It’s 7.30pm at Bonn Kunstrasen and I meet some friends out back in the audience. “This is still the support act? Right?” one of them asks. By this time Wolfgang Niedecken and his band the legendary BAP have already been onstage for an hour and I have to explain that there ARE musicians out there who play according to their feelings and not to a 90 minute stopwatch – and yes, these guys were due to remain onstage until 10 pm. Fortunately they still had another two and a half hours to move up front in the audience and enjoy the finest Kölsch-rocker that ever trod the boards at Chlodwigplatz.
Who better to review this year’s Kunst!Rasen concert by world Folk Music legend Joan Baez than Bonn’s own Folk Music legend John Harrison? This rather special evening was part of a European tour covering ‘only’ eight countries but a lifetime of music that went (and still goes) beyond borders of Country, Race or Religion. Does she still care? At one stage I saw a man walk past the front audience row just as Baez was beginning to play. She stopped, requested simply of the man who had distracted everybody “Please don’t do that” and began the song all over again. John Harrison takes up the story…
If you were a British teenager in the 70’s there were a select number of bands who seemed to appeal to everyone. Rockers with enough Pop for the teenies but also enough stomp for the ‘serious’ music fans. That ‘something for everyone’ appeal at the time has proved to be timeless, as evidenced by the appearance on Thursday of two giants of the era – Status Quo and Alice Cooper on a double bill at Bonn’s Kunst!Rasen.
The day the Stones played at Kunst!Rasen! Okay, so it wasn’t Mick and Keith but Angus and Julia, but would we get any satisfaction from the Australian brother and sister duo? For the answer (and no more ‘Stones’ puns I promise) read on…
“I got to the show 20 minutes before stage call and then I left three minutes after the Encore!! It was a crazy Day and yet in all truth one of the best days!! Thank you Bonn!!”
That’s how Rea Garvey described his ‘flying visit’ to Kunst!Rasen on Sunday via Facebook.
It was an evening of music that was as varied as it was entertaining. Local heroes Smash Brothers, Rapper Mark Forster and Rocker Rea Garvey all delivered excellent sets without a single raindrop falling. ‘Wahnsinn!’ as the locals say.
‘One of the biggest Cultural Initiatives in Bonn’ is how Mayor Jürgen Nimptsch describes Kunst!Rasen in this years Event handbook. Is it already four years ago that Lou Reed kicked off the ‘new’ venue?
Since Reed kicked it off it’s been in regular danger of being ‘Kicked out’ with the end of every Season it seems, but still prevails – because it’s something that the majority of ‘Bonners’ want, even if it often seems as if the custodians of the City itself don’t. On Sunday it was back though,with young guns blazing. The ‘guns’ being young and popular German Rockers Revolverheld (now there’s an ideal name for a band of young guns!)
The ‘bouncy Castle’ (Hüpfburg auf Deutsch apparently) is empty of bouncing children, and my favourite wine hasn’t arrived, but Friday saw the Kunst!Garten Season 2015 kick of with the ‘Folk-meets Pop meets Reggae’ sound of Tarakci Salip and Band.
The last Kunst!rasen weekend is already here and it’s been an interesting mix of musicians who have taken to the giant stage by the Rhine this year. Another interesting evening is promised tonight too. Gregor Meyle is not a superstar by any means but he’s made a name for songwriting and live shows – the latter through an audience rapport that was evident when he implored the Haribo contingent on the VIP balcony to sing along seperately to ‘Don’t worry Be Happy’ and got an enthusiastic response that must have left them with laryngitis for Monday at the office.