Live Review: Tokio Hotel at O2 Indigo

After a pandemic-induced four-year wait, the German quartet Tokio Hotel returned to London to kick off the European leg of their Beyond The World tour. Jaws dropped when frontman and lead singer Bill Kaulitz stepped onto stage sparkling from head to toe in a glittery cowboy outfit to an enthralling remix of their hit single ‘White Lies’. 

With that, he also unknowingly fulfilled my childhood dream of seeing the band in concert. Back in 2005, the four teens took Germany, the rest of the world and little seven-year-old me by storm. With Tokio Hotel posters plastering my bedroom walls and their debut studio album ‘Schrei’ being the first physical album I ever owned, they were my introduction to being a true music fan. Who would have thought that almost two decades, a move to the UK and one university degree later, I would finally get to see them live? 

And the show certainly was worth the wait. Jumping from one catchy electro/synth-pop track to another with Tom Kaulitz’s electrifying guitar solos and the hard-hitting rhythm section made up of bassist Georg Listing and drummer Gustav Schäfer, the audience was left in a breathless frenzy of dancing and singing. That made a later acoustic break with the twin brothers all the more emotional, as Bill’s raspy vocals stunned in the soft pop ballad ‘Just A Moment’ and Tom’s intricate guitar strumming mesmerised the entire venue. Meanwhile, fan favourites ‘Schwarz’ and ‘Spring Nicht’ offered an unexpected throwback to the band’s earlier rock sound. I would like to apologise to anyone who heard my shriek of joy when the first chords of ‘Spring Nicht’ started playing – a favourite of mine from when I was younger. Yet the highlight of the show had to be its climatic encore. ‘Durch den Monsun’, the song that first catapulted Tokio Hotel to fame, has stood the test of time, as the crowd was suddenly fluent in German and shouted every single word of the anthem in a goosebump-worthy finale. Alongside the cathartic closer ‘Runaway’, which Bill revealed to be his favourite song to perform in an intimate Q&A session with fans after the show, the concert ended in an exhilaration that had the crowd both satisfied and reeling for more. 

I, for one, felt some of my inner child heal in that post-concert high. And I was definitely not the only one, as countless fans at the show have grown up alongside the members of Tokio Hotel. Throughout the entire set, the O2 Indigo was filled with a sense of familiarity and appreciation that could only be achieved by a band that accompanied their fans for most of their lives, and fans that in return unwaveringly supported the band during their own growth and evolution of sound. And even over 20 years into their careers, our journey together is far from over! 

Written by Jana Fröhlich

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