This weekend a quick train ride brought me to Leipzig. After waiting for 2 years I finally got to go to the Rammstein concert! I took the opportunity to check out the city and I was surprised. What a beautiful place this is! At only 1,5 hours from Berlin, it’s perfect for a day or weekend trip.
The gigantic Leipzig Hauptbahnhof is right at the edge of the inner city. From here you walk straight to all the main sites, the many shops and cosy restaurants. The station is the largest one in Europe, at least by surface area, and it’s got a shopping mall hidden under the station floor. But once you leave the station, you find out Leipzig is the city of “biggest”. The tallest town hall tower in Germany stands in the huge castle-like new town hall. The old one wasn’t big enough, so Leipzig build a beautifully decorated new town hall. Although… if you look closely, the newer section of the new town hall is missing some of the details. Nevertheless, it’s quite the picture! In fact, when I was resting on a cube, two girls politely asked me to move as I was in the perfect Instagram picture spot. It was amusing to see them do the photo shoot.
I was resting on the stone cube on Burgplatz because I was waiting for a free walking tour. However, when the guide came he cancelled the tour after 5 awkward minutes because I was the only participant. Luckily for me there was a different company offering a free tour at 3PM and I decided to squeeze it in before going to the concert. My Slovenian guide was great and took me and 5 guys around Leipzig’s inner city for 2 hours. I learned that the city was famous for music, with many classical musicians like Bach spending time here. Our guide even brought a speaker, so we could listen to Bach’s classics while admiring his statue.
But Leipzig is just a pleasure to walk around. The architecture is just amazing, with many colorful, very ornamental buildings. In its centre stands the old town hall, a beautiful yellow building with red arches underneath it. A small street full of cafés leads away from it. There is barely enough space left to walk, since the tables are occupying the alley. In another corner I find an arcade, or passage. There are several in Leipzig. Many have shops and cafés inside. In the past they were used by the traders that passed through this well connected city and tried to sell their goods. The many trade fairs brought money to the city and that’s clearly visible as you wander around.
I thoroughly enjoyed my wandering and walking tour, but I didn’t come to listen to Bach. I came to finally see my favorite band again. Throughout the day I’d already seen many people dressed in Rammstein gear. It was easy to follow the stream of people dressed in black that walked to the Red Bull Arena. Seriously, you should wear pink to this concert. Then you’d be easy to find. In front of the arena was a massive field where many people were enjoying drinks and food before entering the venue. There were very expensive beers that came in a Rammstein jug. But I headed for the merchandise. The line was a depressing sight, but after about an hour I had gotten my tour t-shirt. Last time I waited to find out my size was already gone…
Another half hour passed before I made it into the stadium and squeezed past 20 other people to reach my seat. The support act was playing on their pianos, but I didn’t really care for them. I watched the stadium fill and looked at all the different people. There were older groups of friends, all dressed in black, with beards and beer, tattoos and piercings. There was a father with his, quite young, son. There was the really obese couple. There was the lady screaming at people a few rows below. The people were swinging the cables that led to rows of speakers which hung pretty much above our heads.
When the concert finally started everyone got up from their seats. Although the band has just released a new album, they played a mix of all the big hits. The show had all the show elements they’d released over the years: the cooking pot with the keyboard player in it while the singer uses a flame thrower, the pram with the evil doll in it, the fireworks, the boats that crowdsurf through the audience and the big dildo that sprays into the audience. For over 2 hours they played until I heard the first notes of Adieu. That was it. “Adieu, goodbye, auf Wiedersehen.” Die Zeit mit euch war schön! See you again in Berlin!