Operator Please

And Now Something Completely Different: Hanover Smells Like Old Ladies and is Just as Exciting. My Odyssey to the Hurricane Festival

What were we doing there in the first place? Our Australian friends from Operator Please were supposed to arrive in Hanover sometime in the morning so we figured we might as well meet them and go to the festival together. After spending the night in a hostel located in a rather dubious area – stores with names like "Super Iran" and stickers on cars praising the one and only true religion didn't inspire confidence that a constitution based on the principles of democracy and liberty was held in high esteem here – one of the first things we did was to try and call the band. No answer. Fair enough, it is a long trip after all, although they would have had a couple of hours of sleep at this stage.

This call was followed by several others. Wasting time was getting more and more difficult. What was there to do? Wandering around aimlessly certainly wasn't inspiring, neither was getting a second breakfast nor strolling down the main shopping street. We were bored out of our brains.

The only relief: The internet. Not only did it offer an escape from the mind numbing mediocrity of the place but it also, via of Operator Please's newsletter, revealed that Qantas employees were on strike and therefore it wasn't sure if the band was going to make it on time for their own show. The good news though: We could finally escape the fourth terrace of the purgatory.

The next stop was Bremen: If Operator Please made it to the festival it would only be an 45 minute drive from there, it they didn't we could spend some time with friends in the city whose university I attended for almost five years.

They made it though, as we found out the next day. And they even organized backstage passes for Jenna and me, the golden ticket.

It was surreal to see them play, in a very good way. About 2 ½ years ago I was telling Ashley, the bass player, about Hurricane festival after they played a gig in a tiny club on the Gold Coast. And now I had the chance to witness them perform there – in my Vaterland, in front of an enthusiastic audience.

If you get the chance: Do yourself a favor and go to see one of their shows or buy their album: they're confident but not cocky, they're sweet but won't rot your teeth, they're cool but could be your friends.

The whole experience was almost as surreal as being backstage. When I saw Dave Grohl I couldn't resist to ask him for a photo. When I was 12 I watched hours of MTV just to tape a single goddamn Nirvana video. Giving me the opportunity to meet one of THE heroes of my youth, someone I absolutely adored growing up in that boring place in the middle of nowhere, someone who at that time was in the biggest band on earth is something I will forever be grateful for (despite me looking like a cartoon of myself on that said photo). That and for the opportunity to wash my hands backstage.

Further highlights include: Seeing the Wombats from the photographers pit; watching the Foo Fighters from the sound tower and overlooking a crowd of tens of thousands people; Jaguar Love, Tocotronic and of course Sigur Ros: the chill out after the apocalypse.

Dust, rain and the fact that we had to sleep in my car because I couldn't organize a tent didn't matter anymore on this dreamlike weekend.

-Jens [Update: Now with 100% more pictures. The one with me and Dave Grohl won't hit the interwebs before I haven't photoshopped it though]