09/03/2016 Concert in Frankfurt

I agree with the other spectator below.... the concert was unhearable because of the bad soundengineering ...

This ist the letter I wrote to Livenation:

An die Geschäftsführer: Marek Lieberberg, Andre Lieberberg, Matthias Schwarz, John Reid

Sehr geehrte Herren,

entgegen der FAZ Pressemitteilung heute morgen (die übrigens sehr kurz ausfiel) war das Konzert gestern von Billy Joel ein absoluter Reinfall und kein einzigen Penny (Cent) wert.
Billy Joel ist mit seiner Band unschlagbar und ein ausgezeichneter Weltmusiker und ja er hat ja auch alle seine Hits gespielt.

ABER man konnte seine Musik nur erkennen, weil sie einem so geläufig ist. Der Sound war ein einziger Tonbrei / ohrentbetäubender Krach, der selbst mit vom Nachbar ausgegebenen Ohrstöpseln nicht zu ertragen war.
Ihre gesamten Tontechniker können sie in der Pfeife rauchen und einstampfen lassen. Ich bin in Südamerika aufgewachsen. Lautstärke ist nicht das Problem; aber wenn teilweise der Chor lauter ist als Billy Joel, die hohen Töne zur Quietschkullisse werden die Klaviertastatur zwischendrin alles andere aussticht und der Bass im Ohr zu einem unangenehmen begleitenden Brummton wird, grenzte die Übersteuerung und schlechte Aussteuerung gestern an Körperverletzung... Die Sängerin konnte man im Bild pantomimisch singen hören, aber ihr Gesang wurde vom Rest der Bandkakophonie übertönt. Lediglich Billy Joels Ansagen waren durch seine sonore Stimme erträglich und verständlich; sobald die "Musik" einsetzte ging auch er unter im Lärm.

Wir sind (und nicht als einzige) vorzeitig aus dem Konzert rausgegangen. Es war nach ca 1 1/2 Stunden einfach nicht mehr zu ertragen. Und die so bekannte Musik hat man anhand der Erinnerung im Kopf versucht wach werden zu lassen, was einem bei dem Krach leider auch mit dem besten Willen nicht gelungen ist.

Ich bin bitter enttäuscht und so waren es einige, die aber wohl wegen des hohen Eintrittspreises zumindest vor der Arena versucht haben ein bissl Konzertfeeling aufkommen zu lassen. Ich verstehe die Masse, die trotz des schlechten miserablen sounds dem Musiker gehuldigt haben und ihn gefeiert haben. Schon allein der hohen Ausgaben, die einige getätigt haben; werden Sie versucht haben sich in Konzertstimmung zu bringen. Wir haben das auch bis zur Hälfte des Konzertes versucht. Aber mein Mann als exzellenter Musiker und ich als geübte Zuhörerin haben dann doch vorzeitig das Handtuch geschmissen.


Das Konzert war ein Reinfall und eine UNVERSCHÄMTHEIT.


Ich bin bitter enttäuscht
Maya Hartung-Lupan
«1

Comments

  • Thank you for your wonderful music, but the sound quality in Frankfurt was a desaster. I'm looking foward for the next chance of a live performance, maybe next year in Berlin?
  • BlackwinBlackwin Posts: 4
    edited 09/04/16
    Bill,

    I am a fan of your music for decades now (since the mid 70's I think), I've been waiting for years to see you performing live and was excited like a little boy to see you at Frankfurt on Sep 3, 2016. You and your band did an outstanding job and gave us a perfect show, with respect to musical precision, stage setup and lighting. But I am sorry to say that the sound engineers failed completely, the sound was just terrible and it was much too loud for your wonderful kind of music to be acceptable. I have to say that I like to listen to loud music, but in this case it was just a nightmare.
  • I totally agree with the comments above. It was my first Billy Joel concert and my wife and I were so looking forward to this concert. Of course, Billy Joel and the band delivered 100% of what I expected. What a great performance!

    But still, it was the most disappointing concert experience I have ever had. I wrote to the tour agent MLK to request a refund for the ticket price. The sound totally ruined the experience. It was simply not worth the ticket price. Too bad :-(

    I hope I will get a second chance at some point in the future to experience what a real Billy Joel concert is like.
  • Hi Bill,

    I was also totaly disapointed by the quality of the sound at Commerzbank-Arena.
    Since Sound was no problem at other concerts I attended at this venue, the setup must failed. This should not happen today with all the technical tools around.

    Another question: Will the concert be available as CD (as Genisis or Peter Gabriel Concerts are in the "encore" series)?.
    Maybe, we then would have the opportunity to hear, what you hear on the stage monitor system, whiche seemed to be in much better quality than the sound the crowed had to hear.
  • Hagen SuchardtHagen Suchardt Posts: 3
    edited 09/04/16
    Dear Billy Joel, a great concert yesterday, 03.09.16 at Frankfurt! But never in my life have I heard such an awful sound. I'm not the only one. Many people (Facebook) agree. In the following my mails to Marek Lieberberg, Radio HR1 and Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt. I'm thinking about seeking legal advice to get my money back. I'm sorry for this because you and your band were wonderful. Regards Hagen

    an:

    Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur GmbH & Co.KG

    z.H.

    Herrn Gesellschafter Marek Lieberberg
    Herrn Geschäftsführer Dr. Frithjof Pils

    Sehr geehrter Herr Lieberberg,
    sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Pils,

    gestern, 03.09.16 besuchte ich das Konzert "Billy Joel“ in der Commmerbank-Arena, Frankfurt.

    Ich wollte meinem Sohn den fantastischen Musiker für zwei mal 138,90 Euro Ticketpreis näher bringen aber das was wir beide im Block 28B (Mittelrang) erlebt haben, war ein Disaster:

    - Ein Hall-Effekt wie in einer Eissportarena.

    - Ein dermassen knödelnder Klangbrei, dass in vielen Songs weder E-Gitarre noch die Bläsersätze heraushörbar waren.

    - Das Piano verzerrt und der Gesang von Billy wie in einem leeren Schwimmbecken.

    Ich bedauere sehr, meinem Sohn die Karte geschenkt zu haben und bedauere auch den hervorragenden, einmaligen Billy Joel mit seiner Band, die alles gegeben haben, gegen diese Tontechnik-Fehlleistung anzukämpfen.

    Ich hoffe, dass andere Zuhörer auf anderen Plätzen diesen Musikbrei nicht ertragen mussten. Befürchte dies jedoch, da viele vorzeitig gegangen sind und auch einige sich öfter die Ohren zugehalten hatten (wegen des Halls).

    Noch nie in meinem Leben habe ich solch einen schlechten Sound anlässlich eines Konzerts erlebt - selbst auf einem kleinen Dorffest nicht.

    Herr Lieberberg, Herr Dr. Pils, bitte reagieren Sie und verhindern Sie - im Sinne der Künstler und der Zuhörer - weitere Konzerte mit solch katastrophalem Sound.

    Vielen Dank.

    Mit freundlichem Gruß

    Hagen Suchardt
  • The full horror. Nou sound it was only loud WE left this Horror After 45 min
  • Absolute horror. Worst sound I had ever heard. Hopefully i must never hear such a terrible sound. I hoped almost to the end that the technicans do their job and solve the problem.
    Its hard to face - this concert is the worst of all times.
    I Think Billy and Band gave their best and did a good job - unfortunately i didn't heard it. .... It’s Still Rock and Roll to me
  • Dear Billy Joel,
    I was looking forward to this concert for a very long time - and I was, as all the others that wrote here, deeply disappointed about this evening. The sound was the pure horror, you could not understand one single word, it was really really awful. I left the arena after 30 minutes and listened from outside for while (as many others did so), but I had to leave after one hour, I was too sad to stay.
    Although I could not really hear it, I'm convinced that you and your band did al really good job. I know that you are still a great musician and singer since I saw you in the Madison Quare Garden in March 2015. But yesterday I had to fight against my tears.
    Hope to see you soon - with an better sound engineer...

    This is the Mail that I wrote to Marek Lieberberg an his Company:


    Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
    sehr geehrter Herr Lieberberg,
    sehr geehrter Herr Pils,

    meine Frau und ich besuchten gestern Abend in Frankfurt das Billy-Joel-Konzert in der Commerzbank-Arena, auf das wir uns seit Monaten unheimlich gefreut hatten. Es sollte für uns ein ganz besonderer Abend werden. Und das wurde es auch - allerdings leider ganz anders, als wir uns das erträumt hatten.

    Noch nie in unseren mehr als 30 Jahren als Besucher von Rock- und Popkonzerten waren wir dermaßen enttäuscht über eine Veranstaltung wie gestern Abend. Es war haarsträubend, mit welch unterirdischem Sound das Publikum gestern malträtiert wurde: Es war laut bis an die Schmerzgrenze, kaum ein Wort (gesungen wie gesprochen) war zu verstehen, kein Instrument kam klar am Ohr des Zuhörers an, die Halleffekte deckten alles mit einem dicken, ungenießbaren Soundbrei zu. Kurz gesagt: Es war - vor allem angesichts unserer riesigen Vorfreude - der bitterste Abend, den wir jemals bei einem Konzert erleben mussten.

    Dass wir mit dieser Meinung alles andere als alleine standen, zeigte uns die Tatsache, dass viele Besucher, ähnlich wie wir, den Innenraum des Stadion schon nach relativ kurzer Zeit fluchtartig verließen und sich die Show von außerhalb der Arena anhörten. Dort sah man zwar nichts, aber die Geräuschkulisse war wenigstens eingermaßen erträglich. Die Stimmung dieser vielen Menschen können Sie sich vielleicht vorstellen; nur ein Beispiel: Ein Franzose, der wegen dieses Konzerts von der Mittelmeerküste mit dem Auto bis nach Frankfurt gefahren war, um sein großes Idol einmal live zu erleben, weinte bittere Tränen vor Enttäuschung.

    Können Sie uns erklären, was da gestern los war? Warum niemand im Verlauf eines mehr als zweistündigen Konzerts es schaffte, den Sound wenigstens einigermaßen in den Griff zu kriegen? Wie man 40.000 Fans, die allesamt mit großer Vorfreude angereist waren und verdammt viel Geld für ihre Tickets ausgegeben haben, so etwas zumuten kann? So geht man mit Kunden nicht um!

    Es mag schwierig sein, ein Fußballstadion zu beschallen, aber seit vielen Jahren zeigen gute Tontechniker, dass es geht. Gestern war leider von einem guten Tontechniker weit und breit nichts zu sehen...

    Es war jedenfalls für uns, die wir vor eineinhalb Jahren nach New York geflogen sind, um Billy Joel im Madison Square Garden zu sehen, ein sehr, sehr trauriger Abend, wofür Sie als Veranstalter unseres Erachtens mitverantwortlich sind. Deshalb würden wir uns über eine Reaktion auf unsere Mail freuen.


    Mit freundlichen Grüßen
  • meilmeil Posts: 3
    What a disappointment. The sound engineers spoiled the evening completely. My handicapped wife and I travelled 200 miles and spend 400,- € for an experience, which can be described best as "tinnitus".
  • Dear Billy Joel,
    I agree with all the comments above. You and the band did a great job. It was a good performance. But what a sound disaster. I was an absolute "sound brew", no single instrument was distinguishable and the noise was close to harm the timpans. I feel sorry for all you fans and I hope the Mr. Lieberberg an co. will react in a gentleful manner.
    It was a pityful experience in regard of the time and money invested.
  • For me - it was a brilliant evening! Thank you very much for the great music! As we went back to our hotel and had a drink at the bar, up to 10 fans played little music sequences of the concert on their cell phones - last but not least together we sang at the "piano bar" your songs. Our concert went on till 2 o'clock in the morning ;-) thanks!
  • Martin WeckwerthMartin Weckwerth Posts: 2
    edited 09/04/16
    Maybe some should not go to concerts if they expect a sound like on cd. Was the sound great? No.Indeed the echo effects were pretty bad. Was it loud? Yes it was - like it is supposed to be! Try and visit a hardrock concert like AC/DC. In comparison it was pretty quiet yesterday. Even when they played "Highway to Hell"

    Maybe too many champagne drinkers instead of a rocking audience. I never took my seat and saw the whole show standing in front of the monitor desk.

    In other words: If it is too loud you are too old.

    The show was great! The sound problems at Commerzbank arena are well known. Not even U2 had a great sound there. The only good sound you get is when you listen to playback shows like Helene Fischer. Maybe that suits you better.

  • buffbuffbuffbuff Posts: 1
    I think in 2016 and with all the experience it should have been possible to obtain a better sound. I could not agree more with some of the others.
    We were very excited about this but after 90 minutes we became weary. Maybe Billy should go up to the high places during the sound check or during one of the others performing a solo. I am pretty sure he would not be happy to hear how it sounds there. Not sure either that I am supposed to know that the arena is famous for its bad accoustics. If that were true, then why install an event like this in that place?
    I saw many elderly people leave early and I understand why. I have been to concerts where with similar loudness the sound remained clear throughout the full concert. For me it was ok in the beginning and during slower tracks but at some point it was not a real pleasure. What a pity.
  • BlackwinBlackwin Posts: 4
    @Martin Weckwerth
    Nobody is doubting the show. And stating "If it's too loud you're too old" tells that you are not reading carefully. I have been to concerts (e.g. Saxon) were it was really loud, much louder than at Commerzbank Arena, but clear and balanced.
  • @Martin Weckwerth
    There is a difference between loud music and just noise...
  • @ Mr. Weckwerth: Either you were not at the show on Saturday, or if you were there it was the first live concert you have seen (or you have a hearing problem and should see a doctor about it). Ever experienced someone sratching their knife on a plate? The porblem with that is not that it's too loud, it's just an awful sound. Same problem with the concert on Saturday. Not too loud, just awful.

    @ Billy Joel: This must be the first time in your life you are reading reviews like this. Of course, I was cheering for an encore like everyone else in the arena to acknowledge the great performance that you and your band delivered. But at the same time I was hoping it would be over soon. Sorry to say. I have been to shows at the Commerzbank arena before, and they were great sound. I believe what made the difference on Saturday was the closed roof, which created echoes like crazy.

    Anyway, hope to see you next time around. Still rock'n'roll to me as well.
  • Dear Mr. Billy Joel,

    sorry to say, but I have to agree with most of the comments above. My wife and I travelled from Munich to Frankfurt to see your show. Both of us are big fans of you, your beautiful songs and your skills as a piano player. We were very excited entering the stadium, looking forward to seeing and hearing (!) a great concert.

    We’ve been to the shows of Paul McCartney (Olympic Stadium Munich) and David Gilmour (Schlossplatz Stuttgart), just to mention the shows we visited this summer. Both shows had an excellent Live-sound. And yes, the sound was loud, as expected in a Rock n Roll-Show, but it was very well balanced and we could hear the excellent musicians doing their great job.

    When you started with Miami 2017 (one of my all-time-favourites) we both couldn’t believe what we had to hear: Heavily distorted trebles , the bass was just a constant humming noise, we could hardly understand your voice though we know all the words. Of course we thought, the FOH engineer would solve the problems quickly but we were wrong: nothing happened. The sound of the whole show was very awful throughout. A foggy, muddy mess of noise.

    To be honest, the sound in Frankfurt on Sept. 3rd was the worst I ever heard in a concert.

    What a disappointment! What a pity! What a crime committed to you, your great band and your wonderful music!

    Now I ask you: How is it possible that the sound was such a disaster? Who is responsible for this catastrophe? Why didn't the engineers do their job and fix the problems? Didn’t they hear?

    We hope that you come back soon, so that we can see and hear what a concert of yours is all about: The songs, the band, the voice – the legend.

    Kind regards from Munich,
    Christoph
  • ... it's so easy: The responsibility for the sound has Billy Joel himself. Please read the following E-Mail of Marek Lieberberg (it's the answer of my complaint, addressed to Lieberberg).

    ... stunned ... no command.

    Regards

    Hagen Suchardt


    Anfang der weitergeleiteten Nachricht:

    Von: "info@mlk.com"
    Betreff: Billy Joel | 03.September 2016
    Datum: 5. September 2016 um 14:45:54 MESZ

    Werte Kritikerinnen und Kritiker,

    Billy Joel hat bei seinem einzigen Deutschlandkonzert in der Frankfurter Commerzbank-Arena eine überragende Performance abgeliefert.
    Über zweieinhalb Stunden begeisterte der Pianoman das Publikum mit seinem unglaublichen Songkanon.

    Aus gegebenem Anlass möchten wir darauf hinweisen, dass der Künstler die alleinige Entscheidung darüber hat, wie er sein Programm inhaltlich, zeitlich und im Hinblick auf seine Produktion (Ton, Licht, Video) gestaltet.
    Der Veranstalter hat weder Möglichkeit noch Recht, in dessen alleinige künstlerische Hoheit und Verantwortung einzugreifen.

    Insofern wollen wir subjektive Eindrücke, speziell über die Wahrnehmung des Sounds in verschiedenen Bereichen der Commerzbank-Arena, nicht kommentieren. Allerdings wissen wir, dass die Beteiligten alles gegeben haben, um eine bestmögliche Präsentation zu gewährleisten. Open-Air Veranstaltungen unterscheiden sich allerdings aufgrund anderer Gegebenheiten grundsätzlich von Darbietungen in geschlossen Räumen.

    Die großartige Resonanz und der ungebrochene Jubel beim Billy Joel Konzert unterstreichen, wie gut der Künstler und seine Performance angekommen sind.


    Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur GmbH & Co.KG
    c/o CTS EVENTIM AG & Co. KGaA
    Contrescarpe 75 A
    28195 Bremen

  • Yes, I received the email from the tour agent MLK as well. A few things that strike me as very interesting:

    1.) They blame the artist for the bad sound :-o
    2.) At the same time, I read from their email that this was not the first time that the sound "in certain areas" of the Commerzbank was "subjectively perceived" as bad.
    3.) They're telling us everyone should know that open air concerts have bad sound (although the show on Saturday in fact was not an open air concert since the roof was closed for no apparent reason, which in my opinion created the crazy echoes that caused the issue in the first place).

    Oh well, I guess we will just have to live with our frustration.
  • I'd like to see a statement of acknowledgement from mr Joel's team that several fans didn't get didn't get the quality of sound expected in Frankfurt and some kind of assurance that this won't happen in London. I'm so looking forward to the weekend I don't want to come away sad and upset, I've waited a long time for this.
  • meilmeil Posts: 3
    I agree, that would be great. But the legal advisors of Billy Joel will tell him that he should avoid justiciable statements. People could claim refunding or other compensation. I guess that this is just another business and a reflection of the world we live in- no apologies for sentimental fans to be expected.
  • andy68andy68 Posts: 1
    well I have to agree on the sound quality in Frankfurt. I got tickets for block A 5 and the sound was terrible. It was the worst sound I ever had in a concert in more that 25 years concert experience. Sometimes it was so loud that you could distinguish the different instruments. It was really disappointing. And if I take into account the prices for the tickets I expected a perfect concert in all parts. But that was just a dream ...
  • Rather silly claiming refunds because of subjective issues. Lieberberg is right.
    London will be worse-Springsteen was heavily critized for the sound there as well. More echo than in Frankfurt.
  • I'm still very sad. It was the worst concert that I've ever experienced. The sound of the concert was a disaster: money for nothing! :(

    Sing us a song you're the piano man
    Sing us a song tonight
    Well we're all in the mood for a melody
    And you've got us feelin 'alright
  • tortugatortuga Posts: 7
    Hello all of you !

    As we learned the team of Billy Joel (sound engineers) are supposed to be the only responsible for the sound (as far to Lieberberg). But when you rent a location, you should at least give points to the special and tricky peculiarities and offer support.

    That´s tipical german behaviour. “It´s not my fault, I wasn´t involved. I just took the advantage – the money !”

    And to the comment of Martin Weckwerth “In other words: If it is too loud you are too old” You forget that our Idol Billy is in the ages as well. And I bet if he could have heard or better say not hear himself , he would have run away immediately out of the audience as we did.

    And to the sound of the Arena. I was at Roger Waters Concert “The Wall” in 2013 it was the hell of a difference. The sound was brilliant.

    I have a suggestion for recompensation. Why your sound enginners don´t make a donation to a caritative institution. For example “Musiker ohne Grenzen e.V.” (= music without borders) www.musikerohnegrenzen.de . Their issue is it to bring music for free to parts of the world where musical education is unknown or miserable and spread joy and hope. May be Liebermann should do the same as well. 40.000 spectator x 150,-€ (in average) = 6 Mio €. Cutting down expenses, taxes, etc… there should be some money left for a caritative donation !

    I´m out of the discussion. Greetings Maya
  • tortugatortuga Posts: 7
    sry Lieber Mann of course I ment Lieberberg. Typical "Freudsche Fehlhandlung"

  • tortugatortuga Posts: 7
    Dear Billy,
    I wish all the best to you and I`ll bet you will have a better sound for the audience in London after all our complaints.
    I´m sorry for it. Still and for ever a great fan of yours.
    Love Maya
  • MarmarkMarmark Posts: 1
    Hello i am from Germany,
    Billy was and is the Master of ,,my Life''
    Frankfurt was an fantastic Show.
    The sound blasting away, yeahhhhh.

    I saw him 1990 in May in Cologne,
    THE STORM FRONT 26 years later,
    in Frankfurt blow me away.

    This Man makes '' my Life'',
    I Love him so much, more People
    Like him, and a lot of Things in the world
    Would be better.

    I Spent my money for the Last Dream with
    Billy:

    100 Concert in MSG-NY

    THAN Billy is 69!

    A bottle of Champagner.......
  • I feel very sorry for the people who feel that this is all that they could expect from an Arena concert. I saw Coldplay at the Manchester City football stadium in June and it was in fact almost CD quality.
    I hope that the issues will sorted out for Wembley as otherwise Billy may find himself booed off the stage, which he does not deserve.
    I also think the first thing you should see when you enter this site is an apology to all the faithful Frankfurt fans!
  • Billy Joel's response to your comments regarding the sound at the Frankfurt concert on September 3rd.

    I’m not surprised that there were complaints about the sound in Frankfurt.
    The venue itself was an acoustic nightmare - with solid concrete surfaces from top to bottom.
    We spent the whole day there trying to improve the reverberation problems.
    My sound engineer, Brian Ruggles, said it was the most difficult sound mixing situation he had ever encountered.
    That’s saying a lot - after close to 50 years of sound mixing in almost every famous stadium and arena all around the world.
    We thought that the Frankfurt audience was great. During the show their response was extremely enthusiastic and positive.
    My apologies to those people who didn’t enjoy the concert due to the bad acoustics there. I wanted them to enjoy our concert.
    But we gave that show the same energy and effort as any other concert we have ever given. I will stand by my sound engineer of 46 years in this instance. He is considered to be one the best sound engineers in the business. His reputation is impeccable. But even a great sound engineer can’t negate the extreme sonic effects that are inherent in certain kinds of architecture.

    Sincerely,

    B. Joel
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