The concert in Augsburg was amazing! The music was just beautiful and the band put a lot of energy and feeling in their performance. Naturally, they played all their hits (including one of my favourite live songs, “All You Zombies”). They also played plenty of new songs. It’s quite impossible to translate the experience and the emotions into words, so forgive me my vain attempts to describe them. Here we go:
The opening tune started out as a straight rock song with a tight groove and a slight country rock-feeling to it (in my ears, at least). Yet, the chorus was 100% Hooters with strong melodies and words that fit the music perfectly. Also, Eric and John did some stellar guitar playing during the middle-part and Rob employed the melodica. Day By Day came next and rocked. The audience was giving the band a warm welcome after another new song (straight to the point rock). After a few more classics came three new songs in a row: “Live To See The Day” had a light feeling and some Beatles- and Byrds-vibes, partly due to Eric playing a Rickenbacker 12-string guitar. Not a hit single in my ears, but a good songs with strong vocals and fine guitar melodies. “That’s The Way I Will Remember” from Fran’s current solo album was one of my favourite songs. It’s signature tune on the melodica and the driving chorus are just great! I don’t really know how to describe “Diggin’ Deeper Down”, which was sung by John. Kind of swinging, folky little song…!? “Safe In Your Arms” reminded me of Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin'”. Still, with Eric on recorder and the whole band to augment the track, it really sounded more like a Hooters-ballad, I guess. By then, the atmosphere was already very good. But as you can expect, people also wanted to hear some more old hits. The Hooters met that demand with Johnny B, Satellite, Karla With A W and And We Danced. Needless to say, that the venue got hotter with every song. It was after Karla With A K, that the audience kinda went crazy. Maybe it was the adrenaline in me, but I can’t remember witnessing such a loud, cheering noise at a concert! Eventually, after the band had left the stage, some people began singing the chorus of Johnny B and soon everybody picked up the tune.
The band returned and Eric searched desperately for his recorder, to join in I assume. But it couldn’t be found, so Rob began playing All You Zombies, an brilliant live track. As always, I was amazed by Erics slide fills and the depth of the song as a whole. The second encore consisted of “Morning Buzz” (like last year only played by Rob and Eric, the latter one on mandolin), “Boys Of Summer” (John joining them on Mandolin – the song sounded awesome, rather quiet, but them very emotional, especially in the chorus; Eric and Rob took turns in singing the verses – WE WANT A LIVE RECORD!!!) and Twenty-Five Hours A Day.
Still, we hadn’t enough, yelled, cried, shouted, applauded and back they came! Rob played Time After Time (Eric joining him halfway through the song) which was just like Boys Of Summer very moving, almost haunting. Then the whole band played an intense version of “One Of Us”. Eric delivered a breathtaking guitar solo and really connected with the song. The last song was another new composition with a 5/4-measure. That made it a bite strange in the first place. But it ended up being yet another wonderful Hooters-song, anyway. They even inserted a little sing-along-part before leaving the stage for good. Of course, people kept chanting for some more time and you could see happy faces all around.
Afterwards the band came out and spent some time with their fans. They were the nicest guys, gave countless autographs, had pictures taken, and talked about the past, the future and the gig. In short: A new album is coming, but not until 2006 – as for the reasons for this, let the words family, jobs, music business, songwriting and recording suffice. Well, speaking of songwriting – Eric spoke about the possiblity of having Until You Dare on the album, whereas Gimme A Stone is less likely. John remarked that Morning Buzz is likely to remain a live song. Fran would be glad to have That’s The Way I Will Remember on the new album, as well. But all of them agreed that it’s to early for any definite decisions, anyway. Here’s the setlist:
- Time Stand Still Tonight
- Day By Day
- Won’t Stop Knockin’ Til You Let Me In
- Fightin’ On The Same Side
- Graveyard Waltz (slight return) / 500 Miles
- Live To See The Day
- That’s The Way I Will Remember
- Diggin’ Deeper Down
- Deliver Me / Private Emotion / Deliver Me (reprise)
- Safe In Your Arms
- Wild Mountain Thyme (intro) / Johnny B
- Karla With A K
- And We Danced
- All You Zombies
- Morning Buzz
- Boys Of Summer
- Twenty-Five Hours A Day
- Time After Time
- One Of Us
- Until I Find You Again
Also worth a mention: The evening began with Billy Goodman playing a bunch of songs. He constantly switched between acoustic and electric guitar. Personally, I preferred the acoustic tracks, especially the potential hit “Over And Over Again”, a very melodic, touching song with a great vocal performance! He was really likeable and his joy at perfoming did show in his playing.He certainly deserved all the applause he got.