Stop the world, watch the days disappear

The Hooters – Zeche, Bochum; July 17th, 2018

25 years (!) after I had first seen them in Osnabrück, I finally managed to attend my second The Hooters concert and it was everything I could have wished for. Back when I studied I had absolutely loved their music, but lost track of it eventually and did not listen to the band in many years. However, when I discovered a few years ago that they were still around, I thought it would be fun to see them live and that’s exactly what it was. As expected, I still remembered most of the lyrics and had a blast singing along and watching them play. It was a great night.

Since it was a weekday, I went to Bochum straight after work and arrived about 1.5 hours before the doors opened. To my surprise, there were only a handful of people waiting. I would have settled for standing on the stairs in the back but this looked very much like front row. everyone there had seen the band multiple times and talked about it happily. It was great hearing all the stories and time went by fast. Once inside, I ended up left of center, talking to the people around me.

At 8 the lights went down and a familiar looking guy walked on stage – Joe D’Urso! I had not seen him in years and was delighted to have him there. I was also worried, because people outside had told me The Hooters played an almost three hour show and the last bus left at 11:45. First, I enjoyed Joe’s set though. he played a mixture of his own songs and covers from the Jersey shore, among them Springsteen’s ‘The River’ which lead to a great sing-along of the chorus and Willy Nile’s ‘One Guitar’. <3 I was hoping for ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll call’ but that did not happen. It was an entertaining half hour that made me smile.

When Joe was done I tried to fiure out how to ge home in case I was too late for the last bus. People behind me where from my area so I asked them if they could possibly give me a lift and tehy said yes. 😀 There, problem solved. Now I could relax. I took a deep breath and waited for the show to start.

Since Joe had only played guitar, there was not much work to be done on stage and around 8:50 the intro, ‘Karla with a K’ was playing. And here they were, the band I had last seen so many years ago. Older, but still looking familiar and it felt als if no time had passed at all. Already I was smiling. 🙂 Before I knew which song they were actually playing I was singing along and despite the sound being less than perfect at the front, I understood pretty much everything. Knowing the lyrics surely helps. 😉

Anyway, they started with ‘You never know who your friends are’ and then went into ‘I’m Alive’, one of the songs from the only studio album I don’t own. I immediately loved it. There was nothing to do but to love the whole show. They played well and they were obviously having so much fun it was a joy to watch them. They came close, i.e. we were already right up against the stage and they took a few steps forward to play on the edge of it, they interacted with the fans and everyone in the room was having a blast. John, Eric and Rob all posed for me at one point or another and I was still too close (and slow) at time to capture it with my camera. Never mind guys, you did everything you could to give me a good picture. <3

Some of the songs, like ‘Hanging on a heartbeat’ I had almost forgotten, others I remembered well. Soon it was all comig back to me and I happily sang along to ‘All you Zombies’ and ‘Day by Day’, jumpig up an down for pure joy. The first cover version of the night was ‘Boys of Summer’, alwas a favorite of mine. Eric remarked that “Don Henley wrote this one for us, he just didn’t know it at the time”. It was wonderful. ‘Graveyard Waltz’ didn’t not quite manage to bring across the erie atmosphere the song has on the album, but it still worked well and ‘500 miles’ gave us the chance for more singing. They’ve made this song so much their own I keep forgetting that it is a cover too.

They played pretty much all the songs I had hoped to hear, except for ‘Deliver me’ and the setlist was perfectly built for my liking. In-between their hits they threw in some lesser known songs and quite a few, often unexpected covers too. Within the first thirty minutes or so I found myself dancing and was already sweating bucketloads, especially when they turned on the full stage lights. How they even managed to stand that heat on stage I will never know. All the songs brought back happy memories of times long gone and old friends from university whom I have not seen in years. From time to time, I even choked up a little, feeling tears of happy nostalgia burn in my eyes. I had known this concert would make me happy, I had not expected it would make me this happy. 🙂

Occasionally I took a peak at Fran’s setlist to see what was coming, but for most of the time I forgot the world around me and got lost in the music. Everything was beautiful and I wanted the night to last forever. I sang my heart out and was surprised at how much of the words I remembered after all this time. It didn’t matter if they sang their original songs or covers, I loved each and every one of them. The music is amazing. The songs are great to sing along to and while most of them do not carry any special meaning for me, some still touched my heart and all of them are certainly entertaining. I had come to ride the nostalgia train and have some fun and boy, did these guys deliver. 😀

‘Silver Lining’ was another song I didn’t know yet, but enjoyed very much, followed by a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach that Eric performed on guitar. It sounded familiar, but I do admit I did not know which one it was. My knowledge of classical Music is way too limted. It was very cool though and eric was probably right in claiming thad if Bach were alive today, he’d dig this electric guitar version.

The main set ended with the powerful triology of ‘Satellite’, ‘Johnny B’ and ‘And we danced’. ‘Johnny B., a successful single back in the 80ies was the first The Hooters song I knew, ‘Satellite’ is still one of my favorites on the ‘One Way Home’ album and ‘And we danced’ is just perfect to end a set because it leaves the crowd on high energy. It was Fan’s birthday that night so during the band introduction the crew came out and showered him with streamers and confetti. 🙂 Strangely enough, nobody in the audience sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him, but  the band played a cover of The Beatle’s ‘Birthday’. It was a fun moment!

For the acoustic set, everyone came to the front and I finally got a good look at David, who’d been hidden behind the drums until then. He got a small drum kit at the front, Rob played accordion and Eric banjo among other Instruments. It was a lovely mix of songs from those I knew and loved well (‘Nervous Night) to those I had never heard (‘Until I find you again’) to cover songs (‘Come ye all’, ‘Fly like an eagle’). For the first time ever I came to like ‘Mr. Big Babboon’, which they announced as a song about politics. Suddenly it all made sense. 😀

They left and were soon back for a set of encores that did not leave much to wish for. After an great solo by Tommy, they launched into ‘Give the Music’ back’, the motto and title of the current tour and went from there to the gorgeous ‘Time stand still’. At that moment I really wished I had the powers to make time stop, just for a little while. ‘Boys will be Boys’ was pure fun and ‘One of us’, a song Eric has written for Joan Osbourne was beautiful. For the second time in three days I heard a cover of Cindy Lauper’s ‘Time after Time’. It was completely different from the one Queen V had played the previous Sunday, but just as good.

The final option on the setlist was ‘Beat up guitar’ and sadly that wasn’t played, but the concert ended on the most unexpected cover versions of them all: Peter Schilling’s ‘Völlig losgelöst’, in German! It was pretty amazing and everyone in the room was singing along. 😀 It ended the show on a high note, leaving me equally happy and exhausted.  Rob came by and shook hands (which I missd because I was looking elsewhere), Tommy and John threw a few guitar pics and in the end all the guys got in line and walked off waving. What a show! I knew the band would come out to talk, but I opted for leaving, said goodbye to everyone and took the bus back to the train station, already knowing I’ll do my best to see them again next tour.

pictures of this concert

Setlist

You Never Know Who Your Friends Are
I’m Alive
Hanging on a Heartbeat
Day by Day
All You Zombies
The Boys of Summer (Don Henley cover)
Graveyard Waltz
500 Miles (Hedy West cover)
Silver Lining
Unknown (it was a piece by Johann… more )
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (The Beatles cover)
Where Do the Children Go
Karla With a K
Twenty-Five Hours a Day / Jigs
Satellite
Johnny B
And We Danced

acoustic set
Come All Ye (Fairport Convention cover) .
Nervous Night
Until I Find You Again
Fly Like an Eagle (Steve Miller Band cover)
Mr. Big Baboon

Encore:
Guitar Solo Tommy Williams
Give the Music Back
Time Stand Still
Boys Will Be Boys
Birthday (The Beatles cover)
One of Us (Joan Osborne cover)
Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper cover)
Major Tom (Völlig losgelöst) (Peter Schilling cover)

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