When two black flags are raised “to the bitter end” on stage, excitement begins and loud cheers erupt in the crowd: Die Toten Hosen is back on stage.
Ironically, the Dusseldorf-based rockers began their annual tour in the rival city of Cologne. They were warmly welcomed there: the Rheinergie Stadium was sold out for months.
About 40,000 guests attended the massive Christmas party under the theme “It’s All Out of Love – 40 Years of Toten Hosen”. “You won’t believe how happy we are that we are still here,” singer Campino shouted to the fans. “40 years – this is a huge gift.”
Hardcore fans in the crowd, families in the stands
The band and fans have gotten older, but it doesn’t have to be quieter. Campino, who will turn 60 in a few days, jumped and ran across the stage as tirelessly as ever. The majority of the audience has probably known the band since their early years – among the heaviest pogo dancers in the interior were quite a few gray-haired men. An entire row of families with children also sat in the stands.
Where: Rarely has anyone remained seated in the ranks. As soon as the first song played, everyone stood up and waved their arms – even though “Everyone Says It” was one of the few new titles on the just-released anniversary album.
It went straight to the top of the charts. This makes Hosen the band with the most number one albums on the German charts. It’s almost unbelievable when you consider that the band was formed more on a whim in the hobby room and originally wanted to have some fun.
In Cologne, Totten Huyn gave a cross-section of the band’s 40-year history. Of course, hits like “Bonnie & Clyde”, “Wünsch Dir was” or “Altes Fieber” were captivated by audiences. With the song “Here Comes Alex” they sang so loud that they drowned Campino despite the microphone. The slightly paraphrased text of “Wort zum Sonntag” was also useful to many.
Same ‘lineup’ for 20 years
The colorful theatrical design – a collection of artwork from Hussein’s albums – framed the large video screens, with the band members alternating in black and white. The lineup, as the band prefers, has been the same on stage for two decades: Campino, “Codel” guitarists Andreas von Holst and “Pretty” Michael Britkoff, bassist Andreas Maurer and drummer Foam Richie.
With Days Like This, the party slowly ended after just over two hours. “We had a wonderful first evening,” Campino said before saying goodbye to Cologne, “so many worrisome stones fell off our shoulders.”