After four exciting days and two days off I was ready for the next part of my tour. Five shows in a row leading me first to Frankfurt and then further to Munich and Nuremberg before the most exciting cities of the tour were on schedule for us: Budapest and Vienna where we also planned some extensive sightseeing. During those days we had exciting experiences, short nights, met lots of people...
Thursday, 15th October 2009, Batschkapp, Frankfurt
After 2 days at home where I got some work done, means lots of picture editing, it was time for me to hit the road again. The trip to Frankfurt was not done directly because I needed to place my car in Düsseldorf where I would land a few days later when coming back from the show in Vienna. So, I found myself not too late in the morning on the highway again. Due to a lot of luck and some bad feeling when seeing the end of a traffic jam, I left the highway right on the exit that was there. Just 10 min later I heard the traffic news in the radio telling there was an accident and the highway was closed right where I was a few minutes ago. Phew! So, I managed to be in time in Düsseldorf where I got special VIP service by Florian of Noyce TM (support of Diary of Dreams during the last tour) who drove me to the train station. Anything went very smooth there and my train left perfectly in time.
First I thought I’d do some work during the ride, but then again I only had 1:20 on the way and instead of working I just listened to old DIARY OF DREAMS stuff watching the landscape passing by. When I arrived in Frankfurt, Katrin of the RoD crew was already awaiting me. We had a short ride with the tube to a market centre a bit outside the city where she had her car. At the centre we had some food at an Italian Restaurant, some nice coffee afterwards and then it was already time to do the short ride to the Batschkapp where the doors were opening very early today, means at 18:00. Already when we parked the car, luckily we found a very good spot; we stumbled across Taste and had a short chat. Already some people were waiting in front of the club for the doors to open. For us, it was relaxed and smooth; I met some people I did not expect to see there and due to the rare fact that there was a photo pit in the club there was no need for me to search for a good spot for taking pictures.
DOPE STARS INC. started in time at 19:00. And today they had their best show on the tour so far. At least during those shows I had seen. The audience reacted very positively right from the first song ‘Theta Titanium’ and for me, also the light show was pretty good, at least when it comes to taking pictures. After three songs, I had to leave the pit as usually and watched the show from the back of the venue. Good to have a perfect overview of what was going on and off stage. The band had a little more time on stage. After all the shows I learned why... DEATHSTARS drummer Bone had problems with his shoulder and so, they were playing not even 45 minutes instead of an hour and the first two bands had a little more time for their shows.
After a short rebuilding break, LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE entered the stage and also they had the best show of the tour as far as I can tell. Also singer Roberto with whom I talked a little after the show had the same impression. The audience was very responsive and cheered and clapped a lot while the band was playing their melodic Goth Rock songs such as ‘Dear Amy’, the wonderful ballad ‘My Mescaline’ or the closing song of the set ‘Ave End’. Last one seems to end the set every show, but the other songs get mixed constantly. Again I need to mention that I had fun taking pics of the band today because of the good lights, at least when talking as a photographer. I had more problems taking pictures later. Especially during DIARY OF DREAMS with a lot of smoke and nearly no front light so the camera had problems to find a focus point.
Following DEATHSTARS started a little later than announced. But this was probably caused by the shortened set list for the evening. I am already curious if Bone will be present at the Munich show or of there will be a replacement for him for the rest of the tour. The set of DEATHSTARS started as always with the title track of the current album ‘Night Electric Night’ and went on like on the other days with songs like ‘Motherzone’, ‘Chertograd’ or the smasher ‘Blitzkrieg’ with the memorable intro. But then it was shortened compared to the previous shows and ended with ‘Cyanide’ and the usual closer ‘Dead dies hard’. Even though there were the problems with Bone’s shoulder, the rest of the band was acting like always, they were posing and very communicative towards the audience. Well done!
Now finally the band was up to enter the stage I was doing this tour for, DIARY OF DREAMS. They started a little earlier than announced. The crew did a very good and fast job rebuilding the stage it seemed. The set started in the usual way with ‘Wahn!Sinn?’ and ‘The Plague’ presenting the faster and aggressive songs out off the new album ‘(if)’ and previous releases. The setlist got mixed up a little this time, ‘MenschFeind’ i.e. was played earlier in the set. For me, this was the first setlist change during the tour. Cannot tell if they already changed something during the shows in Paris and Ludwigsburg which I missed. After my all-time favourite ‘Soul Stripper’, already the previous closer ‘The Course’ was up on the list followed by powerful ‘Kindrom’ to close the set. Also ‘AmoK’ which was previously played in the encore bloc was played during the main set. Of course the band did not leave without any encore. First one was a new song in the list, ‘Butterfly: Dance!’, followed by ‘Poison Breed’ powerfully ending the show. But maybe it was not the best show to end the set with a new song. An old classic would probably fit better.
As usually in Frankfurt, the crew cleared up the Club very fast. There was not much time for some chats. But anyway, we transferred the chatting outside the club where I had the chance for some nice conversations with DSI and a girl from Turin / Italy who was now living in Cologne following the band for some shows. As well, we had some beer to end the evening and started heading to Katrin’s place finally at around one in the morning.
Friday, 16th October 2009, Backstage, Munich
I had to get up already at 7.30 in the morning. Katrin was driving me to the train station in Aschaffenburg from where I started my ride to Munich. Today, it was raining and cold. Now I am sitting here in the train writing down my impressions of last night’s show and already looking forward meeting my friends there in Munich and have another great concert night. I arrived in time at 12. The hotel was just 50m away from the train station and so, I put my luggage there, got me a city map and walked to the Marienplatz where I wanted to meet my friends who already arrived early in the morning. Thanks to our great receptionist Michi and his perfect service, anything went very smooth and we found each other easily.
And then it was time for some sightseeing and some typical Munich stuff. First, we walked over the Marienplatz (Maria Square) so the Frauenkirche and the surrounding area. Next destination was the English Garden with the Chinese Tower. Because we had a one day travel ticket for 5 persons, we decided to take the underground what did not work without any trouble. What do you do when two people are in the train and two outside when the doors closing? Ok, trying to call. Did of course not work at the underground. Hm, ok, get off at the station we were talking about earlier. But it was not very clear, so my “group” went off at “Münchner Freiheit” while the other girls left the train a station earlier. So, the destination was clear... meeting at the Chinese Tower in the garden.
Of course we had much longer to walk. But anyway had lots of fun on the way joking around and meeting the other later at the tower, well, better said in the restaurant at the tower where they already had some warm drink. We did the same and after a while we continued our walk leading us at the end to the world famous Hofbräuhaus where we had great Bavarian beer and fantastic food. To my big surprise not expensive at all. Refreshed for the evening we went back to the hotel to meet girl number five who arrived much later and then got ready for the concert. Again thanks to Michi who left us a little letter at the reception with some way description and instructions, we knew exactly where the club was. A cab drove us to the “Backstage” club, quite a cool location for concerts. Surprisingly I even met friends there, far away from home. Some more beer (not very good at the club) and then the first band started off.
Italian DOPE STARS INC. was warmly welcomed by the Munich audience and obviously had a lot of fun. Singer Vittorio surprised with sun glasses and a crazy hat tonight. Today, after all the great experiences, I was in celebration mode and danced to songs like ‘21st Century Slave’ or ‘Theta Titanium’ in the photo pit. Just took care that I stood not in the way of the people watching the band. When the band had finished, I met the others at the merch, we fuelled around, joked with tour manager and merch guy Albert and had lots of fun until next band LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE already entered the stage. They delivered a great show in Munich. I must say I like the show more every time I see these very kind guys on stage. Again, their setlist changed. I was especially happy about ‘My velvet little Darkness’ I had heard the day in Frankfurt as well and one of my all-time favourites, ‘My Mescaline’. As usually the set ended with ‘Ave End’. When there was not much time left before DEATHSTARS were up to start their show, the venue was really packed. Some slalom from the merch to the photo pit and I was ready for the Swedish guys and their explosive set which did not offer any surprises. Setlist was as already known, usual statements by singer Whiplasher but anyway it was entertaining and fans in front of stage had visibly a lot of fun.
Finally it was time for MY band DIARY OF DREAMS to enter the stage. Me in the photo pit and the girls in the front row - that’s a constellation how it is used to be. In Munich, audience and band were in best mood. Somehow it seems infectious in both directions and so we experienced a fantastic show. The setlist was the same like the day before in Frankfurt with my personal highlights being the new single ‘King of Nowhere’, ‘Soul Stripper’ and ‘Kindrom’, latter ones being some of my all-time favourites. When the show had ended, the evening in Munich was long not over because this was one of the rare occasions when an after show party was taking place. Half of our group was tired and went to the hotel, me and two more friends stayed for lots of nice conversations, dancing, drinking and endless madness until three in the morning when we entered a taxi to bring us back to the hotel for a short night’s sleep because we already wanted to leave Munich at 11 in the morning.
Saturday, 17th October 2009, Hirsch, Nuremberg
The alarm was ringing. Hard time to open the eyes! Hangover! But anyway had to get up because another busy day was waiting for us. Short breakfast. Bad coffee. Rain. At least no snow like the day before. Sitting in the train at 11. Delay because some idiot was hitting the emergency break. Sleep. Sleep until Nuremberg. Out off the train, taxi, hotel. Again we had an ETAP hotel. This time only three people in one room. After 10 minutes break for refreshing we were off again into the city for what? Well, of course sightseeing and traditional beer and food. We went off the underground in the middle of Nuremberg’s old town and spotted a shop selling traditional ginger bread. Of course we had to buy some. A few metres further they were selling mulled wine at a little coffee. Perfect combination with the ginger bread and so we bought a cup for all of us and sat down for a break.
Then off again to walk up the hill for the fortress. Impressive building I must say. You had a great view from there over the city. Even though the sky looked pretty dark several times, it stayed dry. Soon it was time for “dinner” even though it was not even four. But the shows were to start pretty early so we had to eat early too. Just besides the fortress, there was a little restaurant looking like a gingerbread house with lots of witches and stuff as decoration in it. There we ordered some “Kellerbier” (cellar beer) and “Sauerbraten” (marinated beef) with dumplings, red cabbage and gingerbread sauce. Very tasty! Then we already had to hurry because the first band was to start already at 18:00. So, we walked down the hill to the tram station, entered the tram, later off to the underground, then bus and at 17:15 we were at the hotel. I just had not even 20 min for shower and getting ready but I made it. 5 minutes walk to the club that I entered 5 min before the band was to start. That’s called timing!
The other girls needed some more time and were going to arrive between eight and nine. Just not to miss DIARY OF DREAMS. In the meantime I had some fun with the other bands. But the club was not really nice tonight. Seemed to affect all bands. Not the best shows of them so far. The photo pit was very small without any access from the sides because there were placed some big speakers. So you needed to fight your way through the audience. Not very easy when it is very packed in front of the stage. And so I decided just to stay in the pit during the shows of DOPE STARS INC. and LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE and left towards the end of the DEATHSTARS set to find some refreshment and try meeting up the rest of our little group. After a short meet-up I got some fresh air and then went back in. The entrance to the photo pit was totally blocked and people refused to let me in. If a girl had not said to her friend that I would belong in there I never had made it. But thanks to her I finally found my place to take pics in the pit and the show of DIARY OF DREAMS could start.
When I said that the good mood on stage and in the audience was infectious in both directions during the show in Munich, same counted for the “bad” mood in Nuremberg. As far as I can say so far, the show at the “Hirsch” was the worst during the tour. The audience was not very responsive, maybe they expected something else, and the band was not very communicative. Well, anyone has his bad days every now and then and this one was obviously the one of DIARY OF DREAMS. After the show we just had a quick beer, went over to the hotel, changed clothes and walked down a few metres to McDonalds for a quick late night snack. We all went to bed early to be refreshed for the trip to Budapest on the next day.
Sunday, 18th /19th October 2009, Diesel, Budapest
First day we could sleep a little longer. Well, could not of course and so I used the available internet connection to get some work done. At 11 we made our way towards the train station from where one of us was going home after a little breakfast. The remaining four went to the airport from where we were heading towards Budapest at 14.30. Arriving at the old terminal in Budapest, we tried to find some cash machine. The only one available of course did not work. So, we had to exchange some money for an insane rate. So, we just exchanged enough to pay the zone taxi to Budapest which brought us to our hotel. We had a very kind receptionist again who delivered all needed information... like where to get money, how to go to the club etc. Because it was already getting late, we only had the pretzels we brought from Nuremberg and some Hungarian beer from the mini bar as dinner, got ready and left for the concert.
First we searched the bank to get money. Mission succeeded. With help of some pedestrians and the map we got in the hotel, we also found the underground station. On the way there, we passed a little supermarket where we bought some beer for the way and a little Hungarian present for our beloved tour manager Albert. Then down the underground, getting a 24hour travel card and soon we arrived at the club which we found pretty easily. When we entered, the last song of DOPE STARS INC was already on. But well, nothing we could do. We handed out the present, a Hungarian Salami, to Albert and caused a big smile in his face. Some Hungarian beer and a typical liquor called “Unikum” for us. Tasted a bit like Jägermeister. We stayed most of LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE’s show outside at the merch. We just were in the mood for conversations today. I only rushed in for a few pics. But then, for DIARY OF DREAMS, we needed to go in.
Armed with some more beer, we entered a little podium on the right side and had a great few on the stage. Soon, also the band recognized that we were screaming our lungs out there and had a lot of fun. The mood in the audience was really great and anyone celebrated with the band. Because DoD was only co-headliner today, there was no encore and the set was already over after an hour. During the DEATHSTARS show, we again just chatted with the band, the crew, some people we just met or knew from MySpace. And had more beer. I think this show will find its way into history as the one with most alcohol consume during the tour. So, we had Rock’n’Roll. We had drugs. Just sex was missing *lol*. But who needs it when having a great time on tour with the best friends you can have and one of your favourite bands? Late at night when the nightliners already had left we headed back to the hotel by taxi. And again we had a very spooky taxi driver.
Hungry again, we entered the supermarket we already knew, got us some bread and salami and had a late night dinner again. Not even 5 hours sleep, a bad breakfast with terrible coffee and at 9 in the morning we were already out off the hotel for Budapest sightseeing. We only had about 5 hours and so we went to the castle hill with lots of fantastic old buildings, the fisherman’s bastion, old churches and a fantastic few over the river to the parliament. Soon we were really freezing and decided to have a stop at a nice restaurant for some Hungarian food, means in this case goulash soup and as dessert some typical pancakes. Was great! Afterwards down the hill and back to the underground crossing the river to have a last few onto the parliament. Then it was already time to get our luggage from the hotel and go to the bus station from where our bus to Vienna would leave at 15.30.
Monday, 19th /20th October 2009, Szene, Vienna
We tried to find some sleep during the three hours ride to Vienna. But it did not work out very well. We were pretty exhausted when we finally arrived at the station at 18.30. Quite late already and DIARY OF DREAMS were to enter the stage at 21:00. So, our goal was to be at the club in time for their show. Luckily we bought some food in Budapest we had during the ride. So we did not need to waste time for dinner when finally arriving at the hostel at 19.30. There was some problem with our reservation. But luckily there still were 2 rooms for us... but no double rooms as reserved. We got 2 rooms for nine persons each and joked around whom we would invite to stay overnight. ;) Only 45 minutes later we were back down on the streets waiting for our taxi. From now on it worked perfectly and we arrived at the club just 10 minutes before DIARY OF DREAMS were going to start.
Was not our day today, we all were pretty exhausted. We were enjoying DoD’s show but then we were just sitting outside for chatting. I just went in for short to take a few pics of DEATHSTARS but it all was too much for us tonight. The extensive touring was asking for its toll. We changed a few words with band and crew but already left just when DEATHSTARS ended their set. Quite hungry by now we ordered pizza at the hotel. This time it was “only” midnight when we finally had dinner. Next day we went up quite early again, had breakfast (again not a very good one) and left the hotel at 10:00 to explore the city of Vienna which is very impressing, especially when seeing it for the first time.
We left the underground right in the middle of Vienna at the famous St. Stephen's Cathedral. Then we walked around the square impressed by the surrounding buildings and towards St. Peter church, down the Kohlgasse and reaching the Hofburg, Albertinum and the opera. One of us then visited the grave of Empress Sissi while we remaining three went over to famous café Gerstner where we had some hot soup while waiting. Being all together again, we did again something traditional: we had some Sacher cake with lots of cream and Viennese blend coffee. If there is a sin, we ate it at the café. Pretty satisfied we afterwards continued our walk along famous museums, squares and the town hall until we finally reached the Hundertwasser house. Last planned station should have been castle Belvedere but something happened so we skipped that: we became victims of some pickpockets.
Being squeezed into the underground we soon recognized that the zippers of my backpack and a friend’s handbag were all open. Just out off the train at the next station we were checking everything. Blessing in disguise that only the mobile phone of my friend got stolen. So, we called around to get the phone locked what worked pretty fast. Some kind of paranoid now we went back to the hotel earlier than planned, got our stuff and headed to the airport. But well, we could already joke around in the train again. At least we’ll be more careful now. Some food at the airport and already our ways parted because I had to fly to Düsseldorf where I god my special VIP service again and the others were going to Berlin an hour later. Driving home from Düsseldorf to Münster I already felt kind of sad that those days were already over.
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com/ / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography)