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BLACKbook: Scorpions-Tour - Day 1

Cologne – Lanxess Arena

Get up, get dressed, get ready - the time has come to open a new chapter in my life. playing the first arena show as support for the Scorpions. This surreal feeling has not vanished yet, so the day starts pretty much as expected. I load my stuff in my old rusty'n'trusty Mazda, turn on my GPS-Nav and type in the adress. Lanxess Arena. I feel myself smiling unwillingly as I type in the letters, and I take another sip from my coffee to go before I start Old Rusty's engine (290.000 km of experience) to begin this journey. I see my home vanish in the rear mirror as I turn for the highway.

A couple of highway construction yards and the occasionally (and very much expected) traffic jams later, all feelings of surreality vanish as I approach the Lanxess Arena, and reality kicks in hard. This thing is HUGE! I have seen and played a lot of concerts in various locations in Cologne, but the Lanxess Arena is something different. 19.500 people Capacity. Germany's biggest indoor Location. Any last doubt of this really happening turned into a feeling of what I can only describe as anxious excitement.

 

I drive around the arena twice to sink in that feeling - everyone who tells you that was due to me not finding the right entrance is a filthy liar - before I park old Rusty and meet the rest of the band. As per usual, the mood in the group is awesome. We start unloading and check out the location. First things first; building a ping-pong-table! 

The average day at the office. You unload, you get a drink and a snack, you do some chatting, and you check out the location. This is where "average" stops. This monster is even bigger ion the inside! At this point, noone really knows what to say or expect. Imagine everyting between anxiety, serene happiness, pure horror and utter excitement. I guess everyone of us feels like this at some point. At least I do. 

We watch the stage being build up. It's a serious rock show, and it's amazing to be part of that. Time goes by rather quickly, so we start setting up our stuff. I help Kai with his Drum setup as much as I can, not only because of band comradery, but because I need to work to get my mind of what is happening here. I admit, I am quite nervous, albeit with a positive connotation! While setting up and getting ready to do soundcheck, Mikkey Dee (I do not need to explain who he is, do I?) shows up, shakes everyone's hands and makes Kai have a fanboy-moment. Well...not only Kai, to be fair ;). There is something about the presence of such a legend in the music business that feels special. It sure is a great honour to be here.

After soundcheck, we all feel way more relaxed and are now just looking forward to the show. And what a show that will be! A 30-minute burst of all the energy that built up throughout the day, and during the show, I see everyone in the band smiling. As always, my place is stage left right behind/beside Chris, but for the last songs, I cannot withstand the feeling anymore - I need to RUN along that stage! It is just too big NOT to! And damn it, this is fun!!! 

Cool down after the show, some beers, some more snacks, a lot of chatting - the mood is great. We peak at the Scorpions Show before we start loading and head for the hotel. Travel day tomorrow. Not sure if there will be a blog entry, but who knows what the road brings! 

Cheerio, my friends, take care! 
Stefan

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