In a world that has decided that it’s going to lose its mind, be more kind

Traumzeit Festival – Landschaftspark Nord, Duisburg; June 16th, 2019

It was a very weird day for me to go back to Traumzeit festival in Duisburg for the first time since 2014. Having returned home at 2:30 am the previous night, wide awake and yet unable to sleep later than 9 I was in no state to go anywhere and just wanted to crawl back into bed. And yet, the need to see Frank Turner again after London had driven me to buy the ticket and I would not let it go to waste now. Thus I left, somewhere in the afternoon, not quite early enough to see the first band of the day, but in good time to check out a few others before Frank. The festival had changed since last time I was there, with one open air stage and two inside ones, so it took me a little time to find my way around.

I dropped by Giesshalle first where The Twilight Sad had just started playing. The Glasgowegian band made enjoyable music, but I soon realized that it didn’t work for me at all. I’m pretty sure I might have liked them under different circumstances, but tired as I was I could not relate at all and left after a couple of songs. I walked around aimlessly, got some food, took the long way around to the open air stage on Cowerplatz and arrived in good time for Niels Frevert, whose music I had liked when I’d checked it out a couple of days ago. Got a drink, found a spot and waited. The songs were nice and I even noticed some interesting lyrics, but again, I wasn’t moved, nothing grabbed me. I felt lost, out of place and just wanted to get out. So I did, found a bench to sit on, had a good cry and accepted it for what it was. Just one of those days.

Eventually I returned to Giesshalle, because I really wanted to see Kettcar. I’d enjoyed seeing Marcus Wiebusch a few years ago and wondered how this would be in comparison. I admit to being just a little bit scared – what if the didn’t appeal to me either? What if this was not a day for live music? All I could do was give it a try.

As soon as they started I knew I’d made the right decision. I’m not familiar with their songs, but the pure energy that spilled over from stage immediately grabbed me and everyone else in the room. People hung on to their every word, moved to the music and sang along. Pretty soon I was swaying to it as well – all was good.

They said hello and told us it was their first time in Duisburg, as a band anyway. Marcus had played Traumzeit as a solo artist in 2014, but I had not seen him then. They had already played two songs before giving a lengthy introduction to ‘Sommer ’89’ and mentioning some of the backlash they had received for it, noting that in their opinion helping refugees and generally those in need is a good thing and part of what makes us human. Could not agree more and I wasn’t the only one who did. It is a good song and unexpectedly lead to a flood of tears down my face. All the weird feeling from earlier and all my exhaustion were washed away in it.

From then on the ban was broken, I danced, I listened with all of my heart and sang along whenever I could (which wasn’t much). They used the screens in the background for videos and films, they played their hearts out and they made me remember why I love live music and why I go to concerts again and again. Their song ‘Balu’ made me think of Svavar Knutur’s ‘Emotional Anorexic’ because of the contrasting images used in the lyrics and I enjoyed hearing ‘Balkon gegenüber’. Finally, the song I had been waited for, the one “about homophobic assholes”, ‘Der Tag wird kommen’. Once again I cried and at the same time it made me smile knowing that I was among like-minded people, that each one of us wanted to day to come where it doesn’t matter any more is anyone is gay.

This was the last song I heard, because I wanted to be front for Frank Turner and expected loads of people to come for that gig. Therefore I left and while I stood in line for the next show, I heard the rest of the concert outside. Once I had made it to front row and people who had stayed at Giesshalle arrived, I realized I could have still made it to the front, third row maybe, if I’d stayed til the end. Too late…

Setlist

Rettung
Money Left to Burn
Sommer ’89 (Er schnitt Löcher in den Zaun)
Benzin und Kartoffelchips
48 Stunden
Balu
Balkon gegenüber
Der Tag wird kommen (Marcus Wiebusch song)
Palo Alto
Ankunftshalle
Auf den billigen Plätzen
Kein Außen mehr
Deiche
Landungsbrücken raus

Here I was, at my third Frank Turner concert ever, front row and not far from the center either. I felt lucky and was lookin forward to the show. Chatted with the couple to my right who’d seen him a few times. They were nice, everyone was relaxed and all the people who were there seemed really excited for the show. This was going to be a good one.

At 9:15 on the dot Frank and his band, the Sleeping Souls were on stage and from the first note people were moving with the Music and singing along at the top of their lungs. “There are only two rules at my concerts,” Frank let us know, “1. Don’t be an arsehole. Make sure that your way of enjoying the show does not interfere with anyone else’s enjoyment. 2. If you know any of te words you must sing along!” Those are some good and easy to follow rules and put me immedeately in the right mind set. Not that I was able to sing along much, but i made up for it by screaming and moving along with the music.

A few songs into it my neighbor to the left asked me to take a pictures of her and her boyfriend. Sure thing. Everyone was moving, jumping, dancing and having a great time. This was what had impressed me at my first concert and this is what makes the magic of a Frank Turner Show – the audience is really into it. 😀 I absolutely loved the energy that Frank and the Sleeping Souls brought to the stage. He was moving around the whole time, dancing, running and jumping and the guitarist and bassist didn’t stand still much either. The drew energy from the crowed and gave it right back to us. The air was charged with positive vibes and there was absolutely no way not to be drawn in and move with everyone else.

I did my best to pick up on the lyrics at least for the chorus of each song and sang as much as I could. ‘The Road’ was the first one I recognized and I belted out the words at the top of my lungs “To the east, to the east, the road beneath my feet…” – I felt ready to go on the road and keep on going – the song really captures life on tour. <3 ‘Photosynthesis’ followed and spoke nothing but truth about getting older without giving up on yourself. “… and most of all I will not grow up!” Exactly!

Somewhere early on the drummer came to the front of he stage, hopped down and urged everyone to clap along. A bit later Frank visited us, leaning out into the crowd with the microphone, shaking hands and high-fiveing people as he ran past. 🙂 The whole time I could not stop smiling. This was exactly what I had come here for. He is a great entertainer! At some point he asked us to form a circle at the front and dance around it and hell yeah people did. There as some magi in the air that one could not withdraw from. 🙂

When he sang ‘Be more kind’ the title track of his latest album, I really felt it and was moved to tears. This world would be so much better if we we all were just a little more kind. Sure, it takes effort sometimes, when you got our own shit to deal with, but if anything is going to save us it will be empathy. <3 The setlist was just perfect. Not that I could have named any of the songs without looking them up, but each one of them grabbed med and made me feel better. Once in a while, after all the powerful songs to jump to, there was a more quiet one like ‘The Way I tend to be’ and these small breaks even enhanced the mood.

Frank asked us if we were ready to dance and we yelled back “Yeah!”. he doubted it though, claiming people would say it and then not do it. There was, however, the option of hand-jiving. He showed us how to do. If we just moved our hands, without ever moving our feet “I can see it from up here and it’s gonna make me feel good and that’s why we are all here, right?” Yep, I can do hand-jive. And I can dance too, nobody said it needed to be pretty. 😀 He came down to dance with a girl from the crowd and a while after a girl had crowd-surfed from the back to the front and then walked out with a bow, he went crowdsurfing as well, coming back to the stage by my side. Sweaty legs, I tell you! 😉

Near the end of the show the keyboarder and the bass player brought a bowl of food with candy bars, apples and the like to the stage, asked if we were hungry and proceeded to throw everything into the crowd. It was quite funny, even though few people managed to actually catch something. The next to last song was ‘I still believe’, one I had already loved at my first Frank Turner concert. “Who would have thought that after all something as simple as Rock ‘n’ Roll could save us all?” Once again I choked up, while at the same time smiling like crazy, because I know these words are true. 🙂 One last song and it was over, no matter how much the audience was yelling for more. The concert left me feeling high. It was everything I had hoped for and so much more. There is salvation in music and Frank sure delivered it. This is my religion or at least as close to a religious experience as I’m gonna get. Hopefully it does not take me another five years to repeat this. 🙂

pictures of this concert

Setlist

Get Better
1933
Long Live The Queen
If Ever I Stray
The Road
Photosynthesis
Polaroid Picture
Blackout
Plain Sailing Weather
Don’t Worry
Be More Kind
The Way I Tend to Be
Little Changes
The Next Storm
Try This At Home
Recovery
I Still Believe
Four Simple Words

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