Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blink 182 In Germany

In case you've missed the other 310+ posts (!!!) on this blog (can you believe it?), I grew up in Philadelphia but spent the second 20 years of my life in San Diego. San Diego's an amazing place to live, not only because of its beautiful scenery and weather, but also because a small, local band named Blink 182 just happens to call it home. I've been fortunate enough to see them play a bunch of times so I jumped at the chance to see them here in Germany.

Blink has been playing shows all over Europe recently and I had really hoped to see them play in Berlin. Unfortunately, the show sold out before I could get tickets. Okay then, how about seeing them in Barcelona? Nope. The airfare alone to get there and back was way too expensive. So, my third choice, which was to go see them in Prague didn't happen either because the organizers canceled the show. What to do? How about something easy like seeing them at their closest-to-Stuttgart show up in Frankfurt. It's just under two hours away via train and we could make it up and back in the same afternoon and I wouldn't have to miss German class. Also, there's a side benefit of getting to hang out with our friends (who don't want to be named on the interwebs) who live up there. (Remember my coolest of cool trip when I got to go to the Frankfurt maintenance facility for (the I'm-not-allowed-to-say-whom) international-airline company? It's got to be one of the coolest things that I've done.)

On the big day, we boarded the train up to Frankfurt and arrived at the Hauptbahnhof there at around 2pm. It's another very cool Euro-style, steel-and-glass train station.

One of our friends met us at the train station and we went for a walk through the center of the city. We passed by the headquarters of the European Central Bank where's a large Occupy presence camped out on the front lawn.

One of the newest trends in the United States is high-end lunch trucks. Philadelphia and New York have always had lots of them so they're not that special for me but people dig them. What I saw in Frankfurt kicks the asses of all those wimpy "I work out of a truck all day" people. This hot dog vendor reminded me a lot of the coffee carts that you see all over Colombia except that he's carrying everything:

It's funny how you start to see the same sorts of things everywhere you go. One of my top traffic-from-google-searches stories is about the Locks of Love on a bridge near Notre Dame in France. I've now seen love locks in quite a few places and here they are on the Untermainbruke pedestrian bridge that crosses the Main river:

After a late lunch, or what'd be considered dinner in Germany, we made our way to the Festhalle Frankfurt for the show. Because I'm old, I got tickets with seats. It was still open seating but we got there pretty early and ended up in the balcony at the end of a row next to an empty section. It gave us a full, unobstructed view of the stage.

One thing that was extremely weird for me was going to a Blink show at such a large arena. I'm guessing that there were at least 5,000 people at the show and probably a lot more. The last time I saw them was with my sister and brother in Philadelphia a few years ago. That show probably had 2,000 and it seemed big. Most of the times that I've seen Blink in San Diego, there were less than 500 people at the show. Blink 182: rock stars!

Let's just say that the arena didn't help them. The large stage and the way that they were all far apart really made them seem like tiny people lost in a big world. Another difference is that almost every time that I've seen them, they were at home and probably slept in their own beds the night before the show. In other words, they were full of energy - almost crazy. The band seemed very tired and they played with relatively low energy on some songs. Don't get me wrong, they were awesome but just didn't do the back-and-forth joking around that they're known for. They're still, hands down, my favorite band and I cant wait to see them again. Hopefully, it'll be back in San Diego at the Casbah or something. :-)

I took about eight or nine videos that night and most suffer from extreme cases of shakey cam. I chose the two videos that I'm posting here because the quality is not embarrassing and they are a couple of my favorite songs. The first is called After Midnight and it's off their newest album, Neighborhoods:

The other video is for a song called First Date and is in my top three-or-four favorites that they do.

Just writing this post makes me want to see them again. Coincidentally, they are playing in Barcelona as I write this story. So sad! I wish I were there... Oh well, next time for sure!

A special thanks to our great, not-to-be-named, friends up in Frankfurt for the nice lunch and visit. Let's do it again soon down our way!

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