To celebrate their 40th birthday, Toten Hosen are giving themselves and their fans an open-air tour. The band rocks the Cologne stadium – and, according to Campino, feels great gratitude.

When two black “until the bitter end” flags are raised on stage, the action begins and loud cheers erupt in the crowd: Die Toten Hosen are back on stage.

Ironically, the Düsseldorf punk rockers started their anniversary tour in the rival neighboring city of Cologne. They were warmly welcomed there: the Rheinenergie Stadium had been sold out for months.

Around 40,000 guests came to the huge birthday party under the motto “Everything out of love – 40 years of the Toten Hosen”. “You don’t believe how happy we are that we’re still here,” singer Campino called out to the fans. “40 years – that’s a huge gift.”

Die-hard fans in the crowd, families in the stands

Both the band and the fans have gotten older, but not necessarily calmer. Campino, who will be 60 in a few days, jumped and ran across the stage as tirelessly as ever. The majority of the audience probably knew the band from their early years – among the heaviest pogo dancers in the interior were quite a few graying men. A whole row of families with children had also taken a seat in the grandstands.

Whereby: Hardly anyone stayed seated in the ranks. As soon as the first song was played, everyone stood and waved their arms – although “All say that” was one of the few new titles on the anniversary album that had just been released.

It went straight to the top of the charts. This makes the Hosen the band with the most number one albums in the German charts. It’s almost unbelievable when you consider that the band was formed more on a whim in the hobby room and originally just wanted to have a little fun.

In Cologne, Toten Hosen presented a cross-section of 40 years of band history. The fans really got into it, of course, especially with big hits like “Bonnie

Same “team line-up” for 20 years

The punky, colorful stage design – an artwork collage of Hosen albums – framed the large video screens, on which the band members appeared alternately in black and white. The “team line-up”, as the band prefers to put it, has always been the same on stage for two decades: Campino, guitarists “Kuddel” Andreas von Holst and “Breiti” Michael Breitkopf, bassist Andreas Meurer and drummer Vom Ritchie.

With “Days like this”, the concert slowly ended after a little more than two hours. “You gave us a great first evening, and a lot of worry stones fell off our shoulders,” said Campino before he said goodbye to Cologne: “Dear neighbors – thank you for the great evening!”