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WOW. Thank You.
Well, with this German tour so many of my biggest fan dreams came true that I still get wet tears when I think about it. After the Rainbow Tour in 2000 it was clear I had to visit every concert Mariah gives in Germany. Although it's without a doubt the craziest thing I ever made, it was a hell of a joyride.
Hamburg. October 10, 2003
We drove the 820 Kilometers to Hamburg on October 09, checked in in our hotel and went to Mariah's hotel to give her a warm welcome. Sadly it was the only time we saw Mariah arriving or leaving her hotel without giving autographs. At the Color Line Arena we arrived early although we had seated places. So we waited outside and saw Mariah arrive at about 18:30 h. Before the concert I bought two more tour t-shirts and the opening act Yvonne Catterfeld began in time at 20:00 h and sang for about 30 minutes. Then the stuff from the opening act get put off stage while Jay-Z (Big Pimpin`), 2 Pac (California Love), Stevie Wonder and even Miss You by Mariah Carey feat. Jadakiss get played over the speakers. On 20:50 h the black curtain opened and the Chambracelet curtain was revaeled. At 21:00 h the lights went out and on a white curtain you could see painted monuments and landmarks from all around the world while snippets of Mariah's biggest hits were played. Then some dancers came in front of the curtain and danced to some drum beats. Long seconds later the music of the Heartbreaker remix started and with an amazing applause Mariah came sining and dancing right from the opposite from the stage walking through the audience. Mariah really knows how to make a big entrance. Although I saw the show now four times I still don`t know the exact order of the songs. I think Dreamlover was next and to Through The Rain Mariah was sitting on a big arm chair. Actually I LOVE the Charmbracelet much more than the Rainbow show. The concert has an excellent song order, Mariah's voice is better than ever (believe it or not), the dresses are Mariah-style all very short and sexy but still classy, the costumes changes are very quick and very good bridges like dancers or video screenings. It's almost nerve wrecking until Mariah comes on stage to perform a small part of I Know What You Want with some very sexy dance moves. In Hamburg seemed to have some extra fun. As She shaked her booty she was laughing and grinning all the way. The entrance from the very top of the stage singing Subtle Invitation was also very spectacular. Mariah does also a great job introducing the band. After that Mariah and Trey Lorenz sang together I`ll Be There. Trey stayed on the main stage and his solo song Friend Of Mine along with the back ground singers. Towards the end of the song you can truly feel and hear how much fun singing can be. Trey and the three background singers have amazing voices. Then the first notes of Bringin`On The Heartbreak lead the concert to a spectacular rock show. Mariah sings as louds as she can and Vernon "Ice" Black plays an awesome guitar solo. For Honey Mariah does the sexy dance choerography which she showed many times before and is still so much fun to watch. People in front of me stood up and so I stood up too and danced along. Sadly there was a lady behind who got very angry and complained she bought seated places not standing places. So I sat down and watched Mariah on the screen. To Fantasy, Always Be My Baby and Make It Happen there was no holding back. I think I stood, danced and clapped along the whole 45 minutes of the show. Since I saw VH1 Divas Live 1998 is Make It Happen one of my favourite live songs. As always Hero came much too fast. And Mariah's introduction with the heartfelt thank you to the fans brings tears to my eyes. Traditionally Mariah went off stage to shake the hands of the fans in the first row. There's nothing better than being on a Mariah Carey concert. After the concert we went to the hotel of Mariah and see her come back. When Mariah finally arrived she signed a lot of autographs. The next day we waited for Mariah to leave the hotel. At 15:35 h Mariah's bodyguards showed up followed by Mariah. For the first time I had the opportunity to take some great photos of her.
Berlin. October 13, 2003
Hey, I`m not superstitious but while driving from Hamburg to Berlin we had for more than 30 minutes a rainbow in front of us. This had to be a very good sign. After a four hour drive in a three car fan convoy we arrived in Berlin. We knew Mariah was in Monaco for the World Music Awards and did some sight seeing on Sunday. Of course we had the idea to welcome Mariah at the hotel in Berlin. Though it was said Mariah will arrive at about 2 or 3 O`Clock in the morning I said I'd rather go to bed early because we had standing places for the concert the next day. But the other fans said you have to go there, you can sleep later. So I came with and we waited until 5 (five!) O`Clock in the morning. Mariah's big limo drove into the hotel area and we called Mariah from outside the fence. The car door opened and Mariah went straight to us and everybody (about 10 fans) got an autograph. So we went to bed at 06:00 h and stood up at 10:00 h to go straight to the Max-Schmeling-Halle. Only two other fans were waiting there. At 15:00 h I counted about 50 fans. Standing places has always the big disadvantage that you seldom you which entry is gonna be opened (why can`t they make signs?). So when the doors opened at 19:00 h the people stood in line on three entries and only one got opened! Luckily I was on the right one, but the pushing got really weird because the people from the closed entries got running to our door. In the hall I was sooo happy to get position directly on the fence to right side of the stage. It was surely another dream come true. During Heartbreaker Mariah walked right before me towards the stage. During the concert I had the best time of life. I sang along, clapped and waved to Mariah. It was perfect. Noone was pushing and Mariah came several times to my side. During Make It Happen Mariah stood right in front of me and I swear she looked straight at me. An awesome reason to lose my clapping pace. What did we do after the concert? We went to her hotel. The doorman said Mariah is gone eating and it will take some time for her arrival. At about 02:30 h Mariah came. This time her bodyguard ordered us to stand in line and Mariah will stay in the car. Moments ago I almost slept in the car and when I went to Mariah's car I said something like "Thanks for the great concert" and Mariah smiled and gave me a wonderful autograph on my tourbook. Very tired and happy we went to bed at about 03:00h. We stood up at 09:00 h and sat in the car heading for Munich at 10:00 h.
Munich. October 16, 2003
In Munich we arrived at 17:00 h and were at Mariah's hotel at 18:00 h. At 18:45 h Christina Aguilera left for her concert that evening with giving only two or three autographs. Mariah arrived shortly after 19:00 h and everybody got an autograph from her. I respect Mariah's wish and don`t use flashlights. So the pictures a little blurry. While going back to our hotel we saw a big shop entry with butterflies hanging from the ceiling. We just wanted to take pictures when we discovered Lionel Cole (Piano, Keyboards) and the background singer Takeytha "Teka" Johnson went by. They were happy to be recognized and we talked with them a few minutes. The next day we visited the Olympia park and did some other sight seeing. In the evening we found out by some weird coincidences that Mariah is not in her hotel. That evening I was a bit stressed. Berlin was very exhausting, the German fanclub lead said it's possible I can go to the Meet&Greet after the concert tomorrow, though I never expected to get this many autographs I searched the two biggest record stores for a copy of my favourite album. They didn`t have Butterfly and the best they had was another copy The Remixes (Mariah signed mine already in Hamburg). So I gave up waiting at 22:20 h decided to write a letter to Mariah. Well, the others met Mariah at 23:30 h and got another autograph. On the concert day at October 16th we went to the Olympia Halle to stood in line at about 12:30 h. The standing places in Berlin were so great that we had the idea to change our seating tickets to standing tickets. It was not possible, so we bought a standing tickets and gave our seating tickets to fans who had not so good seating places. The ticket office said there were only 400 standing tickets sold and therefore there will be chairs like in Hamburg. When the security of the hall arrived the fans get very angry. Those heartless people said only 3500 tickets are sold and not all 15 entries are getting opened. The really die hard fans stood in the middle of the entries, but they had the infamy to only open the right three entries where only people stood who arrived at about 17:00 h. A friend who had more luck (or elbows) to get in reserved me a place on the right side of the first row. When Mariah arrived on stage suddenly everybody was running towards the stage and until I knew what was going on I grabbed my jacket and had to stood second row behind a girl who never clapped or sing along. Actually I had the impression that Munich was the hardest concert in Germany for Mariah. The audience seemed to be very lazy and I had the impression Mariah was affected by that. Actually she didn`t sang My Saving Grace and like in Berlin Always Be My Baby also was dropped. Which lead me to the one thing I was really disappointed by Mariah. On all three concert she asked if she should sing Can`t Take That Away (which only the die hard fans know) or Without You (her biggest hit in Germany). All wild screaming and shouting for Can`t Take Away by the fans couldn`t be louder than the main crowd who all know Without You. After concert I was really nervous while putting my backstage Meet & Greet sticker on my Chambracelet Tour (urban) t-shirt. The winners were all lead to a special room in which we had to left the jackets and bags. The Honey B. Fly winners (like me) were lead to a special room with a camera and a CD player playing Automatic Princess, Jadakiss (We`re Gonna Make It) and Yours by Mariah Carey & Justin Timberlake(!). Finally Mariah arrived in white tube top, jeans, no sunglasses and I found the make up very demure. She simply looked great. Mariah shaked hand with everybody and I was able to hand her my letter I wrote the night before. Then Mariah stood in the middle we prepared for the photo and two pictures were taken. Now everybody had the chance to shake hands with Mariah and say some few words. I said something like "this is my seventh concert" and Mariah answered with a beautiful smile "WOW. THANKS.". Mission completed. It was like a dream. Shaking her hand, giving her a letter and just say something to her. Man, I was happy. At the hotel Mariah stopped and gave as usual everybody an autograph. On the 17th we waited until Mariah left the hotel in Munich.
Zürich. October 22, 2003
I live in the very south of Germany near the borders to Switzerland
and France. So Zürich is definately the nearest town Mariah ever
was. It's just over one hour driving by car away. The Swiss division
of Universal announced they want a big warm welcome by the fans for
Mariah. So we drove on Monday October 20 to Zürich to see Mariah
arriving at the hotel. Well, the big warm welcome were just we three
German fans, the Spanish guy and our friend from Switzerland. Mariah
was in a hurry and gave only one autograph. A disappointing start. On
October 22nd we stood at the Hallenstation at about 12:00 h where already
some fans from Holland and France were waiting. I got the luck to be
one of the first to get in at about 18:30 h. So I got a sensational
good place directly on the barrier on the left side of the middle of
the stage. Between the barrier and the stage were only 1,5 meter, nearer
than in any other concert I have been. Before the concert the Dutch
fans handed out balloons they made for the concert in Rotterdam (big
thanks to DMCA). When Mariah arrived at about 20:10 h the fans in the
first row had all balloons with "I Love Mariah" on it. From
the beginning I had the feeling there was a better connection between
Mariah and the audience than in Munich. When Mariah said now it's time
for the audience to choose one song many fans shouted for Can`t Take
That Away, but Mariah surprised us be choosing between Can`t Take That
Away and Petals! CTTA won and finally I could hear my favourite song
live again. It was a very emotional moment when Mariah get down on her
knees at the end of the song about some fans threw teddybears, letters
and gifts the stage. During introducing the band and the duet with Trey
it was a lot of fun. Mariah and Trey seemed to have a very good time.
This time Mariah also did My Saving Grace again. Always Be My Baby was
left out. Therefore Mariah sang before Vision Of Love her 1994 hit Without
You. Sadly my plan to touch Mariah's hand during Hero didn`t worked
out again. Maybe the space between stage and audience was to small.
Now it's very hard to say what concert I liked the most. I guess I had
to choose between Berlin and Zürich.
To Mariah Carey. For being the nicest and most fan friendly star in the whole world. I will never take this for granted. Thank You very much.
To Mario (we made it, 2100 km), Tommy (for arranging the Meet&Greet and your big support for Mariah) and to all the other fans who made waiting so much fun - Jorge, Andrea, Nicole, Sabine, Susan, Thomas, Harald and all the other fans I met or simply go to the concert.
To Mariah's personell, the band, the background singers, Robert Payne, Wayne Newton, Roque Jiminez and all the others for hard work.
As last words I want to write about the obstacles around all this concert tour. First of all I had to take all holiday days I get from my boss around Mariah's concerts. So I had to work the whole spring and in summer when everybody was enjoying the hottest summer I also got no day off. Than it scares me to think how many weeks I had to work just to earn the money for the trips. Especially searching for the right hotels was not that easy. In Hamburg I bought two tour t-shirts and after the concert they were gone! And in Zürich my New Beetle got the first scratches while parked outside the concert arena.
Paris. November 04, 2003
Back in April 2003 Paris was the only sure European Tour date and it was also the first ticket that was sold. So it was obvious to buy the ticket for Paris. In Summer I actually thought the concert in New York, three concerts in Germany and one in Switzerland would be enough. But after New York it was ridiculous not going to Paris. Neither one of us wanted to drive so we came out with the idea by plane. Since there's no cheap airline between our nearest Basel-Mulhouse we figured out flying by Easyjet from Geneva to Paris and take the train from Basel to Geneva. On November 03 we took the train in Basel SBB on 11:24 h and arrived in Geneva at about 14:21 h. It was just an one hour flight and we arrived at 18:30 h in our hotel in Paris. In the McDonalds on the Champs Elysee we met some Mariah fans from France who showed us the way to the "Four Seasons - George V" hotel where Mariah stays. Like expected there were alot more people in front of the hotel waiting for Mariah than in any other city. So when Mariah came out at about 23:00 h the hotel security needed help from some police men. Actually I didn`t saw Mariah leaving the hotel. I only guessed where the screaming and the flashes came from where Mariah was. To make it even more crazy, Mariah just drove around the hotel to dine just 200 meters from the hotel away. We waited there until about 02:00 h (?) to get tricked by Mariah's security placing a limo of the main restaurant exit and Mariah left through the backdoor. They said there were too many fans waiting. The next day we went by the concert hall and saw already a few hundred fans waiting at 11:30 h. The ones in the first row came at 04:30 h in the morning. Man, I was glad to have seated places. Then we did sight seeing visiting famous places like Notre Dame, Louvre, Pyramides, Eiffel Tower and more. In the afternoon we wanted to see Mariah leaving the hotel for the concert. There were even more people than the day before. After all the fan meetings in front of Mariah's hotels in Germany and Switzerland it was very strange seeing all those people waiting for Mariah. The police even sent a dozen Police men to secure the hotel exit. So we left at 18:30 h to go back to our hotel and then to the Palais Omnisport De Bercy. Inside the arena you could this audience is different from the other concerts I was. When the lights was still on a La-Ola wave was started which made it's way around the arena audience for about 7 or 8 times. On the opposite site of the arena was a block that never stood up when the La-Ola-wave came and all the other people booing at them. It was very funny. The two DJ's from radio NRJ France were welcomed with loud screams and they made over half an hour dance show. With loud noise from the audience the curtain for Charmbracelet was finally revealed at 21:30 h and soon the lights went out. And although there was a lot of pushing and shoving in front of the stage Mariah came straight through the audience. This time the curtain opened the stage before Mariah was on stage. Before the concert I discovered an extra camera directly before the stage and one in the middle of the arena. So I had the impression the concert got filmed for DVD or homevideo and Mariah gave a little extra in every song. Although my seats was kinda far away from the stage I could feel the energy. Mariah sang more songs than on any other concert. Including "Can`t Take That Away (Mariah`s Theme)", "My Saving Grace", "Always Be My Baby" and "Without You" (before "Vision Of Love"). For "Bringin` On The Heartbreak" Mariah wore a new silver dress and Vernon "Ice" Black rocked like hell. It was a fantastic concert. I would be sooo great to have it on DVD.
Milan. November 07, 2003
Milan was really a very last minute decision. We always knew Milan is with only 4 hours by car one of the nearest concerts. What I was worried about was the country because we can`t talk italian and the traffic which is very different from Germany. We enjoyed the concert in Paris as the last show we gonna see. After the concert I said to Mario that I will drive to Milan when it's only for the concert hall (Filaforum Assago). So when I came from Paris on Wednesday I immediatly went on the internet to search for tickets. At 06:20 h on Friday November 04 I drove away heading for Milan. Four hours later we arrived in Milan. Of course we landed in the middle of the chaotic traffic in Milan. I think I died a thousands deaths scared my New Beetle could get damaged and was happy to have my safely on a parking lot in the middle of town where it stayed for the rest of our visit. At 11:30 h we met our friend Jorge near Mariah's hotel and I he was very, very surprised and happy to see us again. We wanted to see Mariah leave the hotel before the concert and it was kinda drama getting the tickets at the Filaforum and going back to town by subway and bus. Anyway we reached Mariah's hotel at about 18:30 h and Mariah came out around 18:45 h. Although it looked like Mariah would rush into her car, Mariah surprised us again by walking towards the about 20 to 30 fans and giving autographs. Once again my arm was too short and I was very sad not have my camera with me. It surely would have been the best pictures I ever took. But it was sooo good to see her so near and it's everytime overwhelming how a nice presence Mariah is. On the way back to the Filaforum we met two girls from Japan. So we were six people talking four different languages (English for all of us, Spanish, German, Japanese). Beside us stood an Italian lady who totally in disbelieve stared at us. I was kinda disappointed how slowly the arena was getting filled and although our seats are almost equal to ours in Paris we said in the middle of a no-fan block. I guess in Milan Mariah had the oldest audience. But when the lights went out on 21:30 h I just enjoyed the concert to the max. The pre-movie, the dancers, Mariah arriving on the opposite of the stage and walking through the crowd singing Heartbreaker (Remix), dancing on stage to Heartbreaker and Dreamlover. Through The Rain struck me like in New York. Mariah sang the song so emotionally and got tears in my eyes. Wild clapping and cheering at Mariah's announced of My All from one of her favourite albums (Butterfly). Comparing to performances in earlier years I was soo amazed by the clarity, warmth and range of Mariah's voice. Once I again I enjoyed the circus play to Clown followed by another a touching performance of Can`t Take That Away (Mariah`s Theme). Mariah didn`t ask the audience which song and at the right side of the stage was a very good fan area and I could actually see Mariah was very happy by the reaction they give to her for singing that song. Honey is still so much fun ...and She won`t stop. To I Know What You Want Mariah came out very early sang the chorus life before Guess You Know I Die For You... and I Will Climb A Mountain High..... Mariah had obviously a great time on stage. The curtains opens and Mariah is hanging on the ceiling saying How You`re Doing? Coming down singing Subtle Invitation and Mariah lying on the piano is just so sexy. On the shadows of the curtains you could see the saxophone losing his instrument! My Saving Grace was another tearbringer. Introducing the band Lionel Cole (piano, keyboards), Sam Sims (bass) very low singing, 'Gigi' Gonaway (drums) with sexy booty shaking, Eric Daniels playing up the Keyboards and Mariah picking up a very high note is everytime amazing and Vernon "Ice" Black playing the melody on the guitar Mariah just sing to introduce him. The introduction of the background singers Takytha "Teka" Johnson, Sherry Latrease Tatum, Mary Ann Tatum and of course Trey Lorenz is another highlight. Everytime I see Mariah and Trey performing I`ll Be There I'm impressed how good these two go together. They have so much fun together and that fun really comes across. Now I desperately want to have Trey's solo song Friend Of Mine on CD. It a fantastic song. When the three ladys add there spice to the song at the end I'm everytime struck how amazing voices they have. Bringin` On The Heartbreak... a long time I longed for a song where Mariah can sing very loud and BOTH surely brings the house down by a gigantic rock show. Escpecially at the end when Mariah starts to scream it's like WOW! In Milan Vernon "Ice" Black gave an extraordinary guitar solo when he played the guitar with his mouth. Yo! New York's In Da House... it's just a sweet fantasy baby... The sexy chair dance show. Clapping time... Make It Happen... I love this song so much... don`t let Go - don`t never ever let go. Now I got a little melancholic. Only a few songs and the last Charmbracelet Concert for me is over. Mariah came back on stage giving an awesome performance of Without You. In Paris drummer Gigi Goneway messed up by banging the end of Vision Of Love to early and in Milan Mariah prolongued the end extra long before Mariah gave an unmistakable sign to Gigi that is time to bang the end. Mariah`s announcement of Hero brings tears to my eyes and this time Mariah made the whole first row during the 2nd verse of the song. Way to early the Butterfly reprise comes on and Mariah says goodbye walking up the stairs. Now I saw the concert seven times and every single time I had the best time of my life. It was definately worth all the money, time, stress, traffic, waiting or whateva. I had a blast every time and the memories will surely be a lifetime treasure. After the concert we went to Mariah`s hotel and awaited her arriving. Like mostly Mariah was gone eating and celebrating. So it was just before four O`Clock when Mariah`s limo drove into the hotel driveway. Robert "No Pics" Payne came out and said Mariah will not come to us but each of us can give him an item to sign. So I gave him the printed picture of the Meet&Greet in Munich. Robert went back to the car and gave it Mariah. One minute later he came back with the signed items (about ten) and gave them all to me. At this moment the door of the car was opened and Mariah came out. We said "Hi Mariah" and waved at her. And Mariah came straight towards to us. Through the now closed fence gate we reached for her and Mariah made sure to touch all of our hands. Feeling her very warm hands touching mine was without any doubt worth waiting four hours in the cold rain. It's so good to see how happy Mariah is to meet her fans. Although Mariah never talks very much during the meetings (only Hi, Thank You, Bye) it's obvious how much she enjoys meeting the fans and to me it's the best way to personally show Mariah how much I love her and what she's doing.
To The Top
Updated October 18, 2003 (Hamburg, Berlin, Munich)
Zürich added on October 26, 2003
Autographs and last words added November 02, 2003
Milan added November 09, 2003
Paris added November 16,2003