… und ich
bin war dabei! – that was the sentence of the cool shirt you where able to buy over a year ago. Sadly I couldn’t get one for us (I always wanted to have one but looked for it in the shop much too late). Anyway, we where there and, to say it right away: It was… enormously great! It feels hard to put those feelings I had during the concert into words, which is why I even thought of writing an entry in German for the first time. But hey, that wouldn’t be a challenge would it? So let’s try how good it can get in English.
How everything started
But let’s start with the beginning. When we first heard of this concert it was in 2007 at the Funkenflug Festival. They said that they wouldn’t play in Munich, their home base, for the next year except for their anniversary.
Then in March I found out about those special offers they had for people that don’t live in Munich: A bus tour to- and from Munich into all bigger cities, two nights in a hotel with breakfast, of course the concert tickets as well as tickets for the backstage party the next evening, for 120€. We didn’t need the hotel, but you wouldn’t get there for cheaper, so in April we bought them – shortly before all of them where sold out. As we later found out, it was exactly the 14th of April – what a funny incident.
Sadly from that time on I somehow lost my liking for Schandmaul a little. I mean they are great, and they know how to
rock folk the audience – but from compact disc they are a little monotonous and also you need to have the right mood for it.
So while the evening was getting closer I was more and more concerned whether this was a good idea. Still I didnÄt regret it yet – I wanted to wait and see what happened. Great choice.
Last Thursday both of us had free – we packed our stuff and in the night we drove to Hamburg. We had to be there on Friday at around 5 o’clock, which we wouldn’t have made otherwise. So we arrived there at half past ten, spend some hours in a lovely little bar and the last three hours (which eventually became four hours, as the bus came late) in the train station. While my girlfriend slept a little, I stayed awake, watching our luggage (and her of course!) and read a little in Jonhathan Stroud’s Bartimäus (still the first Episode – but I’m nearly finished with that – and the second one is bought already) while listening (actually for the first time) to Schandmauls newest album released.
So Friday mornings we started waiting at some minutes before 5 o’clock at the ZOB in Hamburg. We where told to be there by half past 5 at latest, as at 6 o’clock the busses would defiantly leave. Still, we weren’t the first to be sitting around there – you could tell who was waiting for Schandmaul by the clothing of the people; they where either dressed quite colored, or quite medieval, or totally black. If it wasn’t for that, they at least were wearing fan shirts. As usually quite mixed audience, but still you where somehow able to recognize them, at least most of them – some really surprised me – but on the other hand I guess as one of the few guys with foreign background I am a surprise as well.
All in all we waited an hour, while the Schandmaul crowd grew bigger and bigger. Finally at some minutes before 6 o’clock the first of the three busses arrived. Sadly not ours – but we had luck anyway. While the other two busses where not driving directly but holding in-between to pick up even more fans in other cities (like Hannover), our bus would drive directly to Munich. Still, our bus was the last to arrive and when I actually saw the driver it was nearly driving me crazy. He of all was the slowest. While the others where already prepared, he even didn’t had his label installed. But that was the first thing he intended to do and I felt like it took him 10 minutes, while we where standing in the cold, and it even started to rain!
In addition he somehow reminded me slightly of one of my professors at university.
But finally also he got started, and it turned out that he was actually a pretty nice guy, having fun with us. I don’t remember his hole name but his christian name was “Enrico”, which I considered quite unfitting.
The fun started with one guy being missing. After trying to reach him, finally the driver reached the father, who informed us that the boy forgot about the concert and was at training school – somewhere up high in the north of Germany. Sad for that boy – lucky something like that has never happened to me before – I would have gone crazy I guess.
While driving to Munich, we made a stop every two hours for approximately 20 Minutes. I think I slept the first one and a half hours, after which I couldn’t sleep anymore. While driving to Munich, Schandmaul decided to surprise us even at the tour – so each of us got a “10 Jahre Schandmaul” bag (which we got exclusively – I didn’t find it anywhere to buy) with a program guide and some sweets. As another special we where able to watch the DVD that just at that day was available at the shop – so we where practically the first ones to watch it, which was quite nice.
First we saw the interview of each Schandmaul band member, which was quite amusing and worth seeing. After that we watched the live recording of the concert in Wacken 2007 twice.
I really enjoyed the DVD – but after seeing it I decided to not buy it (which I intended first): The concert’s to short and not worth the 15€ – and how often do you watch interviews anyway?
Sadly, my girlfriend was feeling sicker and sicker, and it seemed that she was really getting a pretty hard cold with fever. So I feared that she wouldn’t be able to go to the concert, in which case I of course wouldn’t have gone either. But luckily in the end she felt pretty well again.
We arrived 75 minutes earlier than planned and where the second bus that drove into the parking place – of course there where fans waiting already at the concert hall entrance. Just yesterday I’ve read that the first where there at around 12 o’clock! For a concert that starts at 8 o’clock in the evening that’s pretty early, isn’t it? So we where there at 5 o’clock and there where already let’s say a hundred people waiting. The crowd was more in party mood than I ever experienced before. They where singing, laughing – a lot of choirs cheering for Schandmaul or singing “Dein Anblick” could be heard – and every now and then one of the band members where looking out of the window, waving to us, while the crowd went crazy.
But even more, there where camera teams everywhere – filming the crowd – one of them went into it diving it’s way to the end of the queue – and hell it was a long queue. I never saw a so long one. But what would you expect? All in all there where seven thousand(!), i.e. 7,000 people expected, from which 1,200 came by “the Schandmaul-Bustours”. As a comparison, last year in Munich (which actually is said to be the biggest concert that Schandmaul gives) there where 3,000 people.
It felt for me that this time we even waited longer than ever for the band to arrive. As we all had badges around our wrists, we could enter pretty fast (I never was in a concert hall that fast before!) – the security was pretty present and took care that nothing happened while the people tried to get to the front as fast as possible.
There was some misunderstanding, for which we actually didn’t where at the front but only at the first “wave breaker” (do you know the correct word in English?). Some people got pretty upset that after a while the security guys realized their mistake and allowed the people to enter that area before the first wave breaker as well – which actually was great luck for all of those who came later. But still, we had a pretty good place in the center of the hall, second row of the wave breaker – and right between those two areas there was a camera, which caught us quite often.
The band is planning to release a DVD of the concert, and we where told that in April we will be able to buy it. I can’t wait to see it – and I hope that we’ll be on it as well – would be a pretty nice thing. But let’s stay in order.
We couldn’t see the stage yet, as it was covered by enormous white blankets. At each side of the stage there was a screen.
After a really long time of waiting, during which we where kept in mood by music that was played from tape – and us singing (funnily the person that was responsible for the music always stopped it, when he realized that there was a choir singing “Dein Anblick” or cheering for Schandmaul), it all started with a slide show, showing us Schandmaul through the past 10 years, in time periods separated by the covers of albums they produced. It was then followed by a little video, where the band members of Schandmaul where sitting around a huge cake, counting from 10 downwards – of course the crowed joined as soon as they realized what was happening. When arriving at 1 there was a sound that produced goose bumps, everything was dark, but every now and then there was a flash and you could get a glimpse of what was happening behind the sheets – and then it started: Enormously bright flashlights allowed us to see through the sheets, see the band, see how Anna and Birgit started to play, and with the first strike of the drummer the blankets fell, and the crowd was joining in singing the first song, “Vor der Schlacht”.
During the concert I was overwhelmed. There are no words to describe that concert. I mean Schandmaul is a band that always puts in all efforts to really party, to move the people, to make them jump until they cannot stand anymore. But this time… they played with enormous power; the music had so much force and energy in it. It was just so unbelievable great. The concert was planned to last three hours, filled with so many different songs, some of which are ten years old, others didn’t even had one years age. All in all a pretty good cut through of 10 years music. And a lot of songs that I’d count to my favorites where played, which made me really happy. The crowd was dancing, singing, cheering and clapping all throughout the concert – we did the same, even when after half of the concert we felt like after one more song we really had to sit down, or our legs would collapse (I mean, hey, we where awake for more than 24 hours already). As a special they invited some guests, all in all two additional violins (which made it possible to play songs which they couldn’t have otherwise) a cello, and a background choir. Sadly you didn’t hear them that much; the instruments where louder, and of course also Thomas was much louder and therefore the choir was nearly unheard – but the additional instruments revamped some of the old songs.
After a while, for the last songs, they changed the setting – back to the roots, where there where not as many drums and they didn’t had any e-guitars – but only acoustic instruments.
After three hours they finished the concert and left – but those who where at a Schandmaul concert once know, that the crowd won’t let them go that fast – even after three hours the crowd was shouting loud and clear for encores. And Schandmaul gave them. In total four encores!
If all the other things were not obviously showing that the band grew and even got more fans, than this should be, after the last times it was only once or twice that they had to come out again.
So four encores and nearly three quarters of an hour later we just managed to get to our bus in time – this time there was a horrible driver as the other one had to drive another tour. The driver was totally unfriendly and in my opinion someone that I love to call asshole with all my heart, and really mean it.
But anyway, here’s the set list of that unbelievable evening:
- Vor Der Schlacht
- Kein Weg Zu Weit
- Die Letzte Tröte / Mitgift (Medley)
- Königin (From here on with background choir)
- Die Goldene Kette (From here on with instruments)
- Der Junge Sigfried / Drachentöter / Krieger (Medley)
- Das Mädchen Und Der Tod
- Kalte Spuren
- Der Kurier
Change of stage – now only acoustic instruments; choir and guests left
When Schandmaul finished the crowd started singing happy birthday.
- Die Drei Lieder
- Die Braut
- Drum ’n’ Bass-Solo
- Das Tuch
- Gebt Acht
- Herrn Der Winde
- Der Letzte Tanz
- Willst Du?
- Denk An Mich
- Dein Anblick
Interestingly it wasn’t only for us overwhelming. I mean Thomas already said how amazing it was to see as all – but he used to say that the other times as well, and I guess after Wacken they should have gotten used to even more than 3,000 people in the audience. But anyway, it was pretty affecting to see Birgit struggling with the flute in one of the last songs, as she was crying, and trying to hide it from the audience.
We had the whole day off, nothing special to do – and as we spent the time at my girlfriend’s parents, we didn’t had to worry about anything, and took a little walk through the city of Munich. Unfortunately some Nazis where demonstrating, and so there was a lot of police around and a lot of different groups demonstrating against the Nazis, from Jews to Antifa, and I even spotted out some members of the “Apfelpartei”, which I found quite interesting, as their appearance was pretty professional.
What I thought was fascinating and worth mentioning is that there where only about 50 to 100 Nazis demonstrating – not more! Somehow I feared more from ultra conservative Bavaria. But there where three times more people demonstrating against them – and that only at the spot where I was standing with my girlfriend. Still I hope those people behaved normal – at least it seemed so – I heard horrible things from the Antifa in other demonstrations, and that somehow makes me sick – I mean they should be the good side in contrary, and not another bad party that is fighting National-Socialism, especially now where the National-Socialist start to disguise themselves with normal behavior.
But I’m loosing the point – back to topic:
The Backstage Party
While Schandmaul totally folked on Friday, Saturday was their day off, time for them to party with us – so in a small discotheque we had 4 DJs (among which where also Stefan from Schandmaul and Rico form “Letzte Instanz”) playing all different kind of music, from metal to folk to rock to punk – for my taste only the gothic music was missing. But they really played some good songs. Drinks on the other hand where far to expensive. I got a fanta/coke and a vodka-energy and had to pay 8€!
And all in all it was a bit to full, but that didn’t bother me that much – my girlfriend and I found a place to dance a little (NB: the first time I danced in a discotheque without being drunken) and than we managed to get a seat at the tribune, actually in the highest row, which was quite good, as the dance floor was totally full and even the ways around it.
But maybe I should start with a short description of the setting of the main room. There where two tribunes at the one end – in-between them there was a way which led to the entrance with a wardrobe on the one and a merchandise table on the other side. Funnily you could only buy different CDs (actually most of them from other folk/medieval bands), and some band shirts from “Letzte Instanz“, but no stuff from Schandmaul itself.
From the tribunes there where some steps down (about one and a half meter) to the dance floor, so it was lowered. Around the Dance floor there where steps up and down (which where used for sitting as well) – and on the other side there was a small stage, hidden by curtains and a small screen to project something on. In front of the stage there was the DJ with his turntables.
We knew that there would be a surprise and we also knew from the program guide that this surprise was a live gig, but until then we didn’t know what would happen – later I got to know that even Schandmaul wasn’t aware of what would happen, they just knew who was playing.
But before that live event there was the official fan club that had a surprise for Schandmaul as well – they where asked to the stage and got a present – a 22 meter long letter consisting of all the fan mail that they could collect for this event – they where printed to a paper roll – Thomas tried to unroll it but soon made the experience that 22 m is much longer than he’d expected 😉
Each band member also got a medal and a certificate (I didn’t get who was granting them), and there was also one bus (bus 20), who had the idea of making a present with the little things they could find in the bus.
And then the surprise started – it was a little film by “Letzte Instanz” who actually just had a tour in China. So while getting around in China they asked as many Chinese as they could find to say “Happy Birthday, Schandmaul”. You wouldn’t believe how hard “Schandmaul” seems to be to pronounce for Chinese. Anyway it was great fun – and at the end, they promised that they’d do anything to be in Munich as fast as possible – so next thing you could see was a navigation system screen of plains, showing a line from China to Germany, and then the curtain was lifted – “Letzte Instanz” was there, as there was “Kein Weg Zu Weit” for Schandmaul.
Actually I have quite a number of songs from “Letzte Instanz” and a lot of them I’d count to my favorites – but this gig totally rocked. Instead of giving a concert consisting of their own songs, they where kidding Schandmaul the whole time. So we got to hear a selection of the famous songs from Schandmaul, like “Kein Weg Zu Weit”, “Der Krieger”, “Woflsmensch”, “Waldpurgisnacht”, “Herrn der Winde” etc. (Sorry, I didn’t manage to get a set list here – there where much more songs)
Besides they covered some famous songs or meddled with them, like “I Was Made For Loving You”, “The Winner Takes It All” or “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.
But of course they couldn’t just get away without playing their own songs, as there where some fans of “Letzte Instanz” shouting for their favorites. So they also played three songs of their own, two of them where “Stimmlein” and “Rapunzel”.
Some other highlights where, that Holly (lead singer) was singing two songs to two of the band members. For one song, all of the audience had to sit down, only Thomas (the lead singer) form Schandmaul was allowed to stand. The song that was for him was “Dein Anblick” – a love song, and one of the most famous songs by Schandmaul. The second one was addressed to Ducky (the guitarist), and that song was “He is a “Teufelsweib”” (a song about a woman that doesn’t go to church, clothes all in black and makes love for money).
Another highlight was when the violinist lifted his t-shirt and showed us his back, where he imitated the tattoo that the violinist Anna from Schandmaul has: the holes of a violin. And of course when singing the lion sleeps tonight, the band wanted us to sing along, so they held up sheets with the text, containing sentences like: “dudududu dududududu dudududududu” 🙂
Also “Letzte Instanz” had to give an encore – which was timed perfectly as afterwards it was 12 o’clock – Thomas’ birthday. So we all sung Happy Birthday (once again – we sang it so many times at the concert and when Schandmaul was on stage, for Schandmauls 10th birthday) – and then Thomas came on stage while Letzte Instanz left, totally amazed by Letzte Instanz (to quote him: “Was soll man dazu sagen, ich mein war das jetzt ein Wahnsinn oder war das Krass?”), trying to sing one of their songs (after finding their entire texts, saying “Die Sau hat beschissen! Der hat die ganze Zeit abgelesen”). But Thomas wouldn’t be Thomas if he didn’t make a mistake when singing a song (I mean I was totally amazed by the fact that there weren’t any major mistakes at the concert – though some say that they realized text mistakes)! So instead of singing “Stimmlein, Stimmlein sing allein” and “Das Simmlein singt ein Lied für Dich” he was singing “Singlein, Singlein, stimm allein” and “Das Singlein stimmt ein Lied für Dich”, and when he realized it, he left the stage again.
After that the DJs where coming back, and soon we also left, totally exhausted but satisfied.
Well there isn’t much to tell – we met at 12 o’clock to drive back home – and while my girlfriend was recovering from her illness, I realized that it jumped over to me. Most of the people in the bus where sleeping – and the bus driver just made three brakes, one of them half an hour the other two where fifteen and ten minutes.
While all the smokers where getting really mad at the driver (another new driver), we where happy. We managed to get the last train at 22:20 from the central station of Hamburg – which we didn’t believe that we could get. Both of us where prepared to stay awake another night, spending the time at the central stations of Hamburg or Kiel.
So we where more than lucky that we actually could spent the night, and thus also our anniversary – we are now 4,5 years together!, in the train instead of spending it at the train station. We arrived at home at around 1 o’clock – and now I was sure that I am ill (I had a little fever and a really bad cold) – and so we went straight to bed – as the day would start for both of us at 6 o’clock, for me with work, for her with university.
It was a fantastic weekend, with a lot of fun, great music, great shows, a little bit of vacation-feeling, exhausting – but with a content and satisfying feeling that we just had an enormously good weekend. And a lot of impressions, as well as a lot of feelings that still need to be digested.
I can just say it over and over again: If you are into folk and by any chance have the luck to be near a concert by Schandmaul – just take it and go to the concert!
I have also found some videos made by fans who published them at YouTube. Quite nice, if you have been there and want to be reminded of it – but to all of you who haven’t been there, be sure: It was ten times better than anything that could be captured by a camera.
Oh, and I didn’t make any pictures (until now I never made some, but in the end, when I see pictures that other people made I get angry with myself that I didn’t capture any of the nice moments) – but still, if you want to see some, or read other reviews, you could look at one of the following pages:
Collection of photos
Anohter collection of photos
Schandmauls official Tour Diary. Entry by Ducky
A MySpace blog with some really nice pictures
A blog entry with pictures
Just a blog entry – a quite long one – and I haven’t read it yet *whistle*
Another blog – no pictures 😦
Last but not least: The official forum thread