By force of habit, my yearly Zappanale quest starts with a trip to Hamburg to catch the opening concert at St.Katharinen. The concert was scheduled around 20h00. Hamburg is about 525 km from where I live, so I left at noon. By car.
I took a couple of breaks (2) to stretch my legs to hit the Stau (traffic jam) in Essen at 17h00 where the police made everyone leave the highway. Still don't know why.
Leaving the highway took about an hour and I still had some 50 km to go. So I drove from one little village to the next, slowly moving forward.
The concert at St.Katharinen was scheduled to start at 20h00. Doors at 19h30.You have to know that St.Katharinen is a really big church. Concerts in churches have to overcome resonance, echo and the like. If you're not seated in one of the front rows, you'll wonder why you're there.
Furthermore, NDR radio wasn't there to make a recording so Steffen and a bunch of fellow Zappateers wanted to fulfill that task. Another reason to be there on time.
The concert itself was actually two concerts. There were four people on the stage. Some pieces (the Zappa ones) were performed by the Italian Inventionis Mater duo and the other pieces (non-Zappa) by Siglinde Koch-Sembdner and Uwe Warschkow.
The concert itself was great. A well-balanced setlist and superb performances, but most important: a sound guy that knew what he was doing. Minimum amplification. Just enough to get the instruments in balance.
Max was there, as was STV and Margo, Ob, Clint, Christian, Martin, Kirsten, Steve and Mary-Jane, and Mick.
During the intermission even more familiar faces turned up: Luuk, Annemarieke, Chato,...
It looked like I wasn't the only one to have encountered this major traffic jam...
Nevertheless, an excellent start.
Here's Inventionis Mater, from a little while ago.
Pierpaolo Romani, clarinet and bass clarinet
Andrea Pennati, classic guitar