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Goethes ErbenMarkthalle, Hamburg, Germany
27th September 2018
Goethes Erben - “Am Abgrund” Tour 2018

It’s been about exactly 11 years ago that I saw GOETHES ERBEN for the first time live on stage. But back then I also thought that was going to be the last time as well, as we were attending the very last of the three goodbye-shows in K17 in Berlin on 15th September 2007. I was not a big fan before, but joined my partner back than as I was curious to see them. I just turned 18 in 2007, in the Gothic scene for about 4-5 years at the moment and knew GOETHES ERBEN already as the band / project that was a legend.

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I was always fascinated by the intensity of emotions that Oswald creates with his voice and the lyrics. Listening to GOETHES ERBEN always meant to me to concentrate fully to it, not able to play it while doing something else. So it’s been 11 years now and though I wouldn’t necessarily put them on the top of my favourite bands, the concert back than in 2007 might still be one in the top three of all times. So different, so emotional and so strong. I am still fascinated by everything that I felt during that night. Oswald Henke brought GOETHES ERBEN back on stage a few years ago and I already had the chance to experience the minimalistic “Piano and voice” set twice this year in Hamburg and as kind of secret because unofficial gig during this year’s WGT in Clara-Zetkin-Park.

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The time has come to see the whole rock show again as the new album ‘Am Abgrund’ was just currently released, following by a 7-gig-tour. The tour start happened to be in Hamburg and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see GOETHES ERBEN with the new album on stage. The evening at Markthalle Hamburg started with the screening of a documentation about the stage play ‘Menschenstille’ written by Oswald Henke himself. The play threatened the topic of depression and suicide and was based on a tragic personal experience. I haven’t seen the stage play myself but as I saw the documentary I wished I did that. Even the short documentary showed a lot of tragic, emotion and a very engaging story, also the audience was involved in a very emotional way. The live part of the evening was divided in two. The first part was the presentation of the new album ‘Am Abgrund’, while the second part was a retrospection through the history of GOETHES ERBEN, both about an hour, interrupted by a break of 15 - 20 minutes. /

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Music & Performance
1st part “Am Abgrund”: During the first concert part of the night GOETHES ERBEN were presenting the newly released album ‘Am Abgrund’. All of the songs were played during this hour in a very dramatic way. (Artificial) blood and video projections were part of it as well as Oswald Henke performing with the whole spectre of human emotions (mostly very dark emotions with a good portion of madness though). The madness is something that is covering the whole evening in a very theatrical way. It was not the artificial blood, but the lyrics and the way Oswald Henke is interpreting his songs on stage that made me feel very uncomfortable during some of the songs. But this kind of ‘discomfort’ is exactly one of the emotions that GOETHES ERBEN are about to make their audience feel and it worked perfectly. During the song ‘Verstümmelung’ the emotions took over and I felt the urgent craving to leave the venue for a moment and make a little walk.

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Of course I didn’t. But the feelings constricted my throat. During the song ‘Denn es ist immer so’ old photos through the GOETHES ERBEN history were shown over the projectors. I loved the very, very old pictures, but also the ones from the 2000s which made me think of the time when I discovered the band myself. Oswald Henke was the perfect protagonist. Of course, as it’s his band and songs, but his creativity and his acting skills make it perfect. The white outfits (later on with lots of blood on it though) reflected perfectly the innocence of the world that is destroyed by the world itself in many cruel ways. That’s what many of the songs are about. And the contrasts between the innocence (white) and the suffering (red blood) are so strong which makes it sometimes so hard to deal with. Though these all are “just songs”, they all reflect situations that many people can relate to.

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2nd part “Rückblicke”: The second part was a retrospective through the creating decades. Oswald Henke used to call this part “more cheerful” than the first one which sounds absolutely sarcastic knowing the creations of GOETHES ERBEN. The outfits changed to darker and Oswald Henke left the smaller podium in the back part of the stage for the second act. The songs became a bit faster, but also of course many well-known songs were played during this part. ‘Zimmer 34’ was the highlight of the pure madness. While I knew that it was totally okay what I saw because it was a GOETHES ERBEN concert, my brain kept asking what the heck was happening. The inner dialogue must have been hilarious. My personal highlight was the classic ‘Die Kopfstimme’, I loved this one already when I was 15 and still do it. It became also a bit “romantic” in a Henke-way with the song ‘Märchenprinzen’. The two hours of insanity were completed by the well-known and genius ‘Mensch sein’.

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After the concert the band came to the merch booth and the fans was given the chance to take pictures and let sign the CDs and other merch stuff. We stayed just a bit because the next day was still Friday and we had to get to work in the morning. So we left the Markthalle in the night thinking of all the emotions that were created during the concert and still surrounding us. No other band is able to create such controversial feelings in the hearts and minds of their audience. This makes GOETHES ERBEN so unique and precious in the way they create.

Part 1 “Am Abgrund”:
01. Wucht
02. Es ist still
03. Rot
04. Verstümmelung
05. Darwins Jünger
06. Denn es ist immer so
07. Lazarus
08. Zu lang geschwiegen
09. Schlaflos
10. Am Abgrund
Part 2 “Rückblicke”:
11. Es ist Nacht
12. Der Eissturm
13. Nichts bleibt wie es war
14. Zimmer 34
15. Angespuckt
16. Die Brut
17. Kopfstimme
18. Mit dem Wissen
19. Märchenprinzen
20. Mensch sein

Music: 9
Performance: 10
Light: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 9 / 10

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All Pictures by Nastja Iz

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