The music lover’s guide to Berlin

Es ist wieder Februar… / It’s February again
Deine 28 Tage zu Besuch. / Your 28 days are visiting us
Endlich wieder Februar, / Finally: February
niemand lacht mir kälter ins Gesicht. / There’s no one who has a smile that’s colder than yours in my face
Was wär das Jahr bloß ohne dich? / What would this year be without you?
Nichts, Nichts, Nichts. / Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing…
Nichts, Nichts, Nichts, Nichts.

Zwischen Frühjahrsschlaf und Wintermüdigkeit, / Between spring fever and hibernation
trittst du mein Glück mit Füßen, / You step on my happiness with your feet
ich heb auf was davon übrig bleibt…. / I pick up what is left of it
Mit dir tanz ich den Blues so wie jedes Jahr. / Together with you I dance the blues like last year
Niemand kann das besser als du, Februar. / No one can do it better than you, February.

Taken from the song “Es ist wieder Februar” by the band OK KID.
Written by OK Kid, published on the album ZWEI (2016), © Fourmusic/Sony Music.
Spotify live session:
https://play.spotify.com/album/2RlkrMYrP8PRZMtCH3sP2I/4GudUnVuMcVx5yNQjsxH5j

February in Berlin is a very serious thing (as the band OK Kid knows, whose lyrics are quoted above). The grey days, cold nights and prospect of wading through cold snow slush on your way home from a club make you think two or three times harder whether you should leave the house for some night time entertainment or not.

But for those who don’t want to do without their decent winter fun (but maybe not the Berghain-party-till-the-next afternoon kind of fun), the city of Berlin has pleasant alternatives up its sleeve: there are quite a few theatres that open their doors not only for the latest plays, but also for live bands.

Here are some of the best things you can see when you don’t mind enjoying great music seated.

Guided Tour: Deutsche Oper

When: Saturday 18th February
Where: Deutsche Oper
What: Part of the legacy of the formerly divided city, Berlin has the luxury of having three opera houses. Deutsche Oper was the opera of West Berlin, and on this guided tour you get a glimpse behind the curtains of this fascinating house.
More info: https://www.deutscheoperberlin.de/de_DE/calendar


Gob Squad: Dancing About

When: Saturday 18th February
Where: Palais im Roten Salon/Volksbühne
What: The legendary British-German crew, Gob Squad, is staging their first dance performance in almost 20 years. It’s about nightclubs, rituals and therapy.
More info: https://www.volksbuehne-berlin.de/praxis/dancing_about/?id_datum=11200


Jochen Arbeit and T.Raumschmiere

When: Monday 20th February
Where: Palais im Roten Salon/Volksbühne
What: Jochen Arbeit is a member of Einstürzende Neubauten and has played with art-noise ensembles like Die Haut. Together with his like-minded friend and free spirit, T.Raumschmiere, he will explore new territories in ambient music.
More info: https://www.volksbuehne-berlin.de/praxis/traumschmiere/?id_datum=11269


Nina Hagen: Sings Bertolt Brecht

When: Tuesday 21st February
Where: Berliner Ensemble, Theater am Schiffbauerdamm
What: Punk queen Nina Hagen is one of the icons of German music. Her special performance is dedicated to the songs and poems of Bertolt Brecht. Quite fitting, since Berliner Ensemble is the theatre that Brecht and his wife, Helene Weigel, directed from 1954 onwards.
More info: http://www.berliner-ensemble.de/zugabe


XJAZZ Live: Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra

When: Saturday 25th February
Where: Volksbühne
What: Once again, Emiliana Torrini is exploring new territory. Her orchestra of choice makes new use of old instruments or builds new ones for themselves.
More info: https://www.volksbuehne-berlin.de/praxis/hoeren_xjazz_live_emiliana_torrini_the_colorist_orchestra/?id_datum=11259


Max Raabe & Palast Orchester

When: Tuesday 28th February
Where: Admiralspalast
What: The beautiful theatre Admiralspalast is one of the last remnants of Berlin’s roaring 20s. And this is exactly the time and sound that has inspired Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester – patent leather shoes and greasy hair are part of the deal.
More info: http://www.palast-orchester.de/de


Berliner Philharmoniker: Digital Concert Hall

When: Whenever you like
Where: Online
What: Berliner Philharmoniker is not only a world-famous ambassador for classical music, but the orchestra is also leading with their Digital Concert Hall. Witness their best performances – either live or from the archives. The first concert you watch is free.
More info: https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/de/home