Always had it clear in my mind, I don’t wanna follow blind

Gotthard – Ruhrcongress, Bochum, November 13th, 2009

The first time I saw Gotthard was over 13 years ago in April 1996. My then boyfriend had just broken up with me, I was severeyly heartbroken and very spontaneously decided that a concert was just what I needed. I called the venue the day of the show to find if there were any tickets left and made the treck from Osnabrück to Bremen in the afternoon. Only a handful of people were waiting and that night I got my first front row spot at any concert ever. The support act was Royal Hunt and I spent some time trying to flirt with their singer who was much more interested in the dolled up chick in a skimpy leather top behind me. But I did enjoy the show and got a drumstick. Gotthard were amazing, exactly what I needed that day. I even sang with Steve for a bit while we looked straight at each other. Wonderful. The one other thing I remember is that bassist marc was wearing a T-Shirt that read “Potent, Willig und Solo”. *eyeroll* They were younger then – I heard yesterday that he got married this year.

Since then I have seen them on every tour but one and always loved it. Always made front row as well which was usually easy to do. Getting there by 5:30 p.m. was always enough and there’s be just a handful of people.

Yesterday, however, things were a little different. I arrived at the Ruhrcongress at 17:20 and there were already About 30 people in line. There stage is not generally that big so I got used to the idea of not being in front. Figured it must be because they are touring with Europe this time around. A lot of the people were clearly Europe fans.
A set of doors was marked as the entrance, but outside there was only the dreaded red and white barrier band that usually leads to chaos. Everyone was of course lined up behind that in front of those two doors, but there was way too much room on the side for people who arrived later to line up. When they opened, it happened as expected. They opened another door first (one that was not marked) and the people who came at 18:30 got in first. Always he same crap in Germany.

When I finally was inside I still ran and I was incredibly lucky. On the right side of the catwalk (Huh? Since when do they have a catwalk?) there was a spot open. One women was holding it for her son, but allowed me to put my jacket there and when he son arrived he did not want to be front – success! The woman, in her 40ies was a real Gotthard nut and had dragged her sister and entire family along. Nice people, we had a great time together. 🙂

Europe started shortly after 8:00 p.m. Before this tour I had no clue they even still existed. Sure, I loved them back in the 80ies, even had their poster on my wall. I own one of their best of CDs as well, but only listening to it if nostalgia strikes. In my wildest dreams I would not have thought I’d ever see them live.

They were surprisingly good. Put on a fun show that I enjoyed watching and I liked the songs too. They have some good new stuff and of course played the classics too. The audience enjoyed it and they even got to play an encore. By the time they ended with “The Final Countdown” I had a big smile on my face.

Setlist

Last Look at Eden
Gonna Get Ready
Superstitious
Love Is Not the Enemy
Sign of the Times
Carrie
No Stone Unturned
New Love in Town
Scream of Anger
Let the Good Times Rock
Start from the Dark

Encore
Rock the Night
The Final Countdown

Waiting for Gotthard then and chatting with the two sisters R. and M – time went by quickly. At about 9:35 Gotthard hit the stage and as always I was into it from the start. They still have it and their incredible energy took over the audience in no time. I was in a great spot to take pictures and Steve was on the catwalk more than on the main stage :). I got to hear a lot of my favorite songs as well.

I the middle of the show, Steve and Leo do an “acoustic jukebox” set where they took requests. They did not play any of the songs in full, but the choices were great. The first was one of my all time favorites “In the name”, then “Janie’s not alone”, “Father is that enough” and finally, M.’s request “Angel”. *sigh*

The drum duel between Henna and Steve was awesome, Freddy and Leo came on the catwalk to play, I got to hear “Hush” and lots of others songs I love and even got a handshake. 🙂 M. was a happy camper, getting a pic autographed by Leo and a guitar pick from Marc.
What an awesome show. I walked away with a huge smile on my face.

So they are playing Osnabrück tonight and I know there was a time in my life when I would have gone there to see them again immediately. Yet I have gotten older and more tired, so I’ll skip this one and stay at home, content with what I had.

Setlist

Unspoken Words
Gone Too Far
Top of the World
Need to Believe
Hush (Billy Joe Royal cover)
I Know, You Know
Right from Wrong
Unconditional Faith

Acoustic Jam (audience requests)
In the Name
Janie’s not alone
Father is that enough?
Angel

Drum Battle (Steve Lee & Hena Habegger)

Shangri-La
All We Are
I Don’t Mind
The Oscar Goes to…
Lift U Up

Encore
Sister Moon
Anytime Anywhere

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