The equipment had to be stored in no less than twelve trucks, the hall in which the concert took place, with room for nearly 12’000 people, was stuffed and the ceiling was covered with speakers and flood lights. A technology freak would have exploded by excitement just looking at the stage set-up. However, it was not the technology, nor the beer that made the masses go wild (okay, probably the large beer supplies helped a little ;) but it was the purely awesome show. Blink 182, an american rock band, was founded 1992 – this tour can therefore be considered their 20-year-birthday-party. And it was a big party indeed! After they had traveled through half of Europe already, they were warmly welcomed in Berlin. A friend of mine, who is originally from Mexico, and me had got tickets and were now ready and excited to see the band live in Germany’s capital.
The All American Rejects, whose song ” Gives You Hell” was quite popular four years ago, and Royal Republic, a rock band from Sweden, had come to support Blink 182. I personally enjoyed the second support group much more than the first one. The All American Rejects seemed very pretentious and their obvious goal to put as many f***-words into one sentence as possible, seemed to be more self-forced than coming straight from a true rock soul. Their music wasn’t bad though and the audience mass got moving with the time. The Royal Republic got much greater reactions to their music and I must say that they really sunk in their music: sweat dripping from their faces in pure waterfalls (the singer wore a leather jacket, which probably made him sweat even more), amazing drum solos and a singer who literally incited the audience to go wild – the atmosphere was crazy. At some point the Royal Republic singer claimed that his dream had always been to be part of a heavy-metal-group and thus wanted to fulfill his dream this night. It ended in people jumping into each other, stomping onto the anyway vibrating floor and hammering their fists into the air. The audience raged and the air was filled with tension – a situation which only increased when the two support groups had left stage and a black curtain was drawn over the stage. We had to wait at least fifteen minutes, till the lights went off and Blink 182 finally came on stage. The curtain fell to the ground, the loud music smashed our ears – and the crowd went crazy.
My friend and me are both about 1.65m tall. At all concerts I had visited till now, this was never a problem – except for the fact that you have to stand in a really good position to see the band. Yesterday night, the meaning of “being small” was brought up to a whole new level. It get’s very scary and actually kind of life threatening to be in the center of a mass of 2m-tall guys, who all regularly go to the gym (or at least look like it), drank quite some alcohol already and who start jumping and pushing to the front. Staying on both feet and not falling becomes quite a problem in such a situation… My friend and me had managed to get into the middle area, right at the front and close to the stage. If the mass could be counted in lines, I’d say we were line 7, even though we had arrived really late and had to sneak our way through the crowd – I guess that is one good point about generally being small: you can easily sneak ;) However, when Blink 182 started playing we two got torn apart and made our way independently back through the raging crowd, using fists and elbows to pass the other people. We found each other again at the edge, close to the stage, and spent the rest of the concert there.
The concert was really epic. Blink 182 played a lot of known songs, like “I Miss You” and “All The Small Things”, but also some new stuff. Again we witnessed astonishing percussion solos and just couldn’t stop dancing, jumping, head banging and yelling the lyrics together with the rest of the audience. It was breathtaking. The security guards threw “aggression balls” filled with air into the center of the crowd, so that the people could smash those balls and not each other’s heads, and sometimes they took people from the front to the side if they got too mad. Anyways, as soon as they got back into the “normal” audience, those guys made their way back to the front, yelling, sweating, barging.
In the end, Blink 182 threw their drumsticks into the crowd, as well as their guitar picks, shower of paper pieces covered the audience and they finished their shows with a long guitar solo that made the whole hall vibrate. For the people who stood with us right in front of the speakers it was barely bearable – but still an absolutely great music experience.
The concert was just brilliant. The fight for t-shirts at the merchandising stand and the many happy faces after the show prove it. For all people who are interested: Blink 182 is still on tour till July 26th, e.g. in Milan, Zürich, Liverpool and Nottingham, Nîmes, Barcelona and Madrid. Information can be found on Blink 182’s official website, Videos are on Youtube. Enjoy!