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Incredible night in Bremen

Bremen poster

An intimate Show in Bremen

The Weserstadion is a smaller stadium, holding up to 40,000 people only. This gave me the impression of a much more intimate show than the other big arena shows I've seen before, and Michael shared that feeling.

This show was recorded by TV and broadcasted live to many countries (e.g. France, Netherlands, Sweden, even Slovakia, parts of Africa and many countries I don't remember.) In Germany, it was broadcasted by the Stones' Bridges To Babylon tour sponsor SAT1 on 09/19/1998, but only a incomplete version of 90 minutes length.

Well, it was a warm evening, nearly dry except for the last few songs. The band was in good mood and seemed to appreciate the "small" venue...

Show report, part 1

(Posted to Undercover on September 4, 1998)

Hi all!

3 hours after the show, I wrote:
"I'm really speachless! That was my 7th, and it definitely was the best, simply a perfect show!!!"

Now, some more notes on Bremen:

When I arrived in Bremen at 2 pm (2 hours before gates should open), I was very surprised that everything was so quiet: No parking signs, no traffic jams, no Stones people on the streets. I was already thinking "Is this show canceled?". Easily found a parking place and walked to the stadium.

Well, some people queued there - oh happy day - there is a show today! ;-)). But everything was very calm, one gate had around 100 people waiting, at the 3 or 4 other gates only 50 or less people! I didn't have a stadium plan, so I walked around the stadium, noticed that all "public" gates were at Ronnie's side. On Keith's side they had only entries for press, food/drink suppliers etc. I also saw the TV recording mobiles at the stage side, which looked quite impressive: 5 or 6 big trucks full of high tech stuff! Wow! My excitement grew bigger :-)

The weather was quite good this time, no rain, not cold at all. I selected one of the gates, sat down and spend 90 minutes of waiting. That was not boring at all, many nice hardcores from Great Britain, Netherlands and Germany around me, circulating great photos from other shows and having nice chats :-).

At 4 pm (opening time) the crowd got nervous, as always, and the normal pushing began. At that time there were, I guess, around 300 people at my gate, and the security guys made a joke: "Please go to the other gates, then you get in much faster!" ROTFLOL! You could easily see that the other gates are as full as this one :-). This again confirmed my opinion about this tour: Everything is really professional, the band, the technic, Stones security, even the front row crowd - but the local security are simply idiots all the time (at least their organization chiefs), independent which country or city you look at! Remember Paris?

Big Country made a soundcheck, which delayed entry till 4:25. I made it inside with the first 30 guys and started running like always :-).

Inside the stadium, I noticed they changed the normal setup due to the TV recording: There was no Golden Circle, but half way between main- and B-stage they built up another aisle parallel to the main stage for the cameras. Very nice "wave breaker" for the front row people, nearly the same as the Golden circle, but open at the sides.

Even now, everything was *very* quiet, you even didn't have to run at all to get frontstage! Wow! I easily made it SECOND row, 2 meters from catwalk, Keith side, so to speak nearly in the "Golden Corner" ;-)).

Funny, Ronnie's side filled much faster this time, but maybe because all the gates were at that side and the TV fences were a bit confusing this time, you had to run around all that to get inside "Keith's Quarter".

And this filled so slowly, never seen that before; nearly needed 15-20 minutes to complete, and even then there was *much* place to spread your wings ;-). Comfortable Bremen!

The front row crowd was great this time! Very enthusiastic boyz and girlz from many countries: Germans, Englishmen, Netherlands, Sweden and 4 people from Mayumi-Country again (how do the make it front row every time?).

I also met Joyce from Great Britain again, the nice lady traveling to *ALL* European shows, with her transparent "Keith Richards = Sex on two legs". Just in front of me stood the guy with that "Keith sings better than Pavarotti" sign :-).

Some time later I met Michael Honig from Undercover again, an "old friend" from Nuremberg and Hamburg. Well, you can imagine what a great time I had already before the show, even the sun came out. At that moment I had the strong feeling: "This gonna be a great show today!". Not a wrong feeling!

It was also funny to watch the Stones security guys and technicians walk by and shaking hands with the front row fans. Lots of smiling, chatting and taking photos by them :-). Even the Stones main security chief, Jim Callaghan, came over and shook hands.

Time went by very fast, and at 7.05 pm Big Country started their gig. 3rd time in a row for me to see them, and I didn't like them before, but this time I somehow "liked" their performance. Well, to tell the truth, I liked the bass player only, that's really a very nice man! It's a small, black guy who plays a very funky style, is always smiling a lot and makes eye contact with the crowd all the time. Funny to watch him, and a good musician!

They played until 7:50 and warmed up the crowd quite good. After that, the field seemed almost filled, and the seats area was 1/2 to 2/3 filled, around 40,000 people as I heard later. But radio and newspaper said that they had to sell cheaper tickets to some company's employers (e.g. Daimler Benz) in the last two days to fill the stadium :-)

Sorry folks - I have to take a break here. More to follow, if you like ...

   Cheers, Thomas

Show report, part 2

(Posted to Undercover on September 6, 1998)

Hi all,

here are some final notes about Bremen. There's not much to add after some people already reviewed the live broadcast...

The Stones came out of the cage at 8:30 pm. Wow, what a great version of Satisfaction! And the sound was very good from the first moment.

It was quite funny to listen to Mick reading the list of countries to which the show was broadcasted "live", as he said. He split that up to 3 or four parts between the first songs. Once I saw Keith shaking his head and smiling, maybe he didn't know so many countries were on the list?

Anybody Seen My Baby: Keith didn't play - no, he crashed some riffs in between the melody :-)

Saint Of Me: I liked Darryl in this song, he spontaneously went over to the background singers and joined them for some time. Nice group standing together and having fun!

The crowd singing after the end was already described by someone else, but that was really the most impressive I've ever seen. So loud, so well-synchronised and so long! The group couldn't resist to start supporting that, while Mick was in the back to put on his Out Of Control jacket. Of course Ronnie was the first one to start that, then Chuck joined in, at last also Charlie and Darryl :-). When Mick came back, he was walking around at the front of the stage and watching the crowd, somehow uncertain what to do now, while the other guys looked at the chef, waiting for his decision :-)

Out Of Control: Mick was so crazy, he was totally out of breath and couldn't continue with the last part of the country list.

Memory Motel: Well, many people on the list had it quite often, but for me it was the first time and I liked it very much. The parts of Keith were so nice, he was smiling all the time! And once he started walking to Mick's micro too late, but already singing on his way. Mick turned around, probably thinking "Where is this damn guy?", which caused Keith to laugh and interrupt his singing. Of course Mick was also laughing then - that little incident was very funny to watch, and I got the impression that this old couple really likes each other :-))

Miss You: Perfect version IMHO. Very interesting was the toe sucking part this time: Mick started like always, took Lisa's shoe off and stroked her foot for some time, then kissed her toes and - stopped! I couldn't believe he left out the &qout;blow job&qout; part this time. Was that because of the TV broadcast? But he did more provocative actions in the past tours, so what? I think Lisa was also surprised and was not sure if he would come back later, so she stayed lying on the stairs and watched Mick, who had gone to the far right outside of the stage, but she gave up after some time.

And, I forgot to say, she looked wonderful today, with a very short, golden skirt and a silver top (or vice versa? don't remember.)

When the song ended, Mick didn't give the guitar to his tech - no, he threw it to him about 3 meters :-)

Introductions: Keith was funny, he pushed Ronnie to the front, who was resisting bravely with all his might :-))

Thief In The Night: What can I say? Always a highlight for me! Lea was introduced by Keith again, wow, she was looking awful tonight with a long black dress and pinned up hair.

In between Thief and Wanna Hold You, Keith took care of the audience and explained: "Well, just change the guitar. I can't play with the same guitar all the time, you know?" What a joking guy :-))

Wanna hold you: Excellent. I watched Charlie - he was drumming like hell!

Sorry, I don't remember many details of the rest, and what can you tell if everything is perfect? The B-Stage sound was very clear, never heard it so good. I was always disappointed to hear *either* Paint it Black *or* It's Only Rock 'N' Roll, but this time I got both! The front row crowd was wild also during the B-Stage set, while they were very calm in Hamburg.

During the B-Stage part, a lot of people sneaked into the front rows from the side, but I was lucky to defend my second row place. It got rather tight now, you had to use your elbows a little bit to get some space for dancing :-). Big pushing towards the catwalk when they came back.

The last section was wonderful, and I was dancing, singing (crying?) and sweating like hell, it was really the best front row atmosphere I ever saw! And I'm sure that the band felt it - they were really into it that night! Start Me Up was even heard by Petrus and he sent some rain, but nobody took care of that, even not the band. The raindrops simply vaporized on that hot spot :-))

When the encore was going to start, I noticed one of the horn players up there on the platform - and I was immediately sure what's going on! Woooo Hoooo! You Can't Always Get What You Want! We get it this time! Oh, how I enjoyed that song, and how much luck did I have to decide to go to Bremen :-)

Well, all together, really a perfect show, starting at 8:30 pm and lasting until 11:05 pm, that's 155 minutes of pure rock! IMHO everything was fitting very well together: Dry weather (except for the last songs), a small stadium with a more intimate atmosphere, a great audience, perfect sound and the Stones at it's best.

Mick was so crazy that night and Keith was much better that in Hamburg, where he was back at Charlie most of the time. Today he was smiling a lot again and played an awful guitar. Also Ronnie was quite good tonight, and Charlie? Well, he's always great, I think :-). He threw a drumstick after the bow, and I even touched it in the air, but didn't manage to get it :-(

After the show, I went over to Michael to hear his reaction, and he totally agreed: It was also his best B2B show.

Outside the stadium, I had to sit down for some minutes to get down to earth again, have a drink and eat something and buy some posters. I just wanted to stay at that wonderful place some more time and enjoy the strong feelings...


   Thomas <hoping for a good video copy now!>

I made it to the video!!!

Posted to Undercover on 09/19/1998

Hi all!

I just saw the broadcast of the Bremen show on SAT1. This was the first time we could see it here in Germany.

Well, they cut a lot - broadcasted 14 songs only and left out 8 to bore us with 4 big advertisement blocks :-(((

Total time: 2 hours, Stones time: 1:31 hours.

But - YEAH! - I managed to be clearly seen on the video! It's in Honky Tonk Women . Right after Keith playing on Chuck's piano and ending as usual with his foot on the keyboard, the camera pans across the stadium, and directly after that, you can see a girl with blonde hair in the front row, and just beneath her to the right, you can see a mad Undercover guy ;-))))

Note: As I found out later, this might only be true for the SAT1 broadcast! The French Canal+ version has another camera view at that moment :-(


   Thomas <waiting for a complete video now>

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