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RAINBOW TOUR Adventure in Koeln and Paris
By Stephan Krebs - SKrebs@AOL.com
When I heard about the concert in the beginning of January I thought it was just rumour. But it's true! And I couldn`t wait to get the ticket. I was afraid of a fast sold out and a friend said he is taking the day off to order the tickets. In the evening of January 17 he called me and was a bit down. He phoned the company like told but they said the good tickets are all sold out. As some more expensive tickets were offered we took them. The day after we paid we heard a commercial for tickets on a German radio station. We took some confort by the fact we got tickets for Paris in the area just before the stage.
The Way to Koeln
On February 19, 2000 we started at 12:20 h to Freiburg to pick up a friend. At 16:00 h we we arrived by our friend near Stuttgart who we met first in Bottrop at the Lotto Show. He invited us to stay the night to Sunday. We watched the "Homecoming Special" and were delighted to see us with Mariah in Top Of The Pops. On Sunday morning at 08:00 h we drove away to Koeln. Three hours later we passed the Koelnarena and found a parking lot between the Koelnarena and Mariah's Hotel "Hyatt". At the Hyatt we met among other fans our Spanish friend (J) who would drive with us to Paris. After lunch at McDonalds we waited for Mariah in from of the Hyatt hotel. We talked with other fans about Mariah and joked with the portier of the Hyatt.
At 18:30 h we were told Mariah would take the backdoor and will not see her. So we walked to the Koelarena. Before the concert I bought a Rainbow key-chain and the official blue Rainbow-Tour-T-Shirt which I wore during the concert.
You can read a long review of the main event here.
Our friend from Freiburg rushed to the railway station and got the last train of the day. I bought another two T-Shirts (the one with the album cover and a one with a lookalike picture of the Valentines CD). We searched J and got our bags out of the car. On the way to J's hotel we stopped at the Hyatt, but nothing exciting was happening there. So we followed J to his hotel and asked there if we could stay there the night too. It wasn`t a luxury hotel, but it's better then sleeping in the car and it was really cheap.
The Way to Paris
At 07:30 h we stood up and ate cornflakes for breakfast. At about 09:30 h we carried our luggage to the car and paid for the parking because on working days you have to that space. For 10:00 h we had a date with a fan from Berlin who gave us the tip to buy tour-promotion-posters at the ticket office of the Koelnarena. I bought a very large (which is actually to big for my room) and a smaller which I immediately pinned to a special place when I came home. So at 10:30 h we went on the Autobahn towards Paris. Our friend J had a "very strange dialect" and to talk to him was mostly funny because of the misconceptions. On 11:30 h we left Germany and drove through Belgium. At 16:00 h we came to the suburbs of Paris. All of us our coming from the country with small villages and we were overwhelmed by this big city and the heavy traffic. A friend of J who lives in Paris gave us an adress of a cheap hotel near the "Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy" where the show will be happen on Wednesday. The hotel was a place you wouldn`t want to make holiday, but for 3 nights it will do. First of all we walked to the "Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy" to look up where we have to stand in line on the 23rd. Since we haven't ate anything since breakfast it was time to search for some place to eat. We decided to search for a McDonalds, but it was not that easy to find something like that. J said he knows the way to a McDonalds from Mariah's hotel. After some problems getting tickets for the Metro and walking around for almost one hour we found the RITZ. Some French fans were already there and told us Luis is in there too. And what a nice surprise they are knowing my homepage! Finding McDonalds wasn`t that easy as we thought we walked another few kilometers. After eating we spend another few ours in front of the Ritz.
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2000
At 08:00 h we stood up and because of the miserable drains almost the whole shower was under water. You guessed it - we went to McDonalds at 10:00 h for breakfast with a little fewer problems then the day before. At the Ritz we met J's friends from Spain. I think they must be the realest fans on earth. The had whole photo books with pictures they made of Mariah during her visits in Spain. One girl had a gorgeous photo where she was hugging Mariah. The only sight-seeing we wanted to do in Paris is to see the Eiffel tower. So we went on to this famous building and went all the way to the top. We were impressed by this huge building. It's much bigger than I thought. We wrote some cards to our friends and family at home with lines like "We saw all of Paris, but only from the Eiffel tower". At 14:00 h we were back at the Ritz where nothing happend since we went away two hours ago. The British limousines of Mariah stood still at the same positions although the drivers were waiting in the car. Then we bought lunch at McDonalds and some sandwiches for the wait on Wednesday. In the afternoon we saw Mariah's stylist, her spokes person Cindy Berger (not sure about that) and her assistand Michael Richards (?). Although we spent almost the whole day before the hotel it was all that boring. Many people who walked by asked us what are we doing here. One time a guy from Michigan(USA) who works in Paris asked us and we explained we are waiting for Mariah. He pretty interested in our story and said he will wait for about 15 minutes. This guy stayed for almost an hour. When now someone starred at us the guy shouted "They are waiting for Mariah Carey!" and we had everytime he did it a good laugh. Around 20:00 h we decided to go to our hotel because tomorrow will be a hard day.
Palais Omniports Paris Bercy - The very long wait
On the 23rd we stood up at 05:00 h and were at 06:10 h in front of the Palais. Beside our new friends from Spain only two fans from France were sleeping in front of the Palais. At 07:00 h a girl from England and a guy from Australia arrived and we had some stuff to talk about. At 10:00 h I had in mind one third of the wait is over and time was getting by very slow. One of the guys from Spain had a walkman with speaker and we listened to Mariah's Rainbow album. At 11:30 h I ate an sandwich. At 15:00 h the pushing and shoving began. One hour later it was getting tighter and no security person around (I think in Germany that will not happen). It was only a small tast of what will come during the concert. Around 18:00 h finally some security persons arrived and they had big trouble with some guys waiting outside the queue. The guys just drunk a bottle of whiskey and hoped to get in first without standing in line. It was really confusing no fan in the front queue couldn`t talk French and the security persons couldn`t talk English (why are they had jackets with "Redskins" printed on?).
Shortly before the concert
The security started to let in the audience in small groups at 19:00 h. With my ticket in the hand I pulled my away towards the entrance. Our bags were searched at the entrance and I said something like "No camera, no bottles" and passed. The next person tore the ticket and I ran directly towards the stage. We thought the place right of middle of stage is the best since Mariah spend a lot of time there in Koeln (eG PETALS). I took out my jacket and sweatshirt and squished them into my bag. Like in Koeln the Luis Miguel CD was played. I was right on the barrier and the pressure gets bigger with every minute. At 19:30 h people started to scream behind us and we were smashed very hard against the barrier. It was very hard to breathe and I was afraid of getting injured. A few minutes later the security started to carry away collapsed persons. On the left side of the stage they pulled out one person after another and I was like "Oh my god. What is happening here" and was happy it was not on the side of the stage I was. Before the warm up group Damage began to play at 20:30 h I counted about 20 persons carried away and it's getting worse. A little bit shocked I saw how the security persons carried away the Australian fan who is actully a lot taller and more muscular than I. I was so sorry for him.
At 21:30 h lights went out and the Mariah/Bianca introduction was played
on the screens. Somehow I managed to wave to Mariah when she appeared
on stage. Now I was really happy to see just a few meters away on stage.
Mariah waved towards the persons carried away and said "Take good care of
them". The show was almost the same as in Koeln. But I think Mariah was a
bit irritated by the wild audience. This time she picked four fans to come
on stage to taste Croissants, Brie-cheese, white and red wine. One fan stormed
the stage and Mariah remarked a bit scared "Oh, we have an unvited guest".
A security person grabbed him and amost kicked him from stage. One of the
invited fans tried to make photos on stage and Mariah was very disapointed
of that action. Now Mariah discovered She only picked teenager and none of
them is of age to drink alcohol. Mariah searched for a person of age, but
I think the audience acted a bit to crazy and She gave the glas of wine
to Trey and promised more interactions with fans. Then Mariah said something
like "This set list is pretty messed up" and for some reason she didn`t perform
MAKE IT HAPPEN (how sad!).
It was pretty hard to get in concert mood. The girl behind me tried to sing along without knowing the lyrics or scremed and yelled at the security persons (asking for water?). And during the concert three persons were dragged right over my head. The shoe of one girl got hooked on my hear it hurted very bad. Just when Mariah sat 5 meters in front of me crying while singing PETALS a mother of a fan collapsed behind me and two security guards dragged the lady right over my head. At that time I couldn`t see anything but the bodies of the two man pulling this lady. Everytime they dragged a person I made myself very small (with 1,62m already one of the smallest persons in the audience) and persons behind me tried to pull me a way from the barrier to get my place. MP had some heavier problems. A tall fan behind him leaned with his ellbows on his back. When he said something to him he got kicked and dragged on the hair! And one of the security took his camera! In all this mess I found some moments to concentrate on Mariah. During CRYBABY Mariah wore a t-shirt and flashed up seductively a very sexy pink slip! When Mariah took the bathing coat the audience got very loud and yelled She don`t do it. Mariah opened up the coat again and said "Come On! It's from the Ritz and for the next I need something more appropiate". A bit disappointed Mariah told She was told not to make the entrance to the boxring through the audience. So Mariah appeared somewhere in the seating places and made her way to the stage. I think Mariah hesitated to come off stage during the performance of HERO. To the second verse she finally walked down the stairs. Sadly She walked very fast and a bit to far away to reach her with my arm and the moment I was looking forward went by very fast. MP had more luck - Mariah took his letter to her.
After the concert
I searched my bag and found behind the barrier completely empty! The other things were lying across the floor behind the barriere. Happily I found everything accept my two TGIFU singles. To my surprise they didn`t stole the Valentines CD. I know it's stupid to carry CD's to a concert, but with this bag I was waiting in front of the Ritz and hoped Mariah would sign it. Suddenly Mario shouts there are people with tourbooks! Sadly the sales man says "Sold Out". We rushed to another stand with fan articles, but the same no more tourbooks. So we asked a fan to show it to us. Most pictures were from magazines like FHM, VIBE or promo pictures of the Heartbreaker/Rainbow season. On some pages were japanese signs, so it was not a book for French fans only. In Koeln this book wasn`t sold. The blue tour-t-shirt, the same I wore in Koeln lost a lot of colour while rubbing at the barrier during the concert. I decided to buy the black t-shirt (with the Rainbow inlay picture - Mariah lying on bed) and a poster with the same picture. Now we asked to get MP's camera back. Most people couldn`t understand us or just said you can`t get it back. After a while we gave up. This was so unfair. While standing in line I was like the only one without a camera and I`m sure a lot of people had much better camera than MP and they didn`t had to give it away. Outside the hallway MP discovered someone stole his just bought poster! You can imagine we had enough of that weird people and rushed to the hotel. The next day we stood up, got to the car, said goodbye to J and left Paris at 10:00 h. Without a break we drove home and arrived at 16:00 h in the afternoon. On the way home I discovered how many blue stains and hurting body parts I had. Some of the will remind me for weeks of that crazy night. I don`t think I will ever try again to get in the first row in a concert in France.
MARIAH! - For an heavenly, sensational Show! Thanks for fullfilling my most desired dream. You Are The Best!
Mario - Thanks for the tickets, for the safe ride, just for
Jorge - You're crazy Man! Now, honestly it was a lot fun with you. Let's do it again some time.
Uwe - Thanks for letting us sleep in your home and for the funny jokes in front to the Hyatt
Minerva and the other fans from Spain - Mariah can be proud to have you as fans. Respect.
Michelle - It was nice to talk to you.
Matt - Oh man, I`m so sorry for you. Hope you saw at least parts of the show.
Stephan Krebs - SKrebs@AOL.com
26. February 2000
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