At the weekend a little dream came true for me. Okay, actually it was pretty big and the trip was in so many ways totally overwhelming: I was at Loreley – after all the years it was The Souls, who brought me there.
Kelly Family Fans know Lorely very well: The Loreley, the ledge in St. Goarshausen, in the west of Francfort on the Main, in the upper Mid-Rhine valley, where on the glade the legendary openair stage is standing. Regularly all different kind of concerts take place there and in 1995 one of the greatest concert of the family was broadcasted live and recorded by Premiere (“Live At Loreley”) – yes, one of the greatest concerts at all. If I am informed right, the band played in the year 2000 the last time there. I never made it there for the Kellys. Well, I’ve only been 16 years at last. The Kelly Family put into my head, that Loreley must be an incredible place and I had to go there some time. After The Souls had played there at Picknick Open Loreley last year, when I couldn’t go, but it did repeat this year, it was the moment: Now or never! And I am more than happy having followed them the 500 km to St. Goarshausen. I didn’t get disappointed and it was so much more than just a concert. Of course I could have gone there long ago, but I think it was just the time now.
St. Goarshausen is a quite and incredible beautiful place at Rheinland-Pfalz with less than 1400 inhabitans. The places is parted in four districts though and there’s a lot to see – and esp. Loreley. Arriving at the day before, I already had a look around at the town and walked all up the way. There are two walking paths up to Loreley, a longer and a shorter one. The longer one, which I took, isn’t as steep, and it quite feels like walking up Gurten. The whole weekend it was so hot and humid in St. Goarshausen, you almost melted and it was pretty exhausting to get up the hill. I luckily arrived at the top before the thunderstorm and found shelter from the short flash flood. I really hoped, that we were going to be spared the next day.
The setting up for the picknick concert event was completley on of course and I could already get a glimpse of the stage. It was an incredible, emotional very overwhelming moment to look down to this stage, to stand on this area. While I went on a sightseeing tour the next morning, the bands were doing soundcheck up there, that did partly spread over the whole valley. I was just on the way to Loreley statue in the harbour of St. Goarshausen, when I clearly could hear “Close my eyes” by The Souls. Amazing! The pleasant anticipation was huge! But this time I definitvely was going to take the bus up! I wouldn’t do this again to me. As said, the way up is actually not quite bad and really nice, but it was just way too hot.
The “this-is-never-happening-to-me” moment
Before doors openend and the concert started we were off for summer bob. The summer bob directly next to the concert area is really good: 400 meters it takes you up to the top and then in curves 700 meters down again. Okay, in the end I never dare to go there on full speed, but it’s still fun. On the way back to the concert area Joris and his whole band were actually on their way to the summer bob too. Obviously they also needed some pastime til their show. This was such a “something-like-that-never-happens-to-me” moment. A short moment, but nice.
The picknick open
I got to explore the concert area then. A round over the whole area, looking at the stage from all sides, checking drink and food stands and whatelse was there. Wow, I really was standing in front of the Loreley stage. The first concert visitors already started spreading their picknick blankets and made themselves comfortable on the lawn. There were drink and food stands as well as many activities for children. Most people of course had brought their picknick baskets, as it was the meaning of the event. Even the restrictions for the brought things were quite big. Half litre of drinks per person isn’t really much and the sold drinks weren’t exactly low priced.
A bus driver had told me before down in town, that actually 10 busses were ready for after the concert, as 15’000 pople (more than at Hallenstadion Zurich!!) could get into the area, but sadly at this time only 3000 were said to come. So only 1/5. And yes, it was really nowhere near the possible amount of audience. On the one side sure bad for the organizer and the bands, on the other side I thought it was nice and relaxing. You had a lot of space and there wasn’t any pushing on the area. And first it was said, the seats were numbered, but in the end obviously not after all and “my” seat was almost til the end always free, if I felt like going back there to sit down. I imagined the area around the openair stage to be bigger, but probably looked smaller cos of the steps down. And back then with the Kellys it was really totally crowded. Well, and on tv everything looks always bigger. The concert area with the whole surrounding is even a lot nicer than expected though. And hey, the weather kept up! The few drops aren’t even worth to mention.
FEE: Fee opened the concert evening. She’s a German musician from Marburg, who is touring as a support for Katie Melua at the moment. Because of the assasination at the Munich shopping centre the day before, she started her performance with her song “Heile Welt”, what suited very well. With her more quite songs, the concert was cautious, the atmosphere more restrained.
MAX GIESINGER: Max Giesinger immediately changed this. He originally wasn’t planned for the openair, but came as an alternative to Adel Tawil. Adel had to cancel his whole summer tour because of an injury. Max and his band played after Fee. In Switzerland the former The Voice of Germany contestant is barley known, even SRF3 recently played his Euros hit “80 Millionen” (I like the original song version a lot more though). In his home country he’s celebrating big success with it though. Actually the seats were separated in categories, but as the event wasn’t that well visited, he simply got all the people in front of the stage and created a great atmosphere. Also esp. by climbing over the barriers into the audience, animating the visitors to sing along in the middle of them all. I was looking forward to Max Giesinger, always wished to see him live. That he would stand in the audience directly in front of me then, I wouldn’t have expected at all. Yes, this was really great. But generally it was a super performance and I loved his songs like “Barfuss und allein”, “Wenn sie tanzt” or well “80 Millionen”. Among the German bands I liked him best.
Max had to go and play another concert after the Picknick Open, why he was obviously so early in the programme. But nevertheless he took his time to write autographs at the barrier next to the stage. Thanks to the security guy I even just got a signature by him as well, before he had to leave then. Thanks so much!
THE SOULS: With The Souls the only english singing band followed. The Souls at Loreley! I like the band so much more than only musically. To support them on their way for such a long time already and see them at my special place, on this very special stage, it gave me goosebumps! Hearing my favourite songs by them there. Just overwhelming. Even the Kellys put the idea with Loreley into my head years ago, it’s The Souls who finally brought me there. And it was so great there! And Michi asked at some point, if anyone was from Bern, when directly next to me two young woman answered. I was so surprised, I didn’t even notice if there was eventually anoyne else answering. It was so unexpected and funny at the same time. The audience generally was applauding and cheering at the end of the songs. But still the one or other fan stood out inbetween. It was a fab concert! In the end barely anyone can elude them. The Souls just enthuse with their songs, their voices and their energy. And the new songs are so great live and I am even finally getting used to the changes of “Run Baby Run” ;).
The run on them after the concert was quite big. Esp. the kids kept rushing to the barriers next to the stage to get autographs and eventually even a photo. Before the Joris concert two girls were raving about The Souls, when I told them I was there for the Swiss band. Or I got into a conversation with a family in the bus after the concert, when one of the girls proudly and with shining eyes showed me her selfie with Jay. These were really nice and cute moments.
TEESY: Teesy, a German singer, songwriter and rapper I also liked quite well. I’ve seen the born Berlin guy with about two songs at Cro’s and liked him so much better than Cro back then. So I was curious, how his concert was going to be. In a pink shirt he did a likable performance with his band. I didn’t like all the songs, but he’s a nice singer. Sadly he didn’t come for autographs after his concert.
NAMIKA: Namika,who’s hit “Liebllingsmensch” you sure have heard before, was there too. Actually she’s been at Gurtenfestival, but I didn’t see her performance there. I hadn’t heard much good about her concerts. Someone told me that only “Lieblingsmensch” was good. But you should go and form your own opinion in the end, and I sure can’t confirm this now at all. I liked her song “Kompliziert” even better than “Lieblingsmensch”, and also “Nador” is beautiful. The German singer and rapper with Moroccan roots seems very likable and it was really cute, how she was performing “Lieblingsmensch” with a group of kids of different ages at the end. The performance with Namika the kids could win ahead in a competition. So yes, she probably won’t become my favourite singer, but you can watch her concerts very well. Her performances are not bad at all.
JORIS: I also had to get to Germany for Joris. He was at Gurtenfestival too, but because of work I missed his concert there. So it suited perfectly, that he was at Picknick Open too. For him I finally was standing front row then. Everyone came closer to the stage for the last concert. Two girls asked me just before the concert, if I was on my own and with my “yes”, they said that this now changed. So we wateched the concert together. I think nowhere it’s easier to meet people than at concerts. However it’s for me like that. Joris (by the way I keep pronouncing his name wrong constantly because of Bastian Baker‘s guitare player), who became known with his song “Herz über Kopf”, became headliner cos of the cancellation of Adel Tawil. He promised that he and his band will try everything to do it justice, but that everyone may help with this. They absolutely did it justice – with Joris sometimes on the guitare, sometimes on piano with beautiful melodies and great lyrics. A simple show, with no-frills, but still electrifying.
During “Sommerregen” he let the audience think a bit concerning the horrible assasination at a Munich shopping centre the day before, let them come together and did remind everyone, how importan it is to stick together and spread love. It must have been a slap into the face, when someone blew himself up in front of the festival area in Ansbach, where he was playing too the next day, and injured so many people. I hope he won’t be put off cos of this, even it must be difficult. Music is making our world so much better. Such words are so often encouraging and soothing.
After two encores, among them his hit “Herz über Kopf”, the event ended with a great firework above the stage. He also wrote autographs after, calmed down everyone pushing, that he was going to stay until the very last autograph wish was fullfilled.
An incredible experience
It was so worth to travel to Loreley, to this picknick open event. I sure want to return to Loreley, to St. Goarshausen. Not only my dream fullfilled, but it was an incredble great trip and a wonderful event with super bands in a beautiful area. On the way there and back as well during my stay in St. Goarshausen I discovered so much, experienced a lot and had so wonderful encounters. So many things that made the whole thing an incredible experience. And yes, the news of these assinations before and after this picknick event scare and worry myself too. This insecurity accompagnes me since the Bataclan assination, sometimes more, sometimes less. But I don’t want to let them keep me from going to visit concerts or doing such trips. With them the greatest moments and memories are created, at the nicest places with the most various people!
more pictures in gallery