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Glimmers in Hamburg

90,000 in Hamburg
© DIE WELT, Hamburg
Another Mega-Show in Germany
A crowd of 90,000 fans saw the show in Hamburg - 25 years after their last gig in 1973.
This was the biggest concert the city has seen so far, accompanied by a huge coverage in the local press and TV.

(Posted to Undercover on September 1, 1998)

Hi all!

After I read Johannes' great report on the Hamburg show, there's not much to add, but anyway...

The boys came to Hamburg on Friday night directly after the Leipzig show, but in Hamburg airport there is a night landing restriction, so they landed in Lübeck and went the 60-70 km to Hamburg by car (a short report on that in the TV). When they arrived at the Hotel Atlantic at 2 am, no fan was there to bother them :-)

Local press wrote that Charlie went out for shopping on Saturday afternoon and gave some autographs. There's also a story of Mick in the BILD newspaper: He hired a complete Kart track near Hamburg for 3 hours (rental is 440$ per hour) and went there with his kids and some band members. It was a birthday gift for his son James Leroy, who became 13 on Sunday. Mick said "Hey, this is great!" and had a lot of fun, there are some pictures in the newspaper, even one with Georgia May on his legs, both with helmets, driving in a Kart :-)

Also on Saturday evening, there was a big firework competition of different countries in the center of Hamburg, which was magnificent! Since the Atlantic Hotel was very near to that event, I'm sure the Stones watched it and got some ideas for the next tour :-))

District-Party flyer
© E.S.P. Agency, Hamburg
I also went to the party A district celebrates the Rolling Stones at the Großneumarkt. It was very nice to walk through the streets and hear good Stones music through the open doors of every bar! They all had big Stones posters inside and outside and some showed videos also. I took some of the flyers with me, nice memory :-) Unfortunately, I didn't meet Dirk Störmann, who gave that info.
District-Party flyer

Sunday was Stones day again! I met with Dirk in the town at 12 am and we had a nice Stones chat about recent shows and exchanged memories from Prague and Paris. As time went by, some other non-UC folks met us: Christian (?) from Munich, who had 8 Bridges To Babylon (B2B) shows already, Dirk's friend Egon with his wife and Dirk's sister, first time B2B for them. We left the restaurant at 1:15 pm and arrived at the show ground short before 2 pm.

A lot of professional scalpers again like in Berlin, but also many "normal" people to sell a spare ticket, so you could easily get a ticket below face value again.

Although some hundred people were standing there, we made it quite near to the gate. Opening was announced for 3 pm, but at 2:15 they suddenly opened the gates. They searched my bag this time, but of course didn't find the pocket camera in the underpants ;-)

It was a long way to run this time, because the field was rather big, but we knew exactly where to go :-). So we made it into the Golden Circle, Keith side, 2 meters from catwalk, 8 meters from front stage.

There happened a big surprise for me: After I sat down, totally out of breath, a guy in front of me said: "Hello Thomas!" - I really sat directly beneath UC member Michael Honig, with whom I went to Nuremberg in June!

How small is the world? You always meet these crazy people from Undercover everywhere :-)). Michael was there with 3 non-UC friends, and so we had a nice, mixed group of hardcore and first-time Glimmers together, and time went by very fast.

The circle included the B-Stage sides again. It was not packed too much, you could get out and in easily. From time to time, it was raining a little bit, but not so heavy like in Berlin and Leipzig, and it was also not as cold as in Berlin, so we had a good time.

Big Country opened the show from 6:07 till 6:50 pm, no comment on them from me ;-)

The lion was roaring again at 7:35 pm, and it was not yet dark at all at this time. Maybe that's the reason that even Mick wore sunglasses for the first few songs? ;-)

Well, Johannes wrote a lot of details already, and I won't repeat. Some additional items:

Mick was talking German a lot again, e.g. "Alles gut? Alles ok?" (Everything good? Everything ok?) before Anybody Seen My Baby. This one was better than in Berlin IMHO, and Keith had his first smoke and took off his sunglasses, at the 5th song! The "Hamburg Rap" was so good, I could see Charlie having a big smile on that.

After that, a great It's Only Rock 'N' Roll was played, I always have the feeling that the band wakes up just with that song and the show really begins. At least Keith gets in good mood with it always.

Like Johannes, I think Ronnie had a very bad day in Hamburg. He wasn't "in" the show and made a strange face in the first part, sometimes I even thought he's drunk, but got a little better in the last part.

Saint Of Me: The chorus of the crowd after the end of the song did not work in Hamburg, because left and right side were so asynchronous. Mick worked on that, but gave up in the end :-)

Out Of Control: This one is a classic already, I think. Mick played a fantastic mouth-organ solo, while Keith sneaked around him, rocking and riffing in admiration. Later, Mick rushed out to the right side and while dancing he pulled his T-Shirt up over his head again like in Paris, the crowd went nuts for his naked chest :-).

Cybervote song Dead Flowers was *very* good IMHO, I was very happy to hear that. It's a nice addition to "my" cybervotes (Love in Vain in Werchter 1, Paint It Black in Paris, Street Fighting Man in Berlin, but also twice Under My Thumb in Nuremberg and Werchter 2 :-( ) Mick introduced that with something like "Hamburg, you like Country Music, is that right?"

Miss You: There was a young girl from the crew who wanted to give Mick the guitar, but he was so heavily "working" on the crowd that she had to follow him :-) Looked quite funny to see this girl running behind Mick, very uncertain about what this guy will do the next second :-))

I personally like this song, there's always much interaction between the band members to watch, and Mick and Lisa - well, pure sex on stage ;-) The toe sucking number seems to be a fixed part of the show now, and he did a great job again :-)) Later Bernard and Lisa went to Darryl and jammed with him. I like his jazzy mood in this song every time, great musician!

Band introductions: Mick was teasing Lisa this time: When she came up front and made her bows, Mick imitated in a very high, female voice "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you..." ;-)) That was really funny to hear.

When Bobby was introduced, Keith went over and made his "fist gesture", knocking his head, breast, hip and even the ground in front of the horn section. Yeah, Bobby, come on, we love you!

When Keith started his part, it began to rain again, and he put on that old, funny hat again. Oh, my god, he looks so great with that, I love it! He was a purrrfect Thief In The Night :-))

The more shows I see, the more this part gets the highlight for me. Is it because I'm a die-hard Keefian, or because this part is done by a guy who puts all his love and feelings into the music, while the rest of the show is dominated by perfectionist Mick? Keith was so great again with Thief and Wanna Hold You, really the Blues on two legs, I could have jumped up the stage and give this friendly smiling guy a big hug, if they let me ;-)

The B-Stage set and sound was quite good, but I had some very strange experience with the people around me: As the show was further away now, everybody was very quiet, nearly nobody sang along. That's a very bad feeling when you want to dance and cry "Go, go go...", and have so silent people surrounding you...

And it got even worse: I really heard someone asking during Little Queenie: "What's the name of this song?"! Can you imagine such kind of people being in the Golden Circle? Unbelievable...

But there was a nice scene also: A rather small girl (Mayumi size ;-) ) couldn't see anything and was jumping up all the time, until a guy who didn't know her at all took her on his shoulders :-)

Sympathy For The Devil had an excellent solo by Keith, while in Tumblin' Dice Mick put a hat on Ronnie's head, when it started raining again.

Because of this heavy shower, Mick jumped back to his wardrobe during Honky Tonk Women, and he came back with - a long, golden, glittering coat! Keith looked at him very astonished, and then laughed about Mick jumping around in that outfit. Nice to watch these little things :-)

I also like the reactions of the front row Honky Tonk girls on the big screen :-). Mick was so wild, he even came down the stairs of the stage, which I didn't see before in this song.

Start Me Up was rocking! Now, Mick couldn't move like he wanted in that golden coat, and he spent a lot of effort to get out of it again, but some time later he also had some problems with his trousers, trying to pull them up and grabbing ... you know where :-)). I assume the girls liked to watch that :-) Also Keith was great again on this song, sometimes I thought "That's a two-man-show today!".

The final with Jumpin' Jack Flash was fantastic again. When Keith came down the stairs, he saw that famous "Keith sings better than Pavarotti" sign, and he laughed, strongly shook his head and shouted something that looked like "No, no, that's not true, you're kidding!" :-))

Brown Sugar sounded a little bit weak this time for me. When it was finished, I was happy to watch a little detail: Keith took off his guitar, raised it up and gave it a kiss! That was definitely not a show gag, because it was rather far in the background of the stage and he turned his back to the crowd at that moment. It simply showed me how much he loves his instrument and the music.

Wow! This was definitely one of the better shows for me. Mick was very good, while Ronnie was - hmm?

I also had a very good view on Charlie this time, no tall people in front of me, I could see his face all the time.

Keith behaved a little bit strange this time IMHO, because he was *very* often in the back at Charlie, and even when he came to the front, he didn't smile often. Don't misunderstand me: He was playing excellent, but somehow seemed not to be in such a good mood as I saw him in other shows.

What also surprised me was the big number of first-time B2B people in the Golden Circle, you could easily hear that from the comments and questions around you.

The rain showers didn't bother me at all - when the Stones show is on, I don't realize whether it's sun or snow around me ;-))

The show ended at 9.55 pm, right before the curfew of 10 pm, no You Can't Always Get What You Want again.

Getting out of the stadium was taking some time with over 90,000 people of course, but there was no pushing and everybody was happy. The shuttle busses were all full of people and couldn't drive through the crowd, so we decided to make a little walk. Dirk had a long way home and had to work the next morning, Michael had "faded away" already and we didn't see a chance to meet with other UC's, so we split up and said "Goodbye".

A great night in Hamburg with the Stones !!! Bremen, here I come !

   Cheers, Thomas

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