Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US


Leipzig show - Eastern flavour.

Leipzig show - Eastern flavour. The gig takes place in an old car lot instead of the stadium next door. Despite the ugly surroundings, the crowd's beautiful.

Leipzig is a city in former East Germany, and despite the Wall being long down, it retains much of that character (for better and for worse). Over the past few years there has been a massive drive to turn Leipzig into a fully functional Western business city, so the joke is that its national bird is the Crane... because literally dozens and dozens of building cranes fill the horizon as more and more "modern" buildings are erected as fast as finance will allow. I have to say the result is (at best) weird, or (at worst) about as ugly as you can imagine. I'm sure life must have been pretty awful here under the old regime, but you can't help but feel at least the city would have had some authenticity about it then, as opposed to this modern and convenient nothingness.

The 'venue' we were playing was a car park outside of an old stadium. One wonders why we weren't playing the show inside the stadium, but ours is not to reason why; the parking-lot-as-music-venue tradition seems to have very deep roots in German live performance. Perhaps the phrase "rock and roll" inadvertently translates as "pay and display". Still, the audience was very warm and enthusiastic and clearly they had a good time, which is the main thing. Being in a car park didn't seem to hamper their enjoyment too greatly. The only thing I can't fathom is, where do they put all the cars whilst the gig is going on?

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