Articles tagged with "gig"

Villette Sonique

Villette Sonique

While we were in Paris, the Villette Sonique music festival was on, and the last night’s star attraction was Joanna Newsom. I’d heard her music before, recommended to me with great enthusiasm by two of my friends, but I was not a fan. In fact, I thought it was unbelievably awful and I planned never to listen to it again.

But my friends in Paris wanted to go, and I reluctantly bought a ticket. And as it happened, the gig entirely changed my opinion. She was supported by Roy Harper, who looked pretty messed up and rambled vaguely between songs. But his music was pretty good, with just his voice, a guitar and a delay pedal.

And then Joanna Newsom came on stage. The audience were in raptures right from the start, which put me off a bit, but her voice didn’t sound as weird as it had done on the songs I’d heard before. It was one of those gigs where you start off quite liking it, and as the show progresses you realise it’s something quite special, where the musician is on supreme form and the audience is ever more impressed. By the encore I was clapping almost as enthusiastically as the rest of them.


Rammstein III

Rammstein III

Gig time came. We headed across the river, back through the wide streets of Novi Beograd, at first just us and then later joining ever increasing crowds of people on their way to the massive arena. It was going to be awesome.

We had two spare tickets. Someone at the hostel had put us in touch with someone they knew who was looking for a ticket. We’d spoken to this person, Nikola, on the phone, and he’d offered us 1000 dinar each for the tickets. Face value was 3000 so we decided we’d try to sell them at the venue and see if we got some more. When we were outside, with huge throngs of Balkan metallers swirling around, I slightly wondered if I should have taken Nikola’s offer. I’ve never managed to tout tickets successfully even in London, so trying to cut deals in Serbia was not going to be easy.

In the end we sorted things out pretty quickly. There were plenty of people asking for tickets, and my only mistake was picking someone who was pretty wired and didn’t speak English. We had a haphazard negotiation, a brief tussle when he tried to take the tickets from me without letting go of his cash, a short misunderstanding when he thought I was also selling my own ticket, and then the deal was sorted. We headed in before anyone else tried to forcibly buy our tickets from us.

The Lisbon crowd had been quite well managed, but here it was boisterous, and the security was heavy handed. The entrance to the cheap part of the arena was overcrowded, and it took us a long time to get in. At one point the security had started shoving people around, and I thought it was going to get violent. Luckily the moment passed, and we made it in. We missed all of Combichrist’s set, but I’d seen a bit of them in Lisbon and I thought they were really, really poor, so I was not upset.

The gig was pretty much as awesome as the Lisbon show had been. The explosions were all well-timed this time, and I could see that it was all running smoothly. The only slight disappointments were that they didn’t play “Liebe ist für alle da” or “Seemann“, which had both been awesome in Lisbon. But it was still an incredible show. We were close enough to the front to get pretty hot from all the flamethrowers, and we weren’t even in the “Fan Pit”, the front third of the floor where tickets had been twice as expensive.

After the show we poured back out onto the streets of Novi Beograd. The next morning Sam got a train to Budapest for a few more days of travelling. I flew home, to another few days of 15 hour stints in the office. But it had definitely been worth coming.


Rammstein II

Rammstein II

I got a train back into the centre of Lisbon, and then headed out to the Pavilhão Atlântico. I was incredibly excited about the gig, and only one problem stood in my way. I didn’t have a ticket.

I’d bought and paid for one, but it had never turned up in London. A friendly guy from the ticket office had phoned me up and had told me it would be no problem. I’d just have to go to the box office on the night and pick up another. So I headed to the first box office I found and showed them an e-mail I’d been sent. They directed me to another box office, which directed me back to the first one. All the while, huge crowds of Iberian metallers were pouring into the venue.

The ticket offices couldn’t decide between them what I should do. Eventually they told me to just join a queue and explain the situation to the people on the door. So I queued, explaining my situation in Spanish to a succession of bouncers, each less receptive and more bemused than the last. The final one was extremely reluctant to let me pass and had to talk to several people on his radio before opening the door and pushing me through into the arena.

It wasn’t long until showtime. I’d missed most of the support act, but they were rubbish anyway. I made my way deep into the crowd of 20,000. The lights went down, we all cheered wildly, and the opening strains of Rammlied began. It was the first night of the tour and not everything went smoothly; the first big explosions was slightly mistimed, making me think for a fraction of a second that it wasn’t part of the show. But I and everyone else moshed furiously. It was a stunning start to the show.

They played every single song off the new album, except the one I wanted above all, Mehr. That was the only disappointment. They played the classics like Du Hast, Feuer Frei, and Sonne. During Seemann, the keyboard player sailed out onto the crowd in a rubber dinghy in the traditional Rammstein way.

The second encore ended with Engel. It had been a stunning show and I headed home feeling like 38 Euros had been spectacular value for money. I was in an excellent mood, and the only dark cloud on the horizon was that I’d have to get up at 5am the next day to catch a flight to Belgium.


Dom

Dom

The Rammstein gig was fantastic. Anticipation built up hugely before the start, and there was a massive roar from the crowd as five people with torches came on stage. Was this the band? No, it was just the roadies, hyping things up yet further. They wandered off stage as a bass note began to play. Then, a curtain dropped, fireworks exploded, and Rammstein appeared. It was a stunning start, and the rest of the gig was all flamethrowers, fireworks, and immense tunes.

The next day we got up late. We had no particular plan in mind, and ended up going to the Dom. Nearby was a Christmas market, where lots of hot food was cooking. We felt like a snack, and we found the mother of all snacks at a stand selling half-metre bratwursts. This had to be tried, and between the five of us we ordered a ridiculous two and a half metres of sausage. By about 20cm in I was feeling pretty full, and by the end I felt grotesquely stuffed. I didn’t eat again until the following evening.