Sasha loves Berlin. He had been bugging everyone to get up early so that we would have more time there before the show. I dragged myself out of bed at at 9:45 only to find everyone still sleeping and none of the equipment broken down or packed up from the night before. We finally got on the road after noon. The drive to the autobahn was a gorgeous little road crowded on either side by trees and we sped by fields of wheat, cows, and pretty little brick houses. The gas stations have their porn magazines proudly displayed and everyone seems to have machines in the mens room selling travel pussies. The approach into Berlin was through Russian built tunnels but would have been much cooler without the snarls of traffic. We finally found the Hauscherer squat in the northwest. This neighborhood is purported to be one of the worst in Berlin with large immigrant populations (largely Turkish). As we told Thomas from the squat, anyone describing this as a bad neighborhood has clearly never been to Detroit, Chicago, or even Milwaukee.
We took a walk for a drink and a fantastic falafel sandwich and then back to the squat to set up. Our friend Andy from Dublin (now Berlin) showed up soon after and we hung out exchanging insults round-robin style between Croats, Americans, and Irish. Later our friend Carl from Madison (now Berlin) showed up with a couple of other visiting American friends. The music room was cool, but the stage was bizarrely set up — an odd shape in the corner that made it almost impossible to set up in any kind of coherent way. Joe 4 played a good set with Josip in a USoT t-shirt. I climbed on Josip’s back during “Johnny” and sang the chorus over his shoulder into the mic. The crowd was sparse but appreciative. Andy had asked that we play songs from the first record so we obliged him with six. We all felt that it was the best we had played all tour. Damir and Josip politely and not so politely, respectively, demurred. The eye (or ear) of the beholder and all that… After the show I talked with Carl for a long time about the messed up state of Wisconsin politics and the human drive to exploit. I’ve been re-reading George Orwell’s 1984 in the van and this conversation just served to fuel my hopelessness. Josip tried to lighten the mood with ridiculous drunken antics to no avail. After much discussion about going out on the town with Thomas, we all just crashed in the squat’s band dormitory.