Hamburg 30. August, 1998

Here's what I wrote after the show:

It was really a night to remember! We got there very late ( around 4 pm), but we knew the name and the password, so we made it into the Keith side this time.

The Trabrennbahn is next to the Volkspark in Hamburg, a very large site, so roughly 90.000 people were there. But in the front section you do not feel the audience is a hassle. Although there was one drunken guy who started a fight and was taken out. I can't stand drunken people making a fuzz and spoiling the mood, so that  was ok by me, although his friends kept complaining all night.

The concert started early (7.35 pm), as there is a curfew in Hamburg, meaning they had to stop at 22.00 pm, which they did. Big Country opened again, still some sort of feud going on betweend Stuart Adamson and his guitar roadie, this time about the length of a cable. Set was ok, nothing special.

The Stones were in great form. It was "talking to the audience"-night. I have never heard Mick talk so much, even Keith and Ronnie did some comments as well. They came out in the full sunlight, everyone wearing sunglasses, as the sun was right in their eyes. Mick: "We usually do this show in the dark, but
the mayor of Hamburg decided that you should go to bed early tonight, so we started earlier as well."

Satisafction was strong, so was Let's spend the Night together. There were little problems with the monitors, as first Mick and then later Ronnie turned to the right side, signalling the monitor control guy to turn it up. Ronnie had some problems with his guitar as well at some stage, but all in all he played very well and loud.

Before they came out you could see Jo Wood just next to the drums, giving him a kiss before he came on. Geogia Mae was also there for the first 8 or 9 songs, right by the keybords. She did some dance routines during Gimme Shelter and Anybody seen my baby. I coulnd't see with whom she was, but it looked a bit like Patti Hansen. It all seemed like a family trip on stage, Mick and Ronnie bringing their daughters (Leah did Thief in the Night on bv's again) and maybe that made them try a little harder so they could impress their kids.

Saint of me was alright, but the crowd did not really get it afterwards, so Out of control came soon. Guitars were very loud on this one, Ronnie's wah wah and Keith's soloing and hitting the strings was gorgeous.

For introductions Ronnie brought out a little old man and introduced him as Scotty Moore. I wondered if he would play something with them, but he didn't. Ronnie was asked out to the catwalk on Keith' side during IORR and he gladly took the turn over there with Mick. Ronnie was running around quite a lot in Hamburg, being more on the Keith side than on his side. Lots of interplay with the guitars, lots of strange noises during solos, Ronnie's solo for Miss you was great! Never heard him play these noises on this tour, going bang, twang, scrrrrrchhhhhh etc. 

And then we caught them cheating! As this was Hamburg, the biggest Harbour in Europe, they wanted to play some kind of country song, so they did "Dead Flowers" (which was great and good to see and hear again). But: They wanted us to believe it was a webchoice and showed the homepage for the Trabrennbahn. The page they showed had Dead Flowers with 22% and Time is on my side with 19%, Street Fighting Men being third. Memory Motel was nowhere to be seen at all, not in the Top 5 at least. Before we left Berlin around 12, we checked the webside and it had Time is on My side with 22% followed by Memory Motel with 19.5%. Dead Flowers was not  even in there at all. So how did they do this then? Do they make their own html-code to show something on the screen? Why declare this a webchoice, when it isn't? Why not just say: no webchoice today? Arrgh. I don't like this, though I did not mind hearing Dead Flowers. But it's a bit disappointing that you not only have to make your song gets to No. 1, but you also have to make sure it's the right song in the right place.

During Miss You the rain set in again, quite heavily at times but still alright. Keith: "Lousy summer, but at least we can live with it". Thief in the night was good, but not as excellent as in Berlin.

On the b-stage Mick asked Ronnie, what the next song was, but Ronnie didn't listen, because he was talking to someone in the audience, so Mick shouted "Ronnie" a couple of times. Ronnie came to him and grabbed his mic and told him: "Mick, I was talking to the audience" and Mick laughed. Keith fell on his behind after You got me rocking, Ronnie helped him back on his feet again and everyone smiled and laughed, Keith couldn't believe that it happened at all. On the catwalk back to the stage Ronnie and Keith signed a few posters, the others only shook hands, but did not sign anything.

The end section was marvellous, very loud and played very well. During Brown Sugar Keith and Lisa went out left and Keith right. Keith ran over to the left side then, met Mick and Linda on stage, shook hands and made his way to the other side. Looked nice, Lisa was trying to catch her breath but followed Mick around.

After 25 years of not having played in Hamburg, the audience just loved it.On our way home, we had 3 hours of NDR reports on the concert with lots of good Stones music, interviews with audience and even bits and pieces from Keith (I wonder which interview that was) about being on tour and what the Stones are all about. As I said, a night to remember, look forward to the tapes of the show.

Set List
1) Satisfaction
2) Let's Spend the night together
3) Flip the Switch
4) Gimme Shelter
5) Anybody seen my baby
6) It's only Rock'n'Roll
7) Saint of Me
8) Out Of Control
9) Dead Flowers
10) Miss You
11) Thief in the Night
12) Wanna Hold You
13) Little Queenie
14) You Got Me Rocking
15) Like A Rolling Stone
16) Sympathy for the Devil
17) Tumbling Dice
18) Honky Tonk Woman
19) Start Me Up
20) Jumping Jack Flash
21) Brown Sugar

My last show will be Mannheim, can't go to Bremen and Berlin, Waldbuehne, but like to read the reports here. :-))

Hamburg was quite a relief after Leipzig. I had this quarrel with my wife before about how we should get down to Hamburg. The original plan was to go with Nico, but Nico was still in shock after Leipzig's traffic jams and he did not want to go. So we decided to go with Axel, but that was too early for Petra. We also would have to go home to our place with the train, but she declarde the Hamburg station "unsafe", so she did not want to go there. OK, we hired a car and drove all the way down. which turned out alright. There was not much traffic going on. But after all this we arrived late and parked on the other side of the Volkspark to get to the motorway quickly after coming back to the car. As the show was going to be early, they let in people by 2 pm, but we only arrived there at 4 pm.

We had made appointments for Keith's side this time, but Axel, Gary and Peter were in at Ronnie's side, as their entrance let to that side. We did not know that by the time. So we stood there for an hour, until we  saw Alvin Hansen, whom I had met the day before in Berlin at the Cafe Chaos. He told us what to say to get in, we said the magic words and got in. :-))) Inside the separated area it was pretty calm, except for two guys from Berlin, whostarted a fight every five minutes. After some people of the audience complained to them, one of them was taken out.Which was a relief, as he was REALLY drunk and did hassle every girl around him. Werner Dwenger was in there as well, again with his wife Helga and his son. So we all had a real good time.

The weather was better than in Leipzig and the show was really good. It did not matter that it was a field again, as we were close to the stage, right next to the catwalk. We could see very well and the Stones were up to it. It looked like a family convention in the park and it was treated as something like that, even by the Stones themselves.A very nice and relaxed feeling! It was good to see Jagger have Geogia Mae around and Ronnie getting a kiss before he went on stage. It was also a shame Scottie Moore did not play, but was just introduced. I would have loved to see that extra bit. And it was sunny and nice for the first 40 minutes. I think the last time I had seen the Stones play that early was Cologne 1982.

Getting out of it was easy, we just walked half an hour to the car and then drove onto the motorway towards Bremen and then back home. We were in bed  by 3 o'clock in the morning, ending 96 beautiful hours with three Stones shows in them.

Here's what other people have to say about the Hamburg show.