[artist id="2034673"]Tokio Hotel’s[/artist] Bill and Tom Kaulitz were just 2 months old when the Berlin Wall, which for decades had separated Germany into two separate political states, came tumbling down. Twenty years later, in the same city, they decided to pay tribute to that momentous event with their performance at the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday (November 5).
Taking the stage silhouetted only by four spotlights, as their hometown fans screamed with delight, Tokio Hotel began the somber buildup of “World Behind My Wall,” a track from their just-released Humanoid album . Backed by a video display that showed the symbolic dissolving of a brick wall, frontman Bill Kaulitz — wearing dark wraparound shades and a tight black leather jacket — sang the opening refrains, the crowd joining him on each syllable.
He then removed the sunglasses and strode across the stage, joining his TH bandmates — including bassist Georg Listing on piano — as the song began to pick up steam. Bill’s brother (and Tokio Hotel guitarist) Tom worked a decidedly Edge-ian melody out of his ax, and drummer Gustav Schafer pounded hard on his kit.
“Wall” built to a fiery crescendo, with Bill screaming the chorus inches from his brother’s face, as an image of the Berlin Wall itself appeared on the video screen. As the song hit its most massive section, the stage was filled with licks of pyro, streams of red lasers and massive explosions, as Bill thrust his fist skyward and sang the chorus loudly.
And just as quickly and massively as it built, the song disappeared into the night, and TH stood triumphantly in the middle of the stage, amps still smoking, Listing plinking out the song’s final notes on a piano engulfed in flames.
It was a fitting tribute, indeed.