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DSC02510Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg, Germany
23rd June 2019
Joachim Witt - “Refugium Klassik Tour” 2019 - Special Guest: Adrian Hates [Diary Of Dreams]

The majestic orchestra tour that JOACHIM WITT started already in April with ADRIAN HATES as special guest was about to come to an end - with the final gig in Hamburg at Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in the South of the city. The hall actually belongs to a school, but is also famous as venue for classic concerts. While the summery evening sky covered the city, the diverse fan crowds spread all over the area in front of the venue, to enjoy another cold drink before getting in.

Joachim Witt

Not many words have to be said to tell about JOACHIM WITT, but we could fill a book or two if we tried to. He is a very popular singer in Germany since the 80ies, surfing on the New German Wave (Neue Deutsche Welle) at first with the ‘Der Goldene Reiter’ that is up until today a song that everyone knows very well. To be fair, the song is not representing the work of JOACHIM WITT that well, so if there was anyone who came, especially today, to hear songs like that, they would be - at least surprised. But of course, most fans should know that the repertoire of JOACHIM WITT is wide and especially the dark and melancholic melodies are represented well here. He just celebrated his 70ies birthday and honestly I wish all of our favourite musicians would do so great and continue performing live the way he does. /


Adrian Hates

ADRIAN HATES, mastermind of DIARY OF DREAMS, already shared the stage with JOACHIM WITT and an orchestra last year at Gothic Meets Klassik in Leipzig and the decision to continue this fabulous work with a tour and the chance to hear the orchestral arrangements live once more is really a blessing. DIARY OF DREAMS, existing for about 30 years now, is a constant in the Dark Wave and Gothic scene worldwide for decades and the songs, rearranged in this way, show once more the talented songwriting with attention to detail and pure human emotions. /


Music & Performance
So everyone took a seat, the light turned down and the musicians of the LEIPZIG PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA came on stage, took their places and got ready for the last night of the tour. JOACHIM WITT came on stage in a nice frock coat and all in very stylish and majestic. The evening started with ‘Dämon’, followed by the also dark and really pushing ‘Das geht tief’, a song that already has a lot of dramatic potential, but gets even more depth and mystery through the orchestral arrangement and performance. In between the quite formal atmosphere gets more relaxed through the comments and announcements that JOACHIM WITT is making before playing the next song. While some of the stories are really funny amusing and also touching, it’s not always easy to get the kind of humour that JOACHIM WITT presents. But okay, at least that way the performance appears really authentic and gives some stuff for discussion if you want to.


Wondering whether he would be able to perform the song ‘Bis ans Ende der Zeit’, JOACHIM WITT did very well and extremely convincing. “I know, most of you had a long way to get here. I mean, who wants to go to this place” - here came the small side blow about the venue choice. While the venue itself was maybe not extremely fancy, but very awesome for an event like this, the location in the South of Hamburg appears quite unusual and is not famous for hosting many concerts like this. Before playing ‘Gloria’ JOACHIM WITT told about someone who wrote him that the song was chosen to be played at the funeral of a close family member and the performance proved that this was a non-questionable choice - ‘Gloria’ is incredibly majestic, melancholic and emotional. The orchestra and the voice of JOACHIM WITT make the song sound even stronger. This first part of the evening was closed with ‘Ich will leben’ and ‘Wenn der Winter kommt’, both amazing songs that enchanted the audience with their intensity.


As we know from classical concerts, a break in between is quite usual and so it was used to move around a bit as sitting for a longer time period can also get quite tiring, even in comfy seats and have a drink. Some have chosen a glass of wine or Prosecco, we went for some soft drinks as it was Sunday evening and the Monday morning, meaning start of the work week, came closer with huge steps. After the break it was time for the special guest of the night - ADRIAN HATES. Hearing the orchestral arrangements of a half dozen of DIARY OF DREAMS songs once more was something we were really looking forward to. The second part of the evening started with the powerful ‘Malum’ from ‘Elegies In Darkness’. The song is breathing darkness and the vocals go through the veins. A song that gives the orchestra a lot of opportunities to highlight the details and make them even more perceptible.


Like a few months ago in Leipzig ADRIAN HATES performance shows the importance that this opportunity to perform chosen songs with an orchestra has to him. Following ‘Butterfly: Dance!’, a classic indeed and a song that has a deep personal meaning, so it is always a pleasure to experience it live in every single version that has been played live. ‘Hiding Rivers’ is the newest song that was chosen from the long DIARY OF DREAMS discography, taken from the latest release ‘Hell in Eden’. Even the original version was calling for the orchestral realization. Especially the strings are very dominant in the fragile and dreamy ‘Hiding Rivers’ that immediately became one of the all-time favourites right after the release. An enchanting beautiful performance.


‘The Colours Of Grey’, ‘She And Her Darkness’ and the probably most played live song ‘Traumtänzer’ made a perfect trio of classics that just screamed for classical adaptations as the songwriting here makes them to masterpieces that deserve a bigger audience and more special framework. The arrangements just made them show their whole charm and magic. The highlight of the evening was for sure the next song: JOACHIM WITT came now back on stage and both, JOACHIM WITT and ADRIAN HATES, now performed a song together - the majestic and extremely popular ‘Die Flut’. Originally known with the contribution of PETER HEPPNER who is giving the song the typical and unique sound with his voice. While there is no other voice like his, ADRIAN HATES’ vocals are working incredibly and even for me, surprisingly great for the part that is originally performed by PETER HEPPNER. A magic moment.


Afterwards ADRIAN HATES is leaving the stage and JOACHIM WITT is performing two more songs before the next one he is singing and wishing his daughter who is sitting tonight in the audience a very happy birthday and of course, the crowd joins in and so the personal and touching ‘Mein Diamant’ is dedicated to her tonight. ‘Der Goldene Reiter’ cannot be missed at a JOACHIM WITT concert and the orchestral version actually makes even me like the song a bit more than I usually do. After leaving the stage once more for a very short break, JOACHIM WITT comes back for one last song: ‘Wieder bin ich nicht geflogen’ that is meant to be the last song of the night and the “Refugium” tour in total. A special moment and an atmosphere that is full of emotions, fulfilled expectations and excited heartbeats. We are all struggling to leave knowing that this was a rare opportunity to hear all the songs of both masterminds in orchestral versions, carrying the feelings that just came up carefully in our hearts until the, hopefully, next time.


01. JW - Dämon
02. JW - Das geht tief
03. JW - Wintermärz
04. JW - Eisenherz
05. JW - Bis ans Ende der Zeit
06. JW - Gloria
07. JW - Ich will leben
08. JW - Wenn der Winter kommt
09. AH - Malum
10. AH - Butterfly: Dance!
11. AH - Hiding rivers
12. AH - The colors of grey
13. AH - She and her darkness
14. AH - Traumtänzer
15. JW + AH - Die Flut
16. JW - Mein Diamant
17. JW - Der Goldene Reiter
18. JW - Wieder bin ich nicht geflogen

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 8
Sound: 9
Total: 9.3 / 10

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All pictures taken by Nastja Iz

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