Herbert Grönemeyer made history last night (Feb. 23) when he stepped onto the stage at the Chicago Theatre to entertain fans, for the first time ever, in the United States. It has been 34 years since he released his first studio album, but you wouldn’t guess it based on the young demographic of the audience and his non-stop energy on stage. Grönemeyer had fans standing on their feet as he performed some of his greatest hits, both in English and in German. As soon as he started with “The Tunnel”, there was no mistaking that Herbert Grönemeyer was meant to be seen and heard live on stage.
It was clear that the event was truly multicultural. There was a heavy presence of German speaking fans, many of which came hoping to hear some of their favorite songs in German. Despite the concert being a tour for his latest English language album I Walk, Herbert Grönemeyer quickly realized that his fans wanted to hear some German, as the crowd began crying out “Auf Deutsche” between songs.
Grönemeyer was there to please his fans and did so with a flawless mix of English and German, throughout the night. His backup singers, who have been with him for some time now, had no problem switching back and forth between the two languages mid-song. As soon as Grönemeyer started his multilingual version of the 1984 hit “Alkohol”, the crowd got up onto their feet and you could tell he felt right at home.
Anyone that is a fan of Grönemeyer knows that one of the things that make his songs so strong, is the poetic nature of the lyrics. But it’s not until you hear the full story behind those songs that you get the real impact of those poetic masterpieces. The touching back story around his struggles dealing with his mother’s Alzheimer’s, expressed in the song “Before the Morning”, brought emotion to the audience that heard the song in a brand new way.
As soon as Herbert Grönemeyer finished his set and left the stage, the fans wanted more and filled the theatre with shouts of “Zugabe” (encore), until he walked back on stage to entertain the crowd with an outstanding seven song encore. He may not have expected such an enthusiastic crowd in the United States, but he was more than happy to give them what they wanted, and he did so in a big way.
I had the privilege to meet with Herbert Grönemeyer before he went out on stage and he expressed that he was thrilled to be making his US debut in Chicago. Especially for it to be at the Chicago Theatre, which has been a longtime favorite of his and he has longed to perform on its stage. When asked about the process of transforming his German hits into English, he revealed the surprising detail that when he creates most of his songs, it is first done in English and then once he has everything in place he creates the final lyrics in German. As for his expectations with his upcoming English language release, I Walk, he wanted to take on a challenge and explore his music in new ways. Grönemeyer said he doesn’t expect to reach the superstar status he sees in Germany, but is happy to connect with fans new and old in the United States.
East Coast fans will have the chance to catch this show-stopping performance this Tuesday, February 26, at the Irving Plaza in New York City. Tickets are still available and you don’t want to miss out on this historic chance to see Herbert Grönemeyer live in the US. Grönemeyer is looking to expand the I Walk U.S. Tour later this fall, with stops in more cities across the country. So if you missed your chance to see him in Chicago or NYC, stay tuned for updates on when he may be coming to a city near you later this year. It truly is a show you don’t want to miss.
Get your tickets now for the New York show at the Irving Plaza by ordering through LiveNation.
Also, don’t forget to check out our full review of the album ‘I Walk‘, which goes on sale in the U.S. February 26, 2013 along with a chance to win a copy signed by Herbert Grönemeyer.