Back in Berlin for the week including two shows, one Teufelsberg expedition & one trip to Tempelhof airport. Okay let's try to make a condensed entry for all of that stuff, June 9-15 (Dresden 6/14 + Hamburg 6/16 separate entries).
Oberbaum bridge at sunset, where they found that WWII uxo a couple of weeks back:
The first show was June 11th, at Bei Roy in Neukölln, southeast of the city - between semi-industrial & suburbia, this area is the new haven for students and artists. In fact, Bei Roy is a 5th floor loft located above and overlooking automotive garages.
Surrounding the venue was a Turkish wedding in this sketchy place. Some dressed-up guests were wandering around, seemingly lost, as if they were going to this secret rave and had just been given directions at the map point.
Next to all that, there was a huge hotel complex called Estrel. According to their site, it's Europe's largest convention, entertainment and hotel complex with 1125 rooms & suites, 5 restaurants, 2 bars, a concert hall, and a beer garden in front of the hotel by the canal. In this beer garden, there's this neon sculpture of a swan raping a woman:
Illuminated, at night (stolen from the web) - bright red womb:
A wiki-search later, and this sculpture is also known as Leda and the Swan. So yeah, this is what Neukolln is about... There's so much culture-clash, Berlin is awesome!
Back to the gig. Bei Roy is also known for its all-night parties it seems, it's the new hipster hotspot. Apparently gigs don't usually start before 11pm and best of all, there is no volume restrictions! The PA consisted of two chain-hung vintage speaker cabinets, fueled by a vintage mixer. Needless to say, that made my set sounded really loud and dirty!! The room quickly filled up during the course of my set, but people were pretty attentive the whole thing and their reactions at the end of my set was pretty furious! Berlin wins in the best crowd of the tour category. Here are some witness accounts found online shortly after the gig:
"saw thisquietarmy and Nadja tonight... no volume restrictions so they ripped the venue apart!" / "Heavy and loud as promised. Great performance!" / "Earth shaking Drone madness." / "Saw him in Berlin tonight. Absolutely huge performance." / "thisquietarmy walked between drony soundscapes & punishing industrial beats, a really talented artist that deserves way more attention!" / "sounded like a shoegazing army not like a one-man-show"
Here's a proper review in German: http://kotzboy.com/?p=7357
The monday evening in-store gig at Bis Auf's Messer - best record store located in Friedrichshain was somewhat very different. The PA was pretty shitty and it kept distorting, even for the improvised ambient set that I was doing and I wasn't feeling it at all... Aidan joined me about half an hour into my set, and it was a tiny bit better... However in the middle of it, I got really distracted by one of my pedal's power supply crapping out, out of the blue. It was really strange. It just... died, while I was playing.
(Photo by Meryem Yildiz)
I was also pretty exhausted from climbling Teufelsberg (literally the Devil's Mountain) right before performing the gig. On the top of the mountain lies an abandoned US spy station, a relic from the Cold War, which was built over a Nazi college. To my surprise, the site was pretty easy to access, so it made for a pretty nice expedition.
Inside the top sphere, the natural acoustics and reverberation were phenomenal... there were people singing and playing guitar, or clapping.
Great 360 degrees city view throughout the whole site...
You can read more about it on this spy station here: http://www.abandonedberlin.com/2010/06/teufelsberg-abandoned-spy-station.html
On one of my other day off, I borrowed Leah's bike to check out the defunct Tempelhof airport, an iconic airport during WWII. It is now opened as a city park, with various events happening throughout the year. This space is huge! And biking on a runway is awesome.