Earth to Universe Open Air 2009
August 29, 2009 - Waldbühne Northeim,
Reinhard and myself on this venture. The distance is a little longer
this time, a two and a half hour ride in one direction, taking back
roads, and two and a half hours on the return trip using the
autobahn….as my father use to say “six of one and half a dozen
of the other” it’s all the same.
ride was uneventful, other than patches of rain that we just missed,
wet roads and dark skies ahead of us. By the time we got there we
had made it just in time with an hour to spare. Met Anita at her
hotel, our parking place was right outside the front door, and the
concert stage was about fifty yards to our left hand side. Cosy and
Comfortable. We all
decided on a late afternoon snack at the hotel. The sun was shining
on us, until a big black cloud rolled in and sprayed a little rain
on us, so we moved under the over-hang awning.
to the stage and concert grounds we headed. First we had to get
through the security guys.
were prepared but the box office wasn’t. First our names weren’t
on the list. Secondly, the permission was granted as soon as the
bands manager showed up with the guest list in hand. I really need
to say that the people in the entrance booth were great and believed
us and allowed us to get in. Then the usual bag check and body
search which always
aggravates me to no end – no food no drinks no cameras no nothing,
but I got Anita and Brigitte in with their cameras thanks to Jürgen
Seebode who does
service for Kultopolis Concert Management.
second band has just started playing, but I don’t have a clue who
it is, a member of the Red Cross Ambulance Team tells me the band is
“Nektar”. I’m indifferent to their music, a little riff
followed by a mid section jam and back to the main riff and then
over and out. The next songs using the same pattern and format. The
next band is “Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash”. Let me tell you
about Wishbone Ash, there’s two bands on tour in Germany. One is
Andy Powell’s band which we already saw this year in Melle and
this outfit is Martin Turner’s version of the same band. Which one
is better, well Martin Turners Wishbone Ash is more to my liking,
more melodic, more lyrical far better vocals. As for the audience,
they loved it all, different strokes for different folks!
and I decided to walk to the top of this stone amphitheatre, while
Anita and Brigitte headed towards the stage to find the perfect
place for taking their photos. There isn’t a bad seat in this
entire outdoor venue and more than enough room for everyone. The sun
was out, then disappeared, then out again, then spurts of rain
started on and off for the next few hours. No one complained, even
when it went from drizzle to a hard down-pour.
at the top of this spectacular amphitheatre, we stood looking for
Brigitte and Anita, we saw them by stage right and I could tell from
their body language that someone was giving them a hard time already.
I also saw our friend Wolfie come out from backstage to offer the
girls assistance, I just watched it all unfold while Reinhard was
trying to get his camera to function properly…dead batteries will
render any camera useless.
came down the staircase to have a look around at the merchandise
stands, where we met up with the girls who were so excited to have
just purchased the brand new Ten Years After dvd – which has been
a long time coming! So off they went again to look around, Reinhard
too and I took up a temporary residence at the TYA merchandise
stand, where I could get out of the rain, sit and watch the stage at
the same time. The man in charge of the TYA merchandise was Udo
Stephan, an easy going man who did an excellent job handling the
business. I was so impressed at the consistent
flow of customers throughout the concert and not just after
TYA were on stage, as was the case in the past. T – Shirts were a
big seller, dvd’s, cd’s – and TYA baseball hats. In the
background, Wishbone Ash was still grinding out the old familiar
tunes, the audience was very attentive but mostly passive.
this event had its share of older generation, left over hippie, and
Woodstock generation impersonators / imitators dancing in circles or
prancing about to the music. The main thing that struck me was the
amount of families present, who brought their children with them.
Everyone was getting into the music, and the happy atmosphere of the
event. Everyone seemed united and in balance. I watched as these
younger people visited the TYA station and the cd’s they bought….many
“Now” and “Roadworks” cd’s went home with them…..the
dvd’s sold out quickly.
an aside which still strikes me funny as I write this:
were two people dancing in the open spaces about fifty feet from the
front of the stage, to the music of Wishbone Ash – both looking
like Jerry’s Kids (Grateful Dead) and both independent of each
other. The woman was a sad case, as she had only one good arm, while
the other arm had a hand missing. Her attire was right out of the
Woodstock film, and she was having a ball in her own little world,
with music as the sole healer.
man on the other had is the one who was making me laugh. An LSD
flashback must have sent this gentleman into motion, as he just
back-dated here from Ken
Keasey’s book “One Flew Over The Coo-Coo’s
nest and just in time for the classic Andy Griffith Show –
this guy is a dead ringer for Earnest T. Bass “It’s me its me
it’s Earnest T.”. This
guy was covering a lot of ground with his dancing, from left to
right and back again – stopping in between to raise his hands,
point to the audience in the seats and moving on again like a
only continuing problem we had was caused by one hard ass security
person who insisted on harassing Brigitte in particular throughout
the event. He kept telling her where she could and couldn’t point
her camera. At one point I decided to confront this man and put an
end to his unnecessary conduct. The man was so angry at Brigitte for
continuing to take photos, and Brigitte was pointing out to him that
all these people with digital cameras and cell phone cameras were
all taking photos too, why doesn’t he stop them? He continued to
mouth off to her, and her alone – where-by Brigitte, now in rare
form put the law down for him, by saying “ show me in writing
where it says that I’m not allowed to take photos here with my
camera, when everyone else is and you’re not stopping them”. In
between Brigitte’s loud retorts, and his angry replies, I voiced
my frustration in no uncertain terms, we have permission I said, I
showed him the paper with our contact people’s names on it, as I
mentioned a few other names, which were all for naught, his sole
attention was focused on Brigitte, as if she’d committed some
federal offence, such as high treason! Let me finish with this
thought: Tickets were 50.00 euros each, and for that price everyone
should be allowed to take all the photos they like!
band was fourth on the bill with “Tangerine Dream” being the
headliner this evening.
band hit the stage right on time and more than ready to lay the law
of rock and roll down!
Ten Years After on this very night did the most perfect concert and
we’ve seen many.
“Hobbit” drum solo was put on hold due to time restraints, and
Joe performed “I Can’t Keep From Cryin´ Sometimes” with such
complete control that you wanted to cry when the song faded away.
Every song was high energy, pounding, thumping and thriving the
audience on to want more more more! Standing ovations after every song, people singing along, and
the folks in the back came down to the front of the stage. The band
was as tight as we’ve ever seen them, and as loose and comfortable
as excellent musicians should be when happy to be playing. It was
loud, clean and passionate. Perfect in every way.
Going Home brought the people to their feet, playing air guitar,
dancing and bopping right along to the music. For an encore two
songs were played “Reasons Why” and
Choo Mama” finished off their set.
List: Working On
The Road – King of the Blues – 50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain –
I’d Love To Change The World – I Can’t Keep From Crying´
Sometimes - Big Black
45 - I’m Going Home
– Reasons Why – Choo-Choo-Mama
Photo by Hans-Jörg Freier
After the concert
Joe, Reinhard, Dave, Hans-Jörg
Joe, Ute Peisker, Hans-Jörg Freier
Hans-Jörg's copy of the original Woodstock '69 Programme
Woodstock '69 Photo
Hans-Jörg's ticket stub from 1989
Waldbühne Northeim in 1989
click picture to read the article in PDF
Dave "in flagranti" (caught in the act)
with Caroline (Blues Singer and musician)
headed backstage for some food and drinks with the band, got to meet
the lead singer for “Nekter”
followed by Martian Turner himself from Wishbone Ash, who I
introduced to Anita, Brigitte and Reinhard, who told him that he’s
been a loyal fan of his for many years standing!
Wagstaffe, Chick Churchill, Martin Turner
only one missing from the back stage festivities is Ric Lee, who is
front and centre most of the time. In his place is Chick Churchill,
who most of the time is absent, but this time has decided to stick
around and have some fun with the rest of us for a few fun hours –
funny situation. Leo and I had a chance to talk, exchange notes and
laugh like kids over many things. In between he had a serious chat
with Brigitte about her mothers failing condition.
Leo, Ray Hatfield (M.T.'s Wishbone Ash)
This is proof that
Chick stayed there 'til the end of the evening...
and Dave chained Chick to the table so he couldn't leave...
felt sorry for Anita who was at the far end of the line at our table
and I imagine she only caught bits and pieces of the entire
conversation. Anita never complains, except when she’s cold, so I
gave her my warm long smock jacket and that made her happy.
at this venue is a strange place, because it’s located right under
the stage. So while we didn’t get to see Tangerine Dream perform,
we didn’t miss a note of their show, it came through loud and
with Tom Lyons for awhile, and had a laugh or two along the way. He
always gives me a fresh perspective on things, which keeps me on the
straight and narrow. We talked music and his trip to America with
the band. Leo and Tom just reminded me why I now love Europe so much
and dislike how they don’t get things done in the States. We also
discussed 9/11 and politics. Leo has always kept up to date on world
events, and as I’ve said many times before, he’d make a
wonderful music or history teacher. Our topics bounce all over the
place when we’re together and time allows….I really look forward
evening of music, the band was perfect in every way. After concert
activities were great, and always a pleasure to be sitting around
with friends who just happen to also be living music legends as
well. The only real pity was that Ric Lee chose not to join us in
all this organized orderly mayhem….he was duly missed here, cause
when Ric is around we all know it and the conversation and laughs go
faster and no one is spared his loving verbal abuse or complimentary