Ethel: Surprisingly nice and varied, I liked the unusually free approach for a string quartet. And they really fitted in.
Joe Jackson: Also as great as expected (I've seen him last in about 1989). Funnily enough he did a "Todd" on one of his greatest hits, e. g. got lost 2 times on the there/where part of Is she really going out with him.
Todd: Although seemingly not in the best of moods (maybe he could sense what was coming from the audience), absolutely great. The vocals were "on" most of the time, black & white, compassion and - surprisingly - the hello-song (just one minor glitch) being particulary great, most of the rest very good, only ISTL and - also surprisingly - Clichè seemed a bit lost (at least rhythmically).
They say "the harder the music, the nicer the audience". And this seems to be true (nicest crowd ever: Motorhead; most terrible: Jackie Leven).
I really appreciate ther fact that there weren't any hecklers like there seem to be in the U. S., but .....
My apologies to everybody nice in that crowd, but the moment I walked into the hall, I knew what was coming.
They were the typically 30 to 50 year-old, white middle class, academically trained germans who think they know everything (what is music like) or worse own everything (good taste). I sometimes wake up at night thinking I've become one of them (reading this review possibly I am).
99 % seemed to be Joe Jackson-fans from the eighties (now listening either to Phil Collins best-ofs - the mobile phone version - or some electronic wallpapers), who didn't have anything better to do.
They were nice enough during ethel's set. Strangely polite during JJ's set and at first bewildered, sometimes bored, sometimes plain shocked during Todd's solo-set. They liked Bang the uke and Hide your love away, because they new them or at least were able to grasp what was going on.
Thankfully everything turned out alright the moment ethel returned, and pretending to care, the other me, soul brother (even clapping of hands) and got the time (Todd broke a string on the first and therefore only note he played on electric guitar). Everybody was up for WMGGW. An that was it.
Naturally - although being catatonic most of the evening - some were pissed that only one encore was played and on the way out you could hear mumblings of "what was that Rundgren-guy about?"
Enough of that, thanks to the musicians for a great perfomance. I hope it's getting better crowd-wise in Bielefeld, I'm sure it will be better in Berlin.
1 down, 2 to go.