Already the last part of my tour was on schedule now. Only three shows for me were left. First one of them led me to Eindhoven, not very far from my home so I could find good rest in my own bed. Second and third show scheduled were the ones in Berlin and Dresden both promising exciting concert experiences.
Wednesday, 21st October 2009, Dynamo, Eindhoven
I arrived the day before the show at home and went to bed quite late at night doing the stuff needed to be done before like doing laundry, copying all the pictures to my computer, starting reading E-mails etc. Nevertheless I got up quite early on the concert day to get as much work done as possible on the day I was at home. Meaning editing some pictures and getting some concert reports online already. After a quick “dinner” at three in the afternoon I started the 200km drive to Eindhoven already being curious how the second Dutch show would turn out. The all over ride was not very exciting, more or less it stressed my nerves when I reached Eindhoven because the whole city seems to be a building site with a terrible amount of road works all around. My GPS was going crazy with all those detours. Furthermore I had a hard time finding the venue even though I had a navigation system.
The venue was somewhere in a shopping mall right in the centre and you could not reach it directly by car. After circling around for about half an hour my eyes finally spotted one of the tour busses and furthermore right beside it a parking garage under the shopping centre. So, I just parked the car there, went upstairs and found myself totally lost in a big shopping mall having no idea where the venue was. Lucky me there was a guy of the crew in the mall also looking for the venue and telling me if he finally would be out of that damned mall he knows where to go. So we went together, finally found a way out and soon I found myself right in front of the venue seeing the first familiar faces. So, finally, the concert evening could start. I placed my jacket at the merch and checked out the concert hall, a pretty small room in a bigger entertainment complex offering different amusements. No photo pit or whatsoever in the flat room. I know that won’t be the best pics I would do during the tour.
Out again for lots of Smalltalk, meeting more people I knew and waiting for the DOPE STARS INC to start finally right in time at 19:00 as always. The band was in very good mood and even though the present audience was quite manageable, anyone in the venue had a good time. I had the feeling that the mood during the second Dutch show was better than during the one in Arnhem a few days ago. Anyway somehow I was not up for celebrating during all those shows myself today and so, I went back to the merch after half of their show for more serious talks. Was definitely a good and different experience to see what’s happening more from a distance. At 19.45, German LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE entered the stage for their very own show which was quite entertaining and I watched it from the beginning to the end with some decent dancing along. As always, the band sent greets to their friends of THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE who could not make it onto the tour. After a short pit stop at the merch I found myself a pretty good spot in the second row left side of the stage from where I should be able to do good pictures of now following DIARY OF DREAMS.
I already got to know before the show that Adrian had some throat pain which also affected his voice. When he started singing, you could not hear much of a problem luckily even though you could see that the show was more exhausting for him than usually. But that did not affect his and the other band members’ mood. Adrian was joking around with backliner Alex or his band mates. You could see a lot of happy smiles in all their faces. Good mood on stage granted a good concert experience for me as well. The set was the shorter one without any encores even though there were many people wanting more. Afterwards on the merch you could here a lot of positive opinions about the show and also some DEATHSTARS fans seemed to be infected by the charismatic performance of those four German guys. Because I was quite tired already I thought about leaving not too late and see only a few songs of the headliner. Well, I managed to see not much of DEATHSTARS but got stuck at the merch booth where the entire band appeared sooner or later after they were refreshed.
I ran into the concert hall for a few songs of DEATHSTARS to take some pics, but in the meantime it was so crowded in front of the stage that I could not find myself a good spot for taking pics. After only some minutes I gave up and went back to the merch where I had long talks with the already finished bands, all very kind people I must say. Before I even recognised, the show of DEATHSTARS had ended and I was staying much longer than planned. A two hours ride back home was waiting for me now. At around midnight I finally left the venue, found my car somehow in this parking garage after paying an insane fee for parking and headed home. Again, my GPS was going crazy with all the detours and of course I took the wrong exit on the highway surrounding Eindhoven and had to drive several kilometres into the wrong direction before there was a chance to turn. I had several Red Bulls to keep me awake and finally, deadly tired, I reached my place at 2:30. This time I went to bed right away knowing that there was again a lot of work on the upcoming day waiting for me, a day without concert but lots of preparations for the last ride.
Friday, 23rd October 2009, ColumbiaClub, Berlin
Friday morning 5:00. The alarm was ringing and ripping me out off deep sleep. I asked myself why the hell I was doing this. Anyway, I was pretty excited going back to Berlin meeting friends and seeing DIARY OF DREAMS again. The show in the German Capital promised to be something special. At 6.30 I found myself on the train station in Münster waiting for my bus bringing me to the airport. At 9:00 I set feet on Berlin ground at airport Tegel which is pretty hard to reach it seemed. Bus, train, underground and some walk later I hit the door bell at my friends place at around 10.30. Having my laptop with me and a lot of time, I made some coffee and then starting working several hours until my friend came back from work and another friend arrived. Finally it was time to get ready for the show. We did not wanted to be late. For our last two shows we wanted the full experience of the whole festival.
A taxi drove us through several road works to the club where we were welcomed by familiar faces, namely backliner Alex. When we entered the club, we still had 30 minutes left before the show was going to start. We were filling up this time with lots of talking and one or another drink. Then, I left the rest of the gang at the merch and entered the photo pit to do the things I was mainly there for... taking pictures of the shows. Today, we had only three bands. DOPE STARS INC had another appointment in Helsinki and so, LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE were starting the evening at 19:45. Already during their show I knew that taking pictures would be hell tonight. It was probably the worst light situation during the whole tour. Too much smoke made it additionally difficult to find a focus. But well, that’s the difficulties you have to deal with when doing concert pictures and so I did the best out of the situation.
Only allowed to take pics during the first three songs as usually, I went back afterwards to the merch to watch the show from there. Already during the first show of the evening the audience was in extremely good mood promising a lot for later. With ‘Ave End’, LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE finished their set and left the stage under big applause. 30 minutes later I was back in the photo pit waiting for the DEATHSTARS to start. Loud screams welcomed the Swedes who delivered one of their best shows tonight. Was just me who could not really enjoy it anymore after so many shows I had already seen because the statements of Whiplasher are every day the same. But well, guess that counts for a lot o bands. For the now following DIARY OF DREAMS show I was as always prepared to do pics during the whole show. Some might say it must get boring and always the same after so many shows I already did, but somehow it never gets. It just gets easier to capture the perfect moments.
At 21:30 lights went down and the intro started while the band was entering the stage. But what was that now? Silence! All of a sudden, the drum kit of DNS was without power. Adrian did some jokes about it and you could hear several “encore” screams in the audience causing laughs on both sides. Finally, after a few minutes, the problems were solved and the show was ready to start with ‘Wahn!Sinn?’. And what a show it was! The best show I experienced on this tour and it was already the 11th one. Not only did the band deliver their best show during the tour, also the audience simply went mad. People were screaming so loud, it was just amazing! Adrian was holding the microphone more often into the audience to let people sing all alone. Amazing! I really had goose bumps. When the band left the stage after ‘Kindrom’, people were screaming their lungs out. Soon, the band returned for two more songs, namely ‘ButterFly: Dance!’ and “a song they haven’t ever played live before” as Adrian announced it. And they would only play it if people would help singing. Of course the fist statement was only a joke and one of the all-time fan favourites followed with ‘Traumtänzer’.
With big smiles in their faces, the band left the stage and people screamed, and screamed. They just did not want to let them go. They made so much noise for several minutes and I really hoped the band would come back once more. But than, the light in the hall were tuned on and it became sure that also this show had ended. Very soon, people had to leave the venue. I always find it pretty sad when there is no time for some drinks and some talks. But nothing you could do about it. We later had a few drinks outside the venue and went back home late at night to find some sleep and getting refreshed for our grand finale in Dresden the day after.
02. The Plague
03. The Chain
04. The Wedding
05. King of Nowhere
08. Soul Stripper
09. The Curse
11. ButterFly: Dance! (upgrade 02)
Saturday, 24th October 2009, Reithalle Strasse E, Dresden
At 10:00 in the morning we went up again. Already one hour later, we left the apartment, went to the supermarket and bought some stuff we promised to bring at the evening. A short breakfast and back onto the highway direction Dresden. We arrived at our hotel being only a few 100 metres away from the club at 14.30. Being that early we decided to do a short sightseeing in the city of Dresden which is very beautiful. But before, we made our delivery at the club. When we had parked our car near the Zwinger of Dresden, the sun was shining. Perfect weather for a walk around. We met a Ukrainian friend at the Zwinger who joined us for the walk. Passing the Semper Opera and some museums we finally reached the rebuilt Frauenkirche I only knew when it was destroyed. Some food now and at five back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. Perfect timing and at 18.30 we reached the club where still a long queue was waiting for entrance.
I met some more friends there shortening the waiting time with nice talks. As always after entering the venue, first stop was the merch stand to say hello. I already knew the venue from the last tour and so I knew that the stage offered good possibilities to also take pics from the sides and finally have a chance to good pics of the drummer. In Dresden, the line-up was complete again even though the Italians were very exhausted from their Finland trip. I guess they did not get much sleep during the last 48 hours. But when they had entered the stage and started their show, there was no sign of tiredness and they delivered a pretty good show which was appreciated by the audience with decent applause. Today, the lights were better than on the day before, only keyboarder Ash was totally standing in the dark. Maybe tonight he was happy about this because he still looked so tired hardly moving behind his desk.
15 minutes later, LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE was starting their show delivering a perfect performance. Especially guitarist Olli seemed even more energetic to me than during previous shows doing a lot of head banging. All members of the band had seemingly fun up there on stage and I had in the photo pit from where I followed the whole show dancing to my favourites ‘My Mescaline’ or ‘Amber Girl’. The set ended as usually with ‘Ave End’ and soon the stage got prepared for DEATHSTARS show. The five guys were welcomed with loud screams but I was just pretty much bored of the show by now. Guess seeing a band you do musically not really like (even though all guys are very nice) 12 times in a row is just too much. So, I watched most of the set from far back, from my favourite place at the merch using the time for conversations and waiting for DIARY OF DREAMS to enter the stage already in a little sad mood that this was going to be my last show for a very long time.
Already 10 minutes before the scheduled time, the sounds of the well-known intro were floating through the hall and my feet started whipping from the very beginning. Sometimes it is really hard to stand still for your pictures you have to take when you just want to dance. I am sure it must look pretty funny when people watch me working in the photo pit. Well, never mind, back to the show. It was one of the better ones of the show, not as good as on the day before, but very good anyway with a very good tempered band having a lot of fun performing for the audience in Dresden which was very responsive. Light show was pretty good offering me some opportunities to take finally MY pics of DNS and Taste, also due to the possibilities the stage in Dresden had to offer. Just the sound on Dresden was a little downer for several people. Standing in front of stage it was terribly loud, so loud, that my friends left their place in the front row even before the encores started.
Talking about encored, today we got another setlist change. After the already known ‘ButterFly: Dance!’ the band presented another one of their highly loved classics, ‘Chemicals’, being frenetically welcomed by the people celebrating in front of the stage. When the band left the stage again after their two encore songs, I wondered if there would be something more. So far, 2 encores were all you got. But, surprise in Dresden, the band came back for one more song, the loved ‘Traumtänzer’ finishing a great show.
02. The Plague
03. The Chain
04. The Wedding
05. King of Nowhere
08. Soul Stripper
09. The Curse
11. ButterFly: Dance! (upgrade 02)
In Dresden, we also had one of the rare possibilities of an after show party. Last show for us, Saturday night... you know that meant we had to celebrate until early morning. My friends left much earlier than me anyway, but I took the chance to spent some more time at the venue and finally fell into my hotel bed around 5 in the morning to get at least 5 hours of sleep. Right now it is 20:00 Sunday evening and I am sitting in my train back home to Münster writing this article and remembering the great time I had during the last two weeks. Exciting experiences, interesting places, meeting a lot of fantastic people and last but now least all those great shows we were able to be part of. Two weeks of little sleep. Two exhausting weeks. Two weeks filled with a lot of work. But anyway, I would not want to spend my vacations in any other way. Those experiences will stay in mind forever.
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com/ / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography)