Finally, he is in Germany! I was so excited to see Jim Kimo West at the Nacht der Gitarren (“Night of the Guitars”). What an honor to have the Weird Al Yankovic guitarist in Germany for several dates, being on stage with three other world-class instrumentalists. Unfortunately, the show in Reutlingen on 14th October 2023 was finally not the first stage of the show, but the second one – but I was really looking forward to share these impressions with you. Here is my concert report.
Kulturzentrum Franz.K – About The Venue
The Franz.K or Kulturzentrum Franz.K (“Cultural Center Franz.K”) is located in a former cinema. In fact, it is as central as it could be, just being some steps away from Reutlingen train station. The seated capacity of the venue is just below 400 and some 600 in case people are standing.
Nacht der Gitarren – About The Artists
Four artists are playing the Nacht der Gitarren shows, which is touring through Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands. I expect to attend three shows (two with Flyctory.com and one as an ordinary visitor). Apart from Jim Kimo West, the other artists are Lulo Reinhardt (Germany), Thu Le (Vietnam) and Josephine Alexandra (Indonesia). I introduced you to the artists in my feature posting about the tour.
Nacht der Gitarren – The Show
Lulo Reinhardt, who took over the lead of the festival from legendary Brian Gore, opened the evening at some 20:07 and thus with a slight delay. The first half of the evening was the solo part, where each artist presented his/her music in one or two examples. Reinhardt’s opener was Last Cousin, theming the last cousin of his father dying so that he is now in the eldest generation of his family. The second artist on stage was Josephine Alexandra, who is already having an amazing number of followers on social media. She gave her versions of What I’ve Done by Linkin Park – and even though she explained that her red leather jacket is a reference to Michael Jackson, I am sure that her second song was indeed Eat It by Weird Al Yankovic.
Thu Le was the third act of this solo section. She opened with stating that she will now move from Michael Jackson to Bach, but then played two dances. The first one was a tune from Columbia, while the second one has been a tango and rather went to the classic guitar direction. Last, but not least, Jim Kimo West closed the solo section. He surprised with having learned some basic German for the tour. With his second song, Island Girl, he reminded of the victims of the Maui fire. Before the break, all four artists stepped on stage together for the first time and closed an impressing session, which overall lasted until 20:55.
Majorly Duets in the Second Half
The second set of the evening featured a series of duets. Even though there was a huge variety of song picks, the audience got more and more amazed by the musical skills of the artists on stage. There were fascinating collaborations like Reinhardt and Alexandra doing a rather gypsy jazz-orientated version of The Cantina Band from the Star Wars movies or West and Le doing a Vietnamese song, in which the Vietnamese artist partially sang in her language, while Kimo had a Hawaiian lyrics part. Another great collaboration was the rather rocking version of the Hungarian Dance, done by the ladies. As Reinhardt stated, We all speak the same language.
After the set of duets, the four artists closed the evening as a quartet on stage. The first song they performed was a track called Asia written by the host, followed by a composition in West’s personal style, especially written for that tour. Two additional encores closed the evening, a quartet version of Boney M.’s Sunny and John Lennon’s legendary Imagine – what could be a better choice in times like these? Excluding the intermission, the total show time was about two hours.
Nacht der Gitarren – The Gallery
Here are 441 major size pictures of the show. They are located in the concert gallery:
Nacht der Gitarren – My View
I was really curious before the show how I would like the Nacht der Gitarren. I am very open-minded about music, but still, there is just very selected stuff I like on the instrumental side. However, I have to say I absolutely loved that evening in Reutlingen. Four superb musicians, who do a very entertaining and versatile evening. The initial setup of four chairs looked like a songwriters’ round to me, but finally, it was much more than that.
I also have to add that the friendly and relaxed atmosphere at the Franz.K was a key factor driving a successful evening. I hope to come back to this place one day again, even though it is a bit of remote from the area where I live.
Tour dates can be found in my tour date overview.
Jim “Kimo” West on Flyctory.com
Here are all my postings related to Jim “Kimo” West:
Here are all postings about Instrumental Music: