The Hooters live in Neuleiningen

The Hooters are touring Germany relentlessly. Having seen more than 20 gigs and having written about several of them here, I find it a bit tiresome to write about the regular stuff afterwards. The trend away from lots of jamming towards a tight collection of classic songs and a few other tunes continued at the concert in Neuleiningen on July 3, 2015. The small town near Mannheim used a (gorgeous) castle ruin to stage the show. It was a really hot day, but it became bearable towards the evening. The walls around the court provided some shade and nobody seemed to mind the absence of an opening band. The show was sold-out.

I find it funny that I have never seen the Hooters in the same venue twice. They keep branching out into small towns and other pampa regions. The audiences are remarkably similar (unless it’s a big, big festival thing like Sound of Pop with about 100,000 people in the audience). The front row consists of die hard fans. They are rocking out from the first note on. The rest of the audience needs a few songs until they start grooving along. It helps when “Day by Day” appears early on. The Neuliningen concert featured a surprisingly large number of songs off “Nervous Night”. I was happy to hear “Hanging on a Heartbeat” for the first time. I’d suspect, however, that German audience are well familiar with the subsequent albums, too. From what I read in interviews, “Zig Zag” isn’t the band’s favourite album, so that might explain the reluctance to go beyond “500 Miles” and the occasional “Deliver Me”. The first encore, “Give the Music Back”, made a strong case that the album does deserve some of the limelight.

From “Karla With a K” onwards, everybody was eagerly cheering, singing along, and simply having a great time. Naturally, “All You Zombies” had paved the way, and the German parts of “Private Emotion” elicited a strong reaction. All in all, it was yet another excellent gig that underscored band’s reputation as a live band.

The Hooters setlist in Neuleiningen (2015-07-03)

  1. I’m Alive
  2. Hanging on a Heartbeat
  3. Day By Day
  4. Silver Lining
  5. Morning Buzz
  6. Private Emotion
  7. South Ferry Road
  8. All You Zombies
  9. The Boys of Summer
  10. Graveyard Waltz (Slight Return)
  11. 500 Miles
  12. Where Do the Children Go
  13. Karla With a K
  14. Twenty-Five Hours a Day
  15. Satellite
  16. And We Danced
  17. Pissing in the Rhine
  18. Give the Music Back
  19. Johnny B
  20. Major Tom (Völlig losgelöst)
  21. One of Us
  22. Time After Time

These Are the Days

These are the days music is given back to me; not always in the way I like or expect it. But who am I to make demands? I guess it’s better to settle with what is there than to complain.

WatchTower put out a new song and went on to play a fantastic gig at the Keep It True festival. Now a few weeks later I get the news that Alan is no longer in the band. So instead of hoping for another album or tour any time oon I now treasure the memory of the concert even more.

Änglagård reissue their second album “Epilog” with a proper recording of “Rösten”. I have no idea why they had to add a bonus cd for less than four minutes of music. But those precious few notes and chords are achingly beautiful. One couldn’t imagine a piece of music fitting the atmosphere of the album more perfectly. It’s both amazing and shocking to learn that it took basically years to complete the recording of just this tune. So instead of hoping for another album or tour any time soon I now treasure the wild and strange creativity of Änglagård even more.

The Hooters just played a series of shows in Europe. I’m truly lucky to live here. Last Friday they even played in my birth town. The band keeps coming up with new material, the majority of which is really great. Still, they tend to stick with the songs I like less. Another change I regret the lack of jamming on stage. I remember long improvisations in “Twenty Five Hours a Day”, “Deliver Me” and “Mr. Big Baboon”. I loved it when they inserted Beatles or Elvis tunes. Needless to say I was happy that at least some of that spirit returned with Tommy Williams in “500 Miles” this time around. So instead of hoping for another album any time soon I now treasure the live shows even more. And I keep the memory of their previous tours, especially the incredible show in Stuttgart in 2004 and the then new songs they played in 2005.