Sipping a cool glass of wine on a sunny Summers day, Relaxing live music wafting on a slight breeze, with no waiting at an airport or hotel bill. Bonn City Centre on Stadtmusik 2018 Day was indeed like a one day holiday on Saturday. Friedensplatz, Bottlerplatz, Markt and later Stadtgarten were the ‘holiday’ locations and, much like that beach radio, if you didn’t care for the music on offer you just needed to change your location but with your feet rather than a dial.
For many people in Bonn, particularly teenagers and students, the Stadtgarten season at Alten Zoll is already an institution. An extension almost of the numerous teenagers often seen and heard in the shade of the University trees strumming guitars as the sun goes down. I’m sure that opening act in 2018, Cynthia Nickschas, has been one of those strummers. This time around though she had an audience of well over 2000 picnicking on the grass beside her. French electro Folkies Fergessen, Indie-Rockers Koj and Jazz quartet Radius completed the opening weekend of music under the setting sun.
The local paper reports that Sir Van Morrison said ‘Thank You’ before leaving the stage on this pleasantly warm evening in Cologne. The only words I can recall from Ireland’s celebrated and knighted (2016) musical son all evening were song names, barked more for the band to follow than for listeners to hear. Ultimately though, with such a legend, it’s the music that should do the talking; and it did so perfectly in front of a sold out Roncalliplatz audience.
Following their Karlsruhe show this week, the band’s website suggested that Simple Minds were raring to hit the Bonn Kunst!Rasen stage: “After a two-day break we are more than refreshed and very much looking forward to performing live in BONN tonight.” Singer and co-founder Jim Kerr will be 60 next year but is not living off of past hits as a well oiled but power-packed show proved. UK veterans Fischer-Z were also on good form to start a very hot and humid evening of good Rock music by the Rhine.
There are little photos on her in-ear monitors, alphabet letters are on her earrings, she’s rushing from stage side to stage side all the time. It’s very difficult to concentrate on Alanis Morissette as she makes her first ever appearance on the Kunst!Rasen stage. Easier to just close your eyes and let some of the best song lyrics of the 90’s wash over you.
Music these days isn’t measured by discs sold, sometimes not even by files downloaded. Careers now are made (and presumably also ended) via YouTube. Take tonight’s show at Bonn Kunst!Rasen: Wincent Weiss first made his musical mark via an acoustic version of Turkish/German pop-singer Elif Demirezer’s song ‘Unter meine Haut’ on YouTube. Main support act LEA (aka Lea-Marie Becker) began making music at 15 but broke through when a YouTube video of ‘Wo ist die Liebe?’ rang up a mind-boggling 45,000 clicks overnight (now almost 3 million). In addition – the best introduction I could give you of local openers for the evening Steal a Taxi would be to send a link to their song ‘Time’ – on YouTube…
Do they measure up, not on a flat screen after countless edits, but on a stage with just one chance to deliver?