Dearest Berlin; you didn’t make it happen. My faith hath shook, and the little yellow rowboat of my belief lies broken on the corals of a cold reality — we could not make our 8pm date. By now it should come as no surprise that we began the night a quarter-hour later than posted, the age-old butts in seats equation stacked against our temporal desire. In the spirit of fairness, it was a sell-out show, and with that in mind, you’ve escaped the discipline-paddle. As the show began, you took to your feet in droves, warmly welcoming us to your city, and as Leonard pointed out, we “don’t know when we’ll meet again”, as “this is our last night in Germany.”
Tonight’s set list was menu’d the same as in Hamburg apart from a few parenthetical editings; the order of songs was identical, but some had their certainty of airing lessened. As it happened, the first set transpired exactly as it did in Hamburg. At the top of the second set we saw the reappearance of Tower of Song, Leonard opening the number with some faux panpipe synth sounds from his Technics keyboard; when I heard the soothing sounds of the rainforest, I fully expected pop sensation Shakira to burst out of Raf’s drumkit, blowing it to bits in a pyrotechnical symphony of glitter. She would wear a tasseled leather bikini and flip through the air, land on a trampoline and shoot through the audience, out an open door. We would all stand there and ask what the hell just happened. Anyway, when Take This Waltz came around, the usual pit-creating invasion took place and to watch the smiles on people faces, of all ages, you could be fooled into thinking they were heading to the forbidden fridge for illegal ice cream.
You can’t come to Berlin and not play First We Take Manhattan; the song is a staple of the encores and when it aired tonight, the audience roared out what you might expect: “Then we take Berlin!” I noticed a couple turn their camera on themselves as they sang along and quickly panned away to document the uproarious scene before them. After Closing Time, the crowd clapped and stomped for more, and Leonard gave them that: I Tried to Leave You and Save the Last Dance put a cap on the evening.
The latter of the aforementioned pair is almost impossible to dislodge from one’s mind while packing up and stacking up, followed by a shower with no hot water and drying one’s self with a towel that merely spreads the water around one’s skin. Yes, it’s back to bus-touring for us, the life on wheels, the warriors’ way of old. Overnight we would drive to Łódź, Poland. If you can guess how to pronounce the city’s name, you win a prize; and by prize, I mean not a prize. And by not a prize I mean to say nothing in your life will change due to any influence of mine. Good night.