MOTORHEAD AND DORO WARM UP GERMANY
We were knee-deep in snow on this very icy and cold December evening, but the thousands of die-hard Motorhead fans didn’t seem to care as they stood in front of Arena Treptow, with cold beer in hand, waiting to see the heavy metal legends. The idea of a cold drink during a 10 degrees below zero night makes me shiver, but that just means I’m getting older…
I was also waiting outside the Arena that night waiting to get photo access to the show, and after 40 minutes or so everything was freezing — not exactly the kind of treatment I was hoping to get. While waiting outside the first band of the evening, Grand Magus from Sweden, took the stage around 7 p.m. and blew away the first rows of headbangers with their Scandinavian type of doom/stoner/power metal. I was standing outside and had a look through the doors to watch some of the show and was getting a bit pissed — having to wait that long to get photo access is not that nice for people that want to do a review, and I don’t care if these restrictions came from the local promoter or Motorhead themselves. The ticket cost 40 Euros, which is over $50 American, for three bands and then being made to standing outside? I knew I would enjoy every minute being in the hall…
Grand Magus did a good job and heated up the fans, but the majority of metal headbangers were just waiting to get that dose of Motorhead and didn’t care that much about the support band (sad, but true). When Grand Magus left the stage the media people and photographers were escorted to the back of the Arena to a door which lead us all into the backstage area… and then we had to wait outside in the cold once again! The boys of Grand Magus came by to enter their tour bus and said hello. “Hey, you did a good show”, I said (as far as I could see and hear), and that was the moment I flashed back to the movie Spinal Tap… just standing there, out in the cold, with icicles hanging down my face and on the verge of losing toes and fingers. The other media people were getting upset too, and then we were escorted to the side of stage, told how many songs to photograph, and after that had to leave the hall again! Once again we had to go outside and wait in the cold… Spinal Tap time again!
We waited until German metal legend Doro hit the stage with the opener “Earthshaker Rock” and then I was banging into the photo-pit, taking photos and enjoying heavy metal rock ‘n’ roll. Once the first three songs were over we had leave the pit, but I didn’t want to, and tried to hide in a dark corner of the backstage space. I watched the show with Doro smashing through her hits like “All We Are”, “I Rule The Ruins”, “Breaking The Law” (a Judas Priest cover) and the ultimate power-ballad “Fur Immer” — which is one of best songs Doro ever wrote and has been a standard in their setlist for many years. Every great band should have a standard like this in their repertoire, and have to play it until they fall off stage.
Doro herself put on a great show and displayed just how hard she works to be the one and only ‘metal queen’ — and yes, she deserves that title by being in the metal business for about 27 years and never losing the will to go on with her career. I will not forget about her band either, which was as tight as ever, even if they did only have 45 minutes and a lower lightshow (I guess that’s the headliner-support band thing). I enjoyed seeing Johnny Dee (drums), Nick Douglas (bass), and guitarists Mas Baas and Luca Princiotta rocking through their powerful set.
After a too-short set, the arena lights went on again. One of the positive aspects of the evening was that the rebuilding break was very short, and seconds after the lights went out in the Arena an English gentleman came on stage and said,”Good evening Berlin” and asked, “Are you ready for some rock ‘n’ roll?” With 3000 fans screaming “oh yeah”, Lemmy Kilmister took command of the stage for about 70 minutes and the fans were more than happy to party with the 3-piece rock band that plays fast blues metal as its best, and honored that man on bass — who has been one of the institutions of heavy rock for over 3 decades by constantly touring the world and releasing new CDs, the latest being ‘The World Is Yours’.
I have seen Motorhead three times in my life and it’s always like an airplane crashing through the venue, dropping some its very heavy load, before flying on to another town and another gig. I was standing in the hall and enjoyed watching Mickey Dee (who did a wild drum solo that night), guitarist Phil Campbell and the legendary Lemmy.
Lemmy is Lemmy, one of the originals in the rock scene who knows how to communicate with the fans — always good for a joke or comments, and lately released the book “White Line Fever” (which is joy to read!). As I thought over that I got escorted outside the Arena again, to wait in the cold while Motorhead continued to rock before leaving the stage after a very short set. Okay, they had a low budget light show (some would call it ‘oldschool’) and stage design, but Motorhead probably don’t want it any other way, instead letting the music do the talking. When the fans left the Arena with a smile on their lips it proved that Lemmy and the boys did a very good job. A band that has such classic albums as “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” in their bag can do no wrong, and that’s why they have such a strong following. The other side of the coin is that Motorhead draw many people to their shows, but have never sold massive amounts of records… so they have to earn money while touring the world and selling t-shirts (the ‘Motorhead England’ t-shirt with the skull is often seen on headbangers around the world).
Some of the fans had to travel a long way on that chilly ice cold night, and even had to work the next day, but that is what being true fan is all about. Anyway, I was standing… you know, in the cold, waiting for some bands in the parking lot. Some were chilling out in the backstage rooms, some laid back on the tour bus, while I had a small meet-and-greet with musicians. But after that, for hours in the cold, I was ready to leave that event and drive home… to my warm home.
Of course the day after I caught a cold that lasted for about 3 days… thank you for that! Despite all the restrictions people like me encountered at this show, Motorhead is always welcome to return next tour.