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My report on Werchter 1

(Posted to Undercover on June 24, 1998)

Hi all!

I'm a little bit late with my report, and Thierry already told most of the first show in his great report, but anyway....

I started from home at 8:30 am, but unfortunately went into a traffic jam in Cologne, so I didn't arrive before 1 pm at the Glimmer hotel (thanks for Peter and Thierry to arrange that!). After checking in I went off immediately again and went to the Festival Site.

I took the first parking lot and then had to walk more than 2 km to the gates. Thierry already mentioned, it was *very* hot, so I arrived at the door at 2:30 pm already completely soaked with sweat...

Of course this was much too late to get near the doors, a few hundred people were already waiting there and I couldn't spot anyone which I knew. And I almost lost my hope for the frontstage area...

The doors opened at 4 pm and there was a big pushing again, which was not so nice because all were sweating a lot, some already drunk...

Opposite to Nuremberg, this time they did two different controls at the gates, the first one searching the bags (they didn't look inside mine, only felt it all over) and the second one 20 meters further checking the tickets.

Then - well you know it already: Run, run, run ;-) But this time it was better for me, because I already knew all the details from Nuremberg, and I was happy and surprised to get inside the Golden Circle, Mayumi's side, again! Of course, not front row, but even nearer to the stage than in Nuremberg, all though being later at the gate...maybe the Belgians didn't run so fast ;-)

And another, positive thing to mention: They closed the entrance much earlier than in Nuremberg, so everybody had much room and it was really comfortable ;-)

When the crowd had cooled down and everybody found his place and sat down, I started looking for the famous Undercover girl Mayumi, which I only knew by some Glimmerfest photos on the net. Well, that was an easy practice, all I had to do was scanning the front row for a small Japanese girl with Far Away Eyes ;-)

I recognized her immediately, but too far away for calling her, so I wrote her and my name on a piece of paper and held it up. That was a funny moment, watching her reading the paper...thinking about last starting to smile and waving at me :-)).

We both decided to stay at the positions we had been fighting for, but we made eye contact several times before the show - the UC communication even works without spoken words or email!

After broadcasting the soccer worldcup match Belgium-Mexico, it began at 8pm with the Simple Minds. Well, the crowd seemed to like them, mostly the young ones sang along all the choruses, but after 10 minutes I had enough of that...

The Stones,

namely Keef, jumped out of the cage at 9:30pm. Very funny, he was *much* too early, walked around the front of the stage some time, smiling and waving at the audience, and the comet didn't come out...I had the impression that he was really impatient and couldn't wait to start the show :-))

Well, Thierry already made a very detailed review about all the songs, which I totally agree with, so I won't repeat all that. Just a few more observations:

Mick was in great condition at that night, you could easily see that from the first moment! After Satisfaction, Mick smiled a lot and shook hands with Keef, which I didn't see before.

I think most of the male audience was looking only at Lisa during Gimme Shelter: She was wearing a long, black, *very* transparent dress...

Dead Flowers was a surprise for me, I always hoped to see it once on the tour! Mick was playing the acoustic guitar and Ronnie did most of the solo work, so Keef took the opportunity to smoke during the song. They were all enjoying this song, at one point it was funny to watch Keef and Darryl: They stood some meters from each other, then looked at each other, smiling. Keef moved slowly to Darryl until standing directly in front of him, and they looked at each other's face all the time and smiled, enjoying to play that song :-) Great song, great interpretation!

It's Only Rock'N'Roll was a rocker again! While the crowd alone was cheering its "Oh Yeah" at the end of Saint Of Me, Keef went around the stage, shaking his head in disbelief several times.

The start of Out Of Control was again delayed by the crowd beginning to sing "Oh Yeah!" again.

Then the frightening moment came for all of us from UC: The cybervote song. And it really worked! We got our Love In Vain, and I'd like to thank you all very much for your votes! I'm dying for that song, and it was a good version. Unfortunately, I had the impression that the crowd didn't exactly know what to do with that song - the applause was very lame. During the song I thought about hearing that in a small blues club, together with all the UC members...

During the introductions, Ronnie made his jokes again, but didn't want to stop, so Mick took his arm and pulled him back :-))

I was happy to see the big applause for Charlie this time, since this was very disappointing to me in Nuremberg. In Werchter he had to stand up 4 times...

Keef started his section with some friendly and funny words again, also about his ribs and joking "Well, it's better than dying!" You Don't Have To Mean It was also a surprise for me - that's my favorite Keef song of B2B. Even my wife likes that a lot (all though not being a glimmer at all ;-) ) and I hoped she was there at that moment.

When the bridge came out, the audience was very impressed and didn't expect something like that, because it's not mentioned in the press so often.

Being in the frontstage area, I could not see so much from the B-Stage again, but I didn't note any piece of women's underwear thrown on the stage. But someone threw a big, red plastic fork (the devil tool ;-) ) to the stage and I think it was Ronnie (?) who picked it up, waved it into the air some time and then tossed it back into the audience. When they came back to the main stage, the audience again wasn't informed what was going to happen: Everybody looked at the main stage and searched for Mick there...

Well, nothing special for me at the tourist section then, except to mention that Mick had a great time this night! He was enjoying the show much more than in Nuremberg. No voice problems at all.

And Keef - what can I say that wasn't said before about that crazy guy? Great performance again, no rib problems ;-)

The sound was not too loud and very clear, especially the B-Stage sound, which was terrible in Nuremberg.

The audience was not that good in my personal opinion, seemed to be a lot of tourists (or soccer fans?) even in the front area...

After the show,

we all met at the lighting tower at the Not-Mayumi-Side: Thierry with his two boys, Chrissss and his son, Fabrice, Mayumi and her friends, Peter and Lieve, and some others whose names I don't remember. It was an exciting moment for me to shake hands with all that "famous" glimmers ;-)

We looked at our watches and it was just after midnight, so there was a little "Happy birthday" chorus by the Werchter Glimmer Team for Thierry! And he decided to get his gifts by himself and went to the B-Stage, returning with a lot of papers and a big smile on his face :-) (see his report for that gifts).

We decided to head for the hotel then, but we all had different parking locations, so we split up. Mayumi and me went to her friend's car to get her luggage, actually only a small, but very heavy bag, which she needed at least three days to pack ;-)

Then we had to make a long walk to my car, with her bag between us, and I'm sure, all though she's very small, her arms were growing at least 3 centimeters this evening.

After making our way through the big traffic jam, we arrived at the hotel around 2am and met Peter and Lieve again, but Thierry was arriving still half an hour later with his Glimmer bus.

After the kids went to sleep, we had a nice, improvised glimmer party. Peter brought his Whisky bottle, but the rest had to be taken from the rooms' mini bars, which was quite expensive...(that's why Thierry refused to open the small bottles of champaign on his birthday, I assume ;-)) )

Anyway, we had a great time sitting together, discussing the show, looking at Mayumi's photo- and ticket-collection and listening to a very enthusiastic Glimmer couple Peter and Lieve, telling something about an addiction all the time, all though it was only his 3rd and her 1st show ;-))

Anyway, Mayumi, Peter, Lieve and I wanted to go to the next show early, so we decided to have at least a short sleep at 5am.

Peter and his wife had their own room, but Fabrice, Chrissss, Thierry and me had to share one room, while Mayumi and the kids took another one. When nearly everybody was sleeping and snoring, Thierry started laughing and had the last words of the day: "Glimmer Hotel, Take 1" :-))))

Werchter 2 to follow tomorrow....
   Bye, Thomas

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