When one of the currently biggest German (punk) rock bands hits Saxony, things get crowded and hot: Thoughts on a sold-out evening between punk and pathos.
They are a gift and calculation at the same time. When a band that’s right at the top of the charts and draws tens of thousands to their concerts pops up in a small club, it’s something special and announced. Hardly announced and already completely sold out, fans can be very close to their band and vice versa, you literally bathe in the music together with sweat. The selected club enjoys cultural appreciation, the band retains its subcultural credibility, which otherwise recedes into the background in the pop circus. Exactly this mixed situation is of course also a promotional calculation, warm-up shows in small clubs before the big tour have long been a popular standard, especially with the most successful German punk and indie bands. The Broilers are giving big open-air concerts this year, for example on the Festwiese in Leipzig. One of her four warm-ups took her to the AJZ in Chemnitz on Saturday, the facade of which was hidden behind the large parked tour bus that day.
Local fan scene in the minority
As much as the band from Düsseldorf feels committed to the punk and Oi subculture and also appreciates clubs like the AJZ for their commitment in the evening, it’s not the local punks and skins from earlier Broilers days that a few weeks ago punctually sat at the computer when there were a few minutes to buy tickets for the concert. Some of the cars parked in the surrounding area revealed long journeys, while visually many concentrated on clearly showing off being a fan with a Broilers shirt or an additional flag.
The warm-up to the warm-up delivers German punk with AKD from the Upper Palatinate using a charming Bavarian accent that couldn’t be more typical. Behind the acronym hides a bit adolescent “Analkommando”, musically there are no surprises, but catchy to the point, typical of the genre, fast, melodic and of course politically committed with the heart “in the left place”.
Between subculture and grand gesture
With the scuffed, bumpy parts of punk, that was it for the evening. While the Broilers have carried the subcultural spirit of the scene to ever larger stages bit by bit over the past almost 30 years – the round anniversary is coming up in 2024 – they have now almost completely taken over the penchant for grand gestures. Great melodies with lyrics that are not exactly lacking in pathos, which make good lines for the biceps tattoo and sometimes only slow down just short of calendar sheet kitsch.
Hardly anything is broken down in the club either, but in a wondrous way, even in the cramped, sweaty AJZ, the stretched stadium pose quickly turns into mutual ecstasy. In parts standardized ecstasy, however, because whether in the club, the big hall or on the open-air meadow, Broiler’s concerts have been the same at neuralgic points for years: Always the same pre-songs from the tape and the exit afterwards with reminiscences of scene and emotional sizes. Intro, “Zurück zum Beton” for the opening, “Meine Sache” before the encores, “Blume” for the finale. This reliability has long been a ritual and has a positive effect on choral audience participation. You know where to tune in and how. In the more than two hours in between there are a number of other obligatory crackers and more varied songs from three Broilers decades.
AJZ? valley shock? It doesn’t matter, the main thing is that the beer tastes good!
Only the medley comes across as a bit awkward, in which they pack some of their very old songs, meanwhile of course also in the “clean”, modern band sound. However, this does not detract from the shared fun, joy of playing, moshpit and crowdsurfing exuberance in front of the stage meanwhile go hand in hand as well as texts sung together for more than two hours. You can take a breather in the interim announcements by frontman Sammy Amara, who obviously likes to hear himself talk, but gets confused with the terms AJZ and Talschock, tastes Braustolz versus Marx-Städter beer (the latter wins the race for him) and, above all, keeps turning on mutual awareness and political vigilance against right-wing activities. The political conscience has always been present among the broilers, but has increased with the success and developments of recent years. Despite all of Amara’s argumentative skill, there is no deliberative pop diplomacy in between, right and everything that smells like it remains shit and is also called that. And you don’t need punks in the audience to get loud approval.
In concert The Broilers will play on June 22 from 6.30 p.m. on the Festwiese in Leipzig. Tickets are available in all “Freie Presse” shops.
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