Original Portuguese version here: http://www.backstageforum.com/t4671-reportagem-guano-apes-coliseu-do-porto-17-de-fevereiro#29940, with pictures by Sandra Manuel (www.sandramanuel.com) I stayed in the back this time, with my point-and-shoot Canon, so no great pics of my own. Sorry ’bout that
» The concert was scheduled for 22:00 and that’s when it promptly started. And while the title of the opening theme was exactly the opposite of what happened that night – “Quietly” – the following track described it literally: “Oh What A Night”.
After saying “you know what? You can’t stop me” and “I’ve always liked to open my eyes” and perform the matching songs, Sandra Násic addressed to the audience, declaring how great it was to be back in Porto. And pointing her finger in a certain direction, she added with a smile: “and you were there last night in Lissabon”. Dedicated fans.
In fact, when after “Sunday Lover” it was guitarist Henning Rümenapp‘s turn to speak, we learnt that Portugal was like GUANO APES‘ second home. That playing their first concert in our country (in Braga) after the reunion in 2009 had been an intentional thing. And that the way they were welcomed made them feel that playing together again had been the right decision. “So thank you!”.
Sandra asked the crowd who had the new album. Although Coliseu was full (not bursting at the seams, but nicely packed) there weren’t many who answered, with Sandra remarking so. But with or without the album, almost the whole venue shouted the chorus in “Fire In Your Eyes”.
By the end of “Pretty In Scarlet” it was Rümenapp who spoke again, after trading the guitar for the bass and Stefan Ude trading the bass for the guitar. He told us how sometimes, while writing, they exchanged instruments and felt like they had just created the best riff in the world… only to realise on the following day that “it was totally crap”. But in one of those times they’d managed “something like this”, starting to play “Tiger”.
More ahead, Sandra asked if we were or had “a fanman” with us. “Tonight I’m going to be a fangirl for you”.
Rümenapp then introduced “the last song”, “This Time”, thanking for the nth time all the support we’ve always given them through all those years.
A few minutes in the dark, with the audience screaming “GUANO! GUANO!” and stomping their feet hard on the floor, and the encore began with the instrumental “Plastic Mouth”. Sandra returned to the stage afterwards, for “Staring At The Sun”.
The singer had in her hand a cup with something golden, that from a distance could look like beer. But she said that, on tour, it wasn’t always a good idea to drink alcohol and nothing like honey to sooth the vocal chords. I don’t know if it was pure honey or mead (this drink has become pretty popular in our country), but Sandra said that it was Portuguese. Then, getting closer to a fan in the first row, she handed her the cup, asked her to stick her finger on it and lick it. “Yeah! Now what do you want to hear?”, to which the girl screamed at the top of her lungs “BIG IN JAPAN!”. And it was precisely the ALPHAVILLE cover that came next. With so much gratitude and satisfaction on the band’s side, I almost expected they’d change the lyrics to “big in Portugal” at some point. But that didn’t happen.
The next song was really the last one and this time the whole crowd asked for “Lords Of The Boards”. But first, Rümenapp took the mic once again, to say that was the last concert of the “Bel Air Tour”, and although he was sad, he couldn’t imagine a better way to end it than in Portugal. He took the chance to introduce the back-up guitar player Mirco “Godi” Hildmann, who had been with them through Europe (“Portugal is definitely the best!” shouted Hildmann, raising a cup). And as we were in Carnival season, the previous day, while strolling in Lisbon, they had found a cheap store where they bought some costumes for the last show. Rümenapp dressed a weird cassock, Ude played Super Man (although without the famous S on the chest – cheap store, remember?), Hildmann was Spider Man and drummer Dennis Poschwatta wore a big Afro wig. Sandra had no Carnival piece, but she didn’t want to stay behind her bandmates, so she went for her sun glasses.
And so came to the end an excellent rock concert, marked by Sandra‘s energy, Ude‘s jumps, Poschwatta‘s strength (he even broke something from the drumkit – I believe it was a pedal), Rümenapp‘s kindness and Hildmann‘s enthusiasm. And a remarkable professionalism from all of them. Regarding the audience, it’s no wonder that GUANO APES have such affection for the Portuguese people. «