You shook me all night long

Martin and James – Luxor, Cologne; February 3rd 2012

5:00 a.m. my alarm ripped me from sleep in Bremen and I had to board a train. It was way to bright in there to continue sleeping but I kept dozing off until I reached home. Had time for some last preparations and took off to Düsseldorf airport where I picked up my friend R. who had come from Sweden to see a few concerts with me.

Back home, some food, lots of chat and then to the train station again, Cologne bound. After arrival we met up with A., B. and N., had some food again and set out to wait at the venue. A handful of people where already braving the cold when we arrived – luckily it was less than an hour until the doors opened.

We got in, they made some fuss about my camera, but allowed it in after seeing the email from the guys. The front row is so small we barely found room for the five of us. The place filled up quickly, lots of excited chatter going on.

Instead of Jim Kroft some other guy walked on stage and introduced himself as Dan Dietrich. He played a few songs for us and I really enjoyed his set. He mentioned he was from Darmstadt, so maybe he will show up again.

Jim followed, A. and I had decided to give him another chance and this time he was surprisingly good. Much more power to the songs and none of the boredom I had felt the previous day. So he can actually do it. Nice. I had been wondering how to survive listening to him so many more times. So I take back what I said earlier. He’s not bad after all. I had fun and even clapped along. He also had one other guy on stage to support him, Jonas Lieber  who added some nice harmony singing.

When it was time for Martin and James to enter the stage, the excitement in the room was palpable. They came out to great cheers from the audience – a much stronger response than the previous night.

They started with ‘She’s light guiding’ again, but played ‘Turn it up’ right after this time. The entire audience was into it from the very first song. By the time they got to ‘wheels’ every one was singing along and they guys clearly enjoyed it. ‘Wrong Directions’ is always a crowd favorite and the amazing ‘One way forward’ got even those who didn’t know it yet. The rocking version of ‘You’re a window’ got everyone into clapping along and from then on there was no stopping the audience. They were loud and happy and carrying the show. Every new song was greeted with cheers and a generally positive response. The guys really didn’t have to ask if we liked them or not.

Hearing the new songs for the second time I picked ‘The Rope’ as my favorite, followed by ‘Hard to cry’ and ‘Cynical Skin’, but I find it really hard to decide. They are just all so good. I still don’t understand much of the lyrics though, hopefully that will change during the course of the tour. It’s even more fun when can actually sing along.

The guys talked much, but not as nervously as they still did in Bremen. The audience loved them, they didn’t need to do much to ignite the spark and later fan the flames, it all seemed effortless. During ‘All over the news’ there was one point where the audience continued singing before Martin did and he just stood there and smiled. We followed every sing along too and ‘Crashing into Love’ was extra long with everyone rocking out.

The noise level when they left the stage was deafening. The cheers and clapping and screams and whistling didn’t stop until they came back out. They looked somewhat overwhelmed by the reaction, but very happy. Since there was a curfew, there was time for only one encore. Everyone came back out and launched into a great version of ‘I have to fall’ mixed with ‘Twist and Shout’ and little bits of ‘You shook me all night long’ thrown in for good measure. It was all a big party and I think nobody wanted to stop. Eventually they had to leave, but the cheers lasted for a while.. When I looked around I saw happy smiles everywhere and also people being a little dazed by what they had just been part of. We all looked at each other and smiled. What a great night and what an amazing tour start for R.

The lined at he merchandise were endless and we though we would not get a chance to talk to the guys at all, but we manage for a little while and even got a group picture with them. There was no time or room to really talk though, just quick hellos and goodbyes, before they kicked us out of the place. R. and I took accompanied the others to their hotel, warmed up a bit and then went for the long ride home. Around 2 a.m. we arrived – dead tired, but very very happy.

Two concerts down, five to go. Next stop: Osnabrück.

She’s light guiding
Turn it up
Maybe it’s time

Wrong directions
One way forward
You’re a window
I was blind
Bad Dream
Live Wires
Love’s not a Fight
Cynical Skin
Hard to cry
Little bits of Light
Life’s a Show
The Rope
All over the News
Crashing into Love

I have to fall

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