Day 12: 5 August 2009 – Berlin
Due to having Monday and Tuesday off, I’m compressing several days into one.
Since the amusement park/Pains of Being Pure at Heart Copenhagen adventure night, we:
-Visited a commune called Christiana that was closed up for the day. Evidently, hippies hate Mondays as much as the rest of us.
-Wandered around in the rain trying to find the statue of the little mermaid (HCA version, not Disney)
-Left Yoshi to hang out an extra day in Copenhagen while we went on to Germany
-Got in a big sibling fight in the Copenhagen train station over what the proper response to stress is: (choose one) a) dramatically slowing down or b) dramatically speeding up
-Decided not to spend $8.50 on a Starbucks latte in the Copenhagen airport, cursed Starbucks for the 18 millionth time
-Flown the best airline I’ve ever been on: SAS
-Ate spaetzle, which made me wish I were a stoner
-Repeatedly failed at going shopping
-Slept a lot
-Went to a neighborhood biergarten where the bartender kicked us out (although charmingly) because he needed to go see a metal band called Carpathians
-Met some great Berliners
-Walked about 200 miles
Today is our Berlin show. Our party has been joined by my special friend, Michael, who will be driving us on the autobahn to the rest of our German shows.
The venue, the Bang Bang Club, is tucked in a dark alley underneath the elevated train. Outside the crypt-like entrance, we notice a beautiful poster for the show, which gets us very excited about the possibilities of the evening.
However, sound check is a bit trying. Michael has brought my Nord keyboard from home. I plug it in, but it doesn’t work. Over the next hour, fumbling with various plugs and converters, we discover that I’ve blown it up, by subjecting it to too much voltage. Somehow, there is also no floor tom for Yoshi. Sorting through these details of no drum/no keyboard makes soundcheck last a hefty 2 hours. No one is happy.
But Jule, one of the promoters is in the backstage area compiling a delicious meal for us. We chat while she makes little sandwiches. I eat 8 hazelnut wafers.
Then we go kill time (that’s code for drink beer) and wait for the show. When we return to the club, I am shocked to see a friend from Portland, Oregon. He says that he was on the street in Berlin the day before and saw a poster for our show and decided to surprise me. I have some other friends from New York in the house as well; it’s an international summit here at the Bang Bang.
The show is terrific; the ladies who are putting on the show love pop music and have rallied Berlin’s pop community into this cozy club. The crowd is funny and enthusiastic and a little sassy.
Afterwards, we all hang out and listen to the promoters spin records. Eventually, I wander off to help celebrate my friend Tara’s birthday in a nearby hinterhofe, losing Nick and Yoshi. I miss hanging out with them all the time–now, we’re all staying at separate places, with separate friends, and I long for the days of being crammed in some tiny hotel room like sardines. Sort of.