TEN YEARS AFTER at "Amadeus", Oldenburg
12 June 2005 

Concert Review - TEN YEARS AFTER in Oldenburg, 

The venue is called "AMADEUS".  It has a very unique layout for the backstage area, it’s upstairs on the third floor. You walk up three flights of stairs, in an unlit stairway, meaning pitch black, and feel your way around corners and hope you don’t fall into some hidden abyss and find yourself lying upside down in the basement. As you cannot see, you listen for music and voices and walk towards the sound. Upon finding a door knob you pray you made it to the proper destination.

 We peak in and thank Goodness that we found Chick Churchill sitting on a sofa and Leo tuning up his bass. The room is overly warm, stuffy and smells like grandma’s attic, but all things being considered it’s relatively comfortable. The band members don’t spend a lot of time in here and my guess is, that other than having other things to attend to elsewhere, they may feel just as claustrophobic as we do. There’s only one way in and one way out of this room so you definitely feel trapped.

 Another strange feature is that right under this room is the stage, and although it’s two floors down you’d never know it, because when the support band comes on it sounds as though they’re right in the same room with you. They’re a local band, the crowd likes them.

 The food part of the refreshments for the band was very limited, but the fridge was stocked with an adequate supply of beer, soda and water. The band went out for dinner, so they came back satisfied and ready to rock the audience. 

 The band went right from this room and onto the stage, Brigitte was in the front row as usual while I hung around upstairs because I wanted to look over a folder of photos that she had put together for the band. Needless to say, I also could hear them just fine, as they were only twenty feet below where I was sitting.  


To my great surprise, as soon as the band started ripping through their first song, a constant stream of strangers came into the bands' private area where I’m stationed. I was just sitting, but now I feel like I’m on duty somehow, because as they enter they aren’t expecting anyone to be there and you can see the sudden look of disappointment on all their faces. These people were after something and I was the TYA scarecrow that kept them away from reaching what ever it was that they were after. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, let’s just say that I got between them and the refrigerator, because I don’t know for a fact what their real intent was.  Two girls came in first, then one man in his twenty’s then a few members of the support band stocking up on beer, then another  woman, then an older fellow, then the same two girls again……it was very curious indeed. There was an over abundance of activity going on there, where there shouldn’t have been any. 

In between all this traffic, I found a location where I could watch the band, listen to the music and also observe any  unwanted traffic heading towards that room.  

On the second floor there’s a wide open space where  you can view the entire stage from above, in fact I was about five feet in front of Joe and Leo but twenty feet above their heads. Behind me at the other end was a man in a booth like arrangement with a mixing board, which I assume was the lighting guy’s control station.  

 I’ve already shot my photos of the band, and Brigitte is right there below me, in the vast audience taking hers. This vantage point would’ve been a great place to shoot a video of Ten Years After in action. The sound was as excellent, as always.  Thanks to "Wolfi". Three encores later and the shows over.  The band is now thumping up clambering back up the bible black stairway and without flashlights to assist them, bang - they’re in. In less than ten minutes they’re heading back down to sign autographs and man the merchandise table.  They return once again,  this time  followed by the expected and welcomed  flow of traffic. Chick is at the table checking out his bag of supplies that he brings with him. Joe is downing a beer or two, to replenish some of his water loss, Leo is sitting to my right towelling the sweat off his bass guitar and himself,  and Ric is looking for a little snack at the table along the other wall, while also trying to track down a cork screw to open up a bottle of wine.   

 Two men in their twenties are sitting in front of me, one is a member of the support band and he heads over to Ric, and the other just sits and quietly observes all the activity that’s going on, he’s the one I decide to talk with. His name is Olaf and he just happens to be a staff writer for  “Rock Times Magazine”.  He knows all about Ten Years After and is there to write his review about this gig. His English is not only good but perfect to my ears, we skip all the time consuming  formalities and get right to the subject at hand. Olaf asked Leo a few questions and this conversation continued for quite awhile. Leo was called away so Olaf and I got the chance to know each other better. I learned that he was very impressed with the band, but I didn’t know what he was going to write in his review. I only wanted to make sure he had every opportunity to get all the information he needed, and was very curious to see what other fans thought about Ten Years After with Joe Gooch.  

In come the promoters, venue owners and their staff tagging right behind them. This signifies that the evening has come to an end. People want to go home so they clear us out in a hurry. The band files out in front of us and they head towards the door. Brigitte and I and Olaf need a few more minutes to talk but the staff is locking the place up, so we move outside into the rainy night. 


















   Photos by Reinhard Pieper, B & D


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