Well, 2005 actually may be an unusual point of time, to review a concert, that has happend that long ago: November 2001. You'd guess that memory would start to blur - and probably you'd be right.
Anyway, that evening nearly four years ago still is stuck in my mind, it's easy to get back, and grab the atmosphere, the smell and sounds of that night - maybe because this was my first 'real' concert, in those days. And I couldn't have chosen any better.
Colosseum (in the meanwhile the name changed to "Tonhalle", if anyone ever gets to Munich) is a rather small, narrow concert hall. It was sold out that day and quite packed with around 1.500 visitors. And when sold out, that place tends to get hot, wet, and run out of oxygen - by the time Turin Brakes started their set, I was standing around row number 3, right in the middle, waiting for 2 hours by that time, not really able to move... but quite happy with the set of Mr.s Knights & Paridjanian. I knew them before, bought the Optimist Lp, which was a nice surprise. It's not that I was into British music _that_ much in those days, that I probably knew every band of that size - but Turin Brakes anyway were the best you could get that evening. Stunning versions of Emergency 72 or Underdog, I remember them playing weird (great!) guitar solos, and stretching 3:00 minute pop songs to mind blowing monsters, without getting boring - that and wearing I Am Kloot-T-Shirts. I clapped for an encore, though waiting for 2 1/2 hours by that time, of course. Turin Brakes 2001 were that cute, that strong - fabolous.
It must have been about half an hour on, that Travis walked on stage. 5 metres away from me, on that small stage, just like you could grab them. In the back that 1.500 people were pushing and by the first drum beat of Sing, all of a sudden everyone started falling and jumping, halfway falling, halfway jumping. I remember me struggling to keep standing on my own feet, leaving the floor, pointing at the stage and mouthing lyrics at the same time. Andy smiling at the cheerful crowd and Fran asking everyone's ok, "there are these waves"... yap, alright.
in the narrow, perfectly dark place the crowd probably appeared louder than it really was - amazing anyway. people even seemed to be louder than Fran, intonating Sing and Writing To Reach You. Writing To Reach You, of unbelievable emotional power, a rather rough version, Fran painfully wrapping himself around his guitar.
Next thing I remember (four years...) is As You Are, the staged in red light, those lyrics, and finally Andy's great, great, intense solo, and at its top someone next to me in the audience shouting "sch?????n!" - definitely. Definitely!
2001 was the point in band history where everyone seemed to be ok and fine, alright with themselves and their surroundings - you could feel that, that magic evening. Everyone looking fresh and powerful, Fran doing those cute, a bit cheesy sentences between the songs, dedicating The Cage to "all of you girls from all you boys". Pipe Dreams did a little stitch in the heart, listening to Driftwood was some kind of 'arriving' after listening to it for 1.705 times at home. - By the half the gig, the falling, the waves, and bit of the jumping in the audience came to an end, everyone soaked in sweat and condensed water, dropping off the ceiling, and it started to become more of a huge "us" - an "us" that stretched from the last row of the hall up to the stage, and resulted in a flow of energy... the band pleasing the audience, the audience pleasing the band, the band...
Why Does It Always Rain On Me caused collective jumping you couldn't avoid - even if you wanted to, you'd have been pulled up and down with the others - and turned into a fierce Blue Flashing Lights.
Andy sang All The Young Dudes, Fran a nice, nice Twenty (well, I was seventeen at that time), and by the time Fran reached his guitar over the first rows to strum Happy's A-chords, I stuck up just trying to captivate this moments, capture the happy faces in the crowd, the singing and clapping, and the smiles onstage, the surprise about the own magical powers to create such a moment, that lay around the whole Colosseum... 'Keep it man, keep it!'
Last thing was AC/DC's Back In Black, Fran on Andy's shoulders, equipment falling over the stage - and suddenly it all was gone. Not _all_ - for days, maybe weeks, I walked around with a smile, like high on drugs. Happy with my memories of that evening. Magical. Til today, this into my top 3 concerts, ever. Who could ever top this? Any band with any songs that mean that much to me, and still manage to appear that sympathetic, powerful, shooting streams of pure positive energy around, without forgetting about all the pain we carry with us everyday. Being happy, knowing about the sadness is the deal, maybe. Everything else would be a lie, or couldn't give that power. Thanks. Thanks for that.
But: Yeah, gone. For years since then. Travis will not be Travis 2001 again, I got no more first-ever concerts to give (it's up in the hundreds by now, maybe), and maybe we all, the band, me, everyone around, lost a bit naive happyness since back then. But it's all kept carefully, that evening, it has become a part of my history and life. And I can thank Travis for that, and recommend everyone trying out for themselves. And maybe it will be getting better. Man. ;)
Thanks for reading aswell.