Quarter is the name of a band. The singer and songwriter, whose name is Florian, is on of my best friends of all time. We’ve known each other since the 1st grade in school and we were good friends right from the start. We both got Apple computers in primary school and instead of playing games we played with graphic tools. At high-school his parents bought him a piano and he started playing pretty seriously right away. In fact it was always a bummer when he had no time to play because he had to practice playing. Some years later he showed ambitions to write songs by himself, or to put it in other words, he was thinking of becoming a musician. He played at couple of school events but it was always a little too slow for my taste because it was only the piano and him. His singing wasn’t very good either. But he kept on getting more and more into it. He started taking singing lessons and casted the first musicians to accompany him. The first attempts didn’t sound to good either, mostly because the musicians sucked. The story would suck too if all that wouldn’t have changed over the time. Well it changed, he found some cool, talented guys who know how to play their instruments. Two guitarists (David and Martin), one base player (Markus) and a drummer (Gregor). The singing lessons also paid off and so finally I felt music when I heard them play together for the first time. It is still pop music but they add rock ‘n’ roll to it, in a way that I really start loving it.
This was only the preface. Because this post is about their latest gig. Florian told me a couple of weeks ago that they would play as opening act for Sasha. For those of you who don’t know Sasha … well he’s a german-wanna-be-Robbie-Williams. The gig was in Düsseldorf and I thought »Damn, I’d like to go on tour with them« although one concert in a foreign town isn’t really a tour but anyway, I asked Florian if I could come and that I would take pictures and stuff and he said »Alright!«. So last weekend we drove to Düsseldorf.
The concert hall turned out to be a airplane hangar with a huge stage in it. The women who welcomed us gave out the band and crew badges and then introduced us to the trailer right next to the stage were the band could hang out before the concert.
We were there quite early so there was enough time to get the equipment on stage. The sound check also took a while but a band is always happy if somebody really cares about the sound. The sound was just like you would expect it to be when you see a stage like this – jurrassic! I mean the band only played in smaller venues before, mostly small clubs where the sound is good but forced into small rooms. When you have to fill a whole hangar with music it is quite another feeling.
After the sound check there were still a couple of hours left until the gates for the audience would open. We used the time to hang out in the sun.
Then it finally was about time. The first minutes the gates were open, a couple of young girls stormed into the hangar to secure the best position for themselves. This was also new for the band. In clubs the people usually don’t come right in front of the stage if they don’t have to, here the girls would have beaten themselves up just to get in the front row. Fortunatly the front row was wide enough.
After an hour almost all of the 4000 expected people were already in or in front of the hangar. Just a few more minutes until the show would start. Then a guy looking like the typical manager character entered the stage. The whole event was sponsored by vodaphone which is why this guy had to emphasize this fact before he told everybody not to smoke. You might remember the fire at Düsseldorf airport a couple of years ago. They are really paranoid about this now. This is just a quote of about the event from wikipedia so you get a glimpse: »On April 11, 1996 there was a fire in the airport, probably caused by welding work on the roof. 17 people were killed, mostly due to smoke inhalation. The terminal building was heavily damaged, and was closed for five years.« So the vodaphone marketing girls also brought little buckets filled with sand for the remaining cigarettes. Then finally he talked about the event itself. He announced Sasha and then he introduced Quarter. I was standing in middle of the audience at this point and I could see the lack of interest in the faces of the people. I guess this is normal, because you didn’t come for the opening act – you came for the main act. Then Quarter entered the stage, and after a short hello they started to rock immediately. People shrug because they weren’t prepared for the kind and the loudness of the sound that approached their ears. It was really cool to observe. They were surprised but in a positive way.
The concert went well. It was just beautiful, the light of the sunset was shining right into the hangar, over the heads of the audience, onto the stage. When they played the first accords of the last song, a plane started right behind the audience on the runway, through the sunset. This was such a great scenery.
After the concert I ran back to the trailer where we were hanging out before the concert to grab some EPs and buttons because Florian told the audience that they could buy the Quarter EP right after the gig from a guy next to the stage – which was me. The audiences was quite hungry, they bought all the EPs and demanded autographs from the band. After a while the guys showed up and satisfied the demands of the »masses«.
At the end of the day we slept at a four star hotel in Düsseldorf. All of this was great fun. Of course we drank a couple of drinks before we got to bed, unfortunately we had to get up at 7:30 am to get back to Berlin. So there wasn’t much time hanging out with the two girls who followed us to the hotel. Maybe next time…
There is nothing more to add except that I really enjoyed this trip. I hope they get the chance to play more often in front of so many people. As it turns out their music works very well with big audiences.
P.S. The pictures aren’t too great because I had a lack of motivation preparing them. Also I only had a Nikon D50 with a very »dark« lens.