Finally, we are being treated the way we ought to be in Berlin; we were invited to watch U2 play live at The Brandenburg Gate from the chic top floor balcony of the Allianz building which is next to the French Embassy and overlooks the Tor.
I have no idea how we achieved VIP status, but assume that either it was some sort of mistake, or else that The Bavarian is indeed a Very Important Person (I suppose I could ask him, but after all these years of not quite knowing what exactly he does, I think it would be rude – a bit like asking someone what their name is after having already talked to them on several occasions).
In any case, being plebs at heart, we behaved in an un-VIP like way – gulping down as much red wine and food as possible and laughing gleefully at the more than 10,000 people gathered below us.
But everything has its price and, in a thoroughly anti-Rock’n’Roll manner, we were subjected to a speech by the lovely people at Allianz (the second biggest insurance company in the world) full of corporate gaga before the gig.
U2 were fantastic, and played 5 songs, starting with One Love during which communist / east-west reunification iconography was projected onto the Brandenburg Gate – you can see it below.
There was much speculation about the mystery guest that would be appearing during the U2 set – the Germans were hoping that it would be David Hasselhoff, which I thought was a joke until The Bavarian told me that I should stop laughing so hard because they were dead serious. Luckily, the special guest turned out to be Jay Z instead, who performed during Sunday Bloody Sunday.
Fortunately for the Germans, David Hasselhoff did make a special appearance at the MTV awards at the O2 Centre later on that evening. Once again I found myself in a conundrum over whether to laugh or not…either he is a comic genius or he’s a drunkard who takes himself much too seriously. You decide.
If you want more, there’s an interesting article in The Spiegal on Germany’s love affair with The Hoff.