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I went to the Berlin show with my little daughter Sandra!
She was 8 years old and it was her first Rock concert ever. Read about her experiences becoming a Glimmer ;-)
(Posted to Undercover on August 29, 1998)
I'm going to give some notes on Berlin.
This time I went to the Stones with my little daughter Sandra (8), and it was the first show in her life (and hopefully not the last...). So, if you expect any show details here, go ahead to the next posting - I didn't concentrate on the show that much, but spent some effort to make the little glimmer enjoy the show :-)
We arrived in Berlin around 6 pm, coming from Hamburg by car. It was funny to look for "Stones cars" on the highway, we spotted the first tongues and even busses with big flags in the back window already 150 km before Berlin.
Entering the city, we had the first rain shower, but I didn't worry about that, because we had seats under the roof. I don't think you can take an 8 year old kid to the front row, with all that waiting, pushing, running, weather uncertainty etc., so I had chosen these seats this time.
We went to the hotel and spent an hour for relaxing, then made us
ready for the show: Long underpants, 2 pullovers, thick winter jackets
Sandra was only a little upset, still very cool :-)
When we entered the U-train at 7:15 pm, we entered Stones-World already! It was rather obvious where all these people were going, and Sandra's eyes grew bigger :-). She became worried and asked: "How can we get out of the train, when all the people are blocking the doors?", and some people smiled about that :-)
Then, leaving the train together with all those door-blocking people, we suddenly were in the middle of the biggest event of my little glimmer so far :-)). Such a big crowd was walking to the stadium, all ready for the show, and not only Sandra's eyes grew bigger and bigger, now also her mouth went open, only interrupted by some "Oh man! So many people?". I can tell you, that was really funny for me to watch her being overwhelmed and getting more and more excited :-). I loved her.
Something very astonishing to me was the amount of scalpers around the stadium. Never have seen so many of them at the previous shows. It's not a lie: You could buy a ticket every five meters, must have been hundreds of spare tix! I read in the newspaper the next day that they also still sold tickets at the office, although it was announced "sold out", and that made the black market drop under 50 DM, half to third of face value!
We went to one of the queues, and it moved to the entrance very quickly. Oops! At this moment I remembered the camera in my bag which I forgot to hide! Quickly into the ... (you know where :-) ), and we already reached the gate.
First was ticket pre-control. Then the guys controlling the bags: Maybe it was because of the kid at my hand - that was really the easiest control I ever had! The binoculars in a closed cover (!) looked out of the open bag, and I said "It's only binoculars", and the guy said "Ok" and let us pass. He didn't look into the bag, nor touched anything inside or outside the bag, nor searched the bodies! Oh, my god, I could have taken a big camera and a complete recording equipment inside this bag! And they didn't look into Sandra's bag at all.
At last, there was the third station, ripping off the ticket stubs. On the way to this, I felt something slowly slipping down inside my jeans' leg ... oh, that damn camera!... and I had to perform some spastic movements to prevent it falling down :-)). Lucky, they didn't watch it, and we made it inside the gate.
Around the stadium inside the gate they had built up many stands for all kinds of food, beer, wine, artwork/souveniers and Stones stuff. Never seen such a big, international "market" at a show, really nice!
Well, after some search, we found our seats: Ronnie's side (I've never been there before!), middle of the stadium side, but pretty high, I think you call that a nosebleed seat in the US? :-). At least we had a totally unobstructed view to the stage and over the field, which seemed very packed in the front, but nearly empty in the last 20%.
Sandra was even more impressed :-)
We bought two of that nice red, tongue-shaped seat cushions, which you can also use as a big glove, and Sandra had much fun with it during the show, holding it up and waving from time to time. Nice souvenir of her first Stones show, I think.
At 8:20 the warmup band started (Big Country), but I didn't like them and also Sandra asked after each song: "Was that the last one?" and "When are the Stones coming?". I also found them very loud, compared to the Stones. It was already quite dark, and we couldn't see it exactly, but I think it was raining heavily all the time... Their last song contained some sing-along part, but nobody wanted to do that in that bad weather, a lot of whistling only.
Well, these guys stopped at 9 pm and the crew prepared the stage for the Stones. They switched on the big stadium light and I had plenty of time to point out some details to Sandra, and she watched everything with her binoculars (e.g. the guys climbing the light towers), still very patient.... and then the lights went off!
Wow! That "big bang" was really a big surprise for her, although she saw it on the video already! BTW, I also like this every time :-). Being far away from the dark stage, I'm not sure, but I think Keith entered the stage again much to early ... this guy can't wait :-))
We both sang along with Satisfaction, together with the crowd. This lasted through the whole show - although she doesn't understand the meaning of the words, she knew most of the songs of the evening and sang along with them! Pretty good glimmer education, eh? :-))
Sorry, can't give many details of the show, because we were too far away from the stage, only some notes:
They did Anybody Seen My Baby again, which I don't like live on stage, and Sandra's remark was "It's completely different from the CD...". I don't think it was a good version in Berlin.
This low point was immediately followed by a highlight for us: Paint it Black was played excellently in Berlin, I think, much better than in Paris. I saw on the screen that Keith had a lot of fun with that.
Saint Of Me: Very long sing-along of the crowd, and the band started supporting the crowd again...
Out Of Control: Great, as always!
I loved the cybervote Street Fighting Man, not played often in this tour, but played very good IMHO.
Miss You: Sandra's best performance ;-), and she was really upset what Mick was doing with Lisa ("Iiii! Did she wash her feet?")
Introductions: VERY big applause for Charlie this time, and Keef of course.
Thief In The Night: One of the best versions I heard this tour, simply perfect. Afterwards, Lea was taken front stage again by Keith, and she was kidding him stealing the hat from his head :-)
Wanna Hold You: Keith lost his hat again, but Ronnie put it back on the master's head :-)). They were laughing and kidding a lot.
Bridge & B-Stage: Only binocular view, jumbotron is off, but I think nothing special happened there.
Tourist section: Great performance, but nothing special for me.
Well, the show ended around midnight, and my little glimmer was deadly tired, but didn't fall asleep! We quickly left the stadium after the last riff (the final bow was nearly invisible for us in all that smoke and glitter) and saw the fireworks from outside. That was very impressive for Sandra of course, and a good final point of that event for her :-)
Because we were so quick, we had no problem to get the first train and were in back in the hotel at 1 am. I was so happy I escaped the big crowd with her!
Other general remarks: IMHO it was an average show, not bad, but not at the high level of Werchter, even not like Paris.
Mick practiced his German again (stupid!), this time Ronnie was called the "wilde und verrückte Maler" (wild and crazy painter).
Sound in the nosebleeds was better than I expected, but not sufficient for me: Not loud enough, not enough bass, horns section too dominant.
The crowd there upstairs was very calm, some stood up for dancing, but most stayed sitting, no loud singing. By far not that crowd I've seen in Paris, where the whole stadium was cooking up to the highest seats!
The rain was heavy all the time and Mick had his raincoat on most of the time. Keith wore a strange hat, and that was really big fun to watch. He looked so great during Thief In The Night, standing front stage with that old, crumpled thing on his head, perfectly fits to this great guy :-))
I also made some photos, but I don't expect to see anything except a lightened dot (the stage) on them ;-)
All in all, it was a nice experience for me to go with the kid, take care for her, watch her having fun, singing and being very impressed, although she didn't see so much and I myself couldn't concentrate on the show as usual. Probably a new Glimmer! She said "Next time we go very early and go to the first row!". No disagree by her daddy on that!
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