We saw Wir sind Helden play in Hannover yesterday. After seeing them play two years ago in a nearby club when they started being well known and enjoying that experience, we decided to go and see them again – even though I found their second album a tad boring. By now the band is quite famous in Germany and they’re playing in large venues. Due to them singing in German and their lyrics touching a wide variety of topics they appeal to loads of different people and age groups.
In Hannover the big venue meant the ‘AWD Hall’, which not only is a strange anglicism but at the same time an advert for the dubious financial services company currently running it and the football stadium next door. This wonderful bit of capitalism leaves us with a meaningless name which is bound to change to another meaningless names within a few years. Fantastic.
Anyway, probably due to the very young and quite old also attending the event, it already started at eight. And by that I mean started. Not doors at eight, but the support band starting to play. We came in a few minutes late, directly from the station, and were surprised to see the hall completely packed (with around 6000 people, I’ve heard). By not knowing our way round, we initially ended up at the side of the hall where there were rows of seats and where all the parents of the kids down in front were sitting. Very odd. But a very nice view from above to see the heads of thousands of people in the light coming from the stage.
The support band were Madsen who I saw in summer. I thought their tunes were all right back then but was completely shocked by the singer sounding like a little kid or smurf. Ever since hearing that I found it really hard to listen to their album as I started discovering the smurfiness on there as well. Luckily the mixing was much more pleasant in this gig. While I could still make out the smurfy sound at times, those occasions were very rare and the music was fun.
While they were playing, we managed to locate some other friends in the crowd through the magic of SMS sending. As I don’t have a mobile phone myself, I had to coordinate this beforehand – making sure all the relevant people had the right numbers and so on… and things worked out nicely. Shortly before Madsen finished, I went down to meet the others who were right in the middle of the crowd, reasonably close to the stage. And after some extra waiting, Wir sind Helden came on.
As the band had to cancel the two preceding gigs because several of them were ill – a topic that they commented on quite liberally, with Judith mentioning that the day before the nurses in the hospital would probably be surprised by the sounds coming from her throat just one day later – they didn’t seem to be extremely energetic but on the other hand they didn’t seem too tired either. While they couldn’t recreate the more personal atmosphere of the smaller club in that large hall, they still brought a number of nice extras along for the gig.
Those ranged from ongoing jokes about Hannover and apologies about making them, to some brass players who joined in for some songs, to a Cure cover song, to some nice school-level playing with recorders and a triangle or some acoustic playing with a guitar, violin and percussion – all those accompanied by some stylish 1970s style wallpaper pattern projected behind them.
Apart from these extras, they played all the energetic songs we love and all the other songs we know – or don’t know so well. In fact, great parts of the audience did know all of the songs. Line by line. Which was quite amazing when the audience started singing before Judith did – and just carried on all the way through.
Alltogether a lot of fun and enjoying the band. A lot of adoring Judith… who also the girls had to admit did a brilliant job. They also thought the bassist Mark was quite hot in his new, shaved, look. I guess everybody was happy then.
For other Wir sind Helden related entries, including more lyrics and translations thereof, have a look at the Wir sind Helden overview page.