Gelsenkirchen 27. July, 1998

Here's what I wrote after the show:

OK, you all will say it's because it is my home town, but you can believe me: That show really rocked. It picked up fast with Satisfaction, slowed down a bit afterwards, but from "Bitch" onwards they got it going. Guitars all over the place, Ron very loud in the mix, "weaving" again on "Wanna Hold You", a great solo on "Out of Control", lots of improvisation on "Miss You". What more can you ask for?
We made it to the front again, Ronnie's side, nearly pool position to the catwalk. Getting in there was easy, the show was not sold out. I believe about 40.000 people where in the Parkstadion tonight. The weather was fine, although it threatened to rain at one stage, but only some drops came down after the show.
The Hothouse Flowers opened again, just on time at 7.30 pm. They did a set of 45-50 minutes, it was alright by me, nothing special and not really my taste. But all these opening acts just cannot win when you wait for the Stones!
The Stones were on at 9.20 pm, Satisfaction hit it big time. right after Satisfaction the crowd started chanting Happy Birthday, which Mick heard. he struck out his tongue and smiled. The first songs were standard, a bit above average I would say. I was a bit disappointed about hearing ASMB again, would have love something else but then the first change came: Bitch. That song really rocked! Loud guitars, playing really good, loud horns. Saint of me was good as well, after the song finished the Keith side and the Ronnie side did a canon for the oh yeahs, Mick directiing the sing a long, before he shouted out loud "Out Of Control". That one was brilliant, everythingup the the second, every move, every hit of the drum and the guitars, loud solos, a harmonica solo like I never seen one before etc.
Paint it Black was web choice again. I did have a look at midday, when it had 32%, on the night it had got 26%, SFM was second place. Mick told us he is thinking about putting that one in the setlist. PIB is much better than in 1990, not that much keyboards, but loads of guitars again, nicely playing with each other.
Miss you was very long tonight for my taste, improvising went on and on. Mick even put his guitar down and danced with Lisa a bit more. He tried to do some naughty things as well (I only mention hip movements here :-)), which she wouldn't let him. Lots of smiling around the stage.
Keith told us it was Reggae night, if god permitted, so he did "You don't have to Mean it". More guitars on "Wanna Hold You". From Bitch on Ronnie was loud and I mean LOUD and clear in the mix. And he played a lot and everyone seemed to like it.
The B-Stage set was above average as well. the guitars never sounded that loud and clear on "Little Queenie" on the german shows before. YGMR was nicely done as well, slide solo very loud. LARS was a bit of a let down, just average.
The rest was very good, Keith hitting chords, Ronnie hitting more chords, guitars everywhere. Ronnie's solos sometime seemed to drown other bits in the mix.
Odd bits: when Ronnie came back from b-stage, he signed an autograph for some guy on the ladder to the main stage and made sure, security gave it to the right guy. He even gave some drinks away to that japanese couple on his side. Charlie picked that up. when he came to the front for the end bows, he went to that bit of the stage with Ronnie and had a look there as well.
Lots of chatting by Mick, lot's of "Hey's and "Hi's", lots of singing in Miss You. Mick told us we were "Super!" They seemed to like it, we loved it! Mick came down on the catwalk for Brown Sugar again. With 55 Mick is even better than he was with 54. :-)
Start time: 21:20
End time  : 23:40
The set list:
   2.Let's Spend The Night Together
   3.Flip The Switch
   4.Gimme Shelter
   5.Anybody Seen My Baby
   7.Saint Of Me
   8.Out Of Control
   9.Paint It Black (web choice)
  10.Miss You
     -- Introductions --
  11.You Don't Have To Mean It (Keith)
  12.Wanna Hold You (Keith)
  13.Little Queenie (center stage)
  14.You Got Me Rocking (center stage)
  15.Like A Rolling Stone (center stage)
  16.Sympathy For The Devil
  17.Tumbling Dice
  18.Honky Tonk Women
  19.Start Me Up
  20.Jumping Jack Flash
  21.Brown Sugar (encore)
This was the strangest gig for me ever. The Stones in my home town for the second time. I just live down the road now, but going to that gig for me meant flying for 2 1/2 hours. The show was planned for May and when it had to be cancelled, it was rescheduled after long battles between the promoter and the manager of FC Schalke 04, the soccer team that usually plays the Parkstadion. UEFA had their fingers in there as well, as they wanted the place to be remodelled, especially the seats, so after all the parties agreed on July 27. In the meantime we had booked flights to stay in our home in Spain and I had taken leave at the place I work in. It doesn't matter that you are the boss, because everyone had scheduled their leave around everybody else's leave. There I was, totally shattered. The Stones in Gelsenkirchen and I in Spain. Until my wife came up with the idea of flying back just for the gig. As soon as she mentioned that I grabbed the phone to get flights and I got them. So I arrived a day before the gig and left on the night just a couple of hours after the show for Spain again. And it really was worth it!
Axel arrived at Sunday evening, directly from Paris and taught me new ways of handling a bottle of beer, Nico flew in from Berlin the next day and we picked him up and went to the Parkstadion. It was really nice, not a lot of trouble in front of the gates. My mum-in-law and her friend came as well, so as soon as the gates opened we all ran and made it to the Ronnie section, front row for mum & her friend and we - gentlemen that we were - just behind them. Before the show I met Steve Kemelfield (together with his son) who told me it was his 80th show of the BTB-Tour. I had heard strange things of him, but meeting him was even more interesting. And the show was at least my best show of the whole tour. The weather was fine, nice and warm, the Stones were in good form and it really picked up from Bitch onwards, it got better and better. Even the same old songs after the B-stage sounded better than before. Everybody was in high spirits and even now, when I listen to the show, it still sounds great.

And Axel is right when he thinks that standing in the glitter/confetti rain that we had in Gelsenkirchen coming down on us, listening to Stones music is sheer madness.

After the show we went home, did the report for Undercover and I got ready for flying back that night. Even the taxi was on time as well. An absolute night to remember.
Here's two pics of the stage being built,
thanks to press photographer Connie Fischer
Axel, Nico and me (after showers and ready for the flight) after the Gelsenkirchen show
Here's what other people thought about the show.
Here's what other people thought about the show.