Review – Helene Fischer Live – Arena Tournee

A woman stands amongst the tangled strands of a steel labyrinth. A distant bass rumbles overhead. Pressure grows. No, this isn’t a scene from a Ridley Scott movie. This is Helene Fischer live in concert.

You might remember the blog post about my desperate plea for courage and overcoming a travel phobia to see her live. (Here.) I wrote that last year, and I’m now two months away. Still no jitters, no nerves, and now I know what I’ll be seeing now that the arena tour has been released on DVD.

From early images and video clips I had reservations about this production. Helene Fischer is an all round entertainer and isn’t shy about flying about, but, I wondered, would this show be more circus act than concert performance?

Ultimately my concerns were unfounded, but at the end of the show, nearly three hours later there was something odd, something . . . missing.

Maybe it was the cinematic format; the slow motion sequences, the black and white clips backstage, the audience noise pushed back in the sound mix. Maybe it was the new song arrangements, melancholy one minute, wistful the next, as if there was some emotion reaching out, but not quite making it.

One of many aeronautical sequences…

For this tour Helene used 45 Degrees, a division of Cirque du Soleil and to me circuses have always been a paradox: bright, lively, colourful, factories of happiness, but draw back the canvas and behind the scenes are poverty, unhappiness, transience. (Real circuses might be nothing like this, but that’s my impression based on film, television, documentaries and literature.)

The prevailing mood of the DVD was best illustrated by the song Mit Keinem Anderen, a typical rousing slab of schlager that raises the roof of the biggest stadium, but here it was stripped back in the opening bars, sung over a laconic piano accompaninent and with all the brooding potential of a summer rainstorm. It eventually burst out, but those eery piano notes remained throughout the arrangement.

Helene reaches out during Ich Wollte Mich Nie Mehr Verlieben

Watching the documentary gave some explanation to what was going on. The theme was time and Helene’s experiences that had formed her perception of the world. I could see that on the second viewing. The hydraulic ramp that circles above the head of the crowd like the hand of a clock face, the high wire playground swing in a swirl of autumn gold leaves; the concert seemed to be a journey backwards in time and on the way moments of sadness, moments of hope, moments of fantasy, a longing to fly (the breathtaking aerial choreography of Ich Wollte Mich Nie Mehr Verlieben – ‘I Never Wanted to Fall in Love Anymore’)

Time ticks by, transports us back, carries us forward

And then it came home. I was projecting my own life onto the emotion and atmosphere of the concert: the personal journey, the evocative arrangements taking me back in time, the current transition in career and hope that things will turn out better. . . . This concert touched a nerve, a deep nerve.

The stadium tours are usually a little different to the preceding arena tours, but Helene Fischer has invested so much time and energy in the 45 Degrees production that I’ll see the same show in Dusseldorf and it’ll be interesting to see which nerves are touched when I’m there in the flesh, immersed in the experience, and that giant ticking clock hand passing overhead. Maybe I’ll decide not to come home.

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7 thoughts on “Review – Helene Fischer Live – Arena Tournee

  1. Hi. We’ve just seen the postponed Berlin concert (8 Sept 2018) the original having been cancelled in February 2018 when HF was ill. That time we flew from Bristol, this time from Birmingham and had a bumpy flight. Was this an omen – another bout of illness to strike? Well, we need not have worried. The concert (or is show a more accurate term?) was incredible. As you say, HF is an all-round entertainer and it proved to be a fantastic unbelievable show. I thought the planning, the way the songs were reworked and staged, the aerial sequences, the dancing were all world class. She is up there with the very best in the world. In my view, if she sang in English rather than Deutsch she would be world renowned. I hope you enjoyed Düsseldorf.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment, Peter. I wanted to see the arena show, but my preferred venue, Vienna, coincided with another pre-booked holiday. I think she really pushed the boat out with the 45 Degrees production; it was certainly her most mature and thought provoking show to date.

      I’ll be back in Dusseldorf in December to see the Christmas Show recordings. Hopefully she’ll do a one off show next year, something like the Kesselhaus or Waldbuhne concerts. Dusseldorf came and went in a blur and I had to check out Youtube videos to remind me it actually happened. (There’s a write up here and links to the photos I took.)
      https://theopeningsentence.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/4152/

      Can I presume you’re a British fan living in the UK? Drat, if so, that would mean I’m no longer unique!

      Chris

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      1. Hi Chris

        Well, yes, I am a second fan and my sister (who came with me to Berlin) is a recent convert. My wife, on the other hand, likes her but I wouldn’t describe her as ‘a fan’.

        I first saw her HFness for Das Sommer Event in Munich in June 2013 then in Vienna in 2015 for the Farbenspeil Tour (I didn’t like the Ernst- Happel Stadion venue though) when we lived in Austria. Now back in the UK, we have German TV on satellite at home so can see the Christmas show.

        As you probably gathered from my previous comments, we thought her arena show was outstanding. If you can get a ticket then I’d recommend going (there is a concert in NL). Failing that the dvd is very good too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I was about to buy a front of stage ticket for the Vienna stadium concert, but the last one sold before I could click the checkout button, which is how I ended up seeing her in Dusseldorf instead. The Ernst Happel Stadium looked a bit dark to me, judging by the Youtube videos. Dusseldorf was extraordinary.

          Okay, so there’s three UK fans; the moderators of the fan club told me I was the only British member, so for now I’ll hang on to that accolade instead!

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    1. It’s weird. I haven’t felt a twinge of anxiety no matter how hard I think about going. By then, July, I’ll be working part time – the rest of the time developing the new business – so I’ll be blogging more. I don’t like not keeping up with other bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

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