Tokio Hotel acoustic in Magdeburg

Tokio Hotel greet fans at the radio SAW studios in Magdeburg, Germany. Copyright: Caitlin Hardee

Tokio Hotel greet fans at the radio SAW studios in Magdeburg, Germany. Photo: Caitlin Hardee

The Germans like to keep Sundays chill. Long brunches, a newspaper on the balcony, an extended Spaziergang, not too much excitement – they have mastered this art. I’ve learned to savor these lazy days with the best of them – but then there are those other Sundays, on which you spontaneously jump in a bus with your flatmate, head over to Magdeburg, join a crowd of Tokio Hotel fans waiting outside a small radio station and hope for magic.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my various adventures with this band, it’s that effort, travel and a degree of uncertainty are often prerequisites to having unique experiences. Given the supply and demand for this tiny acoustic concert in the studios of radio SAW, the odds of a miracle were definitely not in our favor – around 5,000 online applications alone for the 20-some spots in the building. Hanna and I decided to pay a visit to the event anyway, for several reasons – we weren’t doing anything, the bus fare was cheap, we love TH, and what the hell.

It turned out to be an utterly enjoyable trip. We arrived around midday, waited with other ticketless fans, chatted with radio and press workers and watched the chosen few slip through the station doors. As the show was about to begin, we strolled around the side of the building to chill in the shade. At that moment, the soft sounds started coming through an open window right above our heads.

We were joined by most of the fans outside, who did something I’ve rarely experienced at a Tokio Hotel show: kept quiet. After a short bit of “shhhing,” the fans went silent, turned ears upward and held recording devices aloft, swayed to the acoustic adaptations of the new songs, lips moving soundlessly, smiles on their faces. Between songs, the fans inside and outside clapped and cheered, then returned to hushed, rapt attention. At the end of the last song, the listeners briefly joined in, a reflexive choir paying tribute to the new material.

Set audio:

The band played “Girl Got A Gun,” “Louder Than Love,” “Automatic” and “Love Who Loves You Back.” To hear the three new songs from this complex electro-pop-rock album arranged in such a simple acoustic fashion was entrancing. Stirring chord progressions, strong basslines and Bill’s soft voice – just fantastic. “Automatic” sounded just as it does in the acoustic version recorded by “Rolling Stone” a few years back. It will be fascinating to watch how they arrange their new and old material on the next tour.

Tokio Hotel's Bill Kaulitz at the radio SAW studios in Magdeburg, Germany. Copyright: Caitlin Hardee

Vocalist Bill Kaulitz at the radio SAW studios in Magdeburg, Germany. Copyright: Caitlin Hardee

After photo ops, signings and a studio interview indoors, the band came to the station windows, absolutely beaming. Bill greeted the fans below and called down, “Wir haben euch gehört!” (We heard you!) All four looked relaxed and happy as they waved enthusiastically, and I think we all felt privileged to be there, hearing this music and showing love – regardless of where we were standing. All in all, a great joint action by the band and radio SAW, and one of the better Sundays I’ve spent recently.

More photos:

4 responses to “Tokio Hotel acoustic in Magdeburg

  1. Ich war schon neugierig ob du dabei warst, aber du hast es geschafft. Ich hätte die unrealistische Traum auch dabei zu sein, abermit soviele Bewerbungen war ich nicht einer die glücklichen :).
    Aber es freut mich dass die Möglichkeit hattest die Jungs wieder zu sehen und hören. Nach meiner Meinung sind das doch goldene Momenten ins Leben.
    Donnerstag erwarte ich endlich die super deluxe Version zu bekommen. Freue mich natürlich. Ich habe schon einiges gehört, und ich denke dass ich mich gewöhnen soll an einige Songs. Aber trotzdem bin ich mir ganz sicher dass dieses Album mit total gefallen wird, und ich kann eigentlich nicht warten auf die Ankündigung für die Konzerten.

  2. Caitlin,
    I have enjoyed your progression as a quality writer over the last few years.
    Keep up the creative work.
    We had a fun time at your ol homeplace a couple of weeks ago.
    Also, I forwarded this post to Susan Madden who has not read your work.
    Keep having fun & all the best.

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