William Fitzsimmons made my Saturday night… and brought back some hope!
Actually, the title says it all. I should maybe start off by saying, though, that I felt pretty miserable during the last few days. I’m always sad when a chapter of my life ends. I know, the last one was probably more like a comical drama and I should be happy that the final lines are being written. However, I met some damn fine characters who went through this together with me. It is very unlikely that they all reoccur in the next chapter and that is just something I’m very melancholic about right now. I have no clue what the setting of the next chapter will be. The pen and the colour of the ink are yet to be chosen… Some people find that exciting, I find it intimidating.
That said, I can talk about how I ended up at William Fitzsimmons’ show and how it made my day. I knew he’d be in Kassel on the 9th but I was wavering whether I should go there. I LOVE his music and ‘From the water’ has been a lifesaver during the last few days. Yet, I knew that I’d have to go alone as I don’t know anyone who likes that type of music let alone knows William. On Saturday morning, I decided that I need something to distract myself so I finally got a ticket. The concert was supposed to start at 19:30 but I went there early naturally. I got a seat somewhere in the middle of the crowd but with a good front view. In the beginning, I felt somewhat lonely but later realised that there were other people who had come alone. The crowd was mixed, i.e. half were older adults, half were younger people. The Kulturzelt in Kassel is a venue with a more sophisticated audience anyway and not too big. During the day, I had asked myself already how loud the concert would be and how my ear would react. Weird, I know. I mean he plays folk. Still… If only I could forget about the ear issues. Disregarding seems to be the cure but stress and sadness keep me focused.
At exactly 19:30, all my worries were dispelled. Willy Fitz entered the stage and started the show with an acoustic version of ‘Please forgive me’. Afterwards, he played ‘Everything has changed’, I think, but I cannot remember all songs and least of all their order. My ear didn’t do anything and should not for the next hour! Once he had finished the first two songs he introduced himself saying ‘I’m William Fitzsimmons and I’m here to play music tonight. I hope that’s what you were expecting!’ He said that we should be prepared to leave sad because ‘…all my songs are fucking depressing!’. Ha… That’s true. I felt kind of embarrassed, though. Why do all Germans freak out when hearing the word fuck? The English language comprises 500.000+ words and the f-word is just ONE of them! I’m pretty sure that for the best part of the show, most people in the tent had no clue what he was singing and talking about due to insufficient English knowledge! Anyway, after the first two songs, his tour band entered – all members of the Charleston based group Slow Runner. At about mid-show, William told how he first made music as a little kid but didn’t start songwriting until six years ago: ‘I didn’t know I was a good songwriter until heavens opened and God gave me a pen… Ok, not true! He had St. Peter do it.’ Hahaha… He was so funny in between the songs. It was very cute how he threw in random German words also. He introduced one of his songs saying ‘The next song is about love getting kaputt.’ I’ll miss hearing English-German, especially after the last two years at university. When he was done with the song he said ‘I actually do believe in love. It’s one of the greatest things!’ which was honoured with clapping. William: ‘Oh you’re clapping at some really random stuff today!’ The clapping unfortunately was the one thing my ear did not like, at least that’s when it acted weird again. I decided, however, that this is not going to spoil the evening for me. At one point my ear even gave me the finger during a song (or rather at the beginning of it). Will and his band played crescendo, i.e. louder and louder. I thought that would be the ultimate killer but the louder it got the lesser the ear reacted. In that very moment, I felt a never seen strength. Ready to move on? Yes, DEFINITELY!
Later, the heat in the tent made Will complain ‘It’s so hot up here. They are trying to fry me – like a Kartoffel.’ He then played one song solo acoustic again. Afterwards, his bassist Jonathan Gray returned in a light green weightlifting-suit – because of the climate in the venue – and shook his booty. William said:‘Ok, the older people are covering their faces and hate me now and the kids don’t dare to cheer! Just go ahead.’ Later during the show, he said that it was the last gig of his tour and stated: ‘I like you guys. You’re a really great crowd. Wanna come to the US with me after the show? I got a pretty big backyard. You just gotta be into fishing ‘cause that’s what I usually do there.’ Towards the end, he finally played ‘Just not each other’ – the first Fitzsimmons song I ever heard. He introduced it with the words: ‘The next song is about hope ‘cause all things are gonna be good someday hoffentlich.’ YES! My ear made creaking sounds again as he didn’t play it acoustic but with drums and electric guitar but I didn’t care. I tried to get into the music.
The encores were played with his band on acoustic instruments and singing harmonies. He introduced the encores saying: ‘Gonna be dark. It’s William Fitzsimmons.’ The show ended with an acoustic rendition of ‘You still hurt me’, his second and final encore.
Earlier during the concert, he had said that he’d be around to chat after the show but everybody left the tent and so did I. I’m very happy I went to see him! I did not leave sad as William Fitzsimmons had predicted but with a smile. I enjoyed every minute and hope this joy will stay for a while. At least, I have a new shimmery soap-bubble in my mind that I can get back to in moments of despair.
Songs played (random order): Please forgive me, Everything has changed, Just not each other, You still hurt me, After all, I don’t feel it anymore (Song of the sparrow), Passion play, Funeral dress, Beautiful girl, The tide pulls from the moon, The winter from her leaving, Psychastenia, and Gold in the shadow. He must have played a good 20 songs which was more than usual. He had no opening act that night! The only song that I would’ve loved to hear but that wasn’t played was ‘From the water’.