Live Review: 2005-02-08 Leipzig, Moritzbastei

back Jesus, that night was a dream within a dream. Anyone who knows Maximilian Hecker’s music can be assured that it is as fragile and almost otherworldly beautiful live as it is on the records. Live is even better. The atmosphere was great and I’m glad they picked the Moritzbastei to play because it really fitted the concert well and enhanced the melancholy of the songs and Maximilian’s voice perfectly.

The choice to let Jeffrey Hayes, a good friend of Maximilian, be the support was nice, too. With his guitar and the cowboy hat he told fine stories made into music. He also kept hinting that there was a story about Leipzig; his life had been saved there once. Then he finally told what happened: he’d been on the train and had a seat which made him ride backwards and as he easily gets motion sickness he felt really bad. At Leipzig the train started going forwards and Jeffrey started feeling very relieved. He joked around and was like, oh I seem to have disappointed the young lady over there ... must have thought I had a fight with dogs, huh?

Jeffrey even played a cover of the Ramones. During two songs he was joined by Maximilian’s band: Johannes at the guitar, Phillip at the bass and a guy whose first name I couldn’t understand (but his last name is Schwarz, I think) at the drums. It was quite entertaining to watch Phillip who sometimes just stood there as if he was going to fall asleep on the spot. :)

After a little break the main concert began and the evening reached its climax with the first song Maximilian sang. Amazingly it stayed at the climax until the last note of the last song of the last encore faded.

Maximilian seemed a bit shy at first, never looking at the audience and just staring at either his instrument or the ceiling- but no criticism intended here, it simply made him even more likeable.. sweet :) Later on he started getting more comfortable, I guess, and talked to us every now and then. At one encore he told "a little anecdote" he "always forgets telling although it’s quite a funny one": he wrote the song 'Help me' from the new album Lady Sleep when his girlfriend was about to leave him ... a song was needed ;) he improvised at the birthday party of his aunt (his mum kept saying: "Maxi, come back here, it’s embarrassing!") with a Casio he found there. Later he gave a demo of it to his girlfriend and it got him whole three more days. Sweetheart.

Those little moments were great but there’s nothing to the music. As I already said: beautiful, terrific, marvellous ... [insert superlatives here]. Really, I am not getting paid for saying those things and I’m also not only saying them because I’m a huge fan of that music (people who know me are aware of the fact I am always very enthusiastic about bands I love) – the concert simply and truly was excellent. Period.

They played a lot of the newer songs but to my pleasure also some of the previous two albums, such as 'I am falling now', 'Sunburnt days', 'My story', 'Cold wind blowing', 'Over' (Yay! Didn’t expect it – sweet surprise.) and of course 'Polyester'. Among the new songs were 'Birch', 'Anaesthesia' (love that "la lalalah la lalalah-lala"-part), 'Summer days in bloom', 'Full of voices' (!), 'Snow' (the hymn of the day – snow chaos on the roads), 'Help me' and, introduced as "The next song is our last song. It’s the title track of the album": 'Lady Sleep'. Thank God they gave encores :) All in all they came out on the stage three more times and played two or three songs each time. Infinite thanks for that!

I remember Maximilian singing about four songs I didn’t know before, for example 'Snow White' ("this is legged boot ... bootlegged ... lick boots" ... ok this worked better in German but as I’m writing English here ... ;) ..) and a cover of a duet. He also played 'I’m dying', one of the songs with a long piano part which is really beautiful. Wish I could play any instrument half as well as he does (the guitar would do for me, you know..).

Between the songs he thanked us at least twice for coming and for our attention, "which is not always like that". You’re welcome, Maximilian :)

The very last song was another special sweet for my tiny longing heart: he really picked up his guitar and sang 'Today'!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of my all-time favourites of his stuff although this is hard for me to say as I love every song of every record. Then it was really over ... too bad.

But there was one more surprise: eventually there was a stand where you could buy CDs of Jeffrey and Maximilian, and also postcards, posters and shirts of Maximilian. The poster I bought cost only one euro :)

You haven’t heard the best thing though: Maximilian and Jeffrey were there and while Jeffrey sold the stuff, Maximilian signed CDs and postcards and was simply very kind. I told him how wonderful it was he’d played 'Today' and he was like "hey, anytime." :) Can you imagine me stumbling outside with a huge smile spreading on my face? ... and still being high from the music the day after?

Yeah, they’re still on tour (only just started, I think) so get yourself to move and go see ’em.

It’s worth anything. And the tickets aren’t expensive at all. So if they’re coming anywhere near you and you don’t totally reject sweet melancholy music: fucking go see ’em. Remember, I don’t get paid for this ;) just wanting you not to miss out on something that beautiful.