Tuesday, May 14, 2013

1D in berlin: a concert review

we set out for berlin on saturday morning, bound for a concert with british boy band One Direction (hereafter 1D). we found a hotel that could accomodate 7 in one room (it was actually two rooms with only one door), checked in, got all ready and set out for the concert. as you can see, it was essential to already be wearing 1D gear upon departure. my favorite part of this photo is the mad scientist political ad in the background (more about those in another post).

after a slight public transport snafu (there were repairs on our line, so it wasn't the four stops away we thought it was...it was three trains and a bus away, but we had time, so that was ok). once we got there, we had to pose for a photo with O2 World in the background (that was the concert venue). i'm not sure what that pose with the hands is, but it's apparently important (we would see it again, several times).

we walked in search of a quick dinner before the concert and came upon the berlin wall east side gallery - a section of the old wall (had to have been reconstructed, if you ask me) that was decorated by various artists, many of them apparently russian. we made the girls (ages 12-14) pose there as well, just to prove we had been in berlin.

traveling with five near-teens and teens isn't always a barrel of laughs, so there were a few times when we wished they would just get human.

i had declared before we left that we would not eat at mcdonald's and where do you think we ended up eating? yup, you guessed it, mcdonald's. i, however, grabbed a box of sushi from a nearby food court. i have to admit it was probably the mcdonald's equivalent in sushi form, but at least it wasn't actually mcdonald's. the girls were excited and happy by this time (feeding them helps) and this is probably my favorite photo of the whole trip.

they were singing loudly at this point, so we (my friend, who is the mother of two of the other children in the photos and i) let them get a little ways ahead so no one would know we were with them.

we then waited several hours in line to get into the actual venue. they were individually checking everyone's bags and taking cameras and iPads away from people (carefully numbering them, german style, so people could have them back after the concert), so it took hours to get in. i had time, while we were in line, to conceal my little nikon underneath my little iPad (which was in a case and therefore looking rather like a book). i was so happy i succeeded in smuggling my camera in (i actually didn't know at the time that they were taking iPads from people, so i didn't know that i was guilty on two counts).

as for the concert itself, 16000 screaming girls and a handful of dads and moms made up the audience. it was a cheerful, happy group. the boys are cute, well-mannered and not lip synching. they're humble and sweet. it made me totally ok with my child being so into them that her room is plastered on every wall with posters (and with driving 6 hours to see them). they can really perform and the production values of the entire show were high.

it was really worth the drive and the €50 per ticket. i loved the graphics - we could see the crew with computers and cameras down in front of us, expertly producing the show as it happened. and they did an awesome job. i loved this monty python-esque set - it even includes a blimp flying a red london double-decker bus. it seemed clever and not a gimmick.

it really is hard to decide which one is the best and the cutest. we all thought it was harry before we went, but actually zayn did most of the talking and is a pretty good singer. niall actually played the guitar on multiple songs. and there were a couple of moments where they were slightly off key, so they weren't just playing it all back. they actually gave a helluva show.

but the moment when they totally won me over was when they sang teenage dirtbag, that anthem of late 90s alternative loserdom. and it didn't even seem ironic.  and the graphics on that song, like a cartoon - and awesome, just awesome. they also did a WAY better job on their cover to blondie's one way or another than they do on the recording of it. they won me over with that too.

in all, it was a really good concert. even i enjoyed every minute of it. the atmosphere was positive and the energy was great. the girls loved it and were so glad we went. and i'm so glad i smuggled my camera in. we thought about following them to hamburg the next night (it's impressive how they can take down and set up their elaborate sets/screens and move to another city and often another country on a nightly basis), since it was on our way home, but we restrained. it was really kind of the experience of a lifetime! tho' nothing like seeing lyle lovett at mesa amphitheater in the mid 90s.


Elizabeth said...

Sounds like all of you had a great time, loved reading about it! :)

Eliane Zimmermann said...

so different to having sons only ;-) the energy of a bunch of giggling girls must be amazing!!!