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Awesome Mannheim!

Maimarkt area

The Stones finished the German leg of the tour in Mannheim!

The French GlimmerTeam, consisting of Thierry "the Glimmer Chef" :-), Fabrice, Hervé, Karen and Sarah made a long trip to see the boys in Germany and meeting some native Glimmers like Germar, Klaus, Michael and me.

It was a great show - under a nearly dry sky, which was rather seldom here in autumn '98 :-)

Read some Glimmer reports posted to the Undercover Mailing List:

From Thierry, September 14, 1998,
...and some remarks from Karen, Thomas and Fabrice

Thierry:Hi y'all...
Just got back from the Mannheim show, dead tired (12 hours drive) but so HAPPY !!!

Karen: Sara and I were quite lucky in that our part of the drive was about 6 hours - and we didn't do any driving. In fact, we got to sleep part of the way. Thanks to Thierry and Fabrice for doing all the driving - and doing it so well!

Thomas:I'm so glad you say that! To tell the truth, I was excited that the famous French/American Glimmer Team was coming to my country and I really hoped you won't have to regret it! And I'm also happy you came back home safely!

Thierry: This was my 6th show this tour, in 5 different countries (2 in the US, in 2 different trips, MSG and Chicago UC), and this was the second best one, right after Toronto which will probably always remain the best show in my life... though I hope London '99 will be even better.

Karen: This was our 2nd show of the tour - and it was so much more pleasant than Paris. I can't thank Thierry and Fabrice enough for including us - in spite of my unkind remarks about the Paris show - and enabling us to end the 1998 tour season (for us) on such a great note!

Thierry: The "French" Glimmer Team (Fabrice, Hervé, Karen, Sara and me) arrived at the gates at about 10:30. Klaus Lauterbach, who lives in Heidelberg, a few km from Mannheim, drove us to a nearby road and showed us the way to get out of Mannheim very easily and quickly after the show. He also had found a hotel for us in Heidelberg, and sent us maps and very easy explanations to get to our hotel on the friday evening. Without his help, we sure would have lost a lot of time and energy. This was really great, Klaus, we'll never thank you enough !

When we arrived, there were about 60-80 people ahead of us. Shortly after, we met Germar (first met in Paris for the Mick Taylor show and dinner) and then Thomas Hoffmann joined us in the "waiting room".

Thomas: You won't believe - that was one of the best moments of the day for me! When I came to the gate, I immediately saw Fabrice, who was standing there watching the arriving people, and he also saw me and started to wave and call my name :-). I quickly joined the group and it was a very good, heartwarming feeling to meet "old friends" Thierry and Fabrice again! Also nice to see Germar again, and to get introduced to Hervé, Karen and Sarah, who I somehow missed to talk to in Paris. Nice to meet you, Glimmer Girls :-)

Thierry: They opened a first set of gates around 12:45 then stopped us a few meters further...

Thomas: That was really crazy, another new bullshit tactic of the security. Everybody was sitting calmly on the ground, looking forward to 3 more hours of waiting, when suddenly the "outer" gate was opened. Nobody had expected that and there was no announcement at all, so you can imagine there was a big chaos suddenly, everybody grabbed his stuff quickly and you were pushed towards the gate without any preparation! I didn't have a chance to hide my camera, nor to get out the ticket from my wallet in that situation. I heard some people cry loudly, they seemed to have serious pain. Then I saw that there was no security controling at the gate, and first I thought the front guys had broken the entry doors, but that was not the case. Very scary situation, I never saw that at the German shows. F*ckin' security again and again and again....!

Thierry: we waited again, standing up this time for 3 more hours. Then the big run (700 or 800 meters) to the reserved section. Keith's side of course. We experienced some rain, but nothing serious.

Karen: The rain was fun. Someone pulled out a HUGE sheet of plastic and about 50 of us huddled under it until the rain stopped. Thomas did get of couple of pictures of us undercover - I'm looking forward to seeing them.

The other funny part was the run. The field was dotted with booths - selling food and drinks and Stones merchandise - and the vendors shouted encouragement and laughed at the spectacle of all the dedicated Stones fans running through the mud and puddles. I couldn't run very fast or long - hampered as I was by my advanced age and all the stuff I was transporting. And the vendors didn't help - I just burst out laughing at how funny the situation was - and then I really couldn't run. It was okay though. I made it into the "pit" and Sara and I found a spot about 5 feet left of the catwalk - about 12 feet back from the front fence. The spot was empty because it was quite wet - but we decided we could stand for such a good place.
This was our first time on Keith's side - and we did enjoy it.

Thomas: Well, I think it wasn't that much, maybe 400 m, but it *seemed* as 800 m while running ;-). All that merchandising-, food- and drink stands were really confusing for most of the people, and I was lucky to overtake a lot of them because I used the direct way to the Golden Circle entry ;-)). I was lucky to meet Thierry and Hervé again in the circle, and also Karen and Sarah were only 3 meters away, but we lost Fabrice and Germar and didn't see them during the show.

Thierry: The Corrs were on at 7:33pm and played for about 45 minutes. They were very well greeted, mostly because of the beauty of their singer, their violinist and their drummer, 3 extremely cute girls, who very soon proved they could play and sing really very well. I enjoyed very much their set (I mean the music too !).

Then usual wait, the Stones were on at 8:56pm !!!

Thomas: ...and Thierry turned around to me, a big smile and excitement on his face when the lion roared :-)

Thierry: I won't repeat the setlist, just a few notes :
Temperature was OK for us, but apparently very cold on stage. Ronnie always kept a thick coat, and Keith kept the leopard coat until Miss You. Still on the fashion department : Mick didn't use the silver jacket for Out Of Control but instead wore some horrible and ridiculous dressing gown for Saint Of Me and Out Of Control.

Karen: Funny how different people view things. Both Sara and I really liked Mick's coat for SOM and OOC. Very elegant, gold and burgundy - velvet I think - and lined in burgundy - moire satin I'd guess. Style a little reminiscent of the red coat he wore to open the Voodoo Lounge PPV. He also wore a great jacket for Let it Bleed. Glittery gold lapels and back. I really enjoyed his outfits for this show.

Thierry: Keith wore several times a very large black and white skulls scarf. He wrapped his head and body in it for the final bow, a la arabian, so we couldn't see his face. He put this scarf for the band intros and was introduced by mick as "that old pirate Keith Richards". Ronnie was introduced as "Ronnie Rembrandt Wood" ! And Leah, who sung with Lisa for You Don't Have To Mean It was not introduced at all this time.

Now let's get serious :

Thomas: I'd like to add something on Satisfaction: Mick was heavily chewing a bubble gum all through that title, and I had the impression that he got rather out of breath because of doing that while singing ;-)
During the first break he said "This is the last show in Germany on this tour, so we gonna have a lot of fun together today!" And, yes, we really had!

Thierry: Gimme Shelter : This song usually makes me hate Lisa. She is a great singer, but I saw her many times (mostly MSG, Chicago, Toronto) make so much ! She stars in this song, and IMO she's not in her place. But she sang this time really very well and didn't go to much upfront. So it was OK to me... Keith was obviously enjoying so much playing this song and this guitar, too... And Ronnie was great. At one moment, during the "Love Sister..." verse, Keith crossed the stage to Ronnie's spot, and watched him with his eyes wide open and congratulated him. Ronnie responded with a very nice and modest smile, raising his shoulders. Nice moment.

Anybody Seen My Baby: I don't like this song live (and don't like it much on the album either), as it doesn't fit Mick's vocal range IMO, too low for the first verses, too high in the end. I think they should change the tonality, move it up one full step or even a little more, and Mick could always "cheat" the high pitch notes as he does now on so many songs. But this time, Mick could sing it almost perfectly, and it worked very well. I even liked it !

Paint It Black was perfect, and the crowd was very active on it. Great guitar sound, a lot helped by some sitar sound from the keyboards. Mick was smiling a lot. Everybody onstage was having a blast, and I think they relaxed much mostly from this song. They knew they were doing a great show.

Saint Of Me (with the horrible and ridiculous dressing gown) was a little faster than what I heard in Werchter and Paris, and was extremely good, much better at this speed. Fantastic version. Keith ended with a very slow traditional blues ending I never heard before. I was amazed, and turned back to look at Thomas, whose eyes and mouth were wide open in amazement too!

Thomas: That's right, I'll never forget that few little notes! And it was amazing to me that we Keefians had exactly the same feelings at the same moment :-). Glimmer fun, understanding without any words!

Thierry:After the end, the crowd started again the Oh yeah routine, but left and right pits were out of sync so it didn't work well.

Thomas: Yep, that wasn't a good version of the crowd, but you can't beat Bremen every time ;-))

Thierry: Out Of Control: best version ever for me !!!!! Keith riffing so hard and mean, specially during Mick's harp part, never better played so far. He blew some notes and licks (!) I never heard him playing before.

Let It Bleed was..... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much to all those who helped this song to win the cybervote ! I'm sure nobody in Mannheim was sorry to hear this. Before they started, Mick said he hoped they would remember how to play it, watching Keith, so Keith turned to Ronnie and they got almost ROTFL... Did they fuck it up in Berlin a couple of days before ? Anyway, this version was AWESOME !!!!!! Mick was hitting his chords with a huge energy, and to me he was pushing the whole band as much as Charlie does sometimes. Ronnie watched him during the intros with a very approbative grin. And Ronnie did some of the best slide parts I heard. This guy is a fantastic guitarist sometimes (I think he always is, but rarely heard as he is too low in the mix, and also he has to play all the "filling" parts when Keith plays more flattering rhythm or solo), and certainly one of the best slide guitar players I know, if not the best one. I'll ever remember his slide parts on Love In Vain in Toronto or Werchter.

The crowd was wild during Let It Bleed, I almost couldn't take any pictures, so many hands clapping up, everybody shouting "Get It On Rider..."
I had fallen in love with this song at the Olympia show (mostly because of the fantastic slide parts by Ronnie, BTW). This Mannheim version was almost as good !

Thomas: All right, all right! You said it much better than I ever could! I was really blown away by this one, the three guitars played together so well! I love this song since I heard it the first time back in 19xx, and I never thought I could once hear it on stage, since I think it's not really a "popular" Stones song. Thank you all again for your help (after Love In Vain in Werchter), that was the highlight for me in Mannheim. Thierry turned around to me and we smiled and clapped each other's hand, shouting "Let It Bleed!" Great moment! After the show we all had a beer and agreed: "Let's have a drink to Let It Bleed and to Undercover!"

Thierry: Miss You was not too long (I counted 11 min. 20 sec.), good ! Mick kept his guitar much longer than usual, and went to both sides to make the crowd sing "Mamamama!" twice. I was too close to watch Bernard and Ronnie and Keith during their cigarette routine, but Ronnie played more often than usual, some muttered strings very nice rhythm parts. During this, Keith appeared on the string, thumbs up to Ronnie...

You Don't Have To Mean It was fantastic... Keith didn't play much while singing, much time with eyes closed, obviously "living" intensely his singing, very much smiling. Man, this guys LOVES his job !!!!!!!!

Karen: As many folks know, I can't stand Keith's singing. However, I do like this song - and enjoyed it very much. Sara thought it dragged - or that someone was out of sync. She thought his second number was better - but I must confess that I tuned it out. I was able to watch Keith this time - and I did enjoy watching him play. He is a great musician. But I'm sorry, I still can't stand his singing.

Thomas: Before it started, we heard just *one* of the characteristic chords from the keyboards, and Thierry immediately turned around to me, shouting "Yeah! You Don't Have To Mean It!", because we talked about that we'd like to hear that song after all that Thief's again! Is there anything better than celebrating a song with a Glimmer friend during the show?

Thierry: B-stage: sound was not good, quite muddy. At one moment, between 2 songs, Mick was watching the tiers on the right side of the field and the crowd on the ground further, and said in a burlesque voice "Hi there, how'ya doin'?" then as to himself, laughing, "Oh God, you look like a fuckin' mile away !"

Karen: Sara and I couldn't see a thing during this. We were too far away and most of the German fellows are much taller than we are. We did have a brief run in with a couple of jerks. Put they left the area after the b stage part. Just a note that jerks come from ALL countries.

Thierry: You Got Me Rocking : again, fantastic slide guitar by Ronnie... I don't think I saw a show when Ronnie was "off", but this is his best show to me, with Toronto...

Like A Rolling Stone : wild crowd, singing loud with the band. I think Thomas and me were some of the loudest ones !

Thomas: The French-German-Glimmer-Chorus ;-)) How much fun we had!

Karen: I still wish they would drop this song. They have so many of their own that would work here. At least Mick didn't say that Dylan wrote it for them.

Thierry: Sympathy For The Devil: Great and very relaxed version. Mick went down the stairs before the song ended, and slapped may hands. He was smiling so much, and smiling and laughing all the time. He didn't stop until Tumbling Dice intro had started, and was almost late to sing it.

Start Me Up : Keith did his teasing intros again : riff, then stop, and watch the crowd with a mean smile for a few seconds, then again and again, then the good intro with an awesome double beat riff ! One monitor cover facing Keith was set on fire by the fireworks, a roadie came out from backstage running to put it off with a blanket...

Jumping Jack Flash: best version this tour for me. Pure fire !!!!

Brown Sugar: Awesome again ! I kept thinking about Karen who had said while we were waiting at the gate that BS was one the songs she could very well never hear in her life, and I'm sure she changed her mind... did you, Karen ?

Karen: It was a great rendition. And I found my self grinning so widely that my cheek muscles began to hurt. The guys were so up for this show - and having so much fun it was impossible not to catch their enthusiasm. I really did enjoy the song - but I still wouldn't mind if they never do it again. ;)

Thomas: I think that last three songs were absolutely great this time, for me it seemed they "started the Turbo" now. Jumping Jack Flash was a blast, especially Keith was phantastic IMO. During that songs, two things were thrown on the stage: First a nice, red piece of girl's underwear - Mick picked it up and put in down his pants. And later a little rag doll, which Mick also picked up, saying something like "It's bunny time today?" and handed it over to Lisa. Then Bernard took some effort to place it on top of Chuck's keyboards :-)

Thierry: I could get my camera inside, thanks to a Paris Glimmer who found a new trick... I'll forward to the concerned person any private email request for info..... Thank you so much for your help, you know who you are, and how you did it ;-))))))))

So I took seven (7 !!!) rolls of film, and a few should hopefully come out good. I'll make a webpage and post the URL if anyone is interested.

My friend Hervé, who came with me all the way from Brittany for this crazy week-end, had never seen the Stones live. All the way back, he was thinking about how he could possibly secure a week off next june to go to *all* the UK shows, and kept asking me about how he should buy a computer and a modem to subscribe Undercover. Another new glimmer !

Over all, this was a fantastic show, one of the bests for me, very close to my three best shows ever, Longchamp2 (the Storm-day), Olympia '95, and Toronto '98.

Thomas: Yep, also for me. In my range it's directly behind Bremen, same level as Werchter 2 or a little better.
After the show, we met Fabrice again at the light tower. He was at the catwalk, but I think he wants to tell his story himself ...

Fabrice: OK OK OK here we go :-)
My plan before the concert was to find a place front row Keith's side, but as close as possible to the catwalk. When I entered the closed section after the long and exhausting run (I think Thomas is right there: it was about 400m, but it seemed 800 :-o ), I immediatly saw that the spot I was aiming to was already crowded so I quickly changed my plan and headed to the B-stage where there was nearly nobody. I found my place behind Charlie's drum kit (ie. at the angle between the catwalk and the B-stage) : there I was as close as possible to the B-stage and catwalk.

The funny thing is that we discussed about this with Thierry before the concert, and I told him that I'd rather go front row than to the B-stage, even if there you are really close to the guys. But the fact it only lasts 3 songs made me doubt it was really worth. But what I wanted to do forced me to go there.... But then what did I want to do that required me to be close to the catwalk??? I had prepared an envelope before the concert, where I had put some photos I took in Paris and The Hague and a small letter (explaining some stuffs ... ;-)). I wrote on the envelope in big letters : "TO RON" (I had seen someone doing the same during the Bremen concert).

So during the B-stage I holded the envelope so that Rony could see it. It was funny because, each time Chuck looked at me raising this envelope he had a big smile on his face. Rony saw the envelope when he changed his guitar for the 2nd song (YGMR) and threw me a guitar pick which landed somewhere in front of the fences (it was too dark and I couldn't find it). When they returned to the main stage I yelled at him : I don't know if he heard me or if he remembered I had this envelope for him, but he turned to me and I could hand him the envelope : he gave me a big thank sign and threw me another guitar pick... which again I didn't manage to grab :-(.

The other Glimmers (Karen, Sarah, Thierry, Thomas and Hervé) told me later that Rony went on the main stage with the envelope in his mouth :-))) (someone with a picture of this???).
Well that's it : nothing that fantastic, but for me it was a great moment :-))

Thierry: I really think the band enjoys more and more being on stage this tour. How can they stop ? I hope they never find any answer to this silly question...

Thank you all of you, Klaus, the "French" team, all our Glimmer Friends we met there, all of you who voted for Let It Bleed, all of you who make this list exist. I would never have been there without you !

Keep On Rockin'... as they ever will!
    Grateful Thierry.

Karen: All in all, a great show, a fun road trip, wonderful companions. I'm only sorry that we weren't able to meet more of the Glimmers who were there. We were so tired after standing for more than 10 hours that we just collapsed into bed once we got back to the hotel and fell immediately asleep.
Well, I'm looking forward to 1999. Hope to see you all there!

Thomas: ...and thank you, Frensh/US GlimmerTeam to make me enjoy the show so much together with you! See you again!!!

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