is it really worth it? Is a visit to this Helge Schneider always worth it, especially if it can cause physical discomfort and wet socks? A lot of people asked themselves this question on Sunday night. They knew that when they went to Theaterplatz it would be uncomfortable. Continuous rain, autumn …
is it really worth it? Is a visit to this Helge Schneider always worth it, especially if it can cause physical discomfort and wet socks? A lot of people asked themselves this question on Sunday night. They knew that when they went to Theaterplatz it would be uncomfortable. Continuous rain, fall temperatures and then an artist who, from a purely economic standpoint, you don’t know in advance what you’re actually getting. Only a few weeks ago the artist stopped a performance after 30 minutes because the format did not suit him and the following events went swimming with the same. This is not the case in Chemnitz – where conditions on Sunday evening were so bad as one might expect.
Some have tried to get rid of their cards beforehand in the pouring rain. Nevertheless, many went to the Theaterplatz. Armed with Frisian minks, umbrellas, multi-functional jackets and plastic capes, they faced the man on stage and his band – he kept his form in a fancy suit and stayed largely dry. The initial situation already contained a lot of nonsense, which the artist obviously liked, as he had his Bodo tea machine with him for his own comfort, which handed him drinks between songs.
Helge Schneider’s art actually fits into the smoky jazz bars, pubs and small venues that he fills with clever madness. Due to the rain which pushed visitors under all available shelters – except the badass who persevered in front of the stage – the events in the theater square became more detailed, more intimate. From his attendant on stage, he sang of the sun, which shines – but just above the clouds, mocked Sinatra’s aging. Animators on the theme of gender and electric cars. Now, one might ask: is what Helge Schneider is doing still relevant today? After all, he has continued his streak steadily for several decades with a high level of consciousness. Burlesque couples with jazz, standards with improvisation and madness. Or is it rather that of other comedians “of the past” – like Otto Waalkes or Jürgen von der Lippe, who found them all funny at the beginning – but today you smile a little shyly at your own sins of youth.
The apparition in Chemnitz showed: it works. Because he ironically plays the jazz classic “Mood Indigo” and lets everyone sing “Katzenklo”. And then, by the way, between all the dumplings, there are phrases like “There will be a time when there will be no more nature – only Tik Tok, Instagram and Amazon”. They are then in the room and while the audience is still digesting the next song, the next improvisation, show interludes whose end cannot be predicted at the beginning.
Opinions have been divided on Helge Schneider for decades. Many cannot do anything with his art – others love him. And why? Because his kind of spontaneity, seemingly aimless humor, nonsense on top of seriousness requires letting go and moving forward.
And was it worth it to get wet on Theaterplatz? He did, but what does that mean worth it. The peculiarity of Helge Schneider’s art, its irony, its spontaneity, is that it has never really borne fruit – clean, too little measurable. Never quite over time, by no means late – rather a bit behind. In a space of absurd art that makes people sing loudly in a floating aluminum poncho: “Sing with me and laugh with me, bus driver”. The visitor standing in the constant rain is overwhelmed by lines like “Don’t be sad, little chickadee!” touch. Just because he can. Because it’s not only silly, it’s Dada too and it only works live and not on the couch watching TV or streaming online.