Leipzig 28. August 1998

Here's what I wrote after the show:
As soon as I got into Leipzig yesterday, I remembered that I started my review in 1995 with the words "It must be hell". It still is hell there!! The town is grey, the traffic is enourmous, you move 100m in 10 minutes. It's only just 200km away from berlin, but it still took us three hours to get there. The sky was dark, getting darker all the time. We made our way in and by chance made it into Ronnie's side again. This time the front circle was even  more crowded than in Berlin, so we stayed at the wings, a bit more to the back, just in front of the left speakers.

Big Country opened again, doing more or less the same gig like in Berlin, even breaking a guitar string in the same song. Well, not my kind of taste, but I knew some words, so I sang along to get warm. Rain had set in by that time, so it was another rain show. The Stones came out at 9.23 pm, but the curtain in front of the jumbotron could not open, so they could not explode the rockets from the circle. By the first notes we knew,  hat this show was going to be much better than the one in Berlin. Ronnie came out very strong, you could hear him loud and clear. It was also a much wetter show than in Berlin. The rain was heavy through the first 1.5 hours, really bad during the b-stage set. 

Satisfaction was strong, lots of running and posing. And it got better. Keith did not get rid of his coat, Ronnie kept his coat on and the rain went on. Hats came out and even Lisa wore a coat with a feather boa, because it  as so cold and wet. Saint of Me was strong, the song went on for some time after the official end and the Stones joined in again. Out of Control saw Jagger wearing his white coat again, no glimmer jacket. The harmonica solo was really great and strong, although there was not so much guitar soloing, it was a bit shorter than in Berlin. First time I got Memory Motel on this tour. Everybody seemed to love in, everyone had their  lighters out. 

During Miss You Mick got Lisa's shoe again and threw that away, sucking her toes. She was a bit furious, because she had to get up in the rain and get it back again. Ronnie and Bobby did their harmonic soloing together again, makes a change from the usual solos. Keith' only comment about the weather was "Who cares about the rain", he did not give a f... After his set I made my way to the B-stage, which only took less than a minute. Not really someone there, so I could get to Ronnie's side, second row. GREAT GREAT GREAT! I never have been nearer to them before, just about 1 meter away.

Poor Ronnie. It rained like mad there and he was feeling absolutely cold, could not move his hands, all wet and cold. He tried to get some shelter during Little Queenie and got some stupid looking plastic hat, that looked a bit like a fireman's helmet, all in yellow. You could see him really shiver and shake in the wind. Mick had some silver anorak on, Keith couldn't be bothered at all, wearing his hat and coat, he just went on playing. Ronnie got settled during Respectable, but he had a towel, which he nicked from Chuck, hanging from his mouth as  well, trying to dry the guitar neck with it during licks. It was really strange, the Stones fighting the elements.

Don't ask me how the songs were, I was just amazed to see them that near. The sound over there is real shit, you hear Charlie's drums live, you hear the monitors which are really loud, with a bit of delay and you hear the big stage speakers with lots more of delay. But if you get the chance, just run there and have a look at them. GREAT!!!

The rest was very high standard, HTW back in the set. The rain got less, so Jagger could take off his coat and go out. Keith really hit the riffs during Jumping Jack Flash. And then it was all over....

Good bits: Mick telling us he appreciated, how we stayed and still enjoyed the show. Charlie was introduced as a "very dry Charlie". He was cought on the jumbotron polishing his nails, so he had to come out to get as wet as the others.

Bad bits: The rain generally. And trying to get out of Leipzig. It took us 3 (!!!) hours to get to the motorway, as all streets were crowded and police did not have a clue at all. After 5 hours we arrived in Berlin, 5 o'clock in the morning. It's 11 now, and I could still sleep, if they'd let me. But there's a Stones record fair opening in a few minutes. See you all there. ;-))

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) Oout of Control
9) Memory Motel
10) Miss You
11) You don't have to mean it
12) Wanna Hold you
13) Little Queenie
14) Respectable
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

Leipzig was so strange. We drove down there with two cars, Axel and Nico driving. And we went on about how bad the traffic was last time, hoping that Leipzig could cope now. Well, they couldn't. It's dull and grey even when you drive into town. Nico just put it as it is: Imagine there are no cars in the streets then there is no colour at all. There were traffic jams on the motorway and when we got into town we heard that they had opened the gates early. So we thought we would not be able to get into the separated area this time, as Gary and Gerd still needed a ticket.

After we got in we found out that they had the Keith's side wristbands from Nuremberg as Ronnie's side wristbands for Leipzig. It's always good to have a wristband in your pocket, isn't it? ;-)) Petra got friendly with a guy from Austria, who had VIP wristbands. Hans and Gerrit came, too, and Pete Cunningham joined us after having worked for Stones People Magazine, giving away flyers with the merchandise. So it was most of us together again.

It was the only time I went to the B-stage, as our position was right for going there quickly and I had the feeling that not a lot of people in the audience knew what was going on. It was absolutely marvellous to be there, believe me. I really had the feeling of a club gig,  even though I had to take off my glasses to actually see something in the rain. The sound is really shitty there, all echo etc., but you can't get closer to them anywhere else. If there is another tour with a B-stage, go there at least once to know what I mean.
Going home was a horrible experience. We would have been faster walking out of Leipzig than driving with a car. We did not move for ages, and then only for a couple of meters and that was it. Police advised you to take this or that road, telling you the traffic was at least moving there, but that only meant you got stuck after 200 meters instead of 20. Everyone in the car was cursing Leipzig, pleading they will never go there again. Well, I don't know. I think I will be there again next time as well, if there is a next time for Leipzig.

Memory Motel I had been waiting for since the tour started. It's one of my favourite songs from Black and Blue and I really like the way Keith sings on that song. I also had not heard Respectable live before, so that was an experience as well. Starnge: Although this was a field show, it was much better than Berlin, which was an arena.

Here's what other people thought about the show