Ed Sheeran fires off three sold-out shows in a row in the former Waldstadion, making 61,000 guests per appointment, i.e. 183,000 in total on a single weekend.
Nobody can park at such a mega event. Angry and confused, the victims circling around the venue in their SUVs stare out of their windows. All is lost. A megaphone voice orders them to park at Frankfurt Airport, far away, and to be dropped over the stadium from sports planes. Okay, the latter isn’t true, but the one before that is tough enough for any Ed Sheeran motorized Ultras.
03 ARRIVAL (REPRISE)
Wanderer, do you come to big pop concerts these days… There they stare at you, herds of sticky e-scooters.
04 GIVE ME ANIMAL NAMES
When I was a child, my father took me to the football stadium in Frankfurt. It had the fairytale name “Waldstadion” because it was hidden in one. Today, however, this place has to be called “Deutsche Bank Park”, until recently it was titled with the inhuman insult “Commerzbank Arena”. Thanks for nothing, capitalism.
05 LACK OF URINE
If you roll towards a stadium in a crowd and the occasion is football, you know how fragile the male bladder seems to be, even without years of studying urology. Football event means running the last mile in a slalom between countless wild pissers. Ed Sheeran’s fine fans don’t know anything about this Golden Shower flash mob. Nobody urinates on the paths here. Perhaps one of the biggest differences with football fans. Maybe even a good omen!
06 LOVE FROM THE FOOD COURT
At the feet of the picturesque brutalist colossus aka “Deutsche Bank Park” the hungry travelers are amazed: Street vendors with smocks that smell fried have set up stand after stand, chip stand after cocktail bar. Who cares? Ed Sheeran, this is just more than music, this is emotion, this is empowerment, this is digestion. And anyone who often goes to events of this magnitude also knows that there are no longer dirty white trailers with names like Wurst-Willy or Bier-Ede, but stylish food trucks with the words “Give us our daily fries today” or “Garden of Eating”. prices accordingly.
07 STAGE DESIGNS
The megalomaniac stage setting looks like a cross between a hard rock café interior, the “Mad Max” films and the neon sign of a crazy nail salon.
08 ED SHEERAN FAMILY MAN
The older Musikexpress readers will remember how the population once set out for Bethlehem to be appraised. The procession to the Ed Sheeran fair is similar, generations rosy united in their love for the 31-year-old rocker. In addition to these harmonious constellations, I seem to the other visitors (as the only unaccompanied man) to be like the cannibal from Rotenburg. Can’t do anything.
09 CONCERT PROFESSIONALS
With 61,000 guests, it is hardly surprising that the audience not only comes from the surrounding area, but also feels that they have traveled from far away. Behind me are my mother and a couple of daughters, obviously from the Stuttgart area. They’re not really happy with the fact that they confused the door (which was 4pm) with the start of Ed Sheeran’s concert (which will be at 8:15pm). “Other people come with a shock,” says one of the daughters, worn out from sitting for hours, enviously. “Desch sin hald Kondscherprofis”, replies the tired mother. Another daughter: “Or it happened on the internet.”
10 GAME OF THRONES
But I don’t want to rise above this family. Okay, as a concert professional I already suspected that Ed Sheeran wouldn’t be on stage from the door to the end of the event, which would still be six and a half hours – but I get most of my Ed Sheeran knowledge from the fact that I once saw his cameo – Saw appearance on “Game Of Thrones”. And back then, I have to admit, I was disappointed that he wasn’t brutally murdered like most people in the series. In terms of text security, the exhausted Swabians should put me in their place.
11 FURY IN THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE QUIETLY SAY “SERVUS”
Anyone who has read critically up to this point will certainly have noticed the anti-progressive, whining undertone of my text: “Why isn’t this called the Waldstadion anymore?” similar medieval mimimi. But I would like to say that the zeitgeist also has its good sides: For example, ten years ago acts like Fury In The Slaughterhouse would have supported someone like Ed Sheeran or some other folky type troupe signed to the same record label. These malebonding reflexes are changing in the music industry and you can see that here in the line-up: Two female acts, Cat Burns and Griff, play in front of the popular red-haired rodent.
12 IT WILL NOT GET GREENER
Oh, and because all the snappy Dieter Hallervordens on the Internet quickly worry about the decline of live music on the sensitive topic of “more diversity on stages” (after all, we all know that only real men can play the guitar), both acts are embedded here. To really prove to everyone that these are great artists and that it really is an asset that they get this big stage here.
Speaking of handles… The Englishwoman with Jamaican and Chinese parents first apologizes to the audience for her name: “I heard in German it’s something like a doorknob”. She wouldn’t find that ideal either, but we should always think of her whenever we touch a door handle from now on. “Funny,” I think at first – then, however, “for heaven’s sake, I hope I can ever get this link out of my system again.”
14 GRIP SHOES
Unfortunately, despite its size, I couldn’t capture it in a picture, but at least I found the right tweet from the book author Ilona Hartmann for you.
15 NO INTERNET CONNECTION
At major events, everyone is always online, which is why it feels like you’re the only one who can’t get in. So when the countdown begins (ten minutes counting down displayed on an LED wall), everyone around me goes live, I, on the other hand, can’t even catch a deaf in Pokemon Go, “No Service”. This is how I pass the time by trying to wave in from the back of as many transmissions as possible. Lifetime Achievement Photobomb.
Great, it’s finally starting. Ed Sheeran announces that he will mainly be playing his current album “=” (pronounced “equal”) today. As a polite Englishman, he adds: “If any of you don’t like that, I’d like to apologize, it’s going to be a pretty boring hour and a half for you.”
17 VERSEX FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT
Okay, I know a bit about Ed Sheeran now. Personally, what fascinates me most is how the shirt-sleeved honey cake horse sounds more suggestive in his lyrics than most glam rock bands of the eighties. Proofs? Willingly! So Ed Sheeran jumps into his set with the song “Blow”.
And it goes like this:
“You red leather rocket, you little foxy queen
Everybody’s watching, pretty little thing
Baby, tell me what’s your fantasy?
Come closer, let’s talk about it
You want white lines in a sedan
Whipped cream, and everything in between, yeah”
And then even Mötley Crüe would blush when it all culminates in that moderately veiled cumshot reference in the chorus:
“I’m comin’, baby
I’m gunnin’ for you, yeah
Locked, loaded, shoot my shot tonight
I’m comin’, baby”
18 JUICY FOLK SONGS
You don’t have to ask every person around the ballpark to guess that most are unfamiliar with their superstar’s upbeat penis prose. The reason for this is of course the gift of the language barrier. Ed Sheeran does not benefit too little from that. So he knows how to report in an announcement that his music is most appreciated in Germany. Here he fills larger halls or even stadiums than anywhere else. Says it and immediately hits out his next juicy folk song with a happy ending.
19 NOT A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY
But that wasn’t always the case, he adds. For a long time he also played in moderately filled shops in this country: “Will it get any better?” he sadly asked his management. “Yes, once you’ve got the Germans, they’ll stay with you.” At this statement, the spectators hoot that they are such loyal little fellows because of their nation. Tell us more about us, Ed!
20 WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES
Suddenly our guitar animator gets serious: the concert has to be interrupted because of a storm warning, the combination of so much technology and possible “lightning strikes” is too dangerous. The family behind me has little understanding for this, “why is he leaving now?” A daughter translates: “The light is on strike.” Mother: Ah right!”
21 THE WAVE
We, music-loving Normies, are passing the forced break with La Ola – as if it were another Davis Cup final against France with Michael Stich, Eric Jeelen and Boris Becker.
22 YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND PRECIPITATION
The thunderstorm passes quickly, but leaves behind an infernal rain as a placeholder. Ed Sheeran, who is raging across a round indoor stage tonight and everyone standing in front of it, will be soaking wet from now on. But that doesn’t detract from the enthusiasm, on the contrary: “I love it when it rains. It just makes the show better because people can’t help but celebrate.” Optimism is a weapon I think, while the dripping Sheeran is actually right.
23 RIP HELMUT KOHL
The singer and Briton is now dedicating “Perfect”, one of the few songs that is about love instead of banging, to his Queen Elizabeth II. These are things like that, one would be surprised if they used Thees Uhlmann or Juju for Helmut Kohl would have done when he died. In the monarchy, however, things are going well for everyone. Here in the “Deutsche Bank Park” too, the people seem – at least to some extent – moved.
24 NO DOUBT
By the way: only with a guitar – a band scattered on platforms in the interior is only used very sporadically – to entertain a whole stadium, that’s really something that you have to do first. If you can’t state that without irony, you should write for the MAD magazine. And I really don’t want that after the death of Herbert Feuerstein.
25 TOO PEACEFUL END
But all guided major event ecstasy has its limits. So at the end of the show there are no emotional outbursts that would demand encores from thousands of people. No, “Bye, come home safe” and that’s it, if you don’t cry, it isn’t love. Germany as we know it: loyal as shit on the foot and emotional as an Excel spreadsheet.
Bonus learning: AFTER HOUR
So it only gets really exciting again at the After Show Party. It rises more than surprisingly at an Oktoberfest offshoot in Frankfurt. There the superstar shows up freshly blow-dried and in lederhosen (!). The random guests lifting beer mugs can hardly believe their luck: “Who is that?”, “I think it’s kind of a singer.”
Okay, most of them know who they are looking at and enjoy the moment – and with enjoy the moment I mean of course pull out the smartphone, everyone is just filming the renewed performance of “Perfect” together. This is how events work in modern times. In the faded Waldstadion they would have shaken their heads together with Pommes-Rudi and then peed on a tree.
Well, at least a change.
What happened until now? Here is an overview of all pop column texts.