Blue Shell – The blue institution
Just off Barbarossaplatz is this city mainstay of good guitar music, a natural habitat for non-stadium-level bands. Which is not to say that the Blue Shell only ever features no-name groups, on the contrary: the Blue Shell hall of fame is very rock’n’roll indeed.
The club has much to offer besides music. If it all gets a bit much in front of the main stage, simply head to the space next door, order a chilled Kölsch and play a clanging round of pinball (really, they still exist!). Although you risk the wrath of the performing artists (and your fellow concertgoers) since there’s no dividing door between the two rooms. That said, it’s a safe option during performances by South American death metal bands, where you’d be hard pressed to hear anything but noise. But generally speaking, the Blue Shell is where you go for music rather than pinball.
My favourite Blue Shell memory: A South American death metal band, what else? Just kidding. My favourite memory involves the Christmas concerts that songwriter Thees Uhlmann used to give here years ago. Although was before his major breakthrough, he managed to attract quite an audience. After all, it was the Blue Shell.
Here’s another wobbly amateur YouTube video from the Blue Shell featuring entertainer Thees Uhlmann.