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Old 15 Feb 2008, 14:52   #1
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Krapplund's Avatar
Join Date: 09 Nov 2000
Location: Emmaboda, Sweden.
Posts: 17,541
7 Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin (Germany), Apr & May 2002

Cologne – Review by Willy Nielsen

My travelling companion Mike from Boston and I departed from Copenhagen on sunday 28. april (Mike stayed with me for a few days). It was my first trip to Cologne, a 12 hour train ride, with lots of fun on the way, for example the train wagon that we had broke down, and we were awakened by “Helga” at 2.00 am to switch wagons, oh well, that stuff goes with a sucessful trip to see Alphaville. Well, we spent some time in the city, eating McRibs and seeing the church. Monday came and it was time to see Alphaville. A friend of Claudia picked us up at the trainstation and we went to the venue (Limelight), had a few beers, and got to see the opening band L´Avantgarde also from Germany, which did a great job, specially “Love at first sight”, that soon got to be my favorite live track from all 3 concerts. Alphaville came on at around 22.00 and what a great joy it was to hear those songs played in a quite different way, “A victory of love” and “wishful thinking” were really upbeat versions and merged into each other in a cool way, and the Dreamscapes songs were interesting, my favorite was “1st monday” and “Miracle Healing”, unlike the later events, Alphaville played “Jerusalem” at this concert. The concert ended (as usual) with the ballad version of “Dance with me”, which still is among my favorite live performances, since the first time I heard it at the Dreamscapes release party in 1999. After the concert we met Marie and Mark from the US, and joined the live band and Claudia at the venuebar to talk and drink beer.

Hamburg – Review by Maiju Ruokanen

The Forever Young statue
We were gathered in the so called “Alphaville chill-out room” at the hotel Aquasport around 4pm just before we were going to see the Forever Young statue somewhere in Hamburg. I got amazed by how many fans we really were when we all had gotten together; it must have been nearly 30 of us if not more. Stefan, the manager of the hotel went through some short information about what was on the day’s schedule and we also had a short introduction of ourselves. Then we started the short journey to the statue. I don’t know why but I was shaking by some kind of nervosity all the way.

The statue stood between two houses on a street were usual people lived. It rose up out of the bushes is a splendid way, and though the pass of time had bitten its surface, I found the statue mysterious and very beautiful. We spent about an hour listening to it’s history, that Stefan told us, and photographing each other beside it. Around 5pm a reporter from Hamburg’s biggest newspaper came to make an article about what was so special with the statue that many people come to see it some times a year. We were informed that the story would be on the front page with a photo of us gathered around the monument. After a last look at the eternal beauty, we went back to the hotel to prepare us for the concert. I’m not sure about the others, but I think I fell in love with him.

The Concert
As we made our way to the subway station, I wondered for a while if the people around me felt the same I did about joining the concert event. Even though I was very nervous and excited about what it would be like to see the best band in the world, I couldn’t have been in a better mood; going with these people and wearing an Alphaville shirt.

Though we had travelled to Markthalle, where the concert would be, without any tickets we made it there without problems. I and Christina ran the stairs up to the main room in hope to get a good position in the concert hall. There were about five Miracle Healing Tour posters hanging on the wall which gave me great thrills, but also calmed me down because I knew now for sure that I was going to get what I had been waiting for.

The doors were opened quite soon, actually one hour before the Warm-up band L’Avantgarde would enter the stage. The concert hall itself was quite empty when we got in there, which was quite surprising, but at least we got ourselves the best positions for the concert; in the first row!

The warm-up band entered the stage at nine, and played some well pumping Synthpop music, which I found was a mixture between Scooter and Depeche Mode. Although the music turned the crowd on quite good, the Alphaville audience started to call for what they had come for before L’Avantgarde was even finished. They did play a couple of more songs, b4 they left the stage, and made the excitation rise inside of me. “The ceremony was about to begin”.

It felt like the stage was being prepared for Alphaville for hours, but when the two bottles of juice and a pair of towels was all there were on the stage, I knew the time has come. The long live intro to “Elevator” started playing loudly, and the new drummer Pierson Grange entered his position. The live guitarist Christian Marsac followed and right after Martin Lister put his hands on the keyboards. My glance was turned to the light from stage entrance on the left side while Marsac played the Elevator melody on a harmonica. As soon as I saw a shadow covering the light from the entrance, all my thoughts were blown away and I just stood there cursed by the music of Alphaville. Marian Gold entered the stage with such an impact that he happened to knock down the microphone to the floor so it rolled in under the keyboards. For a while he was crawling around down there, trying to find it, but he noticed that he had already missed one lyric line of the song, so he started singing on the keyboard mic instead.

The stage crew were fast to give him a new mic, and the song went on like nothing had happened. I had a great feeling all through the concert, we had excellent sound where we stood and were only a half meter away from Gold’s feet, so we could easily have touched him if we wanted. Another thing that was great and very amusing was that me and Christina often got either spit or sweat on us because Marian was so energic. He really showed his talents of staying Forever Young by mind when he rocked to some of the heavy beats like BIJ and AVOL. Often he smiled and laughed when he noticed that he had brought the crowd beneath him into complete ecstasy, and got quite turned up himself when we all sang along to the beats. It felt pity that the time during this concert went so fast. Even though they left the stage, they came back twice with “Monday 3000” and “Dance With Me (Piano)” because the crowd was screaming “zugabe” (one more time) like maniacs. I really felt honoured and proud to be at this concert, because I found out that we were the first audience to sing the chorus to “Dance With Me” while Marian was holding the mic in the air and smiling sunlight.

Copenhagen, Cologne, Hamburg & Berlin- Review by Michael Schwartz

They say things in life often come full circle. I had always believed that if I was ever going to see Alphaville, it would be a one-time experience and take place in Berlin, a place I had always dreamed of visiting. Perhaps it was fantasy, a silly thought or a passing daydream, but the thoughts somehow urged me. One day before I knew it, I had made reservations to go to Berlin. This was at a time before visiting any of the above cities, before meeting Willy, before… many things that have come to pass over these three and a half wonderful years. I look back and these and fondly recall following Alphaville and making many new friends along the way.

As the past now shows, I never saw Alphaville in Berlin until May 3, 2002. Maybe in another place or time things were different, but the concert in Berlin and 20th Anniversary Party were an appropriate finish to a long time dream.

As Willy has reported earlier, we were traveling companions for many miles as we found our way from Copenhagen to Cologne on to Hamburg and finally into Berlin. There we massed together in the Circus Hostel lobby waiting to see where we would all stay. I met a nice girl from Vancouver, Canada there and I (re)introduced her to Alphaville, while we waited for the rooms. Many thought we were all crazy to have traveled to Berlin, Germany or even Europe for that matter to see a band. I guess that “craziness” made it even more exciting. As I told the newspaper reporter in Hamburg, “it’s not just about the music, but also about the other fans”.

After checking in we broke into small groups to explore the city, rest or get some food. We all returned to our rooms and got ready to go out. The lobby was our meeting point. We traveled as one group with a grand cause. Except for losing a few travelers including Willy during a train change, we did fine. Upon exiting the U-Bahn station, I was shocked to find that people were actually scalping tickets to a Sold Out Show! So many fans in one place would make this truly spectacular. My excitement rose as we approached the venue.

Outside we waited a few minutes for our entire group to arrive and check-in, as some were on the guest list. We were a little early, so we made our way inside and had a few drinks, checked our coats and looked over the merchandise booth, where Torleif and Sandra were. A drink or two later, the place began to quickly fill, as we watched the opening band. Upon the their completion, the venue was completely full. Unfortunately, having a phobia to overly crowded places; I slowly made my way back toward the merchandising booth just as the band was taking the stage.

The energy level was very high inside, because of the combination of the visiting and local fans. You could see the happiness of Marian and the band as the lights came up. From the stage to the entrance of the giant auditorium, the place was a sea of Alphaville fans and they were ready to party! Overall, the concert was great not just because of the great music, but also because of the fans and their enthusiasm for the music. The play list was very similar to the Cologne and Hamburg concerts, so I won’t repeat them here. Highlights for me including “A Victory of Love”, “First Monday”, “Carry Your Flag”, “Forever Young” and of course “Dance with Me (acoustic)”.

As with all great things that must pass, the concert ended, but instead of going home, we would have the Anniversary Party to keep us in the AV spirit. It would be a great way to say hello to the band once again and meet more great fans. As the venue emptied, we made our way to the side entrance where the line to enter the party started. At the entrance was Claudia, who remembered me not only from contacting her from the US, but also the Cologne concert and Hamburg fanclub party. It was great to see her again and not even have to give my name to get in. She along with the help of Willy, Stefan, Joachim and others made me feel very special again this whole trip!

Inside the party, great synthpop was playing and we made our way to the bar for more great beer. Once the party was in full swing Marian, Bernhard and the live band showed up allowing a chance to get some photos taken, present gifts and talk a bit. Needless to say, I’ll have to see if my camera ever managed to cooperate, while Marian was signing an AIU CD for a fellow American fan that couldn’t make it over with me. Afterwards, we danced into the early hours of the morning. Many thanks to all those that made it through the night with me, but especially Torleif, Stefan, Kerstin, Sandra, Willy and Thomas.

After too few hours of sleep THAT morning, we headed out into Berlin for further adventures. Around lunchtime, Roland, Ulrica and I arrived at KaDeWe, a giant department store, where we split up to shop. There I checked out the Apple Computer section and stumbled upon the band. I work part-time for Apple Computer if you wonder how this is related. If you have to ask which band, you aren’t thinking. It was a great joy to find that they all used Macintosh’s to make music and communicate with each other. To top it off, I gave them a special demo of my iPod, MP3 player, and a promise that if they came to the USA we’d show them a wonderful time!

That evening, those that remained headed out on into the city. I had a great opportunity to meet more Golden Feeling members, practice my German including making up new words such as Tuerkische Fruestueck (Turkish Breakfast) and sing and dance through Berlin. Thanks to all that made the night and trip special! Also, I’d like to thank the man at the breakfast place for stopping me from putting sugar on my Doenner!

With All My Love!

Mike in Boston


Pictures by Kerstin Wagner, Willy Nielsen and Michael Schwartz.

Thanks to everyone we met at these events. Special thanks to Claudia for always taking such good care of us, Stefan Clotz from Aquasport for helping us saving the rainforest and for his hospitality, of course thanks to Marian Gold and Bernhard Lloyd for their great music and inspiration.

"Alphaville ohne Bernhard ist wie eine Apfelstrudel ohne apfel"
Last edited by Krapplund; 15 Feb 2008 at 15:16.
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