3rd February 2009
The Rasmus, Fräulein Wunder
After I had arrived at the venue, I noticed the tour bus that was standing in front of the Batschkapp surrounded by some curious girls. Though it was very cold outside, there was a pretty long queue that was obviously dominated by young female fans who had waited for hours to get into the hall. With visible impatience, some girls right in front of the queue started to pound on the doors. Finally, the doors were opened at 8pm and I was virtually pushed into the building.
With their recent album `Black Roses´ up to their sleeves and being on tour through Europe, THE RASMUS had invited to come to the Batschkapp. Due to the fact that the today’s gig was completely sold out, an additional concert on 2nd April 2009 had already been announced. The girl quartet FRÄULEIN WUNDER was chosen to be the support act for the concerts on German territory. The club filled up quickly; it was crowded and hot in front of the small stage and I watched some little fights for the best standing rooms.
At 9 pm the band FRÄULEIN WUNDER entered the stage, four young female musicians that had been discovered by their label in 2007. In summer 2008, the girls released their debut album `Fräulein Wunder´ in collaboration with such experienced producers as Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen (NENA) and Inga Humpe (2RAUMWOHNUNG). Thus, one can’t deny the producers´ influence on the album’s style, as FRÄULEIN WUNDER´s sound contains stylistic devices of New German Wave and Pop that German bands like JULI are known for.
Music & Performance
It had been predictable that being the support act for THE RASMUS was a hard job for the girls. However, they coped with that by showing a cheerful abandon and enjoyment of playing. Chanty (vocals), Steffy (bass), Kerstin (guitar) and Pia (drums) were dressed in colourful clothes that conjured up images of 80´s fashion. Due to her appearance and her voice, the lead singer Chanty reminded me a bit of the New German Wave singer NENA in her younger years. The smart songs, for example `Wir sind neu´, `SOS´, `Wenn ich ein Junge wär´, `Fick dich´ and `Panzerboy´, are quite catchy and able to appeal to a young audience. Especially `SOS´ made the crowd singing along and waving the arms although it was obvious that the host THE RASMUS was eagerly awaited.
The girls had to face some problems caused by the sound which was nearly completely dominated by booming bass lines that made the band singing loudly to be heard. The heavy bass lines annoyed some people right next to me, as the sound caused earache which was not a consequence of the band’s performance, but of the technical conditions. As FRÄULEIN WUNDER played their last show in the capacity of THE RASMUS´ support act, the girls announced to have a little surprise for the audience. There was a huge wave of excitement when THE RASMUS-bassist Eero appeared on stage to perform with the girls. They played an acoustic version of the TOKIO HOTEL-hit `Durch den Monsun´ and seemed to be pleased by the audience’s enthusiastic reactions.
The last song `Sternradio´ was introduced as the chosen piece FRÄULEIN WUNDER will compete with at the Bundesvision Songcontest in Potsdam in 2009. The girls will represent the federal state of Hessen and I wish them all the best concerning this challenge and their further career. I liked it to listen to them and to watch their performance, as they seem to put their heart and soul in their concerts. By reaching more maturity and gaining more experience, perhaps FRÄULEIN WUNDER can become firmly established in the German pop business.
Total: 6.6 / 10
After the set change had been finished, two band members of FRÄULEIN WUNDER dashed on stage again to play a joke on THE RASMUS. The girls put some paper planes on the instruments and left the stage as soon as possible. It was about 10 pm, when the lights went off and the crowd started to scream loudly.
Music & Performance
Accompanied by the measures of their opening song `Livin’ in a world without you´ taken from the recent album `Black Roses´, THE RASMUS appeared on stage that was decorated with a huge backdrop. Lead singer Lauri, drummer Aki, guitarist Pauli and bassist Eero went to their instruments and removed the paper planes by throwing them towards the audience. The four guys from Finland welcomed the crowd and apologized for having a cold. Wearing a pair of jeans and a dark shirt, the peroxide blonde Lauri was the undoubted centre of the show right from the beginning. As he was in motion all the time, soon beads of perspiration appeared on his forehead. The young audience sung along every song and was very euphoric. I noticed that someone had even brought small Finnish flags.
According to the tour’s title, the setlist contained many songs from the recent long-player `Black Roses´ such as `Your Forgiveness´, `Live forever´, `Ghost of Love´, `The Fight´ and the solemn ballad `Justify´ that had been released on 30th January 2009. In consideration of the successful album `Hide from the Sun´ (2005) and their Europe-wide breakthrough `Dead Letters´ (2003), the setlist was completed by songs from these long-players. Thus, the hit `In the Shadows´ caused thundering applauses and also warmed up the back rows that had been appeared a bit restrained up to that moment. Before the guys started to sing the ballad `Live forever´, they had asked for illuminating the venue by using lighters and sparklers. Some girls satisfied the wish and waved their arms holding the demanded sparklers.
I got the impression that many fans had been to other concerts of the tour before, as they seemed to know the show’s details. When THE RASMUS announced to play `F-F-F-Falling´, a song from the album `Into´ (2001), they pleased many long term fans whose eyes lit up while they were singing each and every line. In my opinion, the collaboration with the world-famous producer Desmond Child led to more opulent songs that come up with a catchy melody and more complex compositions. However, it was very easy to chant along without knowing the recent album inside out. I think that the new pieces differ from the ones you can find on `Hide from the Sun´ regarding their style, as they don’t refer that much to the sound of the 2005 album which often based upon the success patterns of the hit single `In the Shadows´ (2003).
As far as I understood it, the band felt comfortable about the new stuff, although the self-chosen stylistic label “Death Pop” was not applied on stage. The album’s electronic sound effects were not that conspicuous at the live performance, so it was more a rock sound. Alternating the fast songs, some ballads invited to have a rest and to enjoy an impressive atmosphere. Saying good-bye after 17 songs and acknowledged with great applause, the guys came back to perform two encores. Before starting the first one, they asked who was willing to sing the song `Rakkauslaulu´ with them on stage. Firstly, anybody didn’t accept the offer, maybe because of the Finnish lyrics.
Finally, a brave girl accepted the challenge and was praised by the band. It was striking that the four guys interacted with the crowd in a likeable and friendly way. They also showed a good sense of humour contrary to the melancholic lyrics and their image. `Sail away´ had been the final song, before Lauri, Aki, Pauli and Eero left for good and the crowd ran to the merchandise stand to purchase a tour shirt. To sum up, the band offered a respectable live show that meets the young audience’s demands completely. If you appreciated catchy songs and you liked the recent album, you should not hesitate to buy a ticket for the second Frankfurt show on 2nd April.
01. Livin´ in a World without you
02. No Fear
03. Black Roses
04. In my Life
09. Your Forgiveness
10. First Day of my Life
11. Ghost of Love
12. Not like the other Girls
14. Live forever
15. The Fight
16. In the Shadows
19. Sail away