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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Live-Report: GOTTHARD - "Bang!"-Tour 2014 (Berlin, November 3rd 2014)

It's been two years now since I saw the Swiss Hard Rockers of Gotthard live again and I was really excited to see them this year, especially Nic Maeder and his development within the group. So during their "Bang!"-Tour Gotthard visited Berlin on November 3rd and together with their support act Hardcore Superstar they proved once more why they are one of the best live acts in the world.

The show took place in the same venue like in 2012: "Huxley's Neue Welt" and what can I say? It seems like this location becomes my second home, because I traveled a lot to "Huxley's". I saw Richie Sambora there for two times, Steel Panther, and Gotthard for two times, too. "Huxley's" has always a great atmosphere, because the location isn't so big, but it is also far away from being small. So, around 1.000 people attended the Gotthard show this time and it was a nice audience. It is very rare these days that you can pass the entry without pushing and fighting against other fans, just to get a better seat. But the Gotthard fans - or should I say the "G.-Family" - are in general very sympathic and kind people. This is another thing that makes a Gotthard concert always very special.

But before Gotthard entered the stage it was time for the support act, the Sleaze Metal kings of Hardcore Superstar, to kick some ass ... and they really did. I saw these guys already back in 2011 as a headliner and Hardcore Superstar didn't lose anything of their energy in recent years. With hits like "Above The Law", "My Good Reputation" and "We Don't Celebrate Sundays" the band was the perfect warm-up for the things to come. If there was something to complain about then it was the spitting from guitarplayer Vic Zino. He was spitting around the whole time and I stand in the first row and thought "oh man, hopefully he doesn't spit into the crowd". I don't know if this is necessary during a show. Especially if you are a support act and the headliner plays right after you and the stage is full of spit. But beside this the show was excellent and with "Glue" the band presented also a brand new song.

After a break the main act hit the stage at 9.30 pm and with the title track of their new album Gotthard conquered the hearts of the fans by storm. This playfulness and the obviously fun they had on stage was just awesome. The setlist had a focus on the two albums with Nic Maeder. But of course Gotthard classics like "Mountain Mama" or "Sister Moon" were also on board. I don't want to discuss the whole setlist now, so just let me point out some of my personal highlights at this evening.

The first one was "Heaven" (and later also "One Life, One Soul") where I had tears in my eyes. Always when I hear these songs live I close my eyes and imagine that former singer Steve Lee stands in front of me. I don't want to compare Nic Maeder with him - this wouldn't be fair, especially because Nic did a fantastic job at this night. But it's some kind of memory of Steve that lives through these two songs and I think it is no secret that I loved this guy and his voice. So hearing "Heaven" live again had an emotional impact on me - and I think not just for me. 

The second highlight was the song "Starlight" where the band let some fans join them on stage. A friend of mine also entered the stage and the funny thing was that she was already part of the video shoot of "Starlight" in 2012. So it was great to see her rock out with the guys again to this particular song. But in gerneral: all the fans on stage seemed to have a great time.

With "Hush" the party mood reached the top. This is another Gotthard-classic (although it's a cover) that works fantastic in the live-set because of all the sing-along parts and here we saw the band joking around again (especially Leo Leoni and Nic Maeder). Lots of laughing during this one! Great!

The set was closed with another highlight: the 11-minute epic "Thank You". I never thought they would bring this song on stage, but they did and they did very well and it made the perfect ending of a high voltage Rock'n'Roll show.  For sure the fans wanted more and so we got another encore with "Anytime Anywhere".

Speaking about the band itself I don't need to say that much, because the word "perfect" discribes it all. Leo Leoni and Freddy Scherer on guitars are fantastic players and especially Leo is so entertaining. Also the rhythm section with Marc Lynn on bass and Hena Habegger on drums was so damn tight. And finally - Nic Maeder on vocals, who had big shoes to fill three years ago and who is now an integrated, important part of the band with his unique voice, entertaining attitude and his charisma.

The light show and stage design was also really good. This time the stage looked like the front of a car, which reminded me a bit at the Bon Jovi stage-design last year - just smaller. The sound was also very powerful and the music sounded truly explosive. Sadly the microphone of Nic Maeder wasn't that loud so sometimes you couldn't hear him that good. But this is nagging on a high level.

All in all this evening was amazing. It was my 6th Gotthard concert and it never gets boring. I think that says it all. There are a couple of live dates left, so if you'd like to know what a kick-ass Hard Rock show is all about, buy your tickets and enjoy! You won't regret it!

You'd like to see more pictures from the show? Then take a look at the official Facebook-Page to this blog:

More videos on YOUTUBE


01. Bang!
02. Get Up'n'Move On
03. Sister Moon
04. Right On
05. Master Of Illusion
06. Fist In Your Face
07. Feel What I Feel
08. The Call
09. Heaven
10. Remember It's Me 
11. What You Get
12. Starlight
13. The Train
14. C'est La Vie
15. One Life, One Soul
16. Mountain Mama
17. Hush
18. Lift U Up

19. Thank You

Encore 2:
20. Anytime Anywhere

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