30th October 2021
Diary of Dreams
It has now been around 500 concerts in almost 40 countries since the first note from the “Diary of Dreams” sounded, and there is no end in sight. Everyone who knows this band knows about their achievements, created by none other than Adrian Hates - founder, singer and centre of the band, calling himself a creative pessimist. We owe this epic, dark, graceful, dramatic, fragile and extremely detailed music to his dark side and his creative use of it.
Before a new chapter is opened in spring 2022, DIARY OF DREAMS toured the country one last time with a well-known setlist, only to turn our heads next year with a brand new album. The anticipation is huge, but there are a few downsides to be shed, as one or the other evergreen is put into a deep slumber for a certain period of time. DIARY OF DREAMS currently are Adrian Hates, Dejan Nikolic, Hilger Tintel and Felix Wunderer. The event in Bielefeld was organized in compliance with 3G (means recovered, vaccinated or tested). https://www.diaryofdreams.de / https://www.facebook.com/officialdiaryofdreams
Music & Performance
With DIARY OF DREAMS you experience the extraordinary. Let yourself be surprised. I have never been to Bielefeld, so we decided to give it a try and visit the city that is said to be not existing according to a German running gag. With 2.5 hours to go, it was not that far away from home. The prospect of meeting friends, spending time with our favourite music band and eating lots of vegan food finally made the decision easy to pack our bags and go. Bielefeld has not been on the schedule of DIARY OF DREAMS for a long time, so the anticipation, especially among the local fans, was of course all the greater to finally have their band of the heart back on stage again. The concert was originally planned at the MOVIE, but due to a lengthy legal dispute between the landlord and tenant, MCH Musikbetrieb GmbH left the MOVIE premises, but was able to find an equal replacement for the concert with the STEREO close to the original location.
Before attending the concert, we took our dinner at the Nichtschwimmer restaurant and were really impressed by that enormous nightlife with thousands of people trying to have to good party night in the city. For us, it was the first concert in such a small club, but from the first moment we loved that cosy place. More and more people entered the room, and when the lights of the well-filled club were reduced to a minimum at 8 p.m., the dreamers actually practiced a good four minutes of absolutely calm patience, which seemed a bit scary to me, because experience has shown that dimming the light is the signal par excellence that it is about to start, and that is what you can hear - there is clapping, whistling and hooting. In Bielefeld, things were completely relaxed.
At 8:04 p.m. the starting signal was given: the first notes of ‘Made in Shame’, the intro that had been fixed for some time, could be heard, and now everyone’s attention belonged to the stage, no longer to the bar or the freshly tapped cold drink. The band took the stage and immediately started to rock. ‘Made of Shame’ was then followed by the extraordinary ‘Epicon’; this song cannot be compared with anything else and it takes away the dance and movement insecurity of even the hardest introvert. Right at the beginning of a setlist, this is of course a clever move, because you have the scent brand set directly and the location under control. After a short greeting towards the audience, ‘Sinferno’ was shot right after.
On Friday before the gig in Bielefeld, DIARY OF DREAMS played at the Plage Noire Festival on Weissenhäuser Strand, and although the atmosphere there was excellent, Adrian made it clear that he never get in the mood at festivals as he does for example in clubs like this, this would be exactly his thing, especially because he can look people right in their eyes, he recognizes people, which creates a much more familiar feeling. Of course, the audience immediately rewarded this declaration of love with a wave of ecstatic applause, because one thing was clear for sure - it’s not only the people who are here for the band, the band is also here for the people.
The first driving pack of songs of the evening was rounded off with ‘Listen and scream’, before the first soft tones of the first German-language song of the night sounded - the ‘Ikarus’ was ready to take on the question of who you can trust and who not. When the pulsating energy of the previously played songs was brought to a reverent silence because of ‘Ikarus’, everyone in the audience thought of their own experiences with people, their gaze was sunk in themselves or dreamily directed towards the stage. What you can’t see, but maybe know from an interview - while singing this song, Adrian always gives himself up to a shower of goose bumps.
The question of whether ‘Charma Sleeper’ is on the set list or not was then clarified. This song has blossomed into one of my favourite live songs since Leipzig 2020. The fact that Adrian thinks the same way and that it is one of his favourites on stage, was a welcome statement for me and everyone else who loves this ‘Nigredo’ song so much. This mixture of calm, mystically homely passages and then again very deeply piercing, bass-heavy elements just totally got me hooked, and of course the text also contributes its special part, even if of course everyone makes an interpretation with their own thoughts. Photographer Dani aka Black Cat, who has accompanied the band for many years now and has taken more photos than Adrian can remember, also got her very own moment of appreciation. I agree with the compliment, dear Dani, your photos capture every event in a very appealing way and also give this review the final pep. And our friendship is representative for all people who have found each other through DIARY OF DREAMS.
Next in line was then ‘Malum’, and despite the fact that this is a high power song, I always have the classic version in mind which I got presented during a tour of Adrian together with Joachim Witt and the Leipzig Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019. I immediately have the pictures in my head, I see the orchestra, the chic clothes, and probably this will never change again. ‘Malum’ is one of those songs that involve the audience in terms of vocals and is therefore an important part of the interaction between the stage and everyone else in the room. With ‘Soul Stripper’ it was a big step back in time, back to the album ‘Panik Manifesto’ from 2002; a song in which Dejan clearly comes to the fore for a moment when Adrian steps aside and all eyes are clear on the world’s best drummer.
As it should be for a club, of course club-heavy songs like ‘Endless nights’ should not be missed. I like this song very much, it detaches itself from the emotional heaviness of other songs and creates a very pleasant lightness, gives hope, creates positivity and tells you not to give up and not to be afraid. The night also has something divine, sacred, heavenly, it is your cover from which you can face your fears. That is roughly my interpretation of this elegant, danceable number. ‘She and her darkness’ then gave the dancing legs a break, and in the audience the couples now hugged each other while others swayed dreamily and to their own rhythm. Is it a love song or is it not a love song? And who is “She”? We probably all ask ourselves these questions, but the answers are not available to us, because in the end it is about your own interpretation, your own feeling, your own experience that you associate with this song. And even though the lyrics are in English, there was one “Danke” to be heard in the chorus.
When ‘the Curse’ sounds, I always have to think back to times when it was still possible for Adrian to leave the stage and walk through the audience during the encore. With a little luck, you could catch a hug or take a photo together. May that be possible again soon. With ‘deceipher me’, similarly club-heavy as ‘Endless nights’, I was able to put another check mark on my favourite songs list. The up to now current album ‘Hell in Eden’ simply has an endless number of hits to offer. With ‘the Plague’, the 2007 album ‘Nekrolog 43’ was briefly brought to life, and that should also be the last song of the evening that was not influenced by the event that occurred shortly afterwards.
‘Undividable’ always is an indicator that time has passed too quickly. As usual, the song started immediately with taking the full attention of the audience, and it felt like there is an invisible bond that wraps itself around the band and the fans and intertwines both sides. We are inseparable, we belong together, you up there, we down here. And then something happened that stayed hidden from my eyes and those of my companion, but definitely shifted the energy in the room in a completely different direction, and it should stay that way until the end of the concert. The things suddenly going on on stage made no sense to me at first: Why are the four guys laughing like that? Why does Adrian even have to interrupt some of his vocal parts? Why does he sit down in front of the drum kit and laugh out loud? Why does Hilger turn his back to the audience, and why does Adrian send us the cryptic message “I would tell you, but I won’t”?
It was actually all Greek to me, and all because at the exact moment when the earthquake-like event took place, I let my eyes circle through the club to discover the enormous atmosphere that ‘Undividable’ always creates, every time and everywhere, and to suck it up. To make it easier for the reader to understand, I tell you right now what was revealed to me after the concert: Hilger fell on the stage, but immediately got up again. And this fall itself would probably not have been so funny, but it brought back memories of a similar experience for the band and especially for Adrian during a concert in Turkey, when Hilger fell on the stairs right at the beginning of the concert as he climbed onto the stage, the whole thing accompanied by loud noises made by his instrument.
This memory triggered a flash of laughter on stage, which made any normal action impossible, but what could be nicer than hearty, refreshing and, above all, contagious laughter? That definitely were tears of laughter. To see how Adrian wiped the tears from his face and could hardly speak gave the evening a unique touch, and probably none of the long-established fans has experienced something like this before. It is one thing to be embarrassed and to act as if nothing had happened and to continue to rewind your program professionally, but it is a completely different act to let your emotions run free and thus also stifle the previously smooth flow of the concert. The audience was only too happy to jump on it after all the difficult times we have to experience since the beginning of the corona virus pandemic. I am absolutely sure that this was the funniest DIARY OF DREAMS concert every played.
But despite all the fun, how hard must it have been to go through the next songs without laughing after this unwanted show performance? Of course it didn’t work out perfectly with all those pictures in their head and the countless amused faces down there in the audience that made it incredibly difficult to perform the usual coolness. One or the other protagonist had to turn away on stage or start his verse all over again. ‘Kindrom’ and its rebels and psychopaths were the first to bear this burden today. But if that is not human and cordial, what the hell is? At the end of the main block, Hilger rose to speak into the microphone: “Today encores only against handed over smartphones, on which all evidence of the fall must be destroyed!” Adrian, in turn, was of the opinion that this evidence must be preserved and that an encore would be tied to it. He probably regrets that there is no video evidence of the Turkey fall, but who knows.
Now that all band members were probably happy to be able to get rid of the pent-up laughter behind the stage, the return was applauded and whistled in front of the stage. There were beginnings of a uniform “encore” choir, but unfortunately it died before it could really pick up speed, and clapping and whistling took over again. But that was enough to bring the quartet back on stage. The first encore revealed itself with ‘Butterfly: Dance!’, For me one of the most beautiful DIARY songs ever, also lyrically, because I always reflect my life, look at the past and the future, look for pieces of the puzzle that I have to find for the future to make sense. From time to time you should ask yourself whether you are still on the right path and doing the right thing for yourself or not and if there are things that you have overlooked in the past.
The following announcement of Adrian then was unmistakable: after this weekend and with the beginning of the new concert season in spring 2022, the song ‘Traumtänzer’ will no longer be heard live for a while. Put into deep sleep, it will make room for new material, which will be released with the new album in the near future. It will be interesting to see which other song has the power to replace the vocal exchange between singer and audience like the ‘Traumtänzer’ does. Not knowing how the band was rolling on the floor backstage with laughter, the audience waited to applaud for the last songs of the evening, and it was Felix who told us to try it a little louder to get the rest of the band back on stage, which then worked out very well. Adrian then told the story of Hilger’s fall in Turkey in a very colourful way, laughing again and again, but then gave his left winger a warm hug, because despite all the amusement, of course, you do not wish anyone such a fall in front of an audience.
The transition to the final song ‘The Colors of Grey’ was very unfavourable in terms of mood, because due to the extremely funny situation it didn’t fit into the picture anymore, but who could have guessed when planning the setlist that there would be such an amusing turning point? The song got help by the knowledge that this concert now comes to an end, and so melancholy and sadness were born out of this. An evening with DIARY OF DREAMS is always too short, we all agree on that. In fact, this day is a unique experience so far in the history of the band. As the last tone faded away, Adrian, Hilger, Dejan and Felix came to the front of the stage and thankfully bowed arm in arm in just to experience another unexpected moment: a fan and representative of an organisation entered the stage and donated 1,000 euros for the ruined White Room. That was, of course, a very special surprise and a heart-warming way to end this extraordinary concert night. We will miss you guys, but see you soon in spring 2022!
Finally, a few wishes for recovery: Dear Tanja, may you continue to recover and be part of the live crew again in the new year, freshly strengthened!
01. Made in Shame
04. listen and scream
06. Charma Sleeper
08. Soul Stripper
09. Endless nights
10. She and her darkness
11. the Curse
12. deceipher me
13. the Plague
18. the Colors of Grey
Performance/fun factor: 10
Total: 10 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)