Knaack, Berlin

December 14th 1998

Accompanied by my husband and a friend I arrived at the Knaack around 9 p.m., and met two other Seancers, Stefan and Martin. (Berki, who / where were you?) No support act. We positioned ourselves in front of the stage and had a nice talk about music.

Then a little before 10 p.m. ... the beginning of AURA ... and me losing contact to this world. The music - the band right in front of me - call it some kind of ANAESTHESIA. Can't repeat the order of the songs (luckily I was given a set list, no changes to the former shows). Outstanding in my personal impression were Ripple, Old Flame (a quiet song, very appropriate live for Steve's low voice), Louisiana, Grind, Tranquility, Day of the Dead, 2 Places, Hotel Womb, Tantalized.

Standing in front of Marty, it seemed as if he had some sound problems during the first songs, and was getting a bit uneasy about that. First the guitar was too quiet, then there were some low buzzing tones, and unwanted feedbacks. But happily those problems soon were solved. Playing a little guitar myself I couldn't stop looking at his fingers, studying the chords and various picking techniques. He changed the guitar for nearly every song - the equipment guy had a quite busy evening.

Steve played the 6-string fender bass. His singing was very good, except for the problem that the lead guitar sometimes was quite loud, so it was difficult to hear his low voice clearly then. Unfortunately I was a little to far away from Peter to study his technique in detail. But he looked very relaxed and seemed to enjoy the set (and he's an extremely nice person, thank God I didn't forget to tell him how much I'd liked Love Era). Being no expert for drumming, I can only say that Tim in my ears did a very good job, although he sometimes seemed a little desperate about Marty's long solos - at the beginning of You took he stopped drumming because the feedback part didn't end.

There was not much banter with the crowd. Steve said thank you after each song, and once mentioned how hot it was - no wonder, the club was quite full, and they played with lots of energy. But you could see the band communicating quite a lot with each other during the show. There was one situation which could be interpreted as a little quarrel between Steve and Marty, but to me it looked more like they were joking: for the first encore Marty came back on the stage with a 'cigarette', handed it over to Steve, who rejected it, looked severe, and dropped it down. Then Marty tried to hand him a cup with water (?), and they both let it drop to the floor.

All in all they played nearly two hours - it was around midnight when one after the other left the stage at the end of You took. Still being in a state of happy ecstasy I waited with the others backstage. Don't remember exactly how I managed to get autographs from all band members. They were all were very friendly and patient. There were also some people with "cameras for eyes", so maybe you can see some day pictures of that. Of course I forgot all important questions I wanted to ask:
- about the chance of a live album
- solo projects
- the meaning behind the Anaesthesia lyrics etc. etc. etc.

Well, I hope there was not too much 'gossip' in my review (Marty complained about a little too much gossip on the list). Unfortunately I don't have the time to see another show (Berki you lucky fellow!), but I'm thankful for the wonderful evening.

All the best,
(not 'really' back on earth yet)

Appendix: (for historical & statistical reasons) the set list

Jens Berke

Here's my review of the concert in Berlin, Knaack-Club. There was no support band, and they started at about 10 p.m. They played for about two hours and JUST BLEW ME AWAY!!! Last time I saw them was in Hamburg 1990, and that was really _BAD_. So I was very surpised, how GOOD they can be!! I took a friend with me, who hardly knows their music and just came with me because he knew that I'm a big fan. Afterwards he said something like "well, that's not the kind of music I listen to or like very much, but this concert was GREAT!".

They seemd to enjoy themselves but didn't talk at all to the audience (except for "Thank you") until the first encore. Steve did some really great singing, especially in the quieter parts of the songs. Marty made a great show as well, he played almost all solo-parts, but he sometimes played them SO LONG, that even the other band members looked astonished and looked at him to finish his part. The intro-part of "Tantalized", for example, was about 5 minutes long, until Steve could start singing his first line (Steve getting a bit impatient, I guess). In the quiet part of "You Took", before Steve starts singing his first line, Marty didn't stop his guitar doing some feedback sounds. Steve stopped playing his bass after a while and made signs to Marty indicating that he doesn't like it. But Marty didn't stop, so after a while Steve started playing his bass again and just started singing. Marty stopped his guitar immediatley. It seemed to me, that Marty and Steve had a quarrel, because Steve looked really pissed. But that doens't fit into the impression I got from the whole concert. Anyway, it was great and the audience really liked it (it was quite crowded, so maybe there were maybe 300 to 500 people).


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