For the inclined observer, the sight in front of the Backstage venue in Munich was not a too common one: people of all ages, shapes and shades cued up far in front of the Kulturzentrum and waited paitently for admission to the venue - thanks to KISSIN' DYNAMITE, who called upon the masses for an evening full of classic 80s heavy metal. The masses, in fact, followed. And so, shortly before 8pm, more than 1000 people fill the completely sold-out Backstage Werk and wait eagerly for the five Swabians' show.
JOHN DIVA & THE ROCKETS OF LOVE
But first, it is JOHN DIVA & THE ROCKETS OF LOVE's turn to thouroughly heat up the audience. With their colorful outfits and songs somewhere between Glam Rock and Hair Metal, the five Americans do exactly that and conjure up the spirit of Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake, Ratt & co on stage. With rock 'n roll hymns like 'Rock 'n Roll Heaven' they even throw a little bit of Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd into the mix. Singer John Diva, besides showing off his remarkable vocal talent, proves to be a quite charismatic frontman, quickly captivating the audience. Drummer Lee Stingray is obviously in the zone when playing his instrument, which makes watching him an absolute delight.
Unfortunately, the rest of the band remains a bit static, which does not mean their performances isn't solid. But John Diva remains the only one moving on stage. Concerning sound and musical performance, JOHN DIVA & THE ROCKETS OF LOVE are not particularly innovative, but that doesn't harm the mood at all. When their show comes to an end after 45, Diva and his mates didn't really bring anything new to the table, but still delivered an immensely enjoyable performance.
Photo: Manuel Miksche
What now follows is the moment the whole audience has been eagerly waiting for: Kissin' Dynamite enter the stage and fire up (no pun intended) the venue with their opener "I've got the fire", to which the crowd responds with thunderous applause after this first song. And this sets the tone for the whole evening. Energetically the quintet celebrates their songs and delights the audience with a killer setlist. It is hard to tell who is more enthusiastic about the show - the band or the crowd. Either way, all of the five Sleazers really outdo themselves during their set. Singer Hannes Braun delivers a breathtakingly insane vocal performance, and while guitarists Jim Müller and Ande Braun alternately elicit fat riffs and sometimes driving, sometimes soulful solos from their instruments, bassist Steffen Haile and drummer Andi Schnitzer provide powerful rhythms and absolute tightness with impeccable ease.
In the middle of their set, the Sleaze Rockers get support from Exit Eden member Anna Brunner. However, her performance doesn't really add anything truly valuable to the gig as a whole. All the more it is noticeable how effortlessly the Swabians captivate and control the audience - especially frontman Hannes Braun obviously enjoys eliciting loud and louder cheers from the crowd again and again. The whole performance is best described as a dynamic give and take between the audience and the band. The latter is visibly touched and attests the audience to be "the best crowd of this tour so far". In return, the crowd demands several encores at once, which the quintet is only too happy to give - which, unfortunately, makes the gig unnecessary lengthy towards the end. Altogether the Swabians play for two hours, but can't provide enough variety throughout, since their setlist mainly consists of classic rock/heavy metal songs. Especially in the last half hour the songs and the encores seem a bit more of the same. A somewhat more slimmed down set and a return to the old proverb "Always leave them wanting more" would have made the performance even stronger overall.
But if you look at the insane atmosphere, the incredibly strong performance and the obviously good-humoured band, this shortcoming doesn't detract from the in every respect positive impression of the evening. Who wouldn't stay a while longer when the crowd keeps cheering you like this? In every way, KISSIN' DYNAMITE proved that a sold out Backstage Werk was the appropriate stage for them.
Photo: Manuel Miksche
- I've Got The Fire
- Love Me
- She Came
- Sleaze Deluxe
- Heart Of Stone
- Waging War
- Six Feet
- Still Around
- You're Not Alone
Text: Richard Mehlhose