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Open Air on the Spree: That was the anniversary concert by Ton Steine ​​Scherben – Kultur

They have always been enthusiastic about football at Ton Stein Scherben. The band kicked every day in their early years, flautist Jörg Schlotterer once told the magazine “11 Freunde”. In the shared flat at Tempelhofer Ufer 32 in Kreuzberg, people cooked so early in the early 1970s that the food was on the table when the TV broadcast kicked off. Only singer Rio Reiser found this strange. He preferred to read. When football legend Paul Breitner came to visit unannounced, the front man slept through the event.

So it probably wouldn’t have bothered him that the Ton Steine ​​Scherben anniversary concert took place on the evening of the opening match of the European Championship. Both the celebrations and the tournament had to be postponed for a year due to the pandemic. In 2020 Rio Reiser, who died far too early, would have turned 70 and Ton Steine ​​Scherben would have celebrated their 50th anniversary as a band. Now the event series “When the night is deepest – a broken glass festival” takes place this summer.

The open-air performance on Friday is not only the highlight of the program, but for many in the audience one of the first live concerts after the cultural lockdown. What a picture: people sitting close together on the lawn with beer. Children splashing in the Spree. Antifakids and old hippies side by side. The sweet smell of marijuana wafts over everything. So this is how open air feels in Berlin. All of this in front of a truly enchanting scenery for a concert. Instruments and amplifiers are installed on the roof of an excursion steamer in the port of Rummelsburg. This place was created in 2012 in front of the Funkhaus Nalepastraße – in that year when the rest of the broken pieces decided to make music together again.

Some songs are as relevant as they were half a century ago

“It’s a very old and well-known band,” a father tries to explain the fascination to his child, when suddenly Rio is there after all. Suddenly his snotty, rough voice can be heard from the loudspeakers. “Far, far, far from here”. And you want to cry now. In the glaring backlight of the setting sun, the musicians step on the deck and say “Mein Name ist Mensch” from the first album “Why am I so dirty?”.

On this evening, band members from the early years such as bassist Kai Sichtermann, percussionist Funky K. Götzner, the former manager Nikel Pallat, flautist Jörg Schlotterer, singer Angie Olbrich or pianist Martin Paul will be on stage as well as numerous singing guests. Including the actor Milan Peschel, the singer-songwriter Maike Rosa Vogel and the songwriter Stoppok. The latter is then also allowed to intone classics such as “The Last Battle” and “Mensch Meier” – provided with a disclaimer sent in advance. They made a conscious decision to sing the original versions, even if some things have changed since 1971. Stopok then throws lines like “No, no, no, the BVG is more on fire!” Or “Get out of the way, capitalists, we’ll win the last battle!” All the more fervently. Despite a shortened criticism of capitalism, the songs still work great live.


Other songs, on the other hand, are as relevant as they were half a century ago. The rental situation is “even worse,” says Pallat soberly. The struggle for living space and against social inequality and displacement has not come to an end even after decades. And so the refrain of the “Rauch-Haus song” is quickly repositioned: “This is our house – fuck the return, our rent is not enough”. “We want to stay in our apartment”, a new broken song on the topic, which is also presented, develops an involuntary comedy against the background of the past few months.

“More power!” Calls an angry viewer loudly

“More power!” Calls an angry viewer loudly between two ballads and earns a mild smile from the men with gray hair on the stage. Because of course they can still do it. At the latest when “We have to get out of here!” And “The tower collapses”, the seating arrangements (what an affront for fans of the first hour!) Are dissolved. The audience streams forward, dances and sings along loudly. Houseboats approach the stage from behind, and people are jumping up and down on their roofs too. The band plays almost every song from the album “Keine Macht für Keine”. And they all ignite.

After a little more than two hours, the set list ends with the hopeful, combative song “The dream is over”. The concert, on the other hand, is not quite there yet. In response from hundreds of throats, all those involved in the evening join in “June moon” as an encore. Even if he doesn’t want to look over the Spree at 9:40 p.m. A whispered “Thank you Rio” in the direction of the Alter St. Matthew Cemetery in Schöneberg, where the singer has found his final resting place. Then hundreds of concert-goers are left with a happy smile.

In the past, clay stone shards still occupied houses in the vicinity of the venue with fans after their concerts. On this mild summer evening, at least the drinks stand is still occupied for one last glass before heading home. And maybe the remaining band members actually made it to the second half of the EM opening game. They definitely deserved it.

Another anniversary concert will take place on Saturday, June 13th. in SO 36. The event is sold out, but there is a live stream.

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