Berlin – There are bands that their fans will probably forgive everything for. Not only die-hard fans, but also those who are only convinced of the early phase or only the late ones, or just the number one hits, just punk, only rock, just pop or exaggerated madness. Doctors are such a team that gathers all this kind of fans.
On Monday evening, the Berlin trio Bela B., Farin Urlaub and Rodrigo Gonzales played the seventh of thirteen Berlin concerts on the “MMXXII” tour in Zitadelle Spandau. They haven’t played in this district since the early 1980’s. The tour coincides with the band’s 40th anniversary, and the three of them are approaching their 60th birthday today (Rod is the youngest, 54 years old). The tour is a prelude to the stadium tour with 20 appearances in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. With the exception of one day in August at Tempelhofer Feld, all shows are sold out.
10,000 tickets were sold to an open-air concert at the citadel, plus 1,000 tickets from the guest list, the security guard in a neon yellow jacket reveals shortly before entering at 4pm. The line of ticket holders stretches from the multi-lane entrance into the brick walls of the citadel to the Julius Tower Bridge, which crosses the Havel. There are a lot of things in the queue: Beatsteaks logos and Rammstein T-shirts, Rock am Ring and Wacken jute bags or Antifa buttons. Flat caps, dreadlocks, gray short hairstyles. And countless T-shirts from previous doctors’ tours, from “Unrockstar” (2004), “The Best” (2008), “The End” (2012).
There are of course fans who have probably got away with their idols, and in the case of Ęrzte, maybe they love them for all that nonsense, because they never promised to be anything other than an extremely cheerful band with a flair for the musical present, a lot of humor and imagination about what is politically important.
Before the concert, Thilo, 39, from Reinickendorf, sits on a railing in Zitadellengraben with a buddy holding two tickets. “We sell them for 40, but you can’t go any further,” says Thilo. He wears a T-shirt that reads “Best Band in the World” and has a fist smashing the Nazi symbol. When an interested person tries to persuade him to buy tickets for 25 euros – Thilo’s wife and his friend’s daughter have fallen ill – he does not negotiate further: “I would rather make a boat out of it and launch it downstream,” says Thilo.
The doctors’ club tour of Berlin has been sold out
He has been a fan of “as long as he can remember,” albums, he says, “basically always go up and down,” so he doesn’t sell tickets below their value. What does he think about the new albums – “Hell” (2020) and “Dunkel” (2021)? “Not bad, no doubt,” Thilo said. You can’t get any more criticism from it for the album. “It’s different every time. They’re just like that, they do what they want, “he says and nods his head: Doctors cannot fail him at all.
Inside the premises – a fortress with a bustle, sausages, beer from plastic cups, dixie toilets – before the concert, at 5:00 p.m., Lukas is standing in front of the stand, the 31-year-old came from Munich.
For the club tour of Berlin, the first six concerts at which doctors played in front of several hundred people from the beginning of May, he did not get a ticket. The presale is over so quickly that Lukas just snaps his fingers to show how fast it is. “No chance,” he says.
He just got a new tour jersey. The actual figures are in the back and the friendly cartoon snail smiles in the front. In 1999, Lukas turned the album “Planet Punk” into a fan. “The concept of ‘doctors’ just distracted me,” he says. Since then, he has watched over 20 concerts. He thinks the new albums are as good as anything else, he says. “I’m an unconditional fan.”
As for the snail, Lukas has his own theory, which is that it is a travesty of Corona’s government policy. Since the snail appeared on the team’s homepage in the spring of 2021 as an animation, the comic book creature blocked other website functions and crawled up the comic book top, says Lukas. A few weeks later, the animated snail announced the new album “Dunkel” with a note. Now she resembles the new mascot, the new Gwendoline, another dodgy fan, Vanessa, 32, also from Reinickendorf. Rather, he thinks the snail is “meaningless,” he says. But that doesn’t detract from her great love for the band, she pushes later.
Bela B. and Farin Urlaub announce the opening of the “Großstadtgeflüster”.
Surely not all fans hear the 14 albums of the band’s history without criticism, some of them have gotten “weaker” over the years, says someone who calls himself Jörgi. But in the meantime, the doctors have become something of a Berlin cultural asset.
But then the conversation is over and Bela B. and Farin Urlaub first appear on the scene at 6:01 PM. Part of the audience was creeping under the surrounding trees, it is raining. But when the two band members announce the opening act – “big whispers” – and curse the weather a bit, people come out and approach those who have already lined up in front of the massive stage and are not moved. weather anyway.
The Berlin electro-pop band jumps on the stage and with their strong first song “Auf Alles”, they decide to start the night. At 6:04 pm, the headlights come on and the rain stops. She is excited, vocalist Jen Bender calls into the microphone, after all, they are the second best band in the world. They play the snotty, mood-boosting song “Fickt Euch Allee”. There have been no concerts of this rank for a long time, and the audience in front of the stage looks tiny. The Großstadtwhisper does what it has to do, offering the waiting people a bar and a bit of warm-up.
At 19:31 the first doctors song sounds like “Gute Nacht” which sounds nonsensical, but it isn’t – there is “the doctors concept”. The black curtain drops, the band stands there, the crowd cheers, the band plays “Noise” – the crowd jumps up and for the next two and a half hours sways, jumps and sings. And: Rarely does the audience smile like that.
It could be the result of an evening, nostalgia for the concerts, or the “doctors concept”, an extremely delicate mix of old and new songs, rough and harmonious tones, or the jokes of Farin Urlaub. about Bela B. – “the most famous Spandau in the world”. Or Farin Urlaub’s jokes about Rod Gonzales – “shutting down is more of a Rod’s thing.” Or the smile of Farin Urlaub himself, who unpacks the bagpipes, there is a synthesizer, and although they both squawk terribly, the audience thanks him with even greater applause.
When it’s still light, the doctors are playing a new single – “Dunkel”
Meanwhile, the band changes positions and the instruments, left to right, bass, guitar and drums play each other’s imaginary balls in intertwining chatter, but never let each other talk about it. They play “Hip-Hip-Hurray” – a perverse song. When it is still light in the sky, they play the new single: “Dunkel” – and when it gets dark, they play: “The sky is blue”.
Right before 21:00 it ends for the first time. But the encores don’t last long and the band comes back and sings “Unrockbar”. Second closing, 21:09 See you tomorrow in Wuhle – says Farin Urlaub.
Nothing there, the second encore starts at 21:12. And in the last half an hour, the doctors kick out the anti-Nazi song “Arschloch” because they think “The AfD just sucks”, they organize mini-funs in the middle of the crowd. And it looks like they are still having fun endlessly. At 21.39 it’s the third time and it’s really over. 11,000 people walked past sausage and beer stands and the citadel bridge.
Lukas from Munich is undaunted, considering the concert “great”. The question itself seems to surprise him. In the crowd, he is not the only one smiling. You really have to forgive the group of screaming guys in the subway, fans like that happen to the best.