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Old 15 Feb 2008, 16:32   #1
Krapplund
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Join Date: 09 Nov 2000
Location: Emmaboda, Sweden.
Posts: 17,125
7 Concert in Moscow (Russia), Nov 2005

Review – Part 1
November 2005; Alphaville was invited to Russia again – this time to perform at the Disco of the 80s festival organized by Autoradio in Moscow and St.Petersburg. This festival was famous for gathering stars (mostly German and Italian) who used to be on top 20 years ago, but were forgotten since then earning mostly from such short performances, though they are still popular with Russian people who are very nostalgic about their Soviet past. I was deeply hurt that my favourite band is considered as such an ex-star of the 80s, since they don’t enjoy full playback and just 3 songs on the setlist felt like a weird joke. Since I was never a fan of playback concerts, I never visited such festivals, however I had to force myself this time – just couldn’t miss Alphaville performing in my native city.

I´d like to emphasize that the band has always been very kind to its loyal fans giving free concert tickets to the fanclub leaders, and we gladly used this opportunity – Autoradio has set incredibly high prices for this festival. We were four: myself, Lena (Alien), Sveta and Slava (three girls and a guy). On that day, November 25, it got really cold outside; November was breathing with frosty freshness, we were freezing and without delays entered the huge Olimpic stadium to get the right position at the stage.

But some people came before us and occupied the most prestigious space near the stage, so we had to stand in front of the left part of the stage, opposite the synthesizers. The stage was T-shaped; there was a catwalk meant for vocalists, while other band members and dancers were supposed to stay on the main part. Dying from boredom, I was watching full playback performances of Eddie Huntington, Mike Mareen, Radiorama, Mr.Zhivago, Righeira, together with even more boring domestic stars. Autoradio was smart enough to prepare dance routines of half naked girls and boys on some performances, and it was obvious that foreign ex-stars were sincerely surprised by this addition. Our suffering was rewarded by an sms message from Steffi, Alphaville´s tour manager, which we were desperately looking forward to get – she has made an appointment at the backstage entrance, as promised. Just a little more waiting.

About an hour since the beginning of the concert Alphaville was announced – and we were really happy about our location, for Rudy Nielson who was their keyboard player during this trip stood right in front of us. He almost immediately saw us in the huge crowd, recognized (I briefly saw him in Germany and we also exchanged a few emails), and during the whole performance we were throwing expressive glances at each other. We were bursting out with excitement! The audience was happy to sing and dance to Dance With Me, Forever Young and Big In Japan, which Marian Gold tried his best to sing live, however the loud recording didn´t allow to hear his real voice. The musicians took a bow and rushed backstage since the next performers were approaching, and we started breaking through the crowd to the agreed place where Steffi was supposed to find us.

Review – Part 2
Half an hour later we saw Steffi; we entertained ourselves looking at the huge screen where the face of Savage was transmitted – he used to be a fragile Italian guy who broke so many hearts with his tearful Don’t Cry Tonight, Only You and other songs, and now he was a respectable old man in his 50s, it was not that easy to recognize the guy we used to love. We missed the last hour of the concert and were not upset at all because we spent this time in a much better way.

Steffi brought us the backstage passes and led all the way to backstage opening to our eyes the huge spaces hidden from regular people – we haven´t even suspected how big the Olimpic stadium is! Alphaville members were sitting in a small makeup room and we were happy to see each other.

Marian both changed and stayed the same; his eyes were still sparking with usual kindness and warmth; his body was definitely more fit and energetic since he was back to healthy life style, but the partly gray beard prevented us from knocking off 20 years of his age. Greeting Pierson, I had the same dialog as we always had: Lady Bright! – Hi Pierson – You haven´t changed at all, you look the same – So do you – Thanks – So, are you still single? – Hmmm, am I still single?. Absolutely the same phrases after all these years! Later I found out that he was living together for 3 years, broke up and was alone for the last 4 years, but all this time he was still single in our greetings J I was incredibly happy to meet Rudy, who was just as nice and sweet alive as he was online, and I regretted not chatting with him a year earlier after the Berlin concert. Having chatted with all of them for a while, we splitted: Lena captured Marian, at that moment I was more interested in Rudy who was easy to chat with, Sveta and Slava cruised around back and forth. We haven´t noticed the midnight approaching.

Marian was in good spirits obviously happy to see us – as if we were old friends. Hey, I am still embarrassed about that thing seven years ago. – he still remembered a small confusion that happened after their first concert in Moscow back in 1998 when, horribly tired and slightly drunk, we were sitting together in a hotel bar and relaxed a bit more than wanted. These four days when I stayed with Alphaville all the time seemed to be so far and unreal. Do you remember back in 2002 I went to Riga on my own to see your concert, walked around the city center and stumbled upon the band? Then we went together to Radisson and chatted for 2 hours being unable to stop, happy as kids. Memories overwhelmed us.

Review – Part 3
The band was asked to go onstage once again on the final song of the concert, and when they were away, we decided to catch Savage, Sabrina and Bonnie Tyler to take pictures with the idols of our teenage years. Bonnie Tyler proved to be a breathtaking beauty with amazing energy bursting out; Savage who grew old too soon was very warm and endlessly charming; and we didn´t dare to approach Sabrina since she was strikingly attractive, but seemed to be horribly pissed off. As we found out later, she had problems with the flight, had to drive to the concert straight from the airport and nearly missed her performance.

Having returned to the makeup room, Alphaville kindly offered us to continue our communication in a restaurant located nearby, where we went by taxi with the kindest permission of Ray, the band´s local tour manager. We arrived to American Bar & Grill almost simultaneously. Having waited for about 10 minutes, we got several tables moved together and finally started studying the menu. Marian was extremely nice to offer us to be his guests. The following two hours were filled, besides delicious food, with endless warmth, interesting conversations and jokes. I got carried away by the communication and didn´t drink even half of a beer.

Somewhere in the middle of our fun Marian waved us goodbye and went to bed since he was tired, while we left at about half past one looking forward to our way back home, but the musicians convinced us to drive to their Marriott hotel. They didn´t even have to beg J Six of us – myself, Lena, Sveta, Rudy, Pierson and Wolfie (technician) comfortably sat in the hotel bar and continued the friendly chat.

It was absolutely obvious that the musicians didn´t rush to let us go; Pierson offered to try the drink I never heard of before with intriguing name Zambuka, which proved to be a colorless liquor of 75% of alcoholic content, and we burnt it before drinking. Lovely thing! It gave us more strength to go on; Pierson became outrageous and invited to dance in his hotel room.

His room was tiny, it wasn´t easy to stay there for six people at the same time. We spread around the huge bed and started waiting for the promised disco. Pierson sat on a chair trying to get the right tracks on his mp3 player connected to the speakers. Sveta criticized absolutely everything he played – mostly music of the 70s. Upset Pierson spent at least an hour choosing the music, while we fooled around on the bed, danced, took pictures, as if children. Only after the receptionist called asking to tone down the fun we realized how tired we were and how inevitable it was for us to leave. Ultimately Pierson caught Sveta whom he seemed to really like, but we pulled her out of his prehensile fingers and left together at about 4 a.m.

Review – Part 4
It was damn hard to sleep after such exciting events. Having taken a short nap, I returned to Marriott where we made an appointment at noon, and enjoyed Alphaville´s company for another three hours – until they had to check out from the hotel. Marian was delayed at the reception desk and I remembered I didn´t take a picture with him this time. Hey, you only want to take a picture with me – you don´t want to kiss and hug me, it´s not fair! – he smiled. I gave him a big hug and kissed his soft beard. I love your parfume!, he exclaimed. And I love such compliments from my idols.

Slava arrived by 3 p.m. and we went to the Leningradrailway station to see the band off to St.Petersburg. We had to walk along a long long train to get them in the very first railcar, which had the zero number for some reason. It was a special comfortable train that reached St.Petersburg within 5 hours instead of usual 8, and Alphaville was in a special car with sleeping compartments convenient enough for 2 people.

I visited Marian who shared the compartment with Steffi. He didn´t look tired – rather cheerful, as always. Having chatted for a while about the new album, he took me aback once again: I can play you a new song, if you want to. But just one. Do I want to hear a new song?! What kind of a question is that Marian reached for his Macintosh laptop. I saw a strikingly beautiful picture of a little girl on the desktop, who we easily identified as Lily – the first daughter of Marian. As we were listening to the song, Marian was kind enough to show us some more pictures of Lily taken during the recent vacations at the seaside. She looked like her mother and father at the same time; we were deeply touched by her sweetness. She´s not just a kid – she´s an angel!

We jumped off the train just one minute before its departure, trying to hold back the tears. Sadness came later in the evening, when I realized I missed these people too much;.. as I always do after each meeting. How many times did we get together by now? Must be about 7. How many concerts have I seen? 10 + this festival. Did I have enough? No way. Is there a chance to meet again? Who knows;...

Things I´ve learned during these 2 days:
  • New image of Marian Gold – with funny beard.
  • Compelled playback performance – when Rudy played the synthesizer happily knocking on the keys with his fist.
  • New song – Criminal Girl – is quite similar to Hurricane. * Alphaville has all the chances to produce another great new album.
  • Luxury Marriott hotel in Moscow – even if you´re just a visitor, you feel like a millionaire.
  • Fast traveling to St.Petersburg by train can be fun instead of torture, but will probably cost as much as the round way trip by plane.
  • Lily is a lovely angel.
  • ZAMBUKA RULES!!!!!!!!!

Photogallery:

http://www.alphaville.org/gallery/browseimages.php?c=40

Review by Lady Bright


"Alphaville ohne Bernhard ist wie eine Apfelstrudel ohne apfel"
17'04'2003
www.krapplund.com
Last edited by Krapplund; 15 Feb 2008 at 16:36.
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