Nablopomo – Day 22 – Flashback: Nina Hagen

Taking you back to an original post from 15 January 2005, this was our Nina Hagen experience. Cue the Wayne’s World wavy flashback camera effect…

Me and my wife attended the Nina Hagen show last night at the Commodore. For anyone else who attended, perhaps you can relate to some of the events of last night.

Here’s how the night went for us:

8:15 PM

We arrived at the Commodore.

As we walked in, we noticed about 60 to 80 people were already there utilizing all the prime tables and seats. So, we found a decent small round table seat for two to the left of the stage by the bar.

The first thing I noticed was the crowd. I noticed that the majority of people were a little more ‘mature’. By ‘mature’ I mean that most people were around the same age as myself; around 33 and part of the 80s generation.

As the night went on, the crowd started to get interesting. Here’s some of the highlights that I remember;

  • A guy from Cleveland that, ironically, had a ‘Cleveland Rocks’ shirt on.
  • A big balding guy that stood in the middle of the dance floor reading a book. I don’t know what he was reading, but he had people coming up to him all curious like.
  • A guy who looked like ‘Bubbles’ from Trailer Park Boys. With the exception of the orange and Yellow mohawk.
  • Two guys with very bad, black wigs. One wig looked like Marge Simpson’s hair.

What was really interesting was this gentleman who was sitting beside us. He claimed that he phoned up Nardwuar when Nina was on the show and was proud of the fact that he stumped someone with a question.

I was curious what he meant, but I didn’t want any elaboration as this gentleman spend most of the night writing down a list of single words on a notebook. Whatever was going on in this man’s head was apparently too deep for me.

9:30 P M

The first band comes on. Sorry, I didn’t catch their name.

It’s a basic electronica type of group with two guys on synthesizers switching places after every song. When I first heard them, my initial reaction was that it sounded something like Ross Geller would be playing on ‘Friends’. To their credit though, as they played a little more, they did improve. They were on for only 20 minutes, though. No encore.

As the night went on, the crowd increased. Some more highlights;

  • A guy dressed as a female sailor
  • A collared woman connected to a collared woman
  • A woman wearing a black poodle skirt, pink jacket, Mickey Mouse ears and a black painted face

Interesting.

10:45 P M

Nina comes on the stage making a grand entrance. Twirling around in a black a white cloak with her usual black hair in pink flowered berets, black swirly top, black and white leggings, and sparkly thick purple lipstick.

I have to say that being a fan of Nina from the 80s and knowing of her obvious North American hits of ‘New York, New York’ and ‘Universal Radio’, I was quite surprised at the selection of music that was played.

She opened with ‘Return of the Mother’. In addition, I also recall;

  • ‘New York, New York’
  • A cover of ‘All Apologies’
  • About three songs that sounded like Country and Western tunes
  • ‘Zero’, I believe. I thought it was a cover of the ‘Spacehog’ tune, but I don’t think so
  • ‘White Punks on Dope’
  • Other various songs typical of Nina. Sorry, I’m going by my foggy memory
  • Three encores

I can honestly say that I didn’t expect to hear most of the music that I did, and I was genuinely impressed. I didn’t expect such diverse music. As well, I didn’t expect such a receiving crowd either. Must have been the most loyal fan base I have ever seen. Good atmosphere, definitely!

12:45 A M

As the performance came to a conclusion, we decided to go to the stage door to see if we could get to see Nina after the show. During the performance, we got the hint from a woman who told us that the silk screened poster we had bought would be signed by Nina herself. It turned out that this woman was her manager. Cool.

1:10 A M

Being the gracious woman that she is, she indeed came out and was nice enough to chat with the line up of about 20 to 30 fans that had gathered. When she came out this time, she was all decked out in a black mini bomber jacket, black and pink polka dotted skirt, black leggings and some serious high heels. It made her look about 6 feet tall!

My wife basically said to her that we thought the show was a lot of fun and we had enjoyed the performance. Nina thanked her for the compliment and signed our poster. I was going to say something to her, but Nina went between us, looked out the window of the Commodore and said;

Oooh, look. Real people.

Nina Hagen

Then, she moved on. All I had time to say was…

Thanks!

Marco Battilana

Oh well. It was still cool to meet her.

Anyways, that’s about it. I think I can honestly say that was one of the most interesting shows that I have been to.