprisingly low, compared to other years: a total of 42 concerts (at least it’s a nice number *g*), nine of these were festivals. Not counting the festival appearances, I saw five Skambankt concerts and three concerts each of Katzenjammer, Monsters of Liedermaching and Kaizers Orchestra (if you count the promo gig in Zurich) – so it was a rather mixed year this time, without real tours of one artist/band!

Geographically, Zurich was probably the concert furthest south – or no, not true, Portugal was further south of course, and at the same time the westernmost concert of the year. Xutos & Pontapés in Èvora, yay! In the east, I didn’t make it out of Germany this year, but in the north, I again crossed the Arctic Circle for three Skambankt concerts.

Even though there weren’t that many concerts this year, I won’t mention all of them here now; that’s what the reports on are for. But of course I’ll point out the highlights!

Guess the first highlight was the Dúné concert in Karlsruhe. I went there with little expectations, was shocked during the first few songs, and afterwards, I was so enthusiastic that I wanted to see them over and over again. Unfortunately it worked out only two more times this year: at Schlossgrabenfest in Darmstadt and at Sonnenrot in Munich – both were wonderful gigs that left me absolutely euphoric. And gnaah… I’ll miss their tour now in January, so I hope they’ll return soon!

The next highlight was of course the Kaizers tour, or rather the two concerts in Stavanger and Oslo. The concerts were nice, but not special (the Demoner tour raised the bar quite a bit there), but overall this was another great concert trip!

Next up were very impressive concerts of Pétur Ben and the Monsters of Liedermaching – I knew Pétur Ben from his gigs as support for Kaizers, but I hardly remembered anything about his show. When I arrived, I saw that there were chairs set up for the audience – what the heck? But it was simply amazing! Within minutes, I remembered all his songs, and his performance captured me completely (COMPLETELY!) . Wow! Similarly with Monsters… Actually, I didn’t really want to go, because I’d seen them before, right? And seeing and hearing the same things over and over again … is GREAT! Their shows are so much fun, every time!

A few days later I found out once more that it is a good idea to buy tickets in advance. Otherwise I don’t think I would have gone to see the Fettes Brot concert. ‘Cause I really didn’t feel like it; but then, I had a ticket, so I had to go. And I was flabbergasted! Just like later on this year after their festival concerts at Mini Rock and Taubertal. They were SO amazing – but now they’ll take a break, too bad… =:-(

Next up were two Katzenjammer concerts, including the last concert at the old Substage. Oh, the memories …

And then it was time for the festival season 2010! This year, I saw lots of festivals. I chose those festivals that had a great line-up and got a press accreditation for some of them; and of course, I went to Norway again! In Norway, I saw Kartfestivalen (with, among others, Skambankt and Jethro Tull) and Rått og Råde, a new festival in Stavanger. Both were great! In Germany, I decided for Helfenstein Festival, Sonnenrot, Mini Rock festival, and Taubertal. The latter I enjoyed only because of the line-up. The weather wasn’t so great, the festival has become much too big, and my tickets was for one day only – so no, Taubertal definitely wasn’t perfect this time. Still, I was much more “festivaljunkie” than usual this year – and I actually enjoyed the various festivals. However, it was a bit too much this summer. After the festival season, I was quite glad that it was over, and I cut back on concerts for the next few weeks. =;-)

At least until the DÄOF Super Drei parties started! The first one took place in Berlin, featuring Rock Shoe (and two less interesting bands *g*), and the next one was in Stuttgart with a Die Ärzte cover band and the Monsters. Both parties were great, albeit exhausting. But I definitely wouldn’t mind repeating this! =:-)

After that, there was a little non-concert digression to WWE (it’s in my concert list, that’s why I mention it here, but I didn’t count it as concert *g*), a four-hour Monsters concert in Karlsruhe (AWESOME!) and my first live encounter with Bullet for my Valentine (which I had expected to be even better – but I guess I just wasn’t in concert mood), before my last Norway trip for 2010. Three Skambankt concerts in Northern Norway! And just like in 2007, it was absolutely gigantic! The concerts were getting better from day to day, with a fantastic climax in Bodø. And of course this is… well, perfect would be the wrong way to put it, but at least it’s the best possible way to face the upcoming live-break!

The last concert of the year was Sportfreunde Stiller in Munich then… well, it was okay. =;-)

If I had to elect THE concert of the year, I’d have to decide between Monsters in Karlsruhe and Skambankt in Bodø. Closely followed by Pétur Ben, Dúné at several festivals, and the whole Rått og Råde festival.

And next year? When I look at the list of concerts that are scheduled already, I get dizzy… =;-) Let’s see how many of those I’ll really see in the end. This is the current plan: First, there will be two Busters gigs (Karlsruhe and Tübingen, as always), then the Kaizers tour (first in Norway, then the entire European tour), and then I have to figure out how to fit in Katzenjammer, Itchy Poopzkid, and the Monsters of Liedermaching at the same time (because they are all on tour at the same time *grr*). In the summer, Bullet for my Valentine are on a festival tour, and the way it looks, Taubertal/Open Flair/Rocco del Schlacko will have lots of great bands. So I’m pretty sure that I’ll visit one of these festivals. *g* And then, at the end of the year, the Kaizers musical will premiere.

So much for “I won’t do that many concerts next year.” Yep, sure… =;-)

Concert summary 2009

Monday, December 28th, 2009

2009 is almost over, and it’s time to look back at the concerts of the year! Quite a lot again, so I won’t mention all of them but just remember the highlights and “lowlights”. Much more highlights than lowlights, fortunately! ... read on!