It can be celebrated again: After various clubs have been successfully holding indoor events for weeks and one week ago Berghain also reopened with 2G, the Berlin techno world seems to be in good shape again.
Now one of Germany’s best-known DJs, who with the film “Berlin Calling” not only set a monument for himself but also for the techno capital, celebrated his return to the German indoor stages: Paul Kalkbrenner honors the Verti Music Hall on October 8 and 9, twice in a row as part of his “Episode One” European tour, which started in Paris at the beginning of September.
Home office atmosphere with carpet and houseplants
With “Si Soy Fuego” he released a new single this year, which he will present on Friday along with many other new songs.
The fact that Corona is not really over yet, but man with the 2G admission procedure, which does not leave the party mood: Check in in the first lock using the app, ticket, digital vaccination certificate, ID card, point to the second lock, show your ticket again, show your ID card again , Have a ticket scanned, go to the third lock, bag too big, hand in bag for five euros, run through the person scanner, be scanned – then you are finally inside and look at the staff wrongly, whether they are not also looking at the ID, the ticket or something want to see what on the smartphone, which is why you hardly dare to put one of the things away.
In the hall, however, there is a good atmosphere, the DJ who lives in Friedrichshain has his home game here. “Paul, Paul, Paul!”, Smaller chants sound again and again. When the white curtain falls, the audience is presented with an unusual picture: the stage looks like a cozy designer living room on the side walls with large rectangular wall lights.
What a perfect understatement: Kalkbrenner is back from the home office, or maybe not quite yet? At the same time, the ambience inevitably reminds you of all the pathetic attempts to try too much gin and tonic in the living room and the system during the lockdown, to dance to one of the countless DJ streams.
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Or is the 44-year-old Kalkbrenner reflecting self-ironically with this backdrop that he is no longer a youngster, but an experienced professional who actually likes to take things a little easier? Kalkbrenner’s music goes well with this interpretation: consensus techno for clubbers: people from 30 and up: not too fast, lots of vocals, a bit sentimental.
The hall is sold out, the round visitors: inside dance from the first minute, delighted with the fast sound and the fat bass. The light show is also first class, especially the headlight batteries shooting through the video screen are nice to look at. Turntable eats not to be seen on stage: Kalkbrenner only plays his own, self-produced music and lets his finger whiz through an unmanageable sea of buttons, switches and controls, which are shown again in close-up on the video screen. Kalkbrenner’s feet also get a close-up from time to time when they stomp on the carpet to the beat.
The hall dances and cheers
It’s danceable and has a good flow, there are hardly any surprises. Here and there Kalkbrenner lets in a bit of trance, a bit of acid house, and once even unspeakable pan flute samples with South American vocals. As always, “Paule” seems personable and down-to-earth, lighting cigarettes every now and then. He’s obviously having fun and seems to be enjoying the long appearance on the big stage, grinning at the audience, waving, prancing around.
Kalkbrenner takes a long time to come up with well-known hits, but that doesn’t bother the audience, who also like to sing along with instrumental passages. One of the highlights of the evening is the grandiose remix of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”, which echoes out of the speakers in pink clouds of light: instead of a bolero, Grace Slick’s voice now shines over a lively up-tempo beat and thus no longer sounds dark-enticing, But as if filled with triumphant euphoria. “Feed your Heaaaaad!” Sings the whole hall and feels the endorphins rise.
“Sky And Sand”, on the other hand, is disappointing, as Kalkbrenner incomprehensibly defaced his biggest hit, which he wrote with brother Fritz, with overdriven keyboard fanfares.
After that, Kalkbrenner noticeably increases the tempo, the beats also get harder.
The hall dances and cheers, the techno world actually seems a little better for the moment. In the end, quite a few should feel like going over the Oberbaumbrücke to the next club after this warm-up – as you used to do on a Friday evening in Berlin.