Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Ting-Tings & Back Home

On Tuesday (11/11) I went to Köln with Christian and David to go see The Ting-Tings live. If you haven't heard of them before, they're a two-person band whose song "That's Not My Name" is a huge hit in Germany. It's a pretty catchy song and their debut album is a lot of fun, so I thought it would be great to see them live.

Unfortunately, I thought the gig was (musically) disappointing. The night started off well and the crowd was pumped up and dancing, which is always great. However, as the short 45-minute set went on, I began to take notice little things that made me go "Huh?" At times, I wasn't sure if Katie White, the singer, could actually play guitar. I don't think she can, not well, anyway. Then there were points where there were definitely filler tracks. I always find filler tracks a letdown, especially when it comes to rock shows. The point of going to see a band live is to see how they perform and hear the songs differently. Sure, fillers at a pop concert are ok (like Madonna, who for the most part is dancing around frantically on stage), but at an indie rock show? Sure, the band only consists of two people, but the White Stripes are also only 2 people and they are simply amazing live. Plus, they don't use pre-recorded stuff and their songs sound completely different than what's on the album. To say the least, my enthusiasm for The Ting-Tings waned throughout the evening. I knew the setlist would be short since they only have one album, but they did not play all that well (again, my problem is the filler tracks). If the set was short and rocked, I would've been more impressed. My verdict: Don't go see The Ting-Tings live for more than 20€ until A. they come out with another album or B. they stop using filler track. However, if you're just looking for a great time to dance to a live band and don't mind spending the money, then go for it.

Thursday I flew back home to New Jersey, where I'm currently writing this entry. My flight from Düsseldorf to Amsterdam was late, so I had to run through Schipol Airport to catch my connecting flight. Luckily, I got to the gate as it was closing. On the plane, I noticed that most of the other passengers were Europeans, but they were chattering the entire time about how great it was to be able to fly to America. In comparison to my flight back to the States in July, I thought people were actually excited to fly to the U.S. I'm not exactly sure why this was the case, but I have a pretty good guess that it has to do with Obama's election last week. Every weekly news magazine and several gossip magazines (like the equivalents of People or Us Weekly) had the president-elect or him and his family on the cover. There were several special editions about him. And Europeans love Barack Obama. It's almost as if they were saying, "Welcome back to the world, America!" The plane definitely had a more positive energy about it. Another reason for it could be that I flew on a KLM/operated by Northwest flight, whereas in July I flew Lufthansa (whom I despise). Who knows?

Being back home is still strange, especially because I know I'm here for only such a short time. Cars are big, there's no poo shelf in the toilet (hooray!), I noticed the Jersey accent much more than before, and people are louder. I think I'm slowly being Germanized and I'm not sure if that's good or bad...

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